8/1/2011 1:02:00 PM
Phonebox MD says merger is hitting Orange b2b service
Solihull dealer Phonebox Communications’ decision to quit Orange and join forces with Vodafone was driven by declining service triggered by the Everything Everywhere merger, according to MD Nigel Harrison.
Speaking to Mobile, Harrison said: ‘Since the merger of Everything Everywhere the business has been in turmoil. We hung around to see if it would get better but it hasn’t.
‘We felt we were treading water. As a business we need to grow, so we decided we had to leave Orange and move to Vodafone, which has more teeth.’
Harrison (pictured) said the firm had enjoyed an excellent relationship with Orange until the merger. He claimed staff were distracted by the threat of redundancy, since many Orange and T-Mobile roles were duplicated.
He said: ‘Things changed very rapidly from when the merger was announced. It was hard for Orange employees as they had to focus one eye on their own futures while trying to keep the indirect channels up and running.’
Harrison refuted claims that Orange had terminated its agreement with Phonebox due to poor sales. He said: ‘We offered our resignation in May and it was finally accepted two weeks ago.’
As evidence, he pointed to an email he sent to Phonebox’s account manager in May in which he complained of a poor support service from Orange and offered to resign.
In the email, Harrison states: ‘Our base is under constant attack from other networks – most connect through Vodafone currently and because Vodafone’s package is so rich compared to Orange upgrade [sic] we struggle to keep the customers who have been approached unless we move them.
‘It’s always been our policy to move them rather than lose them as this would preclude us and you from future opportunities.’
Harrison added: ‘I would also say there’s a slight feeling of being let down by Everything Everywhere over the past year or so, while Vodafone have gone out of their way to make life easier.’
He pointed to poor service such as a ‘lack of information on base, not being paid revenue share correctly, [and] no real marketing plan.’
Everything Everywhere confirmed that Phonebox is no longer a Principal Partner but declined to discuss Harrison’s claims.
In a statement, Everything Everywhere’s head of business sales Darren Goldsmith said: ‘We can confirm that Phonebox Communications is no longer part of our Principal Partner scheme. We continue to grow and evolve the partnership programme we run.’?