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BT takes knife to partner commission structure

Microscope contributor

BT Indirect Channels has incurred the wrath of some partners by overhauling its voice sales compensation structure in favour of new business.

At the same time the telco giant has notified Ofcom of numerous cuts to discount and other cost savings schemes, which may upset households across the UK.

Danny Longbottom, general manager for BT Indirect Channels, said some partners were "churning" the existing customer base instead of bringing new customers to BT.

"We have made some simple changes to our commission structure," he told MicroScope, "a lot of focus has been put this year on rewarding people for bringing more lines back to BT."

As a result, commission rates have risen by up to 50% for new line customers but BT has made no changes to the ICT portfolio and broadband.

It is also paying partners on an upfront basis as opposed to a revenue share and opened up the entire Retail portfolio to resellers.

Longbottom said it had decided not to renew several partners' contracts because they were not hunting enough new business but reckoned it had brought a couple more on board and is on the lookout for additional recruits.

However, a partner contacted by MicroScope said line commission for existing customers had fallen by 50% and some calculated that they would be worse off as a result of the change, driving more partners and customers into rivals' hands.

"We will be getting less than half of what we were earning," said one that asked to remain anonymous.

BT is also making changes to end user packages that take affect from 23 July and has notified Ofcom of them.

The 5% monthly line rental discount on BT Reward has been cancelled and it is reducing the annual credit from the equivalent of one month free to 5%.

The BT Business One Plan will see the 5% monthly line rental discount scrapped and under Call Rate Changes, Base Rate Calls will be charged at a national rate instead of local and will those included in  BT Choices.


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