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Far from Phoney!
Member Name: otalgia
Advantages: Quick, professional and environmentally friendly service.
Disadvantages: Some older phones are worthless.
With Christmas out of the way I decided to perform an early spring clean of the house! As part of the cleaning process I discovered an old Nokia mobile phone that had become redundant due to a contract handset upgrade.
I was originally planning on throwing the phone away but later discovered that the battery and phone itself have some seriously toxic chemicals inside and ill suited for landfill.
I'd read about mobile phone recycling sites both on Dooyoo and frequently in the Martin Lewis Money savers e-mail so I thought I'd turn the phone into some cash.
There were several companies offering phone purchase and recycling so I searched a couple of them for my phone model and found that one site was offering a little more than the others and I decided to use Mazuma (www.mazumamobile.com). I read a little about the company and apparently the phones are either professionally recycled or are used to assist developing markets such as Africa and India.
The selling process
I found the selling process to be really straightforward and easy to use.
The first step is to open the website and find the model of the phone that you are selling. This is easily done as the webpage offers you the option of searching by the phones unique model number or alternatively you can browse by Manufacturer.
You will need to confirm if the phone is in working or non-working condition. Obviously the amount paid for a broken phone is somewhat less than a fully functional mobile. Providing that your phone turns on and has a working screen and antenna then you should have no problems. My phone had slight cosmetic damage such as scratches from car keys in the pocket and scuffs from the occasional drop however these minor imperfections didn't affect the sale. You will also need to provide the phones unique identification number (IMEI) which will be checked against a database to ensure that the phone is not reported stolen. For those of you who are unsure of how to find this number then the sight has a pop up information box that will guide you in the correct direction.
Once the phone details have been completed the next step is to set up a personal account. This is free and only takes a couple of minutes and the usual details such as name, address and other contact details are required.
The final step is to confirm the details that you have supplied. Once confirmed the screen will acknowledge your request and assign a unique order number for the transaction. The details of this will also be e-mailed in a confirmation mail to your provided contact address.
That's the main selling process complete and within a day or so an envelope from the company will pop through your letterbox. Inside this letter is a pre-paid polythene mailing bag, a packing slip, a confirmation invoice and some postage and packing guidelines.
To return the phone to the company you must place it in the provided polythene bag and also enclose the packing slip so that the company can identify where the phone has come from. I found that the bag is very thin and flimsy so it is definitely worthwhile wrapping it in bubble wrap to ensure safe arrival.
There are a few things that you should do before packing the phone. The first is to ensure the phone has full charge. If the phone arrives with no charge then it will be considered non-working and valued accordingly. The second and most important thing to do is remove the sim card from the phone. If you forget to do this then Mazuma will remove and destroy it on receipt. To prevent confidential data loss it is also advisable to remove all data from the phones internal memory (such as contacts, email etc). This is easily achieved by returning the phone to its default factory settings. I managed to find out how to do this by performing a quick Google search; a few key presses later and all my data was gone.
Once your phone is sim-less, data-less and bubble wrapped you pop it into the polythene bag along with the provided packing slip and it is ready to post.
You have three options of posting. The first option is to simply post the envelope in a letterbox which is the simplest method though the downside is that you have no financial recourse should the mobile get lost. The second option is to take it to a post office and complete the provided proof of postage slip. This method will provide you with a small amount of financial cover should the phone go astray in the post. The last method of posting is to use either recorded delivery or special delivery. These will both increase the postage costs but will provide you with online tracking so that you can ensure your phone arrives.
My phone had relatively low value and my local Post Office was recently shut down so I put my faith in the Royal Mail and popped the envelope into the local post box.
That's the whole process complete and after posting your phone you can check the progress of the sale by logging into your Mazuma account. Within a couple of days I received an e-mail confirming the safe arrival of the phone and then a further e-mail to confirm that the order was accepted and payment had been made - excellent!
Two days later the cheