Ordering a Samsung Galaxy S4 from CarphoneWarehouse

I don’t normally use English here, but I’ll do it this time – obviously for Google-related purposes.

Three days ago, my wife ordered a Samsung Galaxy S4 from Carphonewarehouse. You can see the offer here (adding a screenshot below just in case the page suddenly disappears)


One day later, she received an email stating that she failed her credit check, so her order couldn’t be processed. It was a bit surprising, seeing how she doesn’t owe money to anyone at all. She never applied for credit, she never had unpaid bills. I figured she may be a bit too young (22) and since she only opened a bank account last year, she may not be “trustworthy” from a company’s point of view. After all, a company can’t expect much from young customers – especially when you’re talking about credit / responsibility. There was no follow-up call, no email address to reply to or any way of contacting the company.

I figured I could help her. After all, my bank account is three years old, haven’t been in debt, never applied for credit or a mortgage or whatever either. There have been times when my balance was getting close to 0 – mostly due to using another debit card issued by another bank – but no major events. I’ve been here for a while and my bank account looks decent, so I ordered the phone for her. This is where it gets funny.


Apparently, my credit rating is just as bad as hers. Amazing, right? But then again, I figured this may have something to do with me not owning a credit card. Ever. Every time I’ve been asked whether I wanted a credit card, I simply said “no, thank you”. There are a few logical reasons for that, but I’m not going to get into that debate. Bottom line: I wasn’t interested in spending money that didn’t belong to me, especially since I generally manage to save around 1000-1200 pcm.

This is where it gets funny. Ten minutes ago I received a phone call from CPW. Obviously it was about my order. Yeah, so we’d just like to know if you’re still interested in that phone. Erm…yeah, but you just said you couldn’t process my order. Errmm…uhhhmmmm…we were just wondering if you’d be interested in getting it on another network?

Hoooold on. So let me get this straight: my credit rating won’t allow me to buy this phone on t-mobile, but it will allow me to buy it on another network? What exactly is going on here? I went from “couldn’t care less” to “wait, what?” in less than 5 seconds. I went to T-Mobile and checked their prices. Here they are:

t mobile prices

The same plan, the exact same phone (no case included), the exact same monthly fee, but you get to pay 269 pounds instead of 99 (as advertised by CPW). Now here’s a question: how exactly would CPW be able to sell the same phone on the same network with the same plan…but 170 pounds cheaper than T-Mobile?

A mean person would say they never intended to offer the phone and never had that plan. The same kind of person would say they were just trying to trick people into ordering, only to call them back and offer them a “slightly” more expensive “deal”. That person would claim it was BS all along, just another marketing trick. Get people to order an expensive phone for an “amazing” price, then claim their credit rating wouldn’t allow them to get that phone on that network. However, the same credit rating would allow potential customers to get the same phone on another network – where it’s more expensive.

But hey, I’m not a mean person and I don’t really need a phone. As for my wife, she’s ordering the HTC One right now – from a different supplier, obviously. Like I said, I’m not a mean person. My wife, on the other hand…

P.S IF you feel like posting a comment, please use English. Thank you.

Daca ai chef sa-mi dai o cafea, o poti face aici

22 Responses to “Ordering a Samsung Galaxy S4 from CarphoneWarehouse”

  1. Cosmin says:

    HTC One is better anyway 🙂 CPW, P4U and other suppliers are just dust in the eyes tbh. My contempt for them translated into buying the damn phone off Amazon if I want it SIM unlocked, because Amazon will send you a new phone if it breaks down even before you send them the broken one back.

    Orange, Three, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, you name it, they all call with “offers” with out of date phones for “just” “3 quid/month”. When I’ve asked them about “lol ok, I want an HTC One because I already have a Nexus 4 and your offer sucks balls”, they immediately backed off and made me an offer “25 pounds cheaper” than in shops, but those 25 pounds would be refunded to me when I would pay my first bill.

    So thanks but no thanks to all providers/suppliers. I prefer Amazon or Google Play.

  2. i confirm the supposition says:

    i`m in a telemarketing department and we do this kind of shit on a daily basis

  3. Celest says:

    thieves here, thieves here, thieves everywhere 🙂

  4. NeamDeFututiInCur says:


    Eastern Promises (2007)
    “You know, it never snows in this city.
    It’s never hot.
    London is a city of whores and queers.
    I think London is to blame”

    In God we trust, all others pay cash 😉

    In 2004-2005 I had a lot of problems with my Nokia phone (new phone bought from the store) and I had to visit service 4-5 times, each time about 2 weeks, loosing value almost 30% before I finally enjoyed the phone. So…since then I never buy a new phone from the store. God bless world crysis and idiots paying 50% more value for a crappy product, that I can buy second hand “BNIB”or “just like new” for half a price and no special 2 year deals with retards mobile phone operators.

    Needless to say no problem occured so far as I test everything I buy. For me stores are real extortioners lol. I don’t feel the need to pay them the extra money they put on products. Pre Pay in Romania is faaaaaaaarrrrrrrr waaaaaayyyyyy bettttteeer and cheaper that any monthly plan.

