back to article Schadenfreude for UK mobile networks over the tumult at Carphone

UK mobile networks will be eyeing Carphone Warehouse's current woes with some glee. Carphone issued a profits warning last week and warned of a year of difficulty ahead. It will promptly close 92 stores. Why the glee? It's because Charles Dunstone's retail operation is an exception in mobile retail, rather than the norm. …

  1. James 51 Silver badge

    It took vodafone about three months to unlock my Q10 when my contract ended and they didn't repair the mic properly either when it broke and was still in warrenty. Phones and phone contracts have gotten stupid expensive lately if you want a top end phone or a decent amount of data but car phone warehouse helped to keep the networks on their toes and resonably honest. It would hurt the public if it disappeared completely.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      I've been trying to work out what I get paying £500-600 on a top of the range phone, vs spending £100-150 on a mid range phone but I can't work it out.

      Sure, all the numbers (cores, core speed, memory, storage etc.) are all bigger for the more expensive phone, but I don't notice any difference in actual day to day usability. Plus, the cheaper end of the market has more competition, so you're more likely to see features you don't get at the high end, such as a ruggidised/waterproof design, or dual SIM slots.

      Buy an unlocked phone for £100, and get a sim-only contract for £15/month or pay £50 for the phone and £50/month for the contract? Your choice.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        I've been trying to work out what I get paying £500-600 on a top of the range phone, vs spending £100-150 on a mid range phone but I can't work it out.

        As I understand it, you get the rights to brag about how you have the latest, shiniest model of phone...and that's about it

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          No, you're going about it the wrong way.

          You get the £500-£600 pound phone for £250-£300 by astute shopping.

      2. Ol' Grumpy

        "I've been trying to work out what I get paying £500-600 on a top of the range phone, vs spending £100-150 on a mid range phone but I can't work it out."

        For me personally, it's all about the camera.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          @ Ol' Grumpy "For me personally, it's all about the camera."

          .. so you are the lone target audience for the cmera obsessed phone reviews of Andrew O!

      3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        I have a £60 Medion (=Lenovo) from Aldi. It has been working very nicely for 3.5 years and shows no signs of giving up. I'm buggered if I can see any reason to spend fifteen times as much on the latest shiny from Apple or Samsung.

  2. Herring` Silver badge

    And what exactly are the values of the Carphone Warehouse?

    1. Kevin Johnston

      I valued it at almost £80. I compared buying unlocked plus a SIM-only contract against the same phone/bundle from the various networks the unlocked route was cheaper by £80 through Carphone Warehouse.

    2. ubite

      They acted as the iPhone store for the alternative phones. Someone to sort your phone or your mobile company out when you do not know what to do.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        >Someone to sort your phone or your mobile company out when you do not know what to do.

        There are a surprising number of people out there who don't know their way around their mobile and will happily go into a shop and get an 'expert' to help them change contracts, move personal information between phones etc.

        The trouble is that whilst there is a market for such services, I doubt it can sustain the overheads of the Carphone Warephone/PC World barns...

    3. Chad H.

      "Get as much commission out of the customer as you can"

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Herring` - An almost- but not quite- appropriate username. Where's Lee`?

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    For me an unlocked phone is better than one that's network-locked.

    The carriers, however, may disagree.

    I will vote with my wallet. End of the story.

    1. theExecutive

      Overdaft

      In the UK the banks now charge higher overdraft fees than even the s-wanky-est phone, so you could just burn 2x £ on nowt :)

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Which carriers still supply locked phones?

      In the UK both Three and EE supply unlocked phones, although in EE's case the phones they supply might have a slightly different build to the generic version eg. support for WiFi calling.

  4. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

    ... the situation will be worse than the US. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

      Now that will be a *really* daft move.

      The market benefits from competition as it keeps everybody on their toes and prices will be kept low.

      Once that happens (network combining), prices will go up, service levels will drop and the market will go to pot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

        Just don't say that about the NHS.

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

          The NHS isn't a monopoly (because you don't have to pay at the point of treatment), but it is a monopsony (ie a single buyer with many suppliers), which is not great for the suppliers (because they don't get to set the prices), but great for the NHS, and therefore, us.

