O2 Fires Staff for Selling Apple IPhones on EBay
Published on: 2nd Jun 2008
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
UK operator O2 has reportedly sacked at least six staff who used their staff discount to buy Apple iPhones then later sold them on the eBay auction website for a significant profit. It's understood that the employees all based in retail stores in London brought noticeable quantities of the handsets with a 20% staff discount which triggered the investigation by O2 head office. A further twenty employees are being investigated.
"It is actually nothing new that staff in mobile phone shops have supplemented income with this abusive perk," an industry source told the Mail on Sunday newspaper, adding that "the iPhone is an iconic product for O2 and it makes sense to start there, but I predict that we will see this spread across the sector. The days when this kind of scam could be ignored are over."
O2 took on an additional 1,400 new workers to cope with demand for the iPhone when it was launched last year.
O2 confirmed that the dismissals to the UK trade magazine, Mobile and pledged to continue to take action against any further abusers of the staff privilege.
Many UK retailers have had limits imposed on them by the network operators on how many handsets an individual customer can purchase at one transaction to try and prevent subsidised PrePay phones being sold off overseas before they have generated the revenues to fund the subsidy.