Is Carphone inviting the box breakers?
9:23AM Thu 14 December 2006
The Carphone Warehouse is trying to boost its Christmas sales with three astonishing prepay deals, and has shrugged off criticism that the deals will fuel box breaking.
Two Motorola L6 handsets are being offered for £50 on Orange, two Motorola V3s for £90 on T-Mobile, and two Nokia 1112s for £30 on Virgin.
Carphone insists it has put measures in place to prevent customers purchasing the handsets and selling them on at a higher price.
Traders quoted market prices this week that suggested large margins for potential box breakers; up to £74 on the L6s, £44 on the V3s and £22 on the 1112s. Most box breakers look for a profit margin of £2 or more.
A spokeswoman said: 'With certain pay-as-you-go promotions we restrict customers to two handsets each and the only way of monitoring and enforcing this is to insist that they pay with a credit or debit card. For those customers who do not have a credit/debit card, we ask that they pay a £20 airtime top-up voucher in order to deter anyone seeking to make a profit from box breaking.'
All three deals have been arranged by Carphone, but all three networks involved in the deals are known to be monitoring the situation closely, focusing on registration and call use on prepay Sims sold in Carphone.
Rob Shardlow, sales and distribution director at Virgin Mobile, said: 'This kind of activity is pretty aggressive, and will potentially appeal to box breakers. Any proposition that attracts box breakers concerns us. But the retailer has absolute choice of which price they sell their products at. If an account gives us poor-quality customers, that will inevitably feed into our level of investment going forward.'
A T-Mobile spokeswoman said: 'T-Mobile has worked closely with The Carphone Warehouse on the challenges around box breaking and made a number of changes to the in-store purchase processes. We do not consider the current V3 offer to be at risk of breakage.'
An Orange spokeswoman said it was happy with Carphone's measures, adding: 'The L6 handsets are locked onto the Orange network.'
© Copyright 2006 : Noble House Media Ltd Didn't really follow these deals before hand and realise they have been out a small while now but I assumed you had to make a major top up no matter what but that you don't need to if pay by dc or cc shame I dismissed it so easily, this deal does look v good :)