3 poaching continues


And once again, this customer is just a few months away from the window when I, as a “valued 3 Q status dealer”, can upgrade the customer myself.

And again, when the customer informed 3 they would prefer to deal with their original dealer, who has supported them all through their contract, because 3’s own customer support is so bloody awful, they are informed 3’s own direct offers will “wipe the floor” with any deals I could possibly offer.

Thanks very much 3. Why don’t you just have the balls to come out and say that you are now only interested in direct relations with customers and let us dealers know once and for all just where you truly stand. Or else stick to your word.
For once.

Late pricing – again

Another month, more of the same from the networks.

I complain at the start of every month that the networks issue pricing information too late. This month, I didn’t receive any notifications of changes in pricing for any network until November 1, late morning.

It’s a thorn in the side of every dealer and shows no sign of getting any better. Last year, all the networks made announcements of one sort or another promising more long-term pricing, but nothing has materialised.

On the morning of November 1, I had a customer expressing real interest in 3, and yet I had absolutely no idea of its pricing for the month.

I could’ve guessed it wouldn’t change too differently on a particular tariff/ handset combination, but a major price drop could’ve seen me make a big loss on the sale.

It’s been suggested, and I think its a good idea, that if networks can’t get the pricing to dealers in a timely manner, some period of ‘crossover’ should be allowed, perhaps a week. This way, connections made in the first week should be paid at the best rate, whether that is the previous or the current month’s price book. This would give some protection for dealers, and some warning.

It would certainly help galvanise the minds of the price book writers to get the information out on time.

As it turned out, during the very last hour of trading in October, I received a very short email from 3 stating that the half-price line rental offer would stop in November. Nothing like being able to plan your business ahead is there?

Hand it to Samsung

In this world of ever-changing phones, model numbers and features that tend to blur into one another, it’s a welcome relief to receive the bi-monthly visit from my local Samsung field trainer.

He calls in to give us updates on changes in the Samsung handset portfolio, bringing ‘live’ handsets for us to get to grips with. This way we discover features by using them, rather than just sitting through boring PowerPoint presentations that don’t mean anything without trialling devices.

This time the rep brought the forthcoming G800 cameraphone and was good enough to leave the handset with me for a couple of days – time enough to get used to its advanced feature set.

Its 5-megapixel camera is made more impressive by the 3x optical zoom, proper Xenon flash and red eye reduction.

At first glance, the G800 looks a little on the large side – until you slide up the RAZR-like keypad, the phone very much resembles a compact camera. In fact, I would be selling this phone to customers as a very capable compact camera that just happens to have all the phone technology built into it as a bonus.

I think you would put people off trying to sell this as a phone first, although that certainly doesn’t mean its phone is poor; it’s a 3G/HSDPA video phone with Bluetooth, MicroSD memory expansion and a decent media player.

It also has image and video editing, which is impressive in a phone in itself. I was also impressed with Mobile Tracker, which lets you nominate a mobile number then get a text whenever a new SIM is inserted in the handset – very handy if your phone gets stolen, as you simply inform the police. It should be built into all phones as standard.

Praise has to go to Samsung for regularly having its field trainers keeping us informed of the latest handsets.