The Link has an enormous range of products. In addition to mobile phones, there are also accessories, faxes, handheld computers, mobile phones, pre-pay vouchers, telephones and two-way radios. Pay as you go contracts and monthly contracts are on offer with tariffs from Orange, 3, Vodafone, T Mobile, Virgin Mobile, O2 and Vodafone. The website also features an advanced search tool, mobile buyers guide and access to special deals. If you're looking for a specific phone, but you can't find it with the tariff or free gift you want, you can call The Link and their sales team will try to create a custom deal just for you.
Originally owned by Dixons, The Link was sold to O2 for £30m in June 2006. Dixons Group DSG International, which also owns Currys and PC World, found that it could no longer compete with stores such as Carphone Warehouse or the mobile phone operators' own chains. O2, in its earlier incarnation as Cellnet (then co-owned by BT and Securicor) paid £57m for a 40% stake of The Link in 1997, when the business only had about 100 stores. Dixons' Sir Stanley Kalms opened The Link's first shop in 1994 but competition forced The Link into the red as sales collapsed by almost £100m in 2005, although sales had been growing at 8% until late 2004. The poor performance of The Link dragged down Dixon's group profits, offsetting demands for new technology. A number of outlets were subsequently rebranded as O2 stores.
The Links mobiles website at www.thelink.co.uk (www.link.co.uk and www.link.com are completely different companies but www.thelink.com is fine) offers a broad range of handsets and tariffs. The link mobiles has a number of experts contributing articles on a wide variety of news, reviews and guides for mobile phones. You can read top tips for networking on your mobile, or look up the answer to more basic questions such as how to find your IMEI number. Detailed and up to date reviews also appear for Thelink's mobiles, along with a rating to help you to compare the different models. If you want a monthy contract, deals include a wide range of free gifts and money back redemption schemes. Handsets are available from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and other popular brands. Almost 400 combinations of tariff and handset are available from The Links mobile phones on monthly contract. It's possible to search by manufacturer, network, handset price or mobile feature, with phones being free in many cases. Detailed specifications of all the phones available appear on The Links mobile phone website.
Approximately 45 phones are available on a PAYG basis, starting from very low prices. The Link mobile phones also includes a number of SIM free handsets, with most of the popular brands featured. A selection of clearance deals is featured separately, offering lower prices, free gifts and less recent handsets. Thelink mobile phones also offers a wide range of mobile accessories. If you're simply buying a new handset, you can use The Link mobile phone Trade In Form, which gives you cash towards its cost.
However, The Link supplies more than simply contracts and phones. A cheap mobile broadband adapter can be plugged it into your PC or Mac and you'll be online in seconds. Although the technology works the same as a mobile phone, the adapter just shovels data between your computer and the Internet using the mobile network to keep you connected. Broadband services are available from only £10 a month with a 1g limit. You can even get mobile broadband with pay as you go. You can also buy an insurance scheme for your mobile online covering loss, theft and accidental damage from Thelink mobile phone website.
A variety of software is available when you buy Thelink's mobile phone. Pocket PC applications include anti virus software and a finance manager. Games can also be purchased online, and if you want to treat someone else, you can buy them a content voucher towards the cost of any software they might want to buy from Thelink mobiles. Other hi-tech products available in addition to Thelink's mobile phones include televisions sets and laptops. A wide range of Sat Nav systems is available and you can also buy from a limited selection of toys and games.
Product availability is clearly shown on The Link's website at www.thelink.com (avoid typical errors such as www.the-link.com and www.the-link.co.uk as they go elsewhere). In the rare cases that a product becomes out of stock while you are completing your transaction, you will be notified at the checkout screen or contacted by telephone or email. Orders can be taken over the phone rather than made online and you can return any product that doesn't meet with your satisfaction so long as you do it within 7 days of delivery. Orders before 3 pm are delivered the following working day although network checks mean that monthly contract phones may not be delivered for 48 hours. Standard delivery is free on all orders.
The Link offer a free recycling service for all electrical goods via branches of Currys and PC World. You don't need to have bought anything to use this service of course.
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