Vodafone set to return to Carphone Warehouse

The Guardian reports that Vodafone are set to reconsider their exclusive deal with Phone4U and return to the Carphone Warehouse. Quite why they made the exclusive deal in the first place was beyond most staff in Vodafone stores. Phones4U were seen as the worst non-network retailer, who caused the most problems for Vodafone stores. So if Vodafone were going to pull out of all but one of the independents, Phones4U was the last that Vodafone staff were hoping for.

What is interesting about this article from the Guardian is when they note that Vodafone’s figures are scewed and they are actually still increasing their number of contract customers.

“Vodafone’s UK results were skewed by its new boss, Guy Laurence, deciding to stop counting the 310,000 SIM cards found in mechanical devices such as vending machines from its figures. Stripping these out, it actually gained 179,000 contract users over the three months to end March.”

This actually means that despite gloom and doom and wanting to get back into bed with Carphone Warehouse things can’t really be all that bad. If, as most believe, the iPhone becomes available on all networks come July, then things really wouldn’t be that bad at all. Begging the question, why not get out of Phones4U and don’t go back to Carphone Warehouse?

The Guardian article also adds:
“But it has still been losing out in the pre-pay market, where its history as the provider of choice for business customers has given it a tarnished image with cash-strapped consumers. “We have had a perception of being more expensive in the UK, which is not fully deserved to be honest,” admitted Colao.”
Both points are true, but it would seem that Vodafone’s latest prepay freedom offers could seriously change that perception. Particularly given the large advertising campaign accompanying it.

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