Phones 4u has been a part of our high streets for over 20 years, but the mobile phone retailer is no more. The company has gone into administration following EE’s decision to not renew their contract with Phones4u on Friday. This was bad news considering EE were their last remaining partner after Vodafone’s withdrawal earlier in the month, and O2 pulling out in February.
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With 550 stores and 5,596 employees the news of the administration will affect many people’s lives. The stores will remain closed from today until the administrators decide on what to do with the company’s assets and whether to liquidate or not. Staff are said to be “paid until further notice” according to Phones 4u’s private equity owner, BC Partners.
The founder of Phones 4u, John Caudwell, who later sold the company in 2006, told the Telegraph: “It feels to me as though these networks are acting in unison. It’ll be good for the networks ultimately but it can’t be good for the customers, taking all that freedom of choice away.”
While EE and Vodafone declined to comment, O2 maintained “we make all our decisions independently of others”.
No doubt the demise of Phones 4u is music to Dixons Carphone’s ears as their main rivals, and dealing with all three network operators.
If you’ve purchased a contract through Phones 4u and are worried, you needn’t be, as all contracts sold in stores and online are still valid.