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R K

Phones4U To Close 550 Stores

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http://t.co/99NCjBieuB

Phones 4u is to go into administration – placing more than 5,500 jobs at risk – after network operator EE joined Vodafone in cutting ties with the retailer.

The company said its stores will be closed on Monday pending a decision by the administrators on whether the business can be reopened for trading.

Phones 4u said the decision by EE not to renew its current contract, which is due to end in September next year, was a "complete shock" and meant it would be left without a single network partner after Vodafone said earlier this month that it would not extend its agreement.

The company, which is owned by private equity firm BC Partners, has 550 standalone stores, employing 5,596 people.

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Edited by R K

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To be replaced with Loans4U? Cut out the actual product and just sell credit. It's the modern way.

Bitcoins4U

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This is jaw-dropping - isn't it?

I thought Phones4U was one of the retail success stories? The billionaire founder is often on the TV with his hot looking wife? Or have I got the wrong mobile phone shop boss?

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"If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business. A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.

"The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise. The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in the UK."

Higher prices you say........

There's one for Salmond to throw back at Cameron.

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I suppose the mobile network firms are scared stiff that more and more Brits will start buying £150 handsets and paying a fiver or a tenner a month to firms like giffgaff.

The contract phones have got more and more expensive but offer very little new nowadays. Yes, they are lovely but there are some excellent sub £200 phones available now. And the Chinese mobile phone makers are coming.

Edit:

I think the Germans prefer to buy their phones outright - didn't Amazon.de briefly stop selling mobile phones to people in the UK earlier this year due to the difference in price?

Edited by The Masked Tulip

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Giffgaff is owned by Telefonica/O2.

Yep, I know.

I was trying to make the point that the firms want people to stay on 12 or 18 month contracts costing £30 a month or more instead of people having the freedom of PAYG and changing networks frequently... but I didn't say that :)

The move in many EU countries now is for people to buy the phone outright and then go PAYG.

There is really no reason, other than profit, for these mobile phones to cost so much... which is why I welcome the Chinese phones... OK, they are a generation behind but they are a heck of a lot cheaper.

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I currently have a Sony Xperia T.

3 Phoned me up to offer a free early upgrade.

This involved chucking me off of my very good One Plan unlimited tethering contract, on to an inferior plan.

I told em to eff off.

I will be keeping this phone, and moving provider in January. As the One Plan seems to have snuffed it.

Was a VERY good deal i had there.

First time i've ever considered keeping a phone.

Saturation point has been reached with this sort of kit.

Its not even 4G but its completely adequate.

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This is jaw-dropping - isn't it?

I thought Phones4U was one of the retail success stories? The billionaire founder is often on the TV with his hot looking wife? Or have I got the wrong mobile phone shop boss?

I remember the documentary - wasn't he driven and pushy?

I don't know the full story about phones4u, did he sell off a portion to the private equity? But we saw it coming - too many phone shops. We had too many pawn brokers (we saw Abermale and Bond go into administration not so long ago, and last month H&T profits dived 57% LINK http://www.iii.co.uk/stockmarketwire/187447/ht-pre-tax-profits-fall ) And we've also talked about too many Supermarkets - and we have seen them struggle against leaner competition.

Hey, maybe coffee shops, and estate agents are next!

Edited by 200p

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BC Partners, which acquired Phones 4U in 2011 for about £600m, will have secured a 30 per cent profit on its investment thanks to the payout funded last year through the dividend recapitalisation.

The same folks behind our favourite Mini-driving estate agents.

This isn't really driven by a shift in the industry. The PE owners of the firm got greedy and milked it dry. Why would the networks be using a sales channel that adds on more than 10% in additional cost in order for the owners of that channel to be paying themselves outsized profits?

