‘Don’t fall into Bulldog trap’ analysts warn CW’s Dunstone

Carphone Warehouse risks seriously damaging its brand if it doesn’t cut waiting times for people signing up to its “free” broadband offer, according to two leading analysts.

Carphone Warehouse risks seriously damaging its brand if it doesn’t cut waiting times for people signing up to its “free” broadband offer, according to two leading analysts.

The company has been overwhelmed by massive demand for the Talk Talk-branded service, with people having to wait up to three months to be connected. The analysts say that the company must learn a lesson from the demise of Bulldog, which was scrapped as a consumer-facing brand by Cable & Wireless earlier this year amid reports of poor customer service.

Ovum analyst Michael Philpott says/ “Bulldog should act as a warning. Carphone Warehouse is starting to get a bit of stick and if that continues it will put people off.”

Garner research director Scott Morrison adds that as recently as a year ago Bulldog was still “the darling” of the DSL market. But he warns: “Due to the same issue of not being able to connect customers when it said it would, Bulldog created a lot of bad press and that precipitated, to some extent at least, Cable & Wireless’ decision to exit the consumer broadband market.”

Carphone Warehouse announced last week that 476,000 customers had signed up for the deal, including 340,000 in the first eight weeks. But just 247,000 have been connected to the service so far.

The company’s founder and chief executive Charles Dunstone admitted last month that the broadband offer had been a “customer service nightmare”. But he claims on his blog that the backlog should be cleared within six weeks.

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