By June 2, 2008

O2 Fires Staff After iPhone Discount Scam

image Staff at branches of mobile phone retailer O2 have been sacked after using discounts to buy cheap Apple iPhones and then selling them on via the internet.

About half a dozen employees were dismissed from London stores after being caught scooping up job lots of the sought-after handsets.


Twenty more staff are believed to be under investigation.

After using generous discounts of 20% or more, staff have sold on the phones on eBay, according to a company source.

‘It is actually nothing new that staff in mobile phone shops have supplemented income with this abusive perk,’ said one industry source. ‘What is fresh is that O2 is cracking down on the practice in a sign that mobile firms are no longer prepared to turn a blind eye. The iPhone is an iconic product for O2 and it makes sense to start there, but I predict that we will see this spread across the sector. The days when this kind of scam could be ignored are over.’

Pay-as-you-go handsets in the UK are heavily subsidised by networks that aim to recoup the discount from the sale of their top-up vouchers.

The mobile companies lock their phones on to their own networks but so-called box breakers are able to unlock the handsets so they can operate on any network.

The phones are then often sold on to markets in the Middle East and Africa.

via This Is Money

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Posted in: Phones

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