HSC claims rivals are ‘handcuffing’ dealers


HSC has launched a scathing attack on rival O2 distributors, accusing them of “blackmailing” and “handcuffing” dealers by threatening to terminate their ongoing commissions if they switch suppliers

HSC has claimed dealers are being forced by certain rival firms to remain with them. It said they are threatening to keep ongoing revenue share commission to themselves if dealers depart for HSC.

O2 works with distributors Avenir, MoCo and Daisy Group (Fone Logistics and Anglia), as well as HSC. O2 rules allow dealers to switch suppliers after six months of signing with them. Its revenue share terms are dictated by distributors, however.

HSC said it is the only O2 distributor to “guarantee” to continue to pay ongoing revenue after dealers have moved to rival firms, provided no money is owed for upfront hardware payments. It said a “significant” number of dealers with competitors have been in contact to move to HSC, but have been warned off by current suppliers.

Avenir Telecom claimed it has the same approach to HSC, and pays former dealers provided their debts are cleared. Daisy Group refused to comment. MoCo was unavailable at press.

HSC business manager Bob Sweetlove (pictured) challenged dealers to seek legal advice about the matter. Sweetlove said: “We speak to dealers from other distributors and they are handcuffed.

“They cannot leave. Dealers should challenge distributors who don’t let them have their money. It’s unreasonable and should be taken to the highest level.”

HSC said it is now serving 75 per cent of the UK dealer market, or around 750 accounts. However it counts service as transactions for SIM-free kit also, which it procures via parent Carphone Warehouse.

It is being hobbled from growth in O2 airtime accounts, it said, because rivals are employing nefarious tactics to keep their dealers with them.

Sweetlove remarked: “It makes it very difficult for us. It’s totally unfair to sit on their money.

“We are traditionalists, here with good morals. We do what is right. I don’t want someone buying from me because they have to. How could I look them in the eye and tell them I’m doing them a good service when I know they would leave if they could?

“Whereas if I have handcuffed by saying I will stop paying their  revenue share they should be getting from connections, from their customer they won, the chances of them returning are zero.”