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Dealers revolt as Vodafone scraps renewal connection bonuses

Alex Yau
November 14, 2016

The operator had decided to scrap all renewal bonuses at the end of September as a ‘cost saving measure’

Leading B2B dealers have labelled Vodafone as “arrogant” following its decision to scrap all renewed connection bonuses, with some threatening to even churn customers to rival networks.

Several dealers revealed to Mobile News that the operator has scrapped the Customer Value Management incentive from last month until further notice in what it claims is part of a “cost saving measure”.

It applies to all direct partners who were able to get between £25 and £100 for every renewed connection. Affected businesses were notified through meetings with their Vodafone managers.

Lack of understanding

One Vodafone partner hit out at Vodafone, claiming the decision to scrap these bonuses showed a lack of understanding from the network.

“The management have stopped listening – it feels like they don’t care. Retention bonuses have been removed. They just want to save money at any cost and dealers won’t forget this one. The partner channel feels like it is misunderstood and poorly managed.

“I have read all the negative press they’ve received. Some of our biggest clients have ditched Vodafone because of what they’ve read. I sit there feeling ashamed sometimes.

“Other operators like EE and O2 tend to listen. You stick with a network because of the trust you’ve built with them, but Vodafone has come off the rails – it doesn’t help you sell anything.”

It is the latest bonus scrapped by the operator across the dealer channel. Vodafone had notably axed all £100 new connection bonuses in October 2014.

No support

Another Vodafone dealer called the recent decision “unsurprising” and accused the operator of underestimating the impact it has on their businesses.

“Every 18 months Vodafone makes an announcement that damages the channel and about half-a-dozen partners go bust as a result.They’re very arrogant and don’t realise the affect it has on dealers big and small.

“If they don’t want to pay us bonuses, we can just move the connections to EE and O2 and hit the minimum Vodafone targets.”

Another added: “I don’t understand the logic behind it. They give us money to get new business, but don’t provide the support to keep it.

Vodafone director of partnerships and alliances Nick Birtwistle said: “We run a number of short-term incentives to various sections of our diverse partner base throughout each year. These always run for a specified duration period. In the case of the promotion highlighted it was only set to run until September 30, 2016.

“We always welcome input from our partners on the activities we run and we will be following up regarding this promotion to garner their feedback.”

The axing of the bonuses follows criticism Vodafone had over-complicated the application process for its revamped partner programme. It had delayed the deadline by a month to November 1, with dealers claiming the original timeline was unrealistic.


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