Phones 4U stores have been faced with stock shortages of 3 contract handsets for one month, staff claimed.
Staff claimed that a handful of stores were receiving minimal replenishment of the INQ1 handset, but in most cases stores have not received 3 stock since the end of June.
Phones 4U staff were also told to stop processing upgrades of 3 contract last week. Any staffer found to be upgrading 3 contracts would face a written warning and no commission for the sale would be paid.
One Phones 4U manager said: “We have been told not to process any upgrades and to shift the focus away from 3.
“It looks like 3 and Phones 4U has had a dispute over the contract renewal.
“Stores have not been informed why or for how long this will continue and have been left in the dark.”
Phones 4U is also continuing to see shortages of T-Mobile contract handsets after it announced last month that staff could only process SIM-only deals.
Another staffer said: “Are the networks losing confidence in Phones 4U? It looks that way at least. It’s been a long time since any stock shortages were occurring and all of a sudden we’ve had restrictions put in place for two major networks.”
A Phones 4U spokesperson said: “As the 3 range in store is quite limited, we have stopped doing upgrades in store but continue to offer upgrades across our direct business.”
A 3 spokesperson said: “We have a great ongoing relationship with Phones 4U and our volumes vary on different categories at different times.
“Our current trading situation reflects our requirements at this moment.”