Three is radically overhauling its sales commission and ditching The One Plan tariff.
The news closely follows the departure of Three’s award-winning retail director Jacqueline Kelleher (JK), whose role was made redundant this month.
Industry sources say the changes are part of a wider restructuring, driven by Three’s parent company Hutchison Whampoa, which they claim is putting Three’s management team under mounting pressure to deliver higher revenues.
Three’s commission structure overhaul will focus on customer care rather than sales volume. It will be rolled out early next year, following staff consultation.
The operator is also terminating hundreds of legacy tariffs including the popular One Plan and all unlimited tethering plans. Customers have 60 days to move to a new plan or leave. Those that don’t respond will be moved onto a Sim plan that can be cancelled without penalty.
Three will refocus on promoting newer tariffs that include 4G at no premium, roaming at no extra cost and free 0800 numbers.
The changes are creating tension at Three, sources claim. One said: ‘There is an atmosphere of fear at Three and there has been for some time, with a turf war going on between sales and marketing. Both are under increasing pressure to deliver. Unfortunately, Jacqueline Kelleher was a victim of that war.’
Retail staff are said to be unhappy with changes to commissions, said to be the most generous in the industry. They fear it will result in a fall in income. Retail staff are also said to be demoralised by JK’s departure, with many threatening to follow her if she surfaces in another retail role. One retail source said: ‘The view is that with JK gone and the commissions set to change there is no reason now to stay loyal to Three.’
Analysts said Three’s move to ditch The One Plan signalled its desire to create a broader customer base. Phil Kendall, Strategy Analytics global wireless director, said: ‘It is about refocusing – 4G at no extra premium, roaming and 0800 calls all resonate with a much broader set of users.’
He added: ‘There are two ways Three can raise ARPU – either price up or discontinue the lowest price offering. Getting customers off the smallest plans means revenues will rise. The One Plan was also flawed in that it didn’t offer any upselling opportunities and removing these All You Can Eat plans means Three is less exposed to excessive tethering costs, which are on the up with the rise of devices such as tablets.’ A Three spokesman confirmed that Three is overhauling its commissions and cutting the One Plan and other tariffs as well as restructuring its online, retail and call centre business.