Staff sacked as O2 cracks down on box breaking


O2 has sacked six staff and is investigating a further 20 for selling handsets to box breakers.

The network retailer looks to be winning the war against box breaking, as store staff have
stepped back from the practice after being issued with internal memos warning they face
the sack if found to be breaking company rules.

“The message is very clear. It has got people worried,” said one O2 staffer. “This is the first time O2 has made such threats on the issue and, like many other stores and staff, I have completely stopped selling to box breakers.”

Six staff have been sacked from O2 stores in London in the
past fortnight. Twenty more are currently suspended, or being disciplined for breaking rules.

O2 has also started to track staff discounts after salespeople were found redeeming them
against the discounted 8GB iPhone, which dropped in price by £100 last month, and selling
units on to box breakers and auction site eBay.

“Staff didn’t think they’d get caught, but they have been,” said a London-based O2 salesman.

“Anyone who has done it should be worried. The warning is there, and they are looking to fire anyone who goes against it.”

The warnings have seen a reduction in the number of prepay box sales across stores in the London area.

“Sales have been reduced by well over 50 per cent, but I would rather lose a part of my bonus than my job,” said a staffer.

“As far as I can see, O2 has completely eradicated box breaking. The warning was so serious we aren’t risking it anymore.”

An O2 spokesperson said: “All incidents where an O2 member of staff is reported to have been involved in fraud are thoroughly investigated and dealt with under O2’s conduct policy.”