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09 January 2012 at 23:04 - Posted by mns001

Calgo M3, playing the market at the expense of small business.


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Calgo M3, playing the market at the expense of small business.

Our company took on work for Calgro M3 Property Holdings in July 2010, to formulate and produce a marketing campaign for their retirement estate, La Vie Nouvelle in Broadacres, Johannesburg, South Africa (Project turn-over R495 million - as published on their official website).

After a number of requested amendments to the proposed marketing budget, numerous meetings and proposals, with and to the project team (at Calgro's offices) they finally signed the quote stating that they would pay in 30 days for each of the payment cycles / project milestones. After the first payment cycle, they changed the payment period to 60 days. On 23 February 2010, and after paying only two thirds of the outstanding account, they requested all work to be saved on disc and  handed over to another marketing/production concern that they regularly work with, this was done with no explanation at their head office in Bryanston in a the presence of their marketing director Charl Cornelissen and the third party.

Since February 2010 statements have been emailed at each month end, to their in-house project manager Karel Oberholzer and their contracted project management company, Vivendi Developments. Every month Vivendi has responded and has sent explanations and additional requests to have Calgo pay us the outstanding amount for the completed work (Calgro has since 23 February 2010 not responded to any communique from/to us).

In October 2011, Calgro M3's finance department was contacted via telephone and a Malinda Schutte requested that we email her the statements again. After receiving the documentation and a follow up call from us, Mrs Schutte informed us that the statements had "been placed on Charl Cornelissen's desk for approval".

On 17 November 2011, Vivendi Developments (Not Calgo M3) informed us that there will be no payments paid to any professionals until the development (La Vie Nouvelle retirement estate) "has reached 20% in presales" (What ever that may mean).

It's been 11 months since we completed work on this project, Calgro has breached the agreement they signed, by initially not paying on time / not consulting on changing their payment terms, Not fulfilling the proposed quotation / budget / aspects as agreed (and signed) upon, ignoring requests for payment and using intellectual property that they have not paid for. We have obtained printed samples of the materials / scripts in question that are being used on site in Broadacres to sell the properties and they have published our designs online via the la Vie Nouvelle official website).

How a company who have self-titled themselves as "a leader in the mid to high income residential market", and who promote their headline earnings at 76,39% (Feb 2011) can act in such an unprofessional and callous manner, is beyond common sense and demonstrates gross mismanagement. One can only come to the conclusion that Calgo M3, a listed, public company, are playing the market at the expense of their suppliers and small businesses.

M. N. Sterrenberg
Accounting Officer
Marketing Services, Johannesburg.
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