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Sainsbury’s and Vodafone MVNO to end after strategy fallout

Alex Yau
October 14, 2015

Up to 150,000 customers connected to the Mobile by Sainsbury’s service will be affected by a shut down on January 15 2016. 

The Mobile by Sainsbury’s phone service will no longer be available from January 15 2016 following a disagreement between the supermarket and Vodafone over the future of their joint venture.

Both companies could not reach an agreement on how they were going to take the joint venture forward and up to 150,000 prepay and contract customers connected to Mobile by Sainsbury’s will be affected. These customers will not be moved to a different network once the service has closed.

An official statement on the Mobile by Sainsbury’s website reads: “We’re sorry to let you know that from 15th January 2016, the Mobile by Sainsbury’s phone service will no longer be available.”

A Sainsbury spokesperson added: “Our priority now is to help our customers and make sure they are inconvenienced as little as possible. We will continue to sell mobile phones and accessories in our 38 in-store phone shops and to sell handsets in over 300 of our stores.’

Prepay customers will still be able to top up both online and in-store until November 14, with any remaining credit still usable from January 15 2016. Contract customers will still be able to use the service until the shut down date.

The supermarket is currently contacting Mobile by Sainsbury’s customers via text and email with advice on what to do before the service closes next year.

Sainsbury’s is currently looking at different options to continue the Mobile by Sainsbury’s service, with the possibility of becoming an MVNO with a different network.

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