Sharp End: 3 B2B clawbacks


3 clawbacks for business

Recently I reported of erroneous clawbacks from 3; mainly of clawback for disconnections made over 15 months previously. 

Now it would seem 3 has imposed a new clawback term that states that for business customers 3 now reserves the right to claw back the full amount paid if customers disconnect for any reason at any point in their contract term. This beggars belief.

If as a dealer you now connect a business customer to 3 and that business customer, for whatever reason, disconnects from 3 then you, my dear friend, are likely to have all your commission clawed back.

Even though 3 may have received many hundreds of pounds in line rental and call charges, through absolutely no fault of your own, you are likely to lose out big time. I understand 3 reserves the right also to claw back anything up to six years later.

There are many issues here. The dealer has absolutely no control over what a customer does or does not do with 3 once the connection has been made and in fact a lot of the feedback I’m getting shows that it is 3’s own network/customer services that are the main reason business customers leave it.

Business customers need a better service than most and they simply are not getting it from 3.

One customer gave me a hard time after going abroad and he could not use his 3 phone even though roaming was initially requested.

I immediately got through to 3 and requested roaming which they advised was now done. The same customer a few weeks back advised he was going abroad again and asked me to ensure his would be okay for roaming.

Over a period of two weeks I checked with 3 on three separate occasions and each time they advised the customer would be good for it. Guess what? He had no roaming when he went away.

One dealer put a customer on 3 for over 40 handsets and that customer had to get their legal team to sue 3 to get out of the contract early because of its inability to provide what its was supposed to.

These examples just go to show anything can happen and, with 3, it typically has nothing to do with the original dealer at all, yet they take the full financial burden.

One dealer pointed out that it is pointless that 3 even does a credit check for a business customer if all it is going to do is claw back the full amount from the dealer anyway.

What happens if after more than 20 months of a 24-month contract another dealer goes in and buys the customer out of the contract (which happens frequently)? The dealer loses all their money?

The whole legality of clawbacks needs to be addressed for everyone’s interests. But who’s going to fund such a fight?

I just don’t understand 3 at the moment. On one hand it says it is going all out to attract dealers’ business connections and on the other hand it goes and does something like this.

Whilst I’m moaning about 3 I may as well moan at the fact 3 insists on putting prices for phones in its point of sale material. I want to be the one that decides at what entry point I connect a phone to 3.

I don’t want 3 dictating (via point of sale) a certain phone can be had on a certain tariff and then end up losing money if the customer actually requests it from me. One particular example is the Nokia E71.

In 3’s point of sale material it shows the phone available on a £20 per month tariff. If I was to match it then I would lose over £30. Even on most of the other models of phone then the margins I would make at those rates are incredibly low given the amount of work needed to support 3’s customers in-store.

3, you have good tariffs and good phones, now do us all a favour and let us decide how much we promote them for.

Orange’s about-turn

Orange recently announced proposed price increases for data usage and out of bundle call charges. Orange this week made an announcement stating it was going to withdraw these increases at this time.

Orange stated it was back-tracking because it had come to its attention that customers were confused by the method at which Orange notified of such increases.

This might be the case but I reckon the about-turn had more to do with the fact that many, many customers were using the price increase as an excuse to terminate their Orange contracts early.

With forum groups and social networking sites becoming ever more popular it is becoming increasingly easy for people to get various messages across to other like minded individuals very quickly.

This happened to Orange. Forum groups were ablaze with people describing how they managed to cancel their contracts early and keep their shiny new mega expensive phone too, and detailing to anyone that would listen exactly how to go about doing the same too.

The power of the internet.