Distributors have been holding crisis talks with EE as the operator continues to struggle to fix software issues that are delaying Orange dealer payments.
The payment problems arose in late October, following the integration of the operator’s Orange and T-Mobile payment systems. This led to dealers being hit by delays to ongoing revenue payments and incorrect upfront payments, with Orange dealers experiencing the greatest disruption.
As EE pledged this week to fix the problem ‘as quickly as possible’, Orange dealers vented their anger at the failure of the operator to tackle the problem over the Christmas break. One said: ‘We tolerated the situation before Christmas and were given an interim payment and thought they would fix the problem over the Christmas break. I cannot believe nothing has been done since then.’
One dealer was forced to send sales staff home this week because of the problem. He said: ‘It is an impossible situation. I sent my staff home because we cannot make Orange connections as they are not showing up on the system and so we are not being paid for connections we’ve made.
‘And when we make an upgrade it isn’t registering on the system so some of our customers have complained to EE thinking we have sold them the wrong product. It’s really bad for business.’
Other dealers threatened to churn Orange customers to other operators if the problems continue. One said: ‘This will mean a lot of lost business and loss of goodwill for EE. What a way to relaunch a brand. I’ve been told I can upgrade my Orange customers to EE’s 4G service but my customers are one-man operations and do not want high-end handsets and expensive 4G tariffs.’
Distributors met with EE this week to discuss the situation. One said: ‘EE is keeping us informed but unfortunately although it has made some progress the problem has not been entirely fixed yet. There isn’t anything we can do but wait for EE to fix the problem.’
In a statement this week, indirect sales director Nathan Vautier said: ‘In spite of our continued efforts, we are still experiencing some problems in recognising sales made by partners. We’re working hard to fix the technical issues, which resulted from the integration of our legacy systems, and are keeping all partners informed as to how they will be affected.
‘We will ensure that all partners receive the correct commissions as quickly as we can, and apologise for the disruption caused in the meantime. We recognise the impact that this is having for some partners, and want to reassure them that resolving this situation as quickly as possible is of the utmost importance to us.’
Author: Carol Millett