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...just mentioned on Sky News, Phones 4U have gone into Administration ..will affect all shops later today, apparently....ahh ..just noticed original post was amended at 10:56 after my previous post ....just ignore this and follow link on the revised opening post.... :rolleyes:

Edited by South Lorne

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I thought Phones4U was one of the retail success stories? The billionaire founder is often on the TV with his hot looking wife? Or have I got the wrong mobile phone shop boss?

That's the one.

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That's the one.

...the one who sold the business for £billion + in 2006...bit like the London Estate agent ...got out at the right time...before the recession.....it's all about timing... :rolleyes:

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Hmm where to start with Phones4U.

BS company run by a BS boss, who 'sold' it to a BS PE outfit.

There was never any value in P4U - it was a large collection of retail leases, selling contracts for third parties. And p1ssing off the 3rd parties as it went on.

I'm not sure if the 'billionaire founder' was fully paid out in cash, or whether there was some kind of performance pay out over time.

We'll find out soon.

Of course, this should be obvious to the PE - they are much more cleverer than me, being paid $$$$$ millions.

The non-network mobile phone sellrers always put me in mind of one of the early phone re-sellers from the mid 90s.

I knew someone who worked for this firm - Olly the Idiot.

His job was to fill in spoof customers which the reseller would collect £200 for.

The network never checked the addresses!

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I suppose the mobile network firms are scared stiff that more and more Brits will start buying £150 handsets and paying a fiver or a tenner a month to firms like giffgaff.

The contract phones have got more and more expensive but offer very little new nowadays. Yes, they are lovely but there are some excellent sub £200 phones available now. And the Chinese mobile phone makers are coming.

Edit:

I think the Germans prefer to buy their phones outright - didn't Amazon.de briefly stop selling mobile phones to people in the UK earlier this year due to the difference in price?

Isn't this another inevitable "death of the middle man story"? With all the providers now having their own phone stores. It's not surprising amazon recently launched their own phone, as otherwise they are just a doomed middle man too.

I was recently tempted off my £10 a month giffgaff contract, as EE started doing a giff gaff like deal , but with 4g at start of sept..

although the data is limited to 2gb, I thought it worth a try for the faster 4g

giff gaff 3G - £15 per month

  • 500 UK minutes
  • Unlimited UK texts
  • Unlimited Internet
  • Free to giffgaff number

EE 4G - £15 per month

  • 500 UK minutes
  • 400 UK texts
  • 2 Gb Internet

so I bought a used nokia 925 windows phone, and went into EE shop in Chester. First off, Saleswoman tried to mislead me into a contract. when I clearly stated I only wanted 30 day payg like giff gaff.

When I just about to get a sim, she said we have a special offer sim, valid for 90 days, 10gb data , £15 credit to top up calls & text, so I topped up £5 for 200 mins & £2 for 400 texts.

I asked her to confirm that if I went over my 200 mins, it would not eat into my remaining £8 credit , she said it would not.

so I made calls, only to find credit totally ran out. I went back to shop, to find it had appeared that sales girl had lied about it eating into remaining credit, I had no call credit left as it cost me 35p min after 200 mins ran out .

Salesman apologised & after their delaying tactics of me phoning customer services on his phone, he faxed off form to get back my £8.

As I now had no phone credit on my phone (as I was robbed of £8 credit), I buy another 500 mins with 2g credit. I ask salesman to confirm the 10gb data credit will not be replaced with 2gb one, he says it will not.

I hear nothing for a week , phone customer services, they know nothing off the fax refund request.

A 2nd issue arises, as I check my data usage to find the 10gb data credit has disappeared, to be replaced with 2gb one. It appears the salesman lied again

So I go back to shop, ask for manager. After 20 mins, he returns & says fax had been sent off, but it can take up to 2 weeks, so I have to wait another week.

He apologises for loss of 10gb data, but says that I am only allowed one complaint / refund, so there he says there is nothing he can do, and refuses to refund or replace my 10 gb data.

I have sent the above in writing to EE and will send to the ombudsman if necessary.

