South Hadley-based Family Wireless, citing conflicts with carrier Verizon Wireless, its exclusive provider, has closed its doors. According to reports published today, August 26, Verizon has not provided Family Wireless with enough device or service options to sell to its customers, necessitating the closure.
The Family Wireless website or Facebook page makes no mention of the retail locations being shuttered. However, according to ABC40, the six locations of the Family Wireless stores posted signs on the locked doors detailing the closing. Family Wireless, owned by Todd Demers, had been in operation for 18 years, with stores in South Hadley, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Lee, Southwick and Westfield. In the past few months, Verizon had opened its own retail store about half a mile from the Westfield Family Wireless location.
"We cannot survive with the dismal options that Verizon Wireless has left us with," the sign on the door of Family Wireless locations read. "After 18 years of service with Verizon Wireless, they have decided not to renew our contract," an outgoing voicemail recording at Family Wireless said.
Update as of 7:36 p.m. EDT. Michael Murphy, spokesperson for Verizon Wireless, has responded with the following statement via email:
On Monday, August 26th [sic] we received word that Family Wireless decided to discontinue selling Verizon Wireless service as an authorized agent at six of their locations in Western Massachusetts.
As an independent authorized agent, Family Wireless is responsible for making its own business and operating decisions and [sic] Family Wireless made today’s decision to close its business without Verizon Wireless’ [sic] knowledge. Verizon Wireless did not ask nor did it request Family Wireless to cease operating as a Verizon Wireless authorized agent today. In fact, Verizon Wireless maintains a current contract with Family Wireless, and has been actively engaged in discussions regarding a new contract.