8/28/2008 10:17:00 AM
Now 20:20 Mobile shuts down its repairs division
20:20 Mobile has closed the Mobile Phone Repairs Company (MPRC) after the business lost its crucial contract with Phones 4u earlier this month.
Around 140 staff members have been affected, with 20:20 saying that the ‘vast majority’ of those staff members won’t be retained.
MPRC previously had a strong client list, including Phones 4u, Comet and Argos, and once repaired over
4,000 units per day, but 20:20 has decided to only keep alive a small fraction of the business following the loss of the Phones 4u contract.
The company’s former staff members have been told that they have the option to relocate to work at rival repairs firms, A Novo or SBE, the companies that won the Phones 4u contract from MPRC, but that would involve relocating from Crewe to Norwich or Ashford in Kent.
One former MD from a rival repair firm told Mobile: ‘It’s no surprise the business has been shut down. They were being propped up by Phones 4u and 20:20 for years. Those associations gave them a lot of clout, but the business has been dwindling for years now.’
MPRC had been run by MD Steve Cuthbert, who was well respected in the industry and exited at the time of the sale of business by John Caudwell to Doughty Hanson in August 2006.
A 20:20 Mobile Group spokesman said: ‘This comes down to a simple question of viability. MPRC operates in a very price-sensitive marketplace and other competitors made a proposition in terms of price that we could not match.
‘This is not a reflection of the level of service or the professionalism of our staff, which are both first class, it’s simply a case of economics.’
20:20 gave away its once highly profitable airtime business to Fone Logistics in May this year for no fee, agreeing to take a slice of future commissions from its dealer base.