/ Technology

Recycling mobile phones – it’s not always rewarding

A pile of obsolete mobile phones

There is a rumbling of discontent on the internet. Nothing new there, you may say, but this particular rumble relates to companies who buy old mobile phone handsets. Have you recycled your old phone for cash?

There are plenty of these mobile phone recycling companies out there: Cash4phones, Mazuma Mobile, Envirofone and Fonebank, to name but a few.

These companies quote you a price for your old mobile phone, based on its condition. Once you’ve sent them your phone, they’ll verify the condition and pay you the agreed price. These phones are then ‘recycled’, which usually involves sending them to overseas markets to be sold in places like the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Feeling short-changed

Some of you aren’t happy, however. Check any review site, and you’ll find plenty of complaints about these services. The amount paid out for those old phones is not always quite as generous as first quoted. It seems that in some cases you are sending in your pristine phones, only to find that the company’s valuation differs from your expectations.

We’ve been sent quite a few complaints about these companies, with people telling us that they’ve sent their phones off for an agreed price, only to have the quote lowered once it’s in the hands of the company.

The main reason for reduced valuations seems to be wear and tear, even for phones that owners felt were in a very good condition. While all these companies should send the phone back to you if you don’t agree to their revised quote, you may be charged for the privilege. This has left some people feeling they’re being held to ransom with no option but to accept the lower quote.

Have you used a phone recycling service? Were you happy with the service, or did you receive a lower offer than expected?

Sean says:
20 August 2013

I have recently used mobilephonerecycling2day.co.uk and experienced a similar problem described above. I was originally offered £120 for an iPhone 4 but was later offered only £40, due to excessive wear and tear (scratches etc). I tried to request the phone back the website would not allow me to contact them back, the contact us page was also not working. No telephone number was listed on the website so I was not able to call them to address issue.

The website listed Trading Devices Ltd as the parent company, based in Bounds Green (Company Registration Number 07734160), so i searched for them and found a business address.

When I arrived at the address they presented the phone to me and said that they had made a mistake, the phone was actually in good condition, they immediately offered me an additional £60.

I collected the phone from them and I will sell elsewhere, I suggest that you steer clear of them, there are better alternatives to using these guys.

Trading Devices may also be responsible for more of these companies as they were all next to each other, including Cash4Phones, in the trading park.

Tim Butler says:
19 November 2013

Well done you. Don’t give those leeches a penny.

Andy says:
26 August 2013


After searching the net for prices for a 6mth old blackberry Curve 9320. I came across this company offering £57 for the phone.

Then I got this email from them.

Dear ……….

Excellent News!! Your pack arrived today and your order is being processed by our team. Once the processing and checks have taken place you should being receiving your payment soon.

Below is a summary of your order.

Phone Testing Reasons Revised Offer Status
Blackberry Curve 9320 Failed – Excessive wear and tear
£20.86 Awaiting customer acceptance
As you can see our technical team have found few problems when testing, and for this reason we are offering you the revised price offer above.

Please let us know within 5 days from the date of this email if you accept or reject the revised offer*.

To do so, please click here and then follow the on-screen instructions.

If we do not hear from you within 5 days, we will assume, in accordance with our terms and conditions, that you have accepted all of the above and will continue to process your order.


If you feel that there has been a mistake with your Order, please do give us a call

Thank you for using MobilePhoneRecycling2Day

Kind Regards,

* Please note: for all offers accepted after 2pm on a Friday, payment will be processed the following Monday.

Customer Services,

Now I have tried to ring them half a dozen times, nobody answers the phones and sent them messages from their website (4 in total) no replies and even tried to reply to the email but the adddress couldn’t be reckonised.

Looks like I will have to accept the offer as I can’t find a way to decline the offer.

I will never do this again, would have been better off selling on ebay.


[We’ve edited this comment for breaking our guidelines. Thanks, mods.]

Sean says:
27 August 2013


Are you local to London? If you’re local then I suggest going to their premises and asking for your phone back.

They are based at 15 Gateway Mews, Bounds Green, LONDON, N11 2UT.

Andy says:
29 August 2013

No not local Sean, shame really as I would loved to have been able to pop in.


Hi all, we’ve investigated mobile recycling sites as part of our latest issue of Which? magazine. We’ve also published a new post about it if you’d like to join in: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/sell-mobile-phone-recycling-website-cash4phones-mazuma-envirofone-ebay/ This features comments from Wahidazzlar, Rebeccles and Tpoots.


Hi all, Cash4phones has filed for bankruptcy: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/cash4phones-bust-insolvency-capital-books-mobile-phone-recycling/

We have advice for those who are waiting for money from Cash4phones or you want your phone to be sent back. There is some time pressure on this. I’d be interested to here if you’re affected, so please share your experiences: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/cash4phones-bust-insolvency-capital-books-mobile-phone-recycling/

Francesca Clark-fowler says:
18 November 2014

PHONES 2 POUNDS, I sent this company 2 iPhones in pristine condition and waited for my payment of £251 as promised. I then received an email stating the phones were scratched and in poor condition offering less than half the payment. I emailed them stating I wanted the phones returning and heard nothing. I have sent numerous emails and lost count of phone calls if have made and they have never got back to me, so if your thinking of using phones 2 pounds don’t, I have lost my phones and I don’t think I will ever see them, or a payment ever again, fran

Francesca Clark-fowler says:
18 November 2014