O2 drops CPW for Phones 4U

 O2 is pulling its new-connections business from Phones 4U and instead has signed a new deal with Carphone Warehouse.

From 1 April Phones 4U will no longer sell new O2 connections, but will retain upgrades and prepay sales.

This looks like a bit of a merry-go-round started by Vodaphone’s withdrawal of new-contract business from Carphone last year. Phones 4U got the Vodafone deal, and presumably concentrated on Vodafone connections to the detriment of other networks O2 connections have fallen from around 15,000 to 5,000 a month, very likely as a result of this.

An O2 spokesman said the company wasn’t prepared to discuss the commercial terms of relationships with its indirect partners, but added “We have already said that we expect to do less overall gross connections with independent retailers as we increase our focus on our direct channels”.

l O2 has just announced its Fair Deal promise – existing O2 customers, be they PAYG or contract, will be given the same handsets and tariffs as new customers when they come to upgrade. They’ll be rewarded with O2 Treats for their loyalty.

Interestingly, Fair Deal is only available through direct channels – online, over the phone and in all O2 shops – “so that customers can guarantee that they’ll receive the best experience when choosing their phone, no matter how they want to shop with us”.