Orange axes 150 in total dealer review

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Two weeks ago it issued do not deal notices relating to around 150 dealers across its entire distribution base. Orange UK head of independent retail Steve Heald told Mobile News: These dealers have consistently failed to deliver value to Orange. We cant support them commercially and so we have ceased trading with them.

Orange has analysed three-to-six months trading figures for all its dealer base, and been making steady cuts on its findings during the past weeks. But last week it summoned 10 of its distribution partners to its Hertfordshire headquarters for oneto- one briefings to inform them of the mass dealer cuts and to issue guidelines on procedures and performance.

Heald said every distributor that attended had dealers culled. Numbers would increase once the new policies are enforced next month, he said.

Dealers, among them a high number of call centres, have been cut for mis-selling upgrades, failing to honour cashback offers, churning high volumes of customers and delivering poor quality business.

Orange has immediately struck off dealers with a churn rate of 50 per cent or over. It has also issued 90-day warning notices to distributors about dealers whose churn figures are running at 30-50 per cent. Around 100 dealers are on final warnings, Mobile News understands. Dealer codes that remain inactive for six months will also be terminated.

Its new guidelines for call centres follow the introduction of an operator code of conduct, backed by regulator Ofcom, on distance sales and marketing practices earlier this month. Call centres must now clearly identify themselves to customers at the start of a call, stating where they are phoning from. Call centres must clearly publish customer service numbers on their websites.

Heald said: We have received complaints for a long time about this, from customers who repeatedly get calls from an organisation theyve never heard of, at inconvenient times, and where the offer is not clear. Weve successfully reduced the number of last years customer complaints by more than half, but we have needed to do more.

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