          1. tuppence

            Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

            err..... not great for the suppliers? - have you seen the ridiculous prices the NHS pays for stuff??

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

              "have you seen the ridiculous prices the NHS pays for stuff"

              Compared to the cost in the free market of the US?

              Plus, they only get a choice of suppliers for some things (eg aspirin), some drugs/equipment will only have a single supplier.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

            Don’t get to set the prices? Boots would beg to differ.

      2. jason 7

        Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

        Daft doesn't come into it when politicians have wads of cash and lucrative exec directorships wafted under their noses.

      3. xanda
        FAIL

        Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

        "The market benefits from competition as it keeps everybody on their toes and prices will be kept low."

        The market is broken and has been for a long time. The level of competition as it stands doesn't deliver value for money in terms of a decent quality, stable service i.e. far too many 'not spots' given the maturity of the technology and poor quality for both voice and data.

        "...prices will go up, service levels will drop and the market will go to pot."

        We're already there albeit for some of the better deals offered to the subscriber these days. Yet the fact remains that networks are still guilty of overcharging for what they offer and do in return; plus are largely let-off the hook by the regulator concerning some of their more outrageous behaviour in recent years.

        Same could be said for fixed-line but mobile is definitely the worst offender.

        The only way we can envisage how things might improve long-term is if a commodity handset brand manages to stay focused in delivering a range of decent quality, fairly priced devices with a stable support regime.

        This would perhaps break the cycle both manufacturers and networks find themselves in by enabling punters to feel they have made a wise choice with their cash.

        Unfortunately it has been lacking across the board (fancy a Wileyfox anyone?) helping fuel the mess that all now find themselves in: punters are no longer parting with their hard earned lolly because they just don't have it anymore, leaving networks and device mfrs struggling.

        So it's a lose-lose all 'round.

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

        "The market benefits from competition as it keeps everybody on their toes and prices will be kept low."

        And in order to HAVE competition, you need at least 3 players. 2 players invariably form a duopoly

    2. Uberior

      Re: Once the Competition Commission have allowed all the networks to be combined...

      The Competition Commission?

      Surely the bigger worry is that the Labour & Momentum will nationalise the networks in line with their policy to nationalise all utlitiy companies?

  5. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Internet buying

    Any sensible consumer looking for a replacement phone is likely to consider Amazon, eBay and local supermarkets instead of a "Phone store". For non-gaming customers there are a lot of good phones for well under £200 and reasonable ones for under £100. (Absolute basic non-smartphones can be had for under £15 - eg the Nokia 105.)

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Internet buying

      Car phone warehouse does have a few websites were they flog phones and contracts and you don't have the annoying people who keep pestering you when you're trying the handset for size and weight. Of course you can't judge the size and weight on the websites. BTW when I bought my S6 sim free and new, car phone warehouse was the cheapest place to do it. Market has changed somewhat since then.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internets for the win!

    I escaped from the contract grind years ago currently running a moto g4+ and a monthly sim-only contract from smarty.

    Call me a tightwad if you will but a begrudge paying a sky-high APR for a lone to buy a phone, which a contract basically is.

    For example, the 64gb iPhone 8 with 8gb data on Voda is £79 + (24 * £57) = £1447

    or handset direct from Apple and equivalent contract from smarty is £799 + (24 * £15) = £1159

    Giving a difference of £288 for the loan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internets for the win!

      Tightwad

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Andy Mac

      Re: Internets for the win!

      I can’t speak for the UK any more but contracts in ’Straya are getting stupid. I got an iPhone 4S on contract and the phone cost me a bit over $100. When the time came to get a 6S, the subsidy was practically nonexistent and the data allowance was pitiful at the start of it, let alone 2 years later.

      Now I’m on PAYG, which now looks exactly like a contract since all calls and texts are inclusive, except the price is better, the data allowances are better and you can always change if a better deal comes along.

      As a person of moderate intelligence, I honestly cannot understand why *anyone* would get a contract.

      The next time I need to pay the idiot tax for a phone, I’ll be running straight into the freakish hell that is the Apple store to get it direct.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Phone on contract...

