70,000 connections are believed to be involved in the subscriber shift
O2 has moved its entire subscriber base from Chess Partner Services to DWS. Around 70,000 connections are believed to be involved.
O2 dealers with Chess accounts were told the news by Chess partner sales director Oliver Lofthouse.
Lofthouse joined Chess Partner Services in 2019 from Vodafone, where he was head of SME and converged sales.
His letter to partners said: “Following a review of their distribution channel O2 have taken the decision to terminate Chess’s trading contract on April 30 and consolidate… Digital Wholesale Solutions (DWS) have been chosen to take over the provision of services for approved stockists currently appointed by Chess.
“Termination of the Chess trading agreement and termination of your agreement with Chess will take effect on April 30. From May 1, you will no longer be an approved stockist of O2 services under appointment from Chess. However, as you are an existing stockist of DWS, your O2 stockist code will be transferred to DWS with immediate effect from May 1.”
O2 stated: “The O2 and Chess trading agreement ends on April 30 2021. We’re looking forward to our continued relationship with stockists and ongoing relationship with DWS.”
Chess still connects to EE, but that subscriber base is rather smaller than the O2 base.
Partners have had their stockist agreement cancelled and their O2 stockist code has been transferred to DWS to enable them to continue to receive revenue share and manage their base through DWS and its portal.
The move did not come as a surprise to some O2 partners. One told Mobile News that O2 had been less than happy with the quality of subscribers coming out of Chess.
Chess Partner Services was hit by significant cash clawbacks from O2 in 2019 following the demise of one of its dealers, Future Communication Specialists, which was suspected of dubious customer acquisition techniques.
A BBC programme, Inside Out South, was broadcast that accused Future founders Lewis Tribble and Joe Stickler of mis-selling contracts by telling prospects they would receive extra SIM cards for “friends and family”.
But the “free” SIMs incurred separate monthly charges.
It also suffered when Nantwich dealer WinWin Management went bust. Chess Partner Services was the biggest creditor, and was owed £1.7 million.
Last June, Chess closed offices in accordance with working from home demands and made a number of staff redundant in its mobile division due to the effects of the COVID crisis.