Telenor retailer are determined to continue their strike in Islamabad and Rawalpindi region. A meeting was called by trade associations of the twin cities last night which was attended by all the major EasyLoad and EasyPaisa retailers of both the cities, More Magazine learnt from a retailer Naeem Ahmed in Islamabad.
In the meeting, retailers selected their representatives and announced Ajmal Baloch as president of the association. Retailers vowed to continue their strike until Telenor management realizes the pain retailers are facing and come to the table.
Telenor is facing an unexpected agitation in the twin cities where retailers have stopped selling EasyLoad and EasyPaisa services owing to a sudden decrease in retailer commission on EasyLoad which has now been fixed by company at 2.8 percent from an earlier figure of 3%. Over all, Telenor has decreased its commission structure by 30% during past two years which was standing at 4% prior 2010.
Naeem Ahmed who is also the general secretary of traders in G9 told that there are more than 3.5 lacks Telenor EasyLoad retailers across the country. A huge number of retailers are those who sell the load (balance) on roadside footpaths and only depend upon the load commissions for earning their bread and butter.
According to reports, Telenor had decided to change its commission structure a month ago but it was strongly opposed by retailer network on the grounds that such a decrease in commission will adversely affect the income of retailer as well as Telenor in the long run. A meeting was held few days ago at the premises of Telenor’s distributor in Blue Area Islamabad where major representative of the retailers were told by an official of Telenor that former will have to comply by rules and hinted that Telenor will further cut their commissions in future.
Dealer opted to go for strike which according to various dealers is reaching to parts of other cities as well including Jehlum, Sargodha and Mianwali.
Other cellular operators are also thinking on similar lines. Zong has already reduced its commission from 4 to 3 % whereas Mobilink ruled out its decision to cut down dealer commission after seeing the Telenor episode. Reportedly, Mobilink management is also watching the situation closely which has already decided to bring down commission to 2.5%.
While other operators are watching the situation, but they are also taking it as an opportunity for themselves. We were told by few retailers that two of the cellular operators have started offering us free SIMs and other benefits as a replacement of Telenor. The strike has affected the revenue and new SIM sale of Telenor in the twin cities as the only option left for a customer is to visit Telenor Franchise for the services.