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/how-to-complain-to-the-ombudsman-about-a-mobile-phone-provider

Not having dealt with an issue like this for a while, I got the impression that sales people are more likely to lie tha a few yrs ago, then delay & despite admitting a "mistake" refuse to refund any credit or compensate.

They seem much less willing to try and resolve a problem in store.

I theorise that this is because this is a cartel, I look forward to an open source phone with a firefox browser, but see progress is slow. I read Msoft & Google will not allow adblocks, so hopefully, ads eating into data allowances will speed change by users looking for alternatives.

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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Ha, I have never been into one, but they always have balloons outside and a note stand with "managers special" scribbled in marker pen to make it look like the manager actually choose that offer, especially for YOU!

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<p>

Isn't this another inevitable "death of the middle man story"? With all the providers now having their own phone stores. It's not surprising amazon recently launched their own phone, as otherwise they are just a doomed middle man too.

I was recently tempted off my £10 a month giffgaff contract, as EE started doing a giff gaff like deal , but with 4g at start of sept..

although the data is limited to 2gb, I thought it worth a try for the faster 4g

giff gaff 3G - £15 per month

  • 500 UK minutes
  • Unlimited UK texts
  • Unlimited Internet
  • Free to giffgaff number
EE 4G - £15 per month
  • 500 UK minutes
  • 400 UK texts
  • 2 Gb Internet

so I bought a used nokia 925 windows phone, and went into EE shop in Chester. First off, Saleswoman tried to mislead me into a contract. when I clearly stated I only wanted 30 day payg like giff gaff.

When I just about to get a sim, she said we have a special offer sim, valid for 90 days, 10gb data , £15 credit to top up calls & text, so I topped up £5 for 200 mins & £2 for 400 texts.

I asked her to confirm that if I went over my 200 mins, it would not eat into my remaining £8 credit , she said it would not.

so I made calls, only to find credit totally ran out. I went back to shop, to find it had appeared that sales girl had lied about it eating into remaining credit, I had no call credit left as it cost me 35p min after 200 mins ran out .

Salesman apologised & after their delaying tactics of me phoning customer services on his phone, he faxed off form to get back my £8.

As I now had no phone credit on my phone (as I was robbed of £8 credit), I buy another 500 mins with 2g credit. I ask salesman to confirm the 10gb data credit will not be replaced with 2gb one, he says it will not.

I hear nothing for a week , phone customer services, they know nothing off the fax refund request.

A 2nd issue arises, as I check my data usage to find the 10gb data credit has disappeared, to be replaced with 2gb one. It appears the salesman lied again

So I go back to shop, ask for manager. After 20 mins, he returns & says fax had been sent off, but it can take up to 2 weeks, so I have to wait another week.

He apologises for loss of 10gb data, but says that I am only allowed one complaint / refund, so there he says there is nothing he can do, and refuses to refund or replace my 10 gb data.

I have sent the above in writing to EE and will send to the ombudsman if necessary.

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/how-to-complain-to-the-ombudsman-about-a-mobile-phone-provider

Not having dealt with an issue like this for a while, I got the impression that sales people are more likely to lie tha a few yrs ago, then delay & despite admitting a "mistake" refuse to refund any credit or compensate.

They seem much less willing to try and resolve a problem in store.

I theorise that this is because this is a cartel, I look forward to an open source phone with a firefox browser, but see progress is slow. I read Msoft & Google will not allow adblocks, so hopefully, ads eating into data allowances will speed change

The customer service is terrible at EE/Orange/ T Mobile. I think you can now pay to queue jump their call centres confirming how bad they are. Edited by Ash4781

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Ha, I have never been into one, but they always have balloons outside and a note stand with "managers special" scribbled in marker pen to make it look like the manager actually choose that offer, especially for YOU!

The administration will be quick... some balloons, note stand, crayons and some till registers?

No very sad for the staff as I hope there is the cash to pay wages.

Edited by Ash4781

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