Furious Vodafone dealers hit out after connection bonuses scrapped

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The scrapped bonuses applied to all new connections until April, with incentives ranging between £30 to £150 per subscription

Furious Vodafone dealers have threatened to churn connections to rival networks after having connection bonuses scrapped until April.

Partners told Mobile News the incentive ranged from £30 to £150 per subscription, with some claiming they had received no explanation as to why this had been scrapped.

Those dealers affected are believed to be below the mobile operator’s ‘Total Communications’ partner status, and had been notified by their account managers.

One who wished to remain anonymous, claimed the decision has hampered its chances of retaining current and acquiring new customers.

“They’ve [Vodafone] suspended all extra commission payments until the end of March,” he said. “These commissions are our lifeblood and it’s hampering our ability to capture new and existing customers.

“It’s made operating in the marketplace very difficult. They’re losing connections because it means we’ll just transfer them to a rival.”

Short-sighted

Rainbow Communications sales manager Stuart Carson added: “We believe that Vodafone’s move to scrap the new connections bonuses for the first three months of this year is very short sighted, and will adversely affect the network.

“Fortunately, this will not affect our business model as we have strong commercial offerings from EE and O2.”

An anonymous dealer added: “They told us they weren’t doing the commissions anymore. Vodafone often do this. They never give any reason because they are arrogant. It’s been frustrating.”

However, Vodafone partnerships and alliances director Nick Birtwistle refuted these claims, stating the scrapped bonuses referred to by its dealers were only part of a promotion that had now ended.

He also added that the operator’s partners are always completely aware that any incentives that get introduced for a short period of time are always subject to change.

Short-term promo

“The standard commercial terms with our partners haven’t changed since January. It was a promotion we ran for a specified duration.

“Our partners are fully aware that short term incentives are in place for limited periods and are subject to change.

This latest decision follows a similar one last November where Vodafone had scrapped the ‘Customer Value Management’ incentive, a move that saw some of its leading B2B dealers label it as “arrogant”.

This applied to all partners that were able to receive bonuses of between £25 and £100 for every renewed connection they processed.

It also comes as the mobile operator prepares to announce its Group (including UK) financial results for the final three months of 2016 on February 2 (see Mobile News issue 632 for full coverage).

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