        "The phone cost (AUD)100"

        No, the phone cost the usual price for a iPhone 4s (I forget what off the top of my head), but the "call time contract" was WAY over inflated in price to cover the cost.

        Now a lot of companies put the phone loan and the call time contract into separate bills. Else they just put about £/$100/200 on the price of the handset in store, and let you pay it off monthly "with no interest".

        The interest cost is always hidden in there somewhere. They are a business. What has mainly changed, is most got into trouble for trying to dupe customers and forced to show costs up front, so now their expensive fees are obviously expensive.

        1. oiseau Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Phone on contract...

          Hello:

          The interest cost usual corporate greed is always hidden in there somewhere.

          There you go ...

          O.

        2. Andy Mac

          Re: Phone on contract...

          "the "call time contract" was WAY over inflated in price to cover the cost"

          IIRC, the monthly contract cost excluding the phone repayment was comparable to the PAYG plan I was already on with a different provider.

          However, I cop to idiocy for getting such an awful 6S contract.

    3. Andrew 6

      Re: Internets for the win!

      I have a Moto G4+ too, but Im looking to upgrade, got any suggestions? thinking maybe nokia 7 plus.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Internets for the win!

        I was looking at the Huey Honour 10 it's a lot of phone for the money.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Internets for the win!

          >>[replacement for Moto G4: Nokia 7+?]

          I was looking at the Huey Honour 10 it's a lot of phone for the money.

          It's still a lot of money for the phone even if spectacularly greater value than current flagships (I mean the GBP400 rather than the Honor 10 specifically).

          I've been thinking about both of those for a similar upgrade scenario, then I look at the Moto G6 and wonder what I am really getting for the extra GBBP100-170. Then I reflect that my 40-month-old phone still works well enough despite the cracks at the top of the screen which will probably kill it eventually.

          Of course my opinions are driven by my own bias, prejudice and use-cases

        2. Patrician

          Re: Internets for the win!

          And with a horrible skin and virtually no updates from Huawei.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Internets for the win!

        " have a Moto G4+ too, but I'm looking to upgrade, got any suggestions?"

        The Moto G5(/G5+/G5S/G5S+) is worth a look, so I assume the G6(etc.) is better. (not looked at the prices of the G6 though)

      3. Nickmoul

        Re: Internets for the win!

        Moto G5 or Moto G6 are both great

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Internets for the win!

        I'm really pleased with the ZUK Z2 PRO: 5.2" screen, 128 GB storage, 6GB RAM, Quad core (2x2.2 +2x1.6 GHz).

        Currently £228 at Banggood.

        Good community support and easily upgraded to Oreo 8.1 using custom ROM: https://zukfans.eu/community/forums/zuk-z2-pro.4/

    4. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Internets for the win!

      Meh - I'll let a provider charge me £20 over three years for a phone, but not £300...

      Many companies are now doing the contract and phone on separate bills even, so you can actually see what you are paying for the device and what for the airtime. At the moment my airtime is more than my device - I'm just upgrading at the moment though, so that will reverse (a combination of getting a reasonably current generation phone, and a cheaper tariff with more data/calls included).

      I'm nowhere near paying £60/month though...

    5. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Internets for the win!

      For example, the 64gb iPhone 8 with 8gb data on Voda is £79 + (24 * £57) = £1447

      or handset direct from Apple and equivalent contract from smarty is £799 + (24 * £15) = £1159

      Giving a difference of £288 for the loan.

      A shade under 18% APR I think so not ridiculous for unsecured consumer credit. It depends on whether you have the capital, what else you would be doing with it instead and the utility of the handset to you. Whether it is worthy of debate depends on whether the sum are material to you or not

  7. Cuddles Silver badge

    Soon?

    "But as Dunstone told the Financial Times five years ago: "It's over. They* sell things people don't buy any more in stores." Dunstone was talking about CDs and DVDs.

    But soon enough, it might be phones."

    Soon enough? I don't think I know anyone who has actually bought a phone in a physical store for several years at least. Why would anyone do that when there is far more choice, far more information, and usually better prices online? For some goods, being able to physically try them out in a shop is important, but phones are not one of them. Being able to compare detailed spec sheets, check reviews for known issues, and so on, is far more useful than physically holding a generic rectangle and expecting to get anything useful out of it.

