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Tech support costs Carphone dear

£15m budget blowout

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Carphone Warehouse (CPW) revealed it expects to spend between £10m and £15m more than expected on supporting broadband customers when it released Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to the London Stock Exchange today.

It showed an eight per cent increase in total connections to 2.41 million. The company has 2.27 million broadband subscribers with 702,000 on unbundled lines.

Carphone said earlier delays in migrating people onto broadband meant it was still slightly behind its original plans.

The statement said: "Customer service costs in TalkTalk Free Broadband business will continue to run ahead of the original business plan for much of the coming year. As a result we expect additional customer service costs of £10m to £15m in the coming year."

Carphone's joint venture with Best Buy to sell mobiles in the US, as well as setting up the Geek Squad for technical support in the UK will cost another £10m to £15m.

CPW said it is in the final stages of negotiations with Best Buy and will issue an update shortly.

Its shares were down very slightly on the news.

The full trading update and outlook will be released 24 April. ®

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