O2 has issued the channel new criteria for upgrading customers. Dealers must now check details against a database of O2 customers to verify ‘ownership’ of the customer and gain approval for upgrades.
“The process for distributors is to check if the customer was originally acquired through their channel before they are resigned," said an O2 spokesperson.
"This is to ensure customers are resigned through their original channel and are not subjected to a series of calls from any other source at the resign stage.
"We want to ensure customers are getting the right contact from the acquiring channel to adopt a fair approach and to ensure all partners are rewarded fairly for the business they generate.
“This process helps our distributors and their stockists target their self-acquired customers for resign and also protects our direct partners from losing their customers to other channels when they resign. We can take them through the process."
But sources claimed customer ‘ownership’ is decidedly unclear, especially if customers have signed with several O2 channels down the years, and even added bundles and new lines with different parties during the course of their contracts.
They also worried the move would ultimately lead to churn and opened them up to poaching from O2’s direct team.
Meanwhile, O2 said it would not subject the channel to tight new targets as the channel feared O2 parent Telefónica was reining in O2’s acquisition budget for Q4.
“We continue to work closely and openly with our partners, setting realistic targets to ensure our forecasts are true and achievable," said a spokesperson.
"We have flexible arrangements with each of our individual partners, the specifics of which are business confidential."