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I’m an idiot; I put on to mind admitting it. In a fit of stupidity, and just seeing pounds signs, I was lured in by flashy marketing and failed to check out the small print when wanting to make some extra money. I sent an old mobile phone to a gadget recycling company without examining its qualifications or terms of business and it nearly cost me dear.

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Mobile phone recycling is big company. There are scores of online services offering money for old handsets. The phones are then recycled, which usually involves sending them to abroad markets such as the Middle East, Africa and South America, or used for parts.

Unfortunately, in my case RapidRecycle cannot measure up to its marketing. It declared the handset had excessive damage, minimized its offer to 8.76 and pointed to its terms and conditions. I had the alternative to decrease, however and here s the genuine sting in the tail I’d have to pay 7.99 to obtain my phone back. I felt I d been had.

Even worse still, there was no opportunity for settlement. I had 3 days to pay the postage or RapidRecycle would presume I had accepted the rate. All this was in the small print which, yes, I had failed to read.

At the time, RapidRecycle didn’t have a contact number on its website and just accepted grievances in composing undoubtedly difficult within the three days. After a letter and numerous e-mails, all discussing my job as a reporter, the company eventually returned my phone free of charge. I later sold it on eBay for 30.

Other RapidRecycle clients, who called Guardian Money via Twitter, weren’t so lucky. Bert Atherton was priced estimate 121 for his iPhone 5s, however RapidRecycle re-offered 24 after getting it. Atherton decreased and paid 3.99 to obtain it back, describing the company s customer care as non-existent.

Similarly, Jo Bardsley had a 50 quote lowered to 25. RapidRecycle just considered her as accepting the re-offer and kept her phone. My problem is, working doesn’t suggest factory ideal, she says.

Unfortunately RapidRecycle isn’t the only such site to reduce quotes after getting mobiles and other gadgets.

Ipad recycling site performed what it asserts was an unbiased test on competitors. It sent totally working iPads without any substantial wear and tear to 15 companies. Of those, 40% reduced their initial offer upon receipt, while five paid later than promised. The worst wrongdoer, whom it wouldn’t name, asserted the iPad was malfunctioning and offered just 8. is among a number of comparison sites which list the different costs paid by various sites. However, it doesn’t record what percentage of gadgets is paid at the original priced quote price. Its founder, Keir McConomy, encourages consumers to inspect evaluations prior to sending off their gadgets. At sellmymobile we constantly keep track of client feedback and if we are getting complaints about a company we will change its star rating to show any unfavorable feedback. If a recycler continues to get bad feedback then we will remove them from our site, he says.

Something customers need to look out for is any charge to return a gadget if a minimized offer isn’t acceptable. MusicMagpie, iGadgetsRecycled, MazumaMobile, MobileCashMate and Envirofone all claim to do so complimentary of charge.

Charlo Carabott of MazumaMobile states about 6% of devices sent out to his company is re-quoted. A video guide on the site helps clients properly examine their gadget prior to sending it. We believe this is unreasonable seeing as the large majority of phones will naturally have scratches and scuffs.

Just days after being gotten in touch with by the Guardian, RapidRecycle managing director, Dexter Cardy, revealed the site was about to go through a significant internal modification. He declines to say what portion of phones were re-quoted, however claims 75% of re-offers were accepted.

Cardy states RapidRecycle would quickly be dealing with brand-new comparison website OnRecycle, which would rank recyclers on reviews and not just price. He assures that from 2 May it will provide complimentary returns for all phones re-offered due to cosmetic concerns, clearer messaging about the anticipated condition of an item, and an email system for better handling of problems


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