    And that really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone given the subject of the article. Carphone Warehouse isn't dying because people might stop shopping there soon, it's dying because they've already stopped.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Soon?

      "For some goods, being able to physically try them out in a shop is important, but phones are not one of them"

      I disagree. A phone is something that spends a lot of time in your hands, so personally I want to know about size and weight before I commit. A volume button that's uncomfortably out of reach (for example) would annoy me every day for the few years I own the phone.

      I'll go buy it online after checking it out in store though, I'm not daft.

      (Mice and keyboards are the other objects I'd put in this category)

      1. Graham 32

        Re: Soon?

        Distance Selling Regs are your friend here. Playing with a phone in a store is just for a few minutes and probably tethered to the shelf. You can buy a phone online, unbox it, set it up, use for a day or two and then if you find something annoying do a factory reset and send it back.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Soon?

          "Distance Selling Regs are your friend here ... use for a day or two and then if you find something annoying do a factory reset and send it back."

          A "couple of days' use" is probably not what the DSR was intending. Unless there were any physical marks or other signs of use, I doubt the retailer would be able to tell and levy depreciation charges, though...

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Soon?

            "Distance Selling Regs are your friend here ... use for a day or two and then if you find something annoying do a factory reset and send it back."

            A "couple of days' use" is probably not what the DSR was intending. Unless there were any physical marks or other signs of use, I doubt the retailer would be able to tell and levy depreciation charges, though...

            Pretty sure it's exactly what it is designed for.

            Maybe a couple of days is a little over the top, but you can certainly find things out in 12 hours that you couldn't know from seeing things online...

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Soon?

      Hello:

      I don't think I know anyone who has actually bought a phone in a physical store for several years

      I think this is something that is not exclusive to the mobile phone market, it is (and will be a greater part of the economy as time goes by) affecting the whole retail industry, from mobile phones to clothes to white box goods, etc.

      A couple of years ago I needed to purchase a washing machine and the only way to get a decent price was to purchase it on-line (something that I do not like to do). There was absolutely no way I could get the same store to give me the same deal if I went there in person and paid cash up front. Uncanny ...

      Same thing happened the other day when I needed to buy some paint remover: went to the paint store and would cost me over 40% more than buying it on-line, which was actually suggested by the salesman when I complained about what I knew was an expensive price.

      I do not think that it's just a costs issue for the retailers, I think that there's also a tax evasion possibility that's probably part of the incentive for this retail system.

      In any case, it will eventually all boil down to less jobs and more unemployment.

      O.

      1. Woodnag

        Tru dat

        You've got Germans buying their cars in Netherlands to pay lower VAT.

        I built a house in one part of USA and ending up buying all the white goods over the internet from another state because it much much cheaper than locally. With a lot of big ticket items (hob, oven, fridge, dishy, washer, drier) the savings was thousands.

        1. pnony
          Boffin

          Re: Tru dat

          You probably meant that the other way round: German VAT is 19%, whereas Dutch VAT is 21%. The Netherlands also has a punitive registration fee for new cars, which is perhaps why the roads round here seem to be clogged with rusty old sheds that can be easily overtaken on a bike.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Soon?

      "For some goods, being able to physically try them out in a shop is important, but phones are not one of them."

      Is a phone not a HID, subject to all the normal issues inherrent with them, then..?

      1. Graham 32

        Re: Soon?

        @AC Assuming HID is Human Interface Device, I'm not aware of special rules for those. I have returned a mobile phone to Amazon on the "I inspected it and decided I don't like it" grounds without any hassle. As far as I can see they have to do that, it's not Amazon being nice.

        Turns out Distance Selling Regs have been replaced with Consumer Contract Regs but it's mostly similar. Items you cannot return include: CDs, DVDs or software if you've broken the seal on the wrapping, perishable items and tailor-made or personalised items.

        ref: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations

        The exemption for "personalised items" is why Apple offers free engraving on the back of an iPhone - they want you to give up your right to send it back!

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: Soon?

          'Amazon on the "I inspected it and decided I don't like it" grounds without any hassle. As far as I can see they have to do that, it's not Amazon being nice.'

