/ 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?

Comments
Member

I haven’t used a recycling service because I have only possessed two mobile phones in my life. The first one was stolen along with my handbag, and its replacement is the one I still use, a decade on.

If it is so difficult to “recycle” old mobile phones for cash, why don’t we think twice before replacing the ones we’ve got, and if we must replace them, through genuine need or because clever adverts have managed to brainwash us, why not donate our old mobiles to charity? The experience will be more rewarding.

Member
George says:
9 November 2015

Are u mad? Give my old phone to charity that costs £200? Where I could just recycle it for £200? U do the math brainwashed or not, truth is u sounds very very old and u are happy with ur Nokia 3310 but I like my gadgets and keeping up with society It don’t necessary make me brain washed but makes u sound tight af to go buy a new phone.

Member

George you have just called sophie “mad ” and “old ” I take it you mean that in a derogatory fashion -as in senile/decrepit/ ready for the scarp yard etc and also question her Humanitarianism as well as saying she is mean. Its well seeing you are a young whippersnapper around 18 years old who sits in his jammies playing with the latest Playstation having never developed the correct social interaction with the public and gets his ideas from the “social media” maybe in 40 years you will gain some wisdom. Try to treat females better with sympathy and understanding.

Member
David Royle says:
1 November 2012

Yes Cash4phones gave me the runaround recently. The original quote for my Nokia was halved due to ‘excessive wear and tear’ which was manifestly not the case. When challenged the offer was doubled but then I got thephone back and the £8.95 postage charge was made. I complained again but no reply. I am now trying Carphone Warehouse which SEEMS more honest. We’ll see. I gave the other phone away.

Member

Some charity shops are keen to have your old mobiles, there is still a 2ndhand market even for the “old” basic Nokias and any that cant be sold get to sent to a recycling company who pay ( a small amount ) to the charity.

Member
David Royle says:
1 November 2012

Yes mine has gone to help school funds

Member

I’ve still got my first and only mobile ‘phone. It’s analogue and was on the BT (Now O2) network.

When the analogue service was phased out, or arbitrarily switched off as I prefer to put it, I was so relieved that I was once again free from people being able to contact me anywhere and everywhere at any time of my life, that I never bothered to get another.

Result!

Member

It does not surprise me that companies will offer very little for a second-hand mobile phone. They will have to provide some sort of warranty if they sell it and take the chance that it has a fault that might not be apparent from a brief inspection.

I have not been lucky with mobile phones and have never had anything worth selling or giving away.