Vodafone blow it in the SMB Reseller channel

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Well – it does look like Vodafone are blowing their chance in the SMB Reseller channel here in Australia.  Let’s look at some of the issues that I’ve heard of / experienced over the last 3 months.

First they provide wrong information to the channel as I experienced here

Then they in conjunction with Ingram Micro can’t get their processes together http://blog.sbsfaq.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=96

We’ve had many many variations in the process that we’re supposed to go through to get these things connected.

Resellers have reports that the Notebook Data Card is never in stock – in fact I know of one case who has been waiting since December for the card despite being charged access fees since that time – which Vodafone will credit once things get sorted.  Sure that’s ok – but the customer WANTS IT NOW.  I’ve had discussions with people at Ingram – and it took 3 weeks to get someone to actually call me to discuss the issue.  When they did they put the blame back on Vodafone for not having stock.  Funny that – I understand that a number of Vodafone have plenty of stock of this card, so why don’t Ingram?  Is Vodafone starving them of stock? 

Now the last straw in the camels back… Vodafone last week sent out letters via the Ingram Micro channel effectively telling resellers that they were cancelling their agreements due to lack of sales – check out my business partner Ryan’s blog on this http://fuzzyau.blogspot.com/2008/03/so-vodafone-ingram-have-done-it-again.html 

So sending out a cancellation email to resellers because they are not selling enough product of which you don’t have any stock is a motivator now is it?  Wow – not sure which business school that thought process came from.

This morning I’ve heard from another reseller with same issue.  His comments were

"I am not fussed as it was getting too hard.  Would rather put any through someone who has the dealership and can take on the issues."

Vodafone – I’ve lost count of the number of emails that you’ve received from me and others in the channel about the issues we have been having.  If you were serious about it then you would have resolved the problems.  Obviously you are not.  You are treating the channel like a door mat and we will only be walked on for so long.  Time is up.  We as a channel need to look elsewhere for a Telco that is interested in dealing with our market.  It’s a shame really because I thought Vodafone would be able to do this well. Guess I was wrong.

Category: Business Focus
Published: 10/03/2008 8:08 AM

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