MSE News

TPO Mobile goes into administration – what you need to know

Small network The People's Operator (also known as TPO Mobile) has entered administration – if you're a customer, you won't be able to send texts, make calls or use data after Tuesday 26 February.

All TPO Mobile customers should receive an email or a letter containing a porting authorisation code (PAC), which will allow you to switch provider and keep your phone number, by the end of today. 

If you're a TPO Mobile customer, see below on how to find the best alternative deal for you. 

I'm a TPO Mobile customer – will I get a refund?

After Tuesday 26 February, your mobile service will end and you will no longer be able to make calls, send texts or use your data. 

  • If you're on a 30-day Sim only plan. If you have a contract running until after 26 February it will only continue until then.

    We've asked TPO Mobile if you'll get a refund for days you won't be able to use and will update this story when we hear back. We've also contacted its customer service staff directly, and they've told us you should request your money back on live chat – but there are no guarantees this will work as once a firm has entered administration, it's difficult to get cash back.

    If your Sim only deal is scheduled to renew automatically before 26 February, you won't be charged, but you'll be able to keep using your mobile until then.

  • If you're a pay-as-you-go customer. We've asked TPO Mobile if you can request for your credit to be refunded and will update when we hear back.

    In the meantime you could try to ask for your money back on live chat, but again there are no guarantees this will work. 

How to switch to the best deal

A recent poll showed two-thirds of mobile phone customers use less than 3GB of data a month, and so shouldn't be paying more than £10 a month for a Sim only deal. 

If you're a TPO customer here's what to do next: 

  1. Get your PAC. TPO Mobile says it will have written to you with your PAC by the end of today. Once you've found a deal, you can take this code to another mobile provider and keep your current number. 

  2. Benchmark your best deal. See our Best Pay-as-you-go Sim Deals guide for help on finding the best offer for you. You may also want to check rolling Sim only deals, which tend to offer cheaper prices. 

    Alternatively, TPO Mobile will have also sent you a Smarty Sim in the post, offering your first month for free. Although Smarty deals are usually good value – its 1GB, unlimited minutes and texts for £6.25/month deal is one of our top picks – there may be better options out there, so don't assume its tariffs are the cheapest for you.

  3. Give your PAC to your new provider. You may be able to do this online, or by calling. See each company's process in our Sim only guide. 

What does TPO Mobile say?

It posted an administration notice on its website last week, outlining what will happen next. 

Benjamin Wiles, of administrator Duff & Phelps, said that it's been working with TPO Mobile "to identify potentially interested parties with a view to protecting the position of creditors".

He added that intense price competition and high levels of customer switching, among other factors, had caused a "funding crisis" that led to the administration.

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