Chatterbox.com managing director Kevin Patel sent a mass letter to customers last month to update them on the payment of cashbacks, some of which have been outstanding for more than a year.
Patel claimed he took out private loans to pay the cashback and that Chatterbox.com has not put any new connections through since May last year.
Chatterbox.com was operating at a redemption rate of 40 per cent, which he said 3 had supported.
Patel said: “3 encouraged us – in writing – to adopt the 40 per cent redemption rate model, based on what other dealers were working on. We are trying to resolve this, but 3 doesn’t want to play ball.
“We’re staying afloat. We want to pay our debt. It’s easy to go into administration and leave them hanging. We won’t do that.”
3 denies encouraging such a redemption model. A spokesman said: “3 would never advise dealers not to expect customers to redeem an offer. Cashback rates vary across the industry.”