IMPDA – Ofcom Meet

Dealers all over the country are looking forward to meetings both with MP’s and Ofcom the regulator in January.
 
For the first time despite dealers asking repeatedly  for the networks to talk to them, and indeed the IMPDA has asked numerous times for a constructive dialog with networks which has been ignored, but now the regulator itself is to hear the views and suggestions of the people who generate the majority of phone sales in this country the “dealers!”

It is the networks loss which is a shame.  We ourselves have called on the networks many times to work with dealers, to get their input and discuss issues so we can all have a bright future for the industry.  Even at this stage we would still invite the networks to contact us to either singly or collectively to arrange a meeting with a selection of dealers. You talk to Ofcom, and many other organisations and distributors, so perhaps now in 2007/8 you will agree to talk direct with the dealers and have constructive talks.

With the cashback issue continuing, rumours abound of other companies which are finding it difficult to pay customers, but have not yet gone into administration.  In fact we can see more of these going down.  Why? Simple, take the 60% of customers who may have forgotten or not bothered to claim, now with the issue highlighted by the media and MP’s means more are reminded they are owed cashback and are making efforts to claim it.   

Of course with more customers now aware of the cashback issue, this can only mean that the model of 40% claiming is going to be considerably greater putting great strain on those companies who have operated this 40% model.  Only time will tell how many go down, but it’s the distributors I feel sorry for because it’s them that the networks will clawback.  You might speculate that this may mean that some distributors may be forced to merge or may indeed go bust, it depends on the financial stability of the distributor. Dextra has been hit more than once, but how much more can distributors take, in fact its now well known that distributors are reducing or stopping altogether dealing with cashback dealers to minimise, their exposure should a company go down.

Well done Ofcom, at last the porting time is going to be 2 days and not the long 5 days currently in place.  This will be good news for dealers and consumers and is long overdue.

With the festive season only weeks away, the networks need to support dealers more than ever and give them something extra to promote sales, how about allowing the dealers to offer £5 off line rental.  

What dealers need at the moment is something from the networks to increase sales on the run up to Christmas.  So far they have received no specials, but we would bet that the networks will themselves directly.  Something would be helpful, anything in fact to help with Christmas sales.  Oh and please send your POS material soon don’t leave it until close to the end of Christmas to send out December material, it wastes your resources, your money and does dealers no good at all.

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