O2 accused of ‘favouritism’ over availability of tariff

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Northern Irish dealers unhappy after operator only allows Barclay Communications to offer a new cross-border business tariff

O2 dealers in Northern Ireland have accused the network of “favouritism” after it allowed just one of its partners, O2 Centre of Excellence dealer Barclay Communications, to offer a new business tariff which includes calls to both sides of the Irish border in the bundle price.

The ‘All Ireland’ tariff has been available “on trial” with Barclay since June last year, with O2 saying it will review the results before deciding whether to continue offering the plan and extending it out to the wider channel.

However, other dealers from the region have contacted Mobile News claiming O2 is putting them at a disadvantage by allowing a rival partner to offer a deal which they cannot compete with.

One said: “We’ve lost deals because of this. Some of our customers know this tariff is available, but when they ask for it we have to tell them they can’t have it through us. The best we can offer is a European bolt-on, which is a poor alternative.

“They are showing clear favouritism and whenever we ask O2 about it they say it’s still a trial. Well the trial’s been going on a long time now and this is putting us at a competitive disadvantage.”

Another reported they were told by their O2 account manager that it would be available “soon”, but were later told by the network it wouldn’t be.

A spokesman for O2 said its partner for the tariff had been chosen as it had the “best cross-section of customers in the SOHO and SMB market”.

He added: “We have been working on a number of initiatives to maintain our competitive position in Northern Ireland. We are currently reviewing feedback which will help determine the next steps.”

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