As if fate had planned the entire downfall, Phones4u’s departure couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time.
It’s always a sad and messy business when a company goes into administration. Those we think of first are the employees, who’s jobs are now defunct and those families that are consequently affected. But, with retailers, we’ve got another closely ranked group of people with equal interests. The customers.
It’s been over a week since the UK based phone seller, Phones4u entered into administration on the 15th September. The company itself blames the pullout of major networks such as Vodafone and EE for its demise – leaving them with little to no stock to sell. However, these networks were quick to point out that Phones4u’s finances were in a pretty bad way before these decisions and that even after these contracts hadn’t been renewed, Phones4u had a year to create a contingency plan; that would consequently never emerge.
Hence, we now sit at the pearly gates of the creditors with PwC as administrators. While ex-Phones4u employees settle into new homes and search for new employment, it is those customers who pre-ordered the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that now face the wrath of the administrators. In an email to iPhone pre-ordering customers, Phones4u admitted there would not be any refunds given; backtracking on a previous promise to honour those orders/refunds.
Simply, PwC has posted several messages to customers; but most importantly a message that states that customers who ordered an iPhone 6 “through Phones 4u will not receive their purchase.” If they ordered via a credit card, they might have a chance of receiving the charge back; and they should contact their “credit card company to try and seek resolution to this matter.”
Bad news is, if you didn’t use a credit card then it’s unlikely you’ll get any money back. PwC has said that if you still wish to pursue a claim, then contact the administrators and “your claim (to the extent you have one) will rank as an unsecured claim in the Administration”. Even then the money won’t be paid immediately and you’ll be on the bottom of the list to receive any cash – below other creditors. Effectively, don’t really bother was their rather unsatisfactory message.
Ultimately, PwC have seriously screwed up the management of this situation. Failing to tell people straightaway that refunds were unlikely was a big, big mistake. If you want to attempt any form of action, visit their page here: http://www.phones4u.co.uk