Cell C is currently on a drive to improve customer experience across all service points, but certain franchisees feel this is corporate speak for “taking their customer base without compensation”.
MyBroadband has received information that Cell C is informing select franchisees that the company will take over their stores.
This is according to a person with knowledge of Cell C’s franchisee operations.
He told MyBroadband that industry speculation suggests Cell C wants to own 70% of retail stores before listing the company.
This situation is creating concern among franchisees, who are not happy, he said.
Cell C also terminated its distribution agreement with Massmart in August 2016, which it said was based on a focus to build dedicated distribution channels “which will enhance service to our customers”.
“Cell C wants to ensure that our customers receive the best experience throughout the service journey and get accurate information on our products and services wherever our brand is available.”
“Our focus is now on partners which not only provide dedicated Cell C service points, but also partners that share and live Cell C’s values and service ethos.”
Franchisees not happy with Cell C
A former Cell C franchisee told MyBroadband that the mobile operator is “purging their franchisees one by one and taking their customer bases without compensation”.
He said Cell C has made it near impossible for smaller operators to run a successful franchise.
“They have introduced all sorts of new rules since Blue Label Telecoms announced its planned investment in Cell C,” he said.
“Cell C is now killing smaller franchisees and is depriving owners of their investments into these businesses.”
He said many franchisees are now gone and that Cell C is running stores as company-owned shops.
Cell C explains
Cell C said it is “constantly looking at ways to enhance the customer experience across all service touch-points”.
“One of our key service points is our franchise stores, which are measured according to specific key performance indicators,” said Cell C.
“Where a franchise store is not delivering the required level of service and where we believe a company-owned store will provide a better alternative and service to customers, we will take the necessary steps to take back the store.”