Phones 4u won't refund or deliver iPhone 6 pre-orders after all, but Carphone Warehouse will

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."

Source: Phones 4u; Via: TechRadar

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • I'm not familiar with UK law, but at least in the US this type of claim is "unsecured" as there is no collateral given for the money (like a car or house). My impression is they dont have the money to give back, or cannot by law while under bankruptcy without permission of the court. The only way to be guaranteed to get money back is through the credit card company.
  • That's pretty accurate :) basically your not getting your money back unless you claim via your credit card or visa debit chargeback. If you paid cash you're simply another creditor owed money and may get a percentage back, but only when the company is liquidated.
  • Wow! There are going to be a lot of even angrier customers
  • And they wonder why they're in bankruptcy. Sent from the iMore App
  • That's horrible
  • Sucks to be a customer of that shitty company. Sent from the iMore App
  • It's the type of thing the PM should get involved in, but they are in a different world from the rest of us live in
  • The Administrators are working well within their rights. I commented on a previous post that this would most likely happen and that are creditors to the company and with relatively small financial sums the chances of them giving you money back is pretty slim to none. It is very positive thing that Carphone Warehouse has chosen to do carry the burden of that debt and get phones to those that have been ripped off. The Senior management of Phone4U really should be held liable for theft or fraud since they knew they didn't have the funds to meet financial obligations. It also shines a line on the reasons that EE and Vodafone pulled the contracts. They were probably owed large sums of money for product that was not being paid. It is also why the two carriers have taken on locations, probably part of an agreement to offset debts that were held against Phone4U. Sometimes with a credit card the dispute can take a long time and the odds can sometimes be stacked against the customer. I am sure that the card providers have insurance but it doesn't help the customers that used Debit cards or Checks. I do serious believe that the processing of payments after they had gone into administration shows fraudulent activity either by the Administrators or by the Company itself.
  • Beyond piss poor. Sent from the iMore App