Telephone watchdog Oftel has said it has no powers to act after independent retailers protested about margins on BT Cellnet's mobile phone top-up cards being slashed. Stephen Thompson, marketing director of Morning Noon and Night, which has 41 stores in Scotland, said: "On July 2 margins were dropped from 9% to 6% and there is nothing we can do about it. "Many people are making a good deal of money out of the mobile phone networks, but certainly not the retailers." Londis trading controller Martin Swadling urged Oftel to help: "We are deeply concerned that the networks are using their power and unique position to control retailer margins. We were proactive in building this business, only to have the rug pulled out from under us. We would strongly urge Oftel to give this their full and immediate attention." Alldays senior buyer Anthony Howells said: "Alldays staff play an important role in educating customers about the cards and assisting them on the occasions cards are faulty. For this reason we were particularly dismayed with BT Cellnet's decision as we feel retailers such as ourselves who provide added value to BT Cellnet's products are being unduly penalised." A spokeswoman for Oftel said: "We can only get involved if it is an issue of anti-competitive behaviour. In this case, the retailers must decide if they want to continue supplying the cards." The drop in BT Cellnet margins brings them in line with One2One and Virgin ­ also at 6% ­ leaving Orange and Vodafone top-up cards the most lucrative for retailers with a recent raise from 9% to 10%. BT Cellnet said: "We do not comment on financial arrangements between us and individual retailers." {{NEWS }}