High street phone retailer Phones 4u has gone into administration, putting nearly 6,000 jobs at risk and potentially affecting recent customer orders.
The chain said its 550 stores would all be closed today, blaming the move on EE’s decision not to renew its contract. Coming hot on the heels of Vodafone doing the same thing earlier this month, it leaves Phones 4u stuck.
“If mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business,” said Phones 4u boss David Kassler. “A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.”
The majority of customer dealings will be unaffected – contracts will run as normal (with discounts upheld where necessary), insurance claims can still be dealt with on 08448 710535, and phones currently being repaired will be sent back to customers’ homes rather than a shop (call 08448 712269 if required). The only problems are with new phones – if a phone has been ordered and sent out it’ll be business as usual, but if the order hasn’t been dispatched then it’ll be cancelled and you’ll automatically be refunded. Call the customer support line on 08448 712253 for more information.
Vodafone strongly rejected allegations that it had inappropriately behaved and said in a statement: “Phones 4u was offered repeated opportunities to propose competitive distribution terms to enable us to conclude a new agreement, but was unable to do so on terms which were commercially viable for Vodafone in the current UK market conditions.”
Dixons Carphone have come to the aid of Phones 4u staff with the offer of jobs in its stores. In a statement, the firm said: “We would like to offer our support to the colleagues and customers of Phones 4u.”
“With regards to our Phones 4u shop-in-shop colleagues we hope to help them secure new jobs with us and will be opening up discussions with the administrators to agree what we can do.”
The main worry for some Phones 4u customers is whether or not they’ll get their hands on a shiny new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6Plus.