No more reseller cuts, says Three

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Operator working hard to reduce ‘unnecessary costs’ but insists it is not looking to end anymore third party reseller partnerships 

Three says it has no plans to make further reductions to its third-party resellers in 2014 – despite axing both Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U in the past 18 months.

The operator, which at present works with around 19 third-party resellers, ended its relationship with retailer Carphone Warehouse in November, and Phones 4U in April last year, claiming 90 per cent of all airtime connections are now put through direct.

Current partners include Fonehouse, Dixons, Data Select, EBS, Exertis Micro-P (for 360 Mobile MVNO), and A1 Comms (Go Mobile).

Speaking during a round table business meeting earlier this month, Three CFO Richard Woodward (pictured) said the operator had worked hard at reducing “unnecessary costs” from third party partners during 2013 – but fell short of revealing if further cuts would be made.

A spokesperson from Three told Mobile News whilst the indirect channel does serve a purpose for prepay and data focused connections, such as mobile broadband dongles, it sees very little value from an airtime connection standpoint.

Woodward said: “We have worked hard on stripping out unnecessary costs, in terms of paying excessive money for third-party affiliates.”

Fonehouse managing director Clive Bayley insisted its deal to sell Three airtime connections, which has existed since 2011, remains intact despite admitting connection numbers on the network are not “huge”.

“There has been absolutely no indication from Three that it might end so it’s just business as usual until they tell us otherwise.”

Three axed more than 26 third-party consumer telesales stockists in September 2009, which included distributors Fone Logistics and MoCo, and dealers Telecom3 and Landmark, to boost customer service and satisfaction levels.

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