To paraphrase a famous Hollywood movie line, “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.” So says the telecom industry group of agents known as the Agent Alliance in response to carriers’ unexpected termination of partnership agreements and refusal to pay agent commissions.
During the recent board of directors meeting held in Salt Lake City, the Alliance voted unanimously to speak out against these types of actions and equally as important, to offer a unified front in support of individual member’s situations.
“The Alliance has built excellent relationships with numerous carriers during the past decade as we strive to find winning solutions that benefit all parties,” said Bill Power, CEO of the Agent Alliance. “But, in recent times, there have been a number of carriers that are not demonstrating business respect for the very partners that have helped them grow their client bases, and in turn, their businesses.”
“We value our relationships with true carrier partners,” Power continued. “And those carriers have – and always will – get the lion’s share of our members’ production.”
Alliance members’ commitment to carriers is based on multiple factors, according to Power.
“It’s like a four-legged stool,” he said. “The legs are competitive product pricing, service to our customers, competitive compensation and commitment and support to our members. If any one of the legs is weak, the whole relationship crumbles.”
Power stated that the Agent Alliance believes the termination of contracts without cause reflects nothing more than an effort by carriers to increase their margins at the expense of its hard-working agents.
“The legal system may become our only available option to make our position known,” he said, “in the court of public opinion, and in the court of law.”
During its board meeting, the Alliance announced its support for Budget Telecom/Global Systems Telecom in its ongoing litigation with a CLEC relating to the carrier’s termination of the partner agreement and its refusal to pay commissions due and owing. Power further explained, “GST is one of the premier master agents in the industry and one of the pillars of the Alliance. Carriers and channel partners throughout the industry can attest to their loyalty, integrity and production. The Alliance is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with its Alliance brethren in defense of any unfair tactics by suppliers.”
The Agent Alliance also announced that it is in consultation with Technology Law Group regarding legal options available to the agent community to address the growing problem of carriers refusing to make commission payments.