          If you do this a lot Amazon will decline to have you as a customer. Whether that's legal or not is a discussion point.

          Other retailers, for example Chain Reaction Cycles for protective gear where fit is important, encourage it and is a market differentiation point in a sea of online sellers.

    4. Craigie

      Re: Soon?

      'I don't think I know anyone who has actually bought a phone in a physical store for several years'

      Buy? No. Go in and fondle? I bet plenty of them have.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Soon?

      > I don't think I know anyone who has actually bought a phone in a physical store for several years at least.

      Try buying a mobile phone and changing your plan when you are deaf, it is surprisingly difficult even in-store...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unlocked phones are a huge plus / retail premises are a burden

    I bought a Sony XZ2 from CW for 664, on a lightweight EE contract. Because the phone wasn't locked, I stuck my existing Three SIM in it and used the EE contract to migrate SWIMBO's iPhone off an old Orange contract. I also got a free PSVR which is probably equivalent to at least 250 discount.

    However, I did all this online. The only way my local store would have figured in the equation is if I had elected to collect the phone there, rather than risking the delivery person creeping away from the house so they can record it as a missed delivery. And just now I've driven past that local store and it's closed.

  9. Spanners Silver badge
    Happy

    I can't remember

    I am not sure when I last bought a locked phone. The last couple of contract phones I probably had were through the late Phones4U and they weren't locked. I am on a SIM only contract and can't see any reason to change. $Phoneco likes me. I've been with them for a while, even if I got my phone direct from the manufacturer.

    If you don't want an expensive phone like mine, there are plenty cheap ones and you still can go on SIM only. This is until some idiots allow eSIMs and that is used to keep consumers in their "rightful place"!

  10. Dr_N Silver badge

    Nokia 6110

    That's the last time I bought a phone from a shop.

    It was a Carphone Warehouse too, funnily enough.

  11. iron Silver badge

    Good riddance

    I'll be glad to see the back of Carphone Warehouse. I have refused to use them and advise other people not to use them ever since I tried to buy a phone from them but ended up the victim of identity theft perpetrated by Carphone Warehouse that they then tried to blame on me. Disreputable, despicable and untrustworthy at best, hopefully the company will fold sooner rather than later.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good riddance

      hopefully the company will fold sooner rather than later.

      It's understandable that you have bad feelings towards the company, but not every single member have staff has personally slighted you. In cases like this it's easy to get ready to start celebrating a company's demise, but spare a thought for all the staff who will be getting handed a P45.

    2. Jedit
      Stop

      "the victim of identity theft perpetrated by Carphone Warehouse"

      Carphone Whorehouse did not try to steal your identity. Maybe, just maybe, one member of staff did. More likely, it's that someone else tried to steal your details and use them to buy a phone from CPW - unlocked phones can be fenced for good value at high speed, and CPW are the best high street vendor. That happened to me about 11 years ago, and while I've never shopped at CPW for more than a case, I've never blamed them either.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good riddance

      Ah yes, the nuclear option. Alright as long as it affects ANYONE BUT ME.

      Grow up and try and be less self centred.

  12. heyrick Silver badge

    This is still a thing?

    As far as I'm aware, the majority of the phones sold in France now are "débloqué". I know SFR don't lock their phones, and my S7 (Orange) was not locked either.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. gskr

    Bought my most recent phone from CW (an Honor View 10) - but admittedly via their online tentacle rather than a physical shop. Why CW - well in this case simply as they were the cheapest!

    It will be a sad day when the high street is nothing but coffee shops and charity shops. CW are doing as well as can be expected, but its a cutthroat business!

  15. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Sim free was an option when a handset cost £100, but they now cost a lot more for a decent one. With Apple's best costing a grand.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Apple's best costing a grand.

      Sadly, "cost" and "worth" are two separate metrics

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Allowing for inflation and the fall in the £, £100 then is over £200 now.

  16. werdsmith Silver badge

    In addition, the unlocked phone that Carphone helped flog by the million helped its undoing. When choosing an upgrade, buyers can stick the replacement on a credit card and buy it on the internet.

    What does this mean? It's rubbish. The exact same applies regardless of where you buy a phone unless you are on a deal that provides an automatic periodic upgrade which cost a stupid premium.

