iPhone buyers from Phones 4U lost their money

If you bought an iPhone from Phones 4U just before it went into administration, not only has your order been canceled, but you will not get your money back either, marking a U-turn after the company said exactly the opposite last week.

More than 136 customers who had bought the new iPhone were emailed on Thursday saying there would be no refund.

Infuriated customers were told by the British mobile phone retailer’s administrator:

“Further to the cancellation of your order with Phones 4U for an iPhone 6, we understand you may have incurred charges on your credit card prior to the appointment of the administrators. Unfortunately due to the situation, the administrators cannot process a refund.”

Some customers who pre-ordered their devices have lost ₤700 ($1,137).

To add salt to their wounds, the emails contained details of all 136 email addresses of each customer in the ‘send’ field.

Credit cards – people who paid in advance by credit card have been advised to contact their card company and try to get a refund. If they cannot get one, they are advised to file a claim with the administrators. The email warned them that their claim “rank as an unsecured claim in the administration.”

As soon as PwC found out that Apple had not yet supplied any iPhones to Phones 4U, it decided that the pre-orders could not be honored, and that those customers would be treated as unsecured creditors.

PwC, the administrator, warned customers on its website:

“Please note, given the level of secured liabilities, if there is a dividend to unsecured creditors, any payment if made at all, would not be for many months and is likely to be negligible.”

Repairs – regarding people who left their phones in a Phones 4U shop to be repaired, the company (administrator) says on its website “We are aware that some Phones 4u customers will have posted their phone or left it with one of the Phones 4u stores to be repaired before the appointment of Administrators. We are in the process of identifying where in the repair process these phones are. Please contact Phones 4u Customer Service 0844 8712253 to provide us with further details. If we can, we will endeavour to get the phone returned to you as soon as possible.”

Insurance – customers who took out insurance on their devices through Phones 4U have been told that their policies remain valid with the London General Insurance Company Ltd.

One furious customer (who asked to remain anonymous) wrote to Market Business News saying “You can bet PwC’s invoice for being administrator will be much bigger than the cost of sending out 136 iPhones. And you can bet PwC’s invoice for its services will be honored.”