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Membership FAQs

Have The Phone Co-op and The Midcounties Co-operative merged?

Yes. Members of The Phone Co-op have agreed a transfer of engagements to Midcounties. Phone Co-op Members joined Midcounties membership on 1 June 2018. The Phone Co-op and The Midcounties Co-operative have a lot in common. Both are co-operatives. Both are 100% owned by their members. And both are ethical, values led businesses.  

I am a Phone Co-op member, but not a Midcounties member.  Do I need to do anything?

If you were a member of The Phone Co-op prior to the merger on the 1 June 2018, but not a Midcounties member, a Midcounties membership has been automatically set up for you. You do not need to do anything and your new welcome pack, including your membership card will arrive with you before the 15 June 2018.

Your new Midcounties membership number has been added to your Phone Co-op account allowing you to earn 12 membership points per £1 spend on Phone Co-op products and services towards the annual Share of the Profits payment made to Midcounties members. This is equivalent to 5% of your spend with The Phone Co-op.

With your new Midcounties membership, you can also earn Share of the Profits on your purchases from other Midcounties trading groups. Click https://www.midcounties.coop/our-brands/ to view these.

I am a Phone Co-op member and a Midcounties Co-operative member, what will happen to my two memberships?

If you were already a member of The Phone Co-op prior to the merger on the 1 June 2018, and a member of Midcounties, we have added your Midcounties member number to your Phone Co-op account allowing you to earn 12 membership points per £1 spend on Phone Co-op products and services towards the annual Share of the Profits payment made to Midcounties members. This is equivalent to 5% of your spend with The Phone Co-op.

Your Phone Co-op Membership number will continue to exist until we pay your Phone Co-op Share of Profits earned up to 31st May and transfer of any Phone Co-op share investments to Midcounties is complete. We expect this to be complete by the end of August at which point your Phone Co-op membership number will no longer be used for any purpose. 

Your points earned from transactions with The Phone Co-op from 1st June will be added to points earned from trade with other trading groups. As a Midcounties member you will already be aware that our year runs from end of January to end of January, Share of profits value per point is agreed at the May AGM and paid in the following November.  

I am a Midcounties Co-operative member, but not a Phone Co-op member.  Do I need to join as a Phone Co-op member to use their services?

No, you can no longer join the Phone Co-op as a member, only a customer. As a member of Midcounties you will have access to Midcounties member offers.

When you become a Phone Co-op customer, you will be asked for your Midcounties member number and Share of the Profit points will automatically be added based on your spend with The Phone Co-op. You will earn 12 membership points per £1 spend on Phone Co-op products and services towards the annual Share of the Profits payment made to Midcounties members.

I have just received a new membership card for The Midcounties Co-operative, where can I use this card?

Your Midcounties membership card can be used in any Midcounties branches, and in the stores of affiliated societies such as Central England, Southern Co-op, or Chelmsford Star.

To find your nearest Midcounties branch click here 

I have received my Midcounties membership card but my local Co-op said I need a Blue card

Midcounties membership cards are white and yellow with honeycomb design.

If your local store has advised you that you need a “blue card” it is likely that the branch you are using is not a Midcounties operated site, and is more than likely owned and operated by the national Co-operative Group. Your Midcounties membership card will not accrue points in stores operated by the Co-op Group.

How do I register to view my Midcounties membership online? 

To view your Midcounties membership points, please follow the below process to activate your online account:

  • Visit https://www.midcounties.coop/
  • On the main Midcounties home page, there is a navy blue box about half way down titled; “Join Today” – please click the blue “Log In” button on this section. 
  • On the new page you are taken to, enter your membership card number or email address, and you can then proceed to enter your name, post code and email address. 
  • You should receive an email within a few minutes, which will contain a link that expires after 20 minutes (if you miss the time, you will have to do the above again). 
  • If you click this link, you will be able to set up a password and security questions for when you want to check your points status online.

I am a Phone Co-op member, how do I update my personal details on my membership? 

