FAISAL says … what dealers want

Faisal Sheikh lets someone else speak first shock! Yes, I know I’ve got a big gob; but I like Chris Caudle, who’s launched the dealer association I’ve been demanding, so I’ve given him some room to say a few words …

“For many years dealers have talked about a level playing field and to be treated decently, a wide variety of issues between dealers and the networks, which have been aired on the forum and in MB have been seen but hardly anything was done, in effect it has been difficult for dealers to plan for the future and the networks/distributors miss out on a great resource to work together to plan for the future years.

With this in mind, I have created the IMPDA (Independent Mobile Phone Dealers Association website and forum. The IMPDA is a stepping stone; a starting point with a closed secure forum, the networks, distributors and dealers can get together and talk towards a mutual goal and work together for the future challenges to come in mobile retail sales. We also aim to talk to companies to gain special discounts for the members on a variety of products or services.

The IMPDA aims to grow to become a pressure group and aims to help its members get decent treatment, in the same way that the FSB has done for its members. Dealers are the lifeblood of the networks, without dealers the customer base of the networks would be dramatically reduced, yet dealers are almost classed as unimportant by many networks by their treatment of them past and present. We would advocate working with them, to discuss and assist in planning for the future, in fact we promote co-operation not confrontation, and we would look to the networks/distributors to join us in this.

We would ask that all mobile phone dealers in the UK become members, in order that this can go to the next stage. Dealers have talked independently for so long but got nowhere, now is your opportunity….if you miss grasping this chance this time, you may never get another. You can register to be a member at www.impda.co.uk.

Distributors can play a major part giving them a platform for discussion and the ability to gain ideas or suggestions which will benefit them and dealers. The future? It’s what you make it! – we can see the mobile phone industry set to change in coming years with consumers currently becoming tired of the same old deals, cash backs etc there is not much to excite the consumer from feedback we receive. Working together is now the only way forward….its up to you all now to make that happen.

Chris Caudle

Hats off to Chris for getting something up and running – it’s taken a lot of effort on his part, and it shows that he cares enough to get something done. The main thing for us now is to make sure that we support his initiative. Like he says, it’s up to us to make something of this.

As dealers, we’ve moaned for ages about how tough we’ve had things, and about how networks are constantly taking us for a ride. Well, now Chris has given us a vehicle to make sure we are better represented. The least we should do is sign up in support the initiative.

Be clear on one thing – we’re not proposing mass mergers here, or any form of unholy alliance as some have suggested.

As independent dealers, we’re all proud of our businesses, and how they operate. It’s what we cherish the most, and no-one is going to want to compromise on the key fundamentals. We’re in the kind of industry where it would be difficult to get five dealers to agree on something, never mind 50 or 100 or even 500!

So don’t expect it to be all lovey dovey and think that signing up will be your ticket to indie-utopia.
That’s missing the point. What this should really be is a body enabling us to pursue a set of collective goals, and facilitating options for its members.

For example, Chris Caudle is a pro-cashback dealer, and it’s an important part of his business model. I’m very anti-cashback. It’s not something I’d want to associate with the fone doctors brand.
But that’s not to stop Chris and other dealers from using the IMPDA to negotiate better terms for pro-cashback dealers with the networks.

In the same way, data-savvy dealers might want to pressurise networks for better data packages for our clients, or work with suppliers for better deals on SIM-free stock. It might not suit all members of the IMPDA, but it’s something the organisation can facilitate. It would be down to us to make this happen.

End of the day, it’s all well and good us saying it’s a good idea; but the real trick is to get on the forum, and to make it happen. I’ve made a big thing on the need for this in recent months, as have other well known dealers. Chris is the first to make it happen. Let’s make sure we give him our support and commitment.

DEAL DOSSIER
THIS MONTH’S TOP THREE DEALS

1 MDA Vario 2 on FlexT 35 and Web’n’Walk for £42.50 a month – £50 for the phone. HTC take all the credit here …

2 MDA Compact 3 on FlexT 35 and Web’n’Walk – free phone. Just a shame it isn’t a 3G handset.

3 Orange’s great total communications package. Raccoon 35, with 500 mins, 250 landline mins, 200 texts, free D900 or W850i, unlimited 8MB Home Broadband and unlimited calls from home to Orange phones and UK & International landlines… all for £40/month.

GRIPE LINE
THIS MONTH’S TOP THREE GRIPES

1 Handset manufacturers, especially, Nokia and Motorola – where’s the excitement, guys? Surely HTC and Sony Ericsson cant be the only manufacturers showing some passion?

2 3 commissions – seriously guys, you have the best multimedia network, and the X-Series is a phenomenal package. But if we can’t give an N73 free of charge, how can we help you?

Customers want the best phones; and right now your loss is Web’n’Walk’s gain!

3 T-Mobile – why are you getting rid of FlexT 75? Believe it or not, there are customers who spend money on your network.

TOP JAFFA:

 
Steve Jobs and the folks at Apple, for making every other manufacturer look stupid, by launching the iPhone. Just please make sure that by the time it comes to the UK, it has HSDPA and integrated GPS. Actually, Mr Jobs, can I have one? Just to help you with testing …
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