Buying a Refurbished Mobile Phone

Close up of a young woman's hand typing text message on her smartphone. African young woman is typing on touch screen mobile phone. Close up of female hand texting a message phone outdoor.

Recovering a used mobile phone and supplying a refurbished mobile phone for reuse is critically important because of the growing quantity of waste generated by these products and the many hazardous substances they contain (including a number of persistent, bioaccumulative toxins, or PBTS).  Refurbished Samsung phones are the need of the hour as many retired cell phones get stored away in closets and drawers.

• A refurbished mobile phone should, in all respects, work exactly as a new phone. This is probably more likely to be the case when the refurbished mobile phone does not have many complex features, such as a camera, personal digital assistant and Bluetooth capabilities.

• Cell phone customers routinely upgrade their mobile phones every couple of years or so, and the old ones have to go somewhere. Some are discarded if they are no longer compatible with the mobile system, but many are sent back to the factory to be refurbished. This is also the case for phones that malfunction.

• Whether buying a refurbished mobile phone is a good idea depends greatly on the manufacturer. Reputable makers usually produce a good product, but this may not be the case with “off” brands.

• A consumer should also always ask his or her mobile service provider if they have many refurbished phones returned for malfunction. Sometimes, the manufacturer will provide a warranty of some description, but the consumer should insist on one from the service provider.

• The question of getting a refurbished mobile phone may be crucial for someone who needs a phone at a moment’s notice and cannot afford to risk having a refurbished mobile phone malfunction. On the flip side of that coin are elderly customers who have a good phone that they like.

• Many elderly customers don’t want to have to learn how to use their phones all over again, and if a refurbished mobile phone in their preferred model is available, they may want one.

• Price is another consideration. No customer should be asked to pay rate to rate price for a refurbished mobile phone. This is not fair. Even if a phone has many features, if it is refurbished, the customer should not have to pay for what she would for a new phone. However, mobile service providers are aware of this, and they often offer a refurbished mobile phone as one of the free models for an upgrade or for signing a service contract.

The main things a customer needs to consider when thinking about a refurbished mobile phone, then, are quality, warranty and price. If these are resolved to his satisfaction, then buying a refurbished mobile phone may be a sensible purchase.

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About the Author: Katelyn Orourke

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