Exclusive: Vodafone stuns dealers by axing £100 ‘port-in’ bonus

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Dealers complain operator’s commercials were no longer strong enough and that Vodafone had taken themselves out of the acquisition market

Vodafone dealers have been stung by the cancellation of a £100 “port-in” bonus paid on all new connections to the network until further notice.

A number of dealers complained to Mobile News that the commercials on Vodafone were no longer strong enough and that Vodafone had “taken themselves out of the acquisitions market”.

One Vodafone reseller, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Vodafone was now “miles behind” its rivals, such as O2 – which currently pays £120 per “port in”.

Another Vodafone dealer claimed he could make up to £26,000 more by connecting a customer with 200 connections and an ARPU of £30 per month on a two-year deal with O2.

Vodafone declined to comment on the story – or allegations from partners suggesting the operator had “reached its budget” on new connections for the financial year, which ends March 31, 2015.

‘Shut themselves out’
“One assumes they have run out of money,” said one Vodafone partner. “Basically you have to go begging whereas the other networks are still throwing money at it. Whether they keep investing in retention will be interesting but as far as acquisitions go, they’ve just shut themselves out of the market.”

Another added: “Some Platinum Partners have put all their eggs in one basket with Vodafone and cutting off their fund supply could put them in a lot of trouble. It’s as if Vodafone is trying to drive customers to its own direct channels to buy the devices.”

A number of partners have however defended the operator, claiming it has said it will monitor all “port ins” on a case-by-case basis as part of its focus on partners connecting high ARPU business with multiple Vodafone services such as One Net.

“A lot of dealers simply churn their customers to get a bonus. This is not always beneficial and Vodafone has made it clear it wants its partners to focus on bringing in high-value customers.”

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