The power of the retailer took another hit as the boycott of Vodafone top-ups collapsed recently.
After three separate boycotts original organiser Kevin Hunt has called it a day.
He feels he can no longer inconvenience his customers, and as a man running convenience stores that surely ranks higher than the seven deadly sins.
The recent cut in commission leaves the lowest end of the scale at three per cent, quite a difference from the initial lofty 10 per cent retailers used to receive.
Vodafone maintains that the money it saves will be pushed into increasing revenue and therefore more top-ups and more money for retailers. This argument is rather twisted – won’t retailers now be doing more work for the same amount of money?
The new talk is for surcharging customers to re-coup their margins. This just plays further into the networks’ hands. What will a customer do when faced with paying even just a few pence more?
Of course they’ll switch to the top-up methods the networks are trying so hard to convert them to – direct channels online, on the phone or in their own shops that cut out the middle-man and leave them with the precious pennies.