2/12/2009 12:15:00 PM
Phones 4u and Sky broadband deal troubled by discontented retail staff
Phones 4u staff are turning their backs on selling Sky’s bundled services, as the trial scheme stretches to over a year and extends to 60 stores.
Sales people described the Sky proposition as ‘very difficult to sell’ due to problems with dish installations, paperwork and staff commissions.
Staff have encountered problems with the complexity around installation, and synchronising Sky’s broadband and TV packages. There are also problems when porting new broadband customers from their previous providers.
One source said: ‘You often need permission from a landlord or the homeowner, so it can be tricky.’
Store staff also have to call head office for authorisation for every transaction, lengthening the sales process.
Retail staff said the commissions are not sufficiently attractive. The store secures £20 gross profit for a basic Sky package, with £3 commission for the salesperson. A Sky+ package nets £70 gross profit and £4 commission, while SkyHD offers £100 and £8 respectively.
In contrast, Virgin’s propositions, which are also sold through the same 60 Phones 4u stores, offer almost double the commission offered for a Sky sale. Staff claimed Virgin packages are also easier to sell once it has been established that a customer’s postcode can access Virgin’s services.
It is believed that Phones 4u sells eight Sky packages for every 10 Virgin sales.
Sky is also understood to be in advanced discussions with Carphone Warehouse to sell its services through its ‘Wireless World’ stores.
Phones 4u operations director Tom Shorten said: ‘We are pioneering new ground and finding the optimum solution. We want to make sure we have everything in place for the best customer experience.’
A Sky spokesman said: ‘We believe retailers who have a heritage of selling subscription services are much better suited to sell our bundled products across broadband, TV and phone rather than retailers who just sell a box.’