Payments to Orange and T-Mobile b2b dealers are in disarray with almost 40 dealers hit by late or inaccurate payment issues.
The payment problems, which began last month, were triggered by software problems which arose after EE moved to integrate its payment systems for Orange and T-Mobile dealers.Angry dealers told Mobile that the problems have resulted in widespread disruption to Orange and T-Mobile commission payments. They described the situation as ‘shambolic’, complaining that the late and incorrect payments caused major disruption to their businesses.
One dealer said: ‘How they could have got it so wrong beats me. It has had a huge effect on our business. It is hugely disruptive.’ Another said: ‘It has been shambolic. You can’t get to speak to anyone and we have been waiting on payments for weeks.’ An additional company added said: ‘It has had a massive effect on our business. They have been slow to pay money. They have got it all wrong. Nothing is working properly. We have been told there will be a report sent to us this week but we haven’t seen it yet.’
Most payment issues appear to centre on Orange commissions. Orange dealers have reported problems including incorrect commission payments and failure to pay handset subsidies on Orange b2b acquisition connections; failure to pay value-added service and add-ons payments for connections made in October; delayed revenue share reports; failure to configure price plans in the commissions system resulting in late payments; delays to airtime-only payments; and errors in BlackBerry Internet Service and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express payments.
T-Mobile dealers complained of delays in payments for consumer upgrades and problems in sending customer information for upgrades, which has also delayed payments.
Tim Spence, EE director of finance operations, told Mobile the problems had been triggered by the integration of financial payment systems. He said: ‘Since the merger of Orange and T-Mobile we have been implementing an ongoing strategy of systems consolidation. Despite comprehensive planning and testing, integration of certain financial operations has caused inaccurate payments to be made to some of our partners and we apologise for that.’
Spence said EE was working to resolve the problem. He said: ‘The cause of the issue has been identified, and we’re working hard to rectify this. We’re in direct contact with all of our partners, reassuring each and every one of them that resolving this is our number one priority.‘We’re doing everything we can to ensure that all parties receive the correct commission payments as soon as possible to limit the impact on their businesses. Thanks to all our partners for their continued support of EE.’
Analysts expressed surprise that EE had not ensured better backup during the transition. Phil Kendall of Strategy Analytics said: ‘You would hope that there was an element of redundancy built in so that it would be done in a managed way that doesn’t lose any data. It is quite a small platform so it should have been a reasonably seamless integration.’
Editor: Carol Millett