The Phone Co-op
|Headquarters||Chipping Norton, London and Manchester, United Kingdom|
|Shelagh Young, Chair;
Vivian Woodell, Founder and Chief Executive
|Products||Fixed line telephony, broadband, fibre broadband, mobile telephony, telephone systems, Voice over IP (VoIP), leased line, domain names, web hosting, telephone conferencing|
|£554,632 (2013) 2
Number of employees
Footnotes / references
The Phone Co-op, trading as The Co-operative Phone & Broadband, The Co-operative Business Telecoms and The Co-operative Mobile is a consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom, which provides fixed, mobile telephone and internet services, including web hosting and broadband. It can be considered a Telephone Co-operative.
It is 100% owned by its members, who are customers. It has over approximately 20,000 customers, spanning individuals, businesses, charities, local authorities and other co-operatives, including Amnesty International, The Big Issue, Christian Aid, Central England Co-operative Society, the Centre for Alternative Technology, Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society, The Co-operative Group, The Council of the Isles of Scilly, Manchester City Council, The Midcounties Co-operative, Triodos Bank and UNISON.
The Phone Co-op follows the widely recognised Rochdale Principles of co-operation, including the payment of a dividend to its members based on how much they spend with the co-operative during the year. The dividend is paid out of profits generated by the co-operative and for year ending 31 August 2013 was 2.5% of each member's spend. In common with many other co-operatives, The Phone Co-op seeks to operate to high ethical and environmental standards, publishing extensive non-financial data in its annual report.
It operates an affinity marketing scheme, where like minded partners receive a revenue share in return for introducing its supporters to The Phone Co-op's services. Participating organisations include New Internationalist, Positive News, The Soil Association and World Development Movement.
- 1998: founded as SETCO (Social Economy Telecommunications Co-operative), incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. Initially, membership of the co-operative was reserved exclusively for other co-ops and charities.
- 1999: rule change opened membership to the general public in August. SETCO renamed itself The Phone Co-op and converted into a co-operative society incorporated under the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts.
- 2008: receives the UK Government-sponsored Enterprising Solutions Award for Best Social Enterprise 2008.
- 2010: acquired the telecoms business of Saga Group, including approximately 8,000 residential customers.
- 2012: awarded the Green Award of trade body, The Federation of Communications Services, for the fourth year running.
- 2012: concluded a brand licensing agreement with Co-operative Brands Limited to use The Co-operative brand with three specific sub brands, The Co-operative Phone & Broadband, The Co-operative Business Telecoms, and The Co-operative Mobile.
- 2013: Finalist in Overall Social Enterprise of the Year category at the 15th Social Enterprise Awards.
- 2013: Partners with the UK charity Community Network to take over its teleconferencing platform, allowing the charity to focus on serving its clients.
- 2014: launched a Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM card in conjunction with The Co-operative Group, to compliment the existing postpaid mobile service. Available in approximately 3,800 branches of The Co-operative Food.
- "Dividend has been applied". The Phone Co-op. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Partners". Positive News. Positive News Trust. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Business Club case study: The Phone Co-Op - A telecoms company with an ethical ring". The Daily Telegraph. 3 Sep 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- Bibby, Andrew (15 July 2008). "Victorian model’s modern take". The Financial Times. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- "Social Enterprise Awards". Positive News. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "The FCS Awards 2012". Federation of Communication Services. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Dave, Bowman (4 September 2012). "Phone Co-op joins The Co-operative national brand". Co-operative News. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- Bibby, Andrew (24 Sep 2012). "The Co-operative gets good with phones". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- "Social Enterprise Awards 2013". Social Enterprise UK. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Living Wage employers". Living Wage Foundation. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- Rebecca, Horsley. "The Phone Co-op partners with Community Network". Charity Digital News. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- Beth, Brooks. "Co-op Group launches pay-as-you-go mobile SIM". The Grocer. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- Luke, Westaway (7 April 2014). "Co-op pay as you go SIM out this month". CNET. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "Phone Co-op acquires Namesco broadband services". Telecompaper.com (Telecom.paper BV). 5 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Millett, Carol. "The Phone Co-op clinches deal on ethical smartphones". Mobile [magazine]. Noble House Media Ltd. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "The Phone Co-op offers UK's first ethical smartphone". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). 15 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Ravenscroft, Fiona. "Fairphone: a review". The Phone Co-op blog. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Griffiths, Sarah. "Would you buy this ethical smartphone? £250 Fairphone 'is made from conflict-free minerals by happy workers". Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Sparkes, Matthew (27 November 2014). "The 'ethical smartphone' that appeals to your conscience". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- Voinea, Anca (9 Dec 2014). "The Phone Co-op invests in public transport social enterprise". Co-operative News (Co-operative Press). Retrieved 12 December 2014.