There was some hope that as UK mobile phone retailer Phones 4u shut down that those that had pre-ordered an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus from them would be made whole in one way or another. In fact, they had promised two weeks ago when all this went down that those pre-orders that had not yet shipped would be refunded. Well… not anymore.
Phone 4u's previous web storefront has been replaced with a blunt message from the bankrupt firm's new joint administrators, offering a few quick answers about where things are going with the company and your purchases with them. When it comes to unshipped iPhone 6 pre-orders, it looks like the shell of the company that remains doesn't even possess the funds to refund unshipped orders (or they're just unwilling to):
Unfortunately we do not have any iPhone 6's therefore customers who have pre-ordered an iPhone 6 through Phones 4u will not receive their purchase. Customers who have paid using credit cards should contact their credit card company to try and seek resolution to this matter. If you are unable to obtain a refund through your credit card company and wish to register a claim, your claim (to the extent you have one) will rank as an unsecured claim in the Administration – please see below for further details.
Yep, you should contact your credit card company and go through the disputed charge process to get your money back. Considering that an unlocked off-contract iPhone 6 Plus in the UK can run all the way up to £789, that could be quite a bit of money that Phones 4u has charged to your card and won't be giving back despite not having an iPhone to give you.
Additionally, gift cards are obviously dead and any promised rewards or free gifts aren't happening either. Those with phones sent in for repair are also in a lurch — it's been two weeks, and the Phones 4u adminstrators are "in the process of identifying where in the repair process these phones are," but if you ask nicely they'll try to get your phone back to you… though it might be in pieces.
Have you or anybody you know been caught up in the collapse of Phones 4u?
Update: Here's a statement from Carphone Warehouse on the whole affair. Basically, they're willing to pay off the dishonored pre-orders, which is super classy and a surefire way to scoop up disenfranchised Phones 4u customers.
"We understand Phones 4U customers have been told they won't receive a refund on their iPhone 6 pre-orders. We don't think that's fair, so we are offering to reimburse Phones 4U customers for any money paid upfront when they buy their new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus from us. All they have to do is come into our stores with printed evidence of their pre-order."