All Phone Co-op members now have a Midcounties membership number and it is really important that your membership record is kept up to date so that we can communicate with you in the way you would like us to, and to help you get the most out of your membership.

If you were a member of The Phone Co-op prior to the merger on the 1 June 2018, but not a Midcounties member, a Midcounties membership will automatically be set up for you. You do not need to do anything and your new welcome pack, including your membership card will arrive with you before the 15 June 2018.

Using this Midcounties member number there are a few ways that you can update your details. 

  1. You can do this via the online member portal
  2. You can do this via the Member App
  3. You can contact the Midcounties Membership team, by phone on 0800 435 902, or by email at member.communications@midcounties.coop

I am a Phone Co-op member and have a share account investment, do I need to do anything?

Most importantly, your investment will be safe with Midcounties, who are the UK’s leading independent co-operative. The Midcounties Co-operative operates a range of business in Food, Travel, Healthcare, Funeral, Childcare, Energy, Post Offices and Flexible Benefits. Members have already invested £54m in the Society. The annual report gives further details and can be viewed on line here.

Over the next few months we will be transferring your investment to Midcounties and all terms and conditions will remain the same.

I am a Phone Co-op member and have a share account investment, how do I make further investments or make a withdrawal after the merger?

Any Phone Co-op members who joined before 1 June 2018 and wish to be sent a statement can call The Phone Co-op membership team on 01608 434006 or email members@thephone.coop.  

You will need a Share Account Passbook If you wish to make further investments and withdrawals. Please call 0800 435902 and press option 3 to speak to the Share and Bonds Team to request this.

Investments in the form of cheques should be made out to The Midcounties Co-operative and sent, together with your Passbook to The Membership Team, The Midcounties Co-operative, Co-operative House, Warwick Technology Park, Warwick, CV34 6DA.  If you wish to make a bank transfer, please call The Midcounties Co-operative Membership team on 0800 435902 for further details.

If you wish to make a withdrawal then please write in to The Membership Team, 5 Millhouse, Elmsfield Business Centre, Worcester Road, Chipping Norton, OX7 5XL as we require your signature as verification of your identity.  Please let us know if you would like a cheque, or provide your bank details if you would prefer a transfer.

I have investments with both Phone Co-op and Midcounties. Is there any action I should take?

As a member of The Phone Co-op you have the ability to invest up to £100,000 and as a member of Midcounties you also have the ability to invest up to £100,000. As The Phone Co-op is now part of Midcounties, your total investment must not exceed £100,000.

If your investments with Midcounties and The Phone Co-op do total more than £100,000, you do not need to do anything at this point and we will contact you directly over the next two weeks.

I am a Phone Co-op member.  Will my annual dividends be affected by the merger?

By August 2018 you will receive notification of your payment from The Phone Co-op which covers purchases made from August 2017 to May 2018. This will be credited to your share account in line with the Phone Co-ops terms and Conditions.  

While the method of calculation of your Share of the Profit associated with your spend on Phone Co-op goods and services from 1st June 2018, will change, we have committed to honouring the 5% dividend post transfer for the period 1st June 2018 through to 28th July 2019. This equates to 12 points for every £1 spend.

The method of payment will differ depending on dates and your membership.

  1. Phone Co-op members who were NOT Midcounties members prior to 1st June – we will default your payment method to ‘add to my share account’ which reflect the Phone Co-op method to date.
  2. Those who were both Phone Co-op and Midcounties members prior to 1st June. We will use the payment method already assigned to your Midcounties membership. In general terms this is ‘voucher’ which can be used in any Midcounties branch. If you would like to change this, you can do so by logging on to the Midcounties online member portal (https://accounts.midcounties.coop/account/login) or calling our Membership team.
  3. Phone Co-op customers who joined Midcounties after 1st June – the default payment method is ‘voucher’ but If you would like to change this , you can do so by logging on to the Midcounties online member portal

Share of the Profits payment in November 2019 will reflect your spend with both The Phone Co-op and all other Midcounties trading groups.

I am a Phone Co-op member and when is the first Share of the Profits payment due? 

