Dial-a-Phone are a UK mobile phone retailer and work in direct response marketing, placing daily advertisements in national newspapers, magazines, TV and on the Internet. Founded in 1995 by Richard Frank and Jonathan Beck, Dial-A-Phone made most of its money from its insurance schemes after partnering with insurance firm Allianz, which has more than 300,000 customers. Dial-A-Phone was seen as a threat by Carphone Warehouse when its share in the contract market was up to 26% at peaks in 2004 and 2005. In 2004, Dial-A-Phone picked up over 40,000 contracts per month, which dropped to less than 10,000 after a targeted assault from Carphone Warehouse. There were rumours that Carphone Warehouse was interested in buying Dial-A-Phone but were put off by price valuations around £60m.
In February 2008 Phones 4U agreed a £9million deal to purchase Dial a Phone resulting in its market share in the direct market doubling. The two companies are run separately and Dial a phone is targeted at the value end of the market. T-Mobile and O2 are Dial-A-Phone's most important network partners and have been picking up between 3,000 and 4,000 contracts per month through DialaPhone recently. Phones 4u plan to use Dial-A-Phone to push its key suppliers, Vodafone and Orange. As well as its website, Dail a Phone runs a phone-line ordering service from London and Northampton. Its 300 staff sold over 120,000 contracts in 2007. This is only a small number compared to those that Phones 4u sells through its 440 shops and online sales operation.
A wide range of contracts and pay as you go deals are available from Dial a Phone's website at www.dialaphone.co.uk (www.dialaphone.com just redirects there). Contract deals include 3 months free insurance and free next day delivery. Orders can be tracked online. When you buy a new handset, you can cash in your old phone through Dial-a-phone's recycling scheme. An online search will tell you what your phone is worth (if anything!) and you can send it by Freepost, after which you will receive payment. Dial-a-Phones contracts are through O2, Vodafone, T mobile 3 and Orange. Many of the deals come with free gifts including a Nintendo Wii, Ipod, PSP, Xbox or HD LCD TV. Free gifts are delivered within 28 days of order. Cashback details are also available on a number of packages, all of which are outlined in a single, easy to compare table on the website. These deals involve paying your bill each month and then claiming back money at regular intervals through DialaPhone's redemption scheme.
They offer a wide range of handsets including models from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. All of the phone's features are listed and if you have a particular model in mind, you can search by model and the website will give the details of all of the different contracts that are available with that particular phone through Dial a Fone. Detailed reviews of each handset include several photographs so that you can see the phone at all angles and customer reviews. There is a facility to add your own review if you wish to do so. Alternatively, you can search for the deal you want by network and all the possible phones and packages will be listed for you so that you can see which best suits your needs. Accessories, consoles and TVs are also for sale on the website and a limited amount of SIM cards can be bought separately.
As DialaPhones marketing department takes out a lot of newspaper advertisements, all of these offers are featured separately on the website to make it easy for you if you have been attracted by an offer you have seen in the press. If you have a real interest in the mobile world, Dial a Fones onsite blog may provide the sort of information you enjoy. It's filled with news, reviews and comments about issues that are of interest to mobile phone users - not simply updates about products. For example, recently there was a discussion about cell fone laws around the world. All of the posts are archived so you can browse past content. The dial for a phone company has a team of experts who post articles and you can add your own comments and questions which will receive a response. If you have a problem with your Dial a Phone mobile you can refer to the comprehensive help section onsite. Should that not answer all of your questions, you can call DailaPhone customer services. There are dedicated lines to deal with contract customers and pay as you go customers. Those customers who want to ensure that they keep up with the most up to date news can register on the website to receive Dial a phone's newsletter.
On the subject of websites, as with all mobile phone retailers, there are many variations that are commonly used with everything from dial-a-fones to dial-4-phone being tried, let alone the regular spelling mistakes like diala phone and dial aphone by those of you in a rush ... or maybe just using less than premium wireless keyboards like me! It certainly doesn't help with many mobile retailers choosing to use substitutes such as 4 for "for" and fone for "phone". On the dial-a-fone front they do own www.dialafone.co.uk which redirects to the main site but not www.dialafone.com so we can write that line off as we couldn't get either of the dialafones versions to even show. Many have confused this firm with Dial a Mobile which went out of business last year leaving tens of thousands of people in the lurch. Their website was at www.dialamobile.co.uk with neither www.dial-a-mobile.co.uk or www.dialamobile.com displaying any information relating to DialaPhone's offerings and Dial-a-Mobiles own site just displaying information about their collapse. So, do Dail-a-Phone own their own variants? Well, no. With such a generic branding it would probably have been advisable to get a hold of web addresses like www.dial-a-phone.com, www.dialaphones.co.uk or www.dialaphones.com but none of them are owned by them except for www.dial-a-phone.co.uk which redirects to the main site. This means that unless you have a good memory you could end up in the wrong place. Searching using these types of terms won't always result in guaranteed navigational success either. Best to bookmark the right site if you plan on coming back and, as with all mobile retailers, bookmark the exact product pages that you like for quick reference as it is really hard to remember, not only the tariffs, but all the details about each phone too.
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