CPW and P4U under scrutiny as EE reviews indirect partnerships


Retailers will be judged according to how well they promote EE, and may be axed if they don’t commit to supporting the operator’s aim of becoming ‘number one’ in customer service

EE has said it may cut its number of indirect partners if they do not commit to helping it become the ‘most promoted’ UK network.

The operator is currently building a SMS-based survey for customers who have visited retailers such as Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U, to work out which indirect partners are performing best when it comes to recommending and selling EE.

It is also considering ‘Mystery Shopping’ retailers’ stores to make sure staff are able to talk about the benefits of joining EE and are providing customers with the right information when it comes to tariffs and services.

EE is currently in discussion with indirect partners including CPW and Phones 4U about the proportion of their sales that are to 4G, customer churn and add-on sales. In cases where partners are failing to meet EE’s expectations, it could set targets for them to achieve, for example 4G sales.

These figures, together with the ‘net promoter score’ (NPS), will all factor into EE’s decision of whether or not to cut an indirect partnership.

The operator said it will not be adding any new partners.

EE director of indirect partnerships Noel Hamill said: “We need to be number one for service, and the main way we are judging this is by NPS (net promoter score). This means we want to make sure partners such as Phones 4U are recommending EE.

“Indirect partners need to buy into the idea that we want to be number one in customer service. As part of this process we want our partners to commit to looking at their sales process, staff training and how good the customer experience is.”

Commission system ‘unfit for purpose’

EE announced it is rolling out a new commission payments system for partners with the aim of becoming the “best partner to deal with”.

The news comes over a year after Mobile News began receiving complaints from EE dealers that commissions were being paid late (see here).

Today (March 7) EE director of indirect partnerships Noel Hamill called the current commission system “unfit for purpose”.

Starting this month it will be replaced with one built by German software corporation SAP.

He said improvements included reducing the number of data warehouses to one and ensuring there is only one platform used to calculate commission payments.

Seeking to reassure dealers that the new system would not repeat past mistakes and be accurate, timely and transparent, Hamill said: “We have put the time and effort in and selected the right system. We have not rushed this – the new system has undergo several tests and has been well received by partners we have shown it to.”

“I do not think the old system was fit for purpose going forward. It presented us with challenges on reporting, timeliness and it was not always giving us the right information on reports.

“We want to be the best indirect partner to deal with, so we are lifting our game in this area.”