IMPDA: iPhone Mis-Sold

The IMPDA comments on the alleged mis-selling of the iPhone by Carphone Warehouse, and also invites dealers to meet up with Roger Godsiff MP regarding cashback.
 
With the news coming in as we said in the last edition and have been proved right, O2 and Apple did NOT achieve the numbers they hyped would be sold on the day, and exactly as we said last week it was reported that one O2 salesman said: ‘Lots of people are having a poke around, checking it out, but they’re not comfortable with paying £270, signing up on an 18-month contract and then only getting 200 minutes and 200 texts for £35, even though we tell them they get unlimited data.

Even O2 desperate for sales ended up handing out ‘Getting started’ leaflets to those queuing outside its stores, advising on the process for activating the phone. The leaflets also warn ‘if you do not enter into and remain in an airtime agreement with O2 on one of our tariffs for iPhone, you will not be able to use the phone functionality of your phone’. Oh come on O2 get real, people can use the full functions of the phone,  Apple have not tied some functions so that they only work unless they are on your network, so stop trying to frighten people, do you really want to sell this phone, doesn’t sound like it!.

More seriously, and we have to ask O2 and CPW to investigate this if only to restore their reputation, it is alleged that many people who entered Carphonewarehouse (CPW) stores to buy an iPhone were told by employees that they could not buy the phone unless they took out CPW insurance, no insurance no iPhone.

To make matters worse it is alleged that some people were told that they could not insure their iPhone with O2 and had to take out CPW insurance as part of the contract. This could have serious implications for O2, because if customers signed up on the understanding that this formed part of the contract with O2 then the handset would have been mis-sold, and therefore the customer would be entitled to cancel the contract.

It is a deplorable situation and does nothing to show dealers in a good light. With the publics view of trust in dealers at an all time low, and on the back of the cashback collapse issue, the UK dealers do not now want to hear of blatent alleged miss selling by some CPW shops just to get extra revenue.  Some customers its reported were even quoted as much as £30 per month the lowest being £12.50 for insurance and even that is overpriced.  You only have to look at companies like www.insure-my-mobile.com to see that insurance is only £7.99 per month for this type of phone so to allegidly lie to customers and deprive them of their purchase is disgraceful.

If CPW or O2 think this is a one off then they should look at http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com or http://www.gadgettastic.com to see examples of this.

It makes the launch of the iPhone from something which should have been a pleasure and a happy time to an absolute circus with unhappy potential customers and dealers.  Do O2 really want this I doubt it, and neither do other O2 authorised dealers who were NOT allowed to sell it. I fail to see their business logic, only now are they talking about possibly letting their O2 Authorised dealers sell this, but why not now, whats the wait?!  CPW is selling it so why not just say others can from this week.

With the lack of O2 hitting target sales and these allegations of mis-selling, O2 have and Apple have done an own goal and missed a trick.   The iPhone should never have been restricted to one network by Apple, in any case ALL O2 authorised dealers should have been allowed to sell it.  It is a lesson other networks or manufacturers need to note seriously in the future.  If you have a network with authorised dealers then let them sell products as well.  Come on O2 announce this week that you will let ALL O2 authorised dealers sell the iPhone this week, there is no reason for delay.

Cashback

So Roger Godsiff has summoned Ofcom and all 5 major networks to a meeting over primarily the cashback scandal, but where are the dealer representatives or even representatives from the distributors.  Again the main people that count are missing, and so cannot put their point of view.  

The networks bleat that it’s between dealers and the consumer, yet where is our voice!  The IMPDA has written to MP Roger Godsiff asking if he would be prepared to meet with representatives to enable them to put their points of view and suggestions before any decisions are taken which will affect the industry.  If distributors and dealers would like to be put themselves forward to be part of the team to meet the MP’s then please let me know as soon as possible at contact@impda.co.uk please include your contact tel number.

This is an important opportunity to have the dealers/distributors input for once before any decision is taken, especially as further parliamentary debates will be taking place.