12/3/2009 10:49:00 AM
Phones 4u retracts mobile broadband focus
Phones 4u staff have been instructed to focus on handset and contract sales instead of pushing mobile broadband.
The independent retailer is shifting its focus away from mobile broadband as it looks to boost its profit and eliminate fraud.
Subsidising laptops is expensive and the opportunities for fraud, such as box breaking or customers dropping out of contracts, are increasing.
Phones 4u managers have been told the structure of their monthly bonus will change as a result. From this month, a volume target stating that 25% of new contract sales should be mobile broadband will be dropped.
One Phones 4u staffer told Mobile: ‘We are focusing on pay as you go for December. We have been selling laptops for about 18 months and I don’t think it has been doing very well.’
Another staffer said: ‘They don’t think we are good at selling laptops so they are pulling back. Management were told that 25% of new contracts had to be mobile broadband or they would lose 25% of their bonus, but they have now got rid of that for this month.’
The independent retailer has also lowered the amount of commission it gives staff for selling prepay handsets. It originally dropped from £1.50 to £1, and has now been reduced to 50p.
Last week, Phones 4u CEO Tim Whiting told Mobile that Phones 4u expects to increase market share in 2010 by focusing on the high-end youth market of 16 to 30 year olds.
He also said the retailer would not chase the low-end prepay market and will focus on the higher end, ‘where we can add value and choice to customers, who are strongly into their handsets’.
Phones 4u declined to comment.