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NWIDA has reached out to T-Mobile executives with limited success. NWIDA President Adam Wolf said:
"We're receiving calls and emails daily from concerned dealers and the negative impact these changes will have on their profitability – as well as the ability to simply remain in business."
One of the changes being proposed is the requirement that all Metro dealers purchase 100% of their accessories from one vendor. According to numerous dealers, this change will add as much as 20% to their cost–forcing dealers to either lower their profits or pass the higher cost to the consumer. With numerous competitors, the customer has multiple options to purchase their accessories elsewhere. Either way, it's a hit to the bottom line of the dealer.
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"Metro dealers are NOT franchises, and as such are not protected under the same laws as franchisees. We feel that forcing them to purchase from a single vendor could be anti-competitive and are exploring options for the dealers, including potential legal remedies."
Metro dealers have been vocal, albeit anonymously, on Twitter and other social media platforms. "TRX" has been vocal and the "Metro Dealer Unity Group" has started a petition (https://www.change.org/p/department-of-justice-stop-t-mobile-from-making-negative-impacts-to-metro-by-t-mobile-dealer-stores) on change.org that currently has about 1500 signees, but, many Metro store owners say they fear potential retribution if they sign the petition – even with Jon Freier (EVP T-Mobile) tweeting that "no one is ever losing their store for reaching out to me, or any other leader." Only NWIDA can act in the open without that fear of losing stores.
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Progress has been made. The accessory vendor change, originally scheduled for October 1 has been pushed back by T-Mobile to January 1, 2021. While this provides additional time for the dealers to sell their current stock supplies, it doesn't address the other issues.
"NWIDA was formed to assist the indirect wireless dealer, and we will continue our mission to do just that," said Wolf.
If you are a Metro by T-Mobile Dealer, and want to be kept up-to-date on how NWIDA is working to address these changes, sign up for email updates at www.nwida.org/contact-us
Adam Wolf - NWIDA
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