O2 has changed its bonus pay structure, to penalise staff for selling too many contracts.
For every five per cent staff exceed their contract handset target, they will lose one per cent from their quarterly bonus – so, if they exceed the target by 115 per cent, say, they lose three per cent of their bonus.
The move was greeted as an attempt by O2 to manage acquisition costs, and to discourage staff from selling popular and heavily subsidised devices such as Nseries Nokia handsets and high-end BlackBerry devices.
But an O2 spokesperson said: “The postpay target is just one element of a wide range of KPIs which make up our bonus structure in retail.
“We look carefully at our bonus scheme each quarter to ensure it best meets the needs of our customers, our business and reflects the fact that we now sell a much broader portfolio of products in store, ranging from the O2 Joggler through to Home Broadband.”
Mobile News reported last issue (issue 443) Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U are both understood to have placed a similar instruction to staff regarding over achieving contract targets when connecting T-Mobile specifically.
Mobile News also reported in June, O2 had increased the cost of certain high-end handsets on contract such as the BlackBerry Bold and the Nokia N96 – which went from free on £35 and £40 deals to £75 per month. It was another move supposed to steady acquisition costs on high-end devices, and concentrate sales around its exclusives.
One staffer said: “It’s a really unusual situation to be in. We are literally swamped with customers asking for the iPhone at the moment, but not everyone wants it.
“We are flat out, and most stores are understaffed, so to have the possibility of losing your bonus for serving customers is a little disheartening.”
Another said: “O2 seems to be more focussed on sales of broadband and business than anything else, because the iPhone sales cover post pay targets. Even on our Spirit points (O2 commission for sales) there are only a couple of handsets on there so there isn’t the incentive to sell handsets as previously.”