MOBILE PHONE RETAILER Phones 4u has been "forced" into administration putting almost 6,000 jobs at risk, due to EE's decision not to renew its contract with the firm.
Phones 4u announced the sad news in a statement on Sunday, after EE revealed on Friday that it would cut ties with the retailer once its current contract is up, much like Vodafone did earlier this month.
"The unexpected decisions by both Vodafone and EE have come as a complete shock to the business," Phones 4u said in a statement. "The company is in a healthy state and both EE and Vodafone had, until very recently, consistently indicated that they saw Phones 4u as a long-term strategic partner."
A spokesperson for EE said, "In line with our strategy to focus on growth in our direct channels and to move to fewer, deeper relationships in the indirect channel, and driven by developments in the marketplace that have called into question the long term viability of the Phones 4u business, we can confirm that we have taken the decision not to extend our contract beyond September 2015.
"We will monitor developments and work to provide any necessary support for customers who joined EE through Phones 4u."
The retailer's website, which is no longer operational, confirmed the news also, displaying a note signed by "the heartbroken Phones 4u team".
All of Phones 4u's 720 UK outlets will remain closed on Monday, while staff have been asked to report to work as normal where they will be briefed by management. Almost 6,000 jobs are affected by the announcement.
The company said that all mobile contracts bought through Phones 4u will remain unaffected and the networks will continue to provide mobile services to these customers.
Those who pre-ordered an iPhone 6 from the retailer can also expect a full refund. A Phones 4u spokesperson told The INQUIRER, "Any orders that have not already been dispatched will be cancelled and any payments refunded to customers. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience."
Phones 4u CEO David Kassler said, "Today is a very sad day for our customers and our staff. 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."
PricewaterhouseCoopers is expected to be announced as the administrator today. µ
NGO says the firm's data collection is 'an assault on privacy'
It's not perfect, but it's a start
Macbook Quid Pro Quo