9/3/2009 11:17:00 AM
3 leaves disties on the ropes
3 ditched 26 outbound telesales companies last week and began managing its remaining third-party call centres directly.
The move left some employees at EBS and Fone Logistics in a state of shock as they assessed the damage from 3 cutting off distributors as go-betweens for outbound call centres.
EBS had supported Landmark, the biggest telesales company axed by 3 last week.
Landmark, headed by Grant Evans in South Wales, made 5,000 connections per month on 3 at its peak, but had tailed off more recently to around 2,000 per month.
EBS is estimated to have lost around five other big telesales companies.
Meanwhile, Fone Logistics snapped up several call centres selling 3 after Advantage Cellular went bust in March, and invested heavily in its ‘fulfilment capability’ to support call centres. The distributor had around three large telesales firms.
Among the other call centres axed are Mobiles 4 Free and Telecom 3, which offered profits of around £10 per sale for the distributors. The move was made by 3’s sales chief, Amanda Lambert, who joined from O2 in February.
Telesales companies that survived the cull are now directly managed by 3. Lambert has merged dealer sales and telesales into one group, headed by Stuart Joce.
It is believed Lambert identified that a disproportional level of complaints were coming from third-party call centres, with the top two sites accounting for 35% of the complaints.
Half of the call centres lost in the cull were due to low volume, with the other half a result of large numbers of customers not paying their bills.
Lambert said: ‘There were a number of customers being called by different people claiming to represent 3 at the same time. This is about being more efficient, giving people a good experience and ensuring the brand is being represented well.’
Sources indicated there would be a marked reduction in gross profit for call centres as a result of the changes, down to between £50 and £80, but there was no longer a risk for clawback as 3 would be taking greater control of the processes.