2/7/2008 9:50:00 AM
Cashback questions for distributors
Major distribution players were called in by Ofcom this week to discuss cashback and mis-selling, as the regulator stepped up its investigation into the mobile industry.
Distributors pointed the finger at operators and bigger retailers, as the industry’s different sectors continued to distance themselves from the complaints.
The pressure on Ofcom to find a solution to the issue has intensified, as the number of complaints about cashback continues to rise and the effectiveness of the operator’s code on mis-selling is called into question.
Led by Hugh Symons boss Bob Sweetlove, representatives of Dextra, MoCo, Advantage, Fone Logistics, Avenir and Mainline all met with Ofcom’s project director of the investigation, Alan Pridmore, at the regulator’s HQ in London.
The distributor meeting followed the operator’s summit with MPs last November to discuss cashback and mis-selling, and members of the Independent Mobile Phone Dealers Association (IMPDA) meeting with the regulator in January.
IMPDA chair Chris Caudle said that the idea for the meeting was borne out of the IMPDA’s audience with Ofcom.
He said: ‘Dealers might lose a couple of hundred quid on cashbacks, but distributors might lose a couple of million. This is their opportunity to tell it like it is.
Avenir MD Tanny Price said: ‘As distributors, we have similar views on similar issues. If there is a discussion taking place that will affect all or part of our industry, it is important to be part of it.’
A spokeswoman for Ofcom said: ‘We’re having all sorts of meetings and exploratory talks with all parts of the value chain. Until the meetings have passed we haven’t got anything to add.’