    A used unlocked phone sells used for about £20-£30 more than a locked one. I

  17. steviebuk Silver badge

    I haven't....

    ....for years purchased a phone that wasn't unlocked. So carphone warehouse haven't done anything wrong there. If I can't afford a phone unlocked outright then I don't buy it. I'm not paying a network to get the latest phone for it to only be locked to them and at the end of the contract know you paid more for the phone than if you'd got it unlocked.

  18. The Dogs Meevonks

    I haven't purchased a phone from a shop of any kind in almost 15years... I purchase everything online after doing a shit load of research into the best value for money vs performance.

    I also have a rule that I won't pay more than £200 for a handset, it can't be at the lowest end of the market and it has to be as free from bloatware as possible... and it absolutely must be unlocked.

    Up until the end of April I was using a wileyfox storm, which was (and still is)_ a great phone that cost me £180 new a few years ago... However the battery started to bulge and poped open the back cover in one spot, so I replaced with a Moto G5S Plus, which is a great little phone too... and cost me £196 (retail was around the £250-60 mark). It's not the first Moto G I've owned, but the G2 4G model was a little underpowered and lacking in ram for my use... That's not the case any more and it's easily as good as phones costing twice as much. The only thing it lacks (which I've never had a need for) is wireless charging. the fingerprint sensor is fast and easy to use, and positioned in a very easy to use place. The camera is decent enough (there's 2 on the back) and takes some great shots. The screen is crisp and clear, although it does wash out a little in bright sunlight (especially if you have a screen protector on it).

    I may actually look into repairing the Storm as all it needs is a new battery... but it happened a week before I went away for 10 days and |I had to have a replacement quickly.

    Long gone are the days when a premium price should be paid for a device... the upper end of the low range and the mid range market has matured to the point where it's every bit as good as the 'premium' end.... and paying 2 or 3 times as much for essentially the same thing is a fools choice.

    Unless you want that fruity symbol.. in which case you have no choice but to pay a premium for something that's no better than a mid range android phone (discounting OS as they're a personal preference in my opinion).

    1. David Beck

      wireless charging

      If you use a silicon case you can put the charging coil between the case and the phone back. Been doing it for years.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Schadenfreunde

    I fart in the their general direction, all of them

  20. Chad H.

    >>>> For a perfect market to work the consumer needs information, the ability to evaluate such deals, and Carphone provided just that.

    From my experience working in the mobile industry (admittedly a good few years ago) is that while Carphone certainly provided "Information", it was rarely, if ever correct. The number of Blackberries they sold without the required extra paid for service was... shocking. Back then Blackberries were just an overpriced basic phone without that extra service - couldnt get any data service at all.

  21. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    HMV

    I swerved by my local HMV the other day,... it was like stepping back in time, with racks and racks of Vinyl. You know they are shafted when they have sunk to selling novelty items. Novelty items for silly prices, ... like £30 for an album. Mind you, I saw the Metallica 'Damage Inc' tour shirt in H&M a while back too,... I still have the original from 30 years ago.

  22. Dr Gerard Bulger

    I work all over the place. Dual SIM essential. Carphone don't sell dual SIM phones, so I felt they were under the thumb of the of the big airtime boys, who also don't sell dual SIM phones. Funny that. Dual SIM or better still carrier hopping will offer competition.

    There were no dual sims at the Carphone stores I went to.

    So I got a Wilyefox on line, although the company is just surving and still no promised Oreo update...

    ASDA of all places has a range of dual sim. Some almost half decent but not branded. No doubt Sainsburies will stop that lark

  23. farranut

    There are ways to get a flagship phone without being fleeced

    If you need a flagship phone Giffgaff will do you a sensible loan for the (unlocked) handset without tying you to any requirement to use their services with it. A not inflated monthly payment for your phone and then whatever SIM contract you want (or stick with Giffgaff and their goodybag system). simples.

  24. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

    There are also quite a few high street second hand shops where you can go in and try before you buy (for a few minutes). Some of their phones are locked to a carrier, and some, slightly more expensive, are unlocked. These shops must also be quite significant competition to the Carphone Warehouse model.

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