BrightPoint freezes Go Mobile accounts

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Shebang’s Go Mobile franchises claim distributor has cut off credit line, leaving them without access to new stock

Distributor BrightPoint has today (May 30) frozen the accounts of all of Shebang’s Go Mobile franchise stores.

This is according to a number of franchisees who claim their businesses are now being “strangled” by not being able to order new handset stock.

Shebang, which runs the Go Mobile franchises through its Purple Partner programme, had previously arranged a 60-day credit agreement with Brightpoint.

However, its claimed all Go Mobile franchisees are now being asked to pay up front for handset orders, leaving many without the cash to continue operating.

Shebang is understood to have had a similar partnership with 20:20 Mobile cut off around two months ago, leaving BrightPoint as the only handset supplier for the Go Mobile stores.

One franchisee told Mobile News: “It is strangling our business and I am looking at one of the girls working here and thinking about whether it is worth staying open.”

Franchisees were first made aware of the freeze when messages were placed on the the Purple Partnership Facebook page by earlier today.

Sources say those messages were removed within a matter of minutes, but a number of stores have received confirmation from BrightPoint that all Go Mobile accounts have been frozen.

A number said that Shebang’s decision three weeks ago to increase its payment terms for new connections to two months made it especially difficult to meet BrightPoint’s new terms.

Franchisees have also complained that Shebang executives are refusing to return their calls.

Another franchisee said:” We are asking shall we turn the lights off and go home?”

Mobile News is awaiting response from both BrightPoint and Shebang.

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