In June 2018 you will have received dividend from The Phone Co-op for purchases made from August 2017 to April 2018. A second payment will be made for the month of May. These will be credited to your share account in line with the Phone Co-op terms and Conditions.  

While the method of calculation of your Share of the Profit associated with your spend on Phone Co-op goods and services from 1st June 2018, will change, we have committed to honouring the 5% dividend post transfer for the period 1st June 2018 through to 28th July 2019. This equates to 12 points for every £1 spend.

Your purchases between June 2018 and January 2019 will be converted to Midcounties points at the agreed 12 points for every £1 rate and paid to you in November 2019 as a part payment of your Share of the Profits payment, in the payment method chosen by you. Thereafter you will receive payment for purchases from end of January 2019 to end of January 2020 in November 2020. 

This Share of Profits payment will reflect your spend with both The Phone Co-op and all other Midcounties trading groups.

Interest Payments

From 1 June 2018, members receive interest of 2% on share capital over £200 and a rate of 1% on share capital of between £10 - £200.  This is paid without deduction of tax.  The Personal Savings Allowance was introduced on 6 April 2016, which means if you are a basis rate taxpayer you are able to earn up to £1,000 in savings income tax-free.  Higher rate taxpayers will be able to earn up to £500.   

How do I invest further?

The minimum investment is just £1, although we do like to encourage members to consider investing more than that. Under current legislation, the maximum amount anyone can invest is £100,000.

Investments of share capital can be made in the following ways:

By bank transfer: You can make a transfer from your bank to ours.  Please call the Share and Bonds team on 0800 435902 (then Option 3) for further details.

By post: Simply send your payment and a covering letter quoting your membership number to:

Share and Bonds Team
The Midcounties Co-operative
Co-operative House
Warwick Technology Park
Warwick
CV34 6DA

Cheques to be made payable to “The Midcounties Co-operative”. Please quote your membership number as a reference.

By phone: To invest up to £100 call our Membership Team on 0800 435902 stating your membership account number, the amount you wish to invest and have your bank card details to hand.

How do I make a withdrawal?

Want to make a withdrawal? Simply send a written request informing us if you wish to receive a cheque or bank transfer, along with your account details to:

Share Accounts
The Phone Co-op Limited
5 Millhouse
Elmsfield Business Centre
Worcester Road
Chipping Norton
Oxfordshire
OX7 5XL

Withdrawals can be made at any time without penalty and will normally be processed within one week of receipt of a member's request.

Withdrawals normally take one week from receipt of your written request.

Are there any risks to investing?

The Midcounties Co-operative is regulated under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and the same rules apply as for The Phone Co-op.  

Members should be aware that share capital in a co-operative is risk capital. Ultimately, if things were ever to go wrong for the organisation, share capital would be at risk. We aim to build a strong and successful co-operative business, with more than enough assets to cover its members' capital.

However, as an organisation committed to openness and transparency we feel it is only right that we should warn members that there is some risk. Please see the note below on the code of practice we adhere to in relation to share capital.

Should you wish to evaluate the security of your investment under Midcounties, please do take a look at their level of assets in the Annual Report and Accounts.

This is your best guarantee on any monies invested.  

What is the Code of Practice on Withdrawable Share Capital?

The Society, unlike banks and building societies, is not subject to prudential supervision by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Midcounties Co-operative abides by a code of practice which requires it to provide a statement to its shareholders of the nature of their investment and any change affecting it.

The position you occupy as a shareholder is no different from that of a shareholder in any other corporate body in the sense that, if Midcounties fails, you may not have all, or any of your investment returned to you.

Your liability, however, does not extend beyond your own investment. Your investment is withdrawable without penalty.

Contact Us

For all membership queries and sign-ups please call The Midcounties Co-operative Membership team on 0800 435902 or email member.communications@midcounties.coop.

If you joined The Phone Co-op as a member before 1 June 2018 and wish to discuss your share balance, further investment or withdrawals then please all 01608 434006 or email members@thephone.coop.