    And if you don’t like the operator just drop the SIM to the toilet and flush the water. Treat them with love 🙂

  5. Dil Dobrica says:

    Houston, THEY got a problem! What we´ve got here is a failure of communication! In Spain the offers suck as much as there…

  6. alupigus says:

    so how the fuck are they supposed to say muie steaua?

  7. jack says:

    Classic bait & switch.

  8. Robert says:

    CarphoneWarehouse = spam ? I can’t belive that CarphoneWarehouse is spamming people over the internet. CarphoneWarehouse is not a piece of shit, it is a great company.

  9. Velu says:

    Oldest trick in the book?

    Not quite tricky. Not quite old. Shame, shame.

    P.S. Ondilol, sho pe ei, ‘mnezău mamii lor!

  10. Ionut says:

    HTC One is quite possibly the best android phone on the market today.

  11. V says:

    Who was phone.

  12. animal00 says:

    Romania…oh wait.

  13. Ronnie says:

    I’m thinking you have an auslander risk. If you purchase the phone with 99, there might be a posibility to leave the country after 2-3 months and not making another payments. The risk is smaller for the company if you accept the offer with 269 in advance and make 2-3-4 monthly payments becouse the phone price is almost covered. Maybe, after 5 years of UK, you will be able to buy a phone with 99 in advance 🙂

  14. Zalmoxe says:

    Yep, classic bait&switch. Report to The Offices of Trading Standards and
    The Offices of Fair Trading.

  15. Me Jane says:

    @ Robert :))))))))))))))))))))

  16. Sabotor says:

    Yeah, because it makes perfect sense to leave a several thousand pounds / month job for a 500 euro phone.

  17. Ronnie says:

    @Sabotor: I know you’re right but I don’t know what’s in that company head. I was working in customer suport for Tre Italy (Three in UK) here in Ro and I know that albanians, romanians, moroccans people etc where often refused for new monthly contracts simply with expensive phones becouse they where auslanders (=not born in Italy).

  18. Ronnie says:

    *were 🙂

  19. deathy says:

    Ronnie does have a point there. Credit offering companies (banks included) will generally disconsider any type of requests for people that don’t have at least 4-5 years of checkable financial history and as stupid as it may sound, if you had a credit card/mortgagte/loan (and would have been up to date with repayments) you would have gotten the credit (under the idea: he has the reasons not to run and he has the means of paying us). It took me 4 years of decent financial history to be granted a lousy credit card (and i only took it for the above mentioned reason – and that was still through the damned celtic boom and all that shit) so i would definitely imagine that at the moment, with all the fear of recessions, such companies are rather scared of offering any such deals to “newcommers”. On the other hand, the way they handled this whole situation is despicable. On the other hand, wouldn’t it have been cheaper for you guys to deal with the carrier directly ? (rather than the likes of CPW)?

  20. jack says:

    I don’t think you guys are considering why this is a bait and swich and not just an “auslander” or otherwise other type of credit risk.
    Phones are sold at a discount when _the service provider_ is sure that the cost of the phone can be recovered through the service bill. So far so good,everybody knows this.

    The important detail here is that T-mobile is the provider. They are the people that have the means to recover the cash. CarphoneWhor^h^h^harehouse are third party retailers in this case. Since the provider can recover the cost it stands to reason that the provider is the one taking the risk in the first place by discounting the price of the phone.
    Now, give that T-mobile does not market the £99 price on their own website and instead want about three times as much, why would they offer the phone for less than £99 to a third-party retailer ? Why would they loose more money to give someone that’s possibly a competitor (if cpw deals with other providers as well) a better deal then they could directly offer to customers ?

    Having considered who the players are and where the risk stands it stands to reason that CPW did not receive a better deal from T-mobile than T-mobile were willing to put on their own web-site and instead made up the offer as bait.
    An no , it makes no sense for CPW to cover the difference in the cost when T-mobile are the ones recovering the money.

    I could be wrong, given how domain registrars would sometimes have better offers than the tld holder because they get a bulk discount but give there’s ~200 pounds worth of difference and that CPW also deal with other providers …. does not seem likely.

  21. Zalmoxe says:

    I fail to see a note, a warning, anything to that effect, saying “the carrier is free to reject your application for whatever reasons”. And please don’t tell me it’s somehow implied.

    Quote off the dealer’s website:

    ” Do I need to be from the UK to sign up to a monthly contract?

    You don’t need to be a British citizen, but you do need to have lived in the UK for at least three years. ”

    That’s the closest I could find to something that would bar Manowar from getting their contract. It’s however different from “You failed a credit check”. Go ahead and find the actual terms and conditions which explicitly state what criteria you must meet to pass/fail their credit check. Until that, it’s a bait & switch imho.

  22. Manowar says:

    It’s however different from “You failed a credit check”.

    “You failed a credit check for 27 pcm, but we’re going to call you to offer the same phone on a different (more expensive) network”

    They don’t “trust” me to pay 27 pounds, but they’ll “trust” me to pay 41. If you really think this had anything to do with terms&conditions or credit checks, I should probably introduce you to my friend. He’s a nigerian prince and needs a small favour…

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