Three out of four people buying a second hand phone online are being ripped off according to new research from mobile network O2 and independent consumer champion Dominic Littlewood.
O2 bought 52 used smartphones from a variety of online auction and classified sites and tested them against its own ‘Like New’ refurbished phone initiative. Worryingly, 73% of the handsets did not pass the network’s stringent tests for selling used smartphones.
One in three of the devices tested were broken, 12% had broken screens, 12% had faulty cameras and a further 10% didn’t charge. Most concerning of all, 14% were fakes, with new shells placed around older phones and sold as new. Two of the phones O2 paid for were never sent.
10% of the phones O2 tested arrived without having been wiped, with some still containing personal images and video.
Having put the devices through rigorous testing to check on battery life, audio, screen responsiveness, buttons and connectivity, O2 then asked Dominic Littlewood, presenter of Cowboy Builders and Don’t Get Done, Get Dom, to independently assess the handsets.
“Not only were a lot of the phones I looked at fake, or broken, some didn’t even turn up,” said Littlewood. “If you’re buying a second hand phone, you are far better buying from a trusted operator where you can get a guarantee, rather than a stranger off the internet.
O2’s Like New scheme refurbishes phones that have been returned within 14 days of purchase and ensures they are sold to the same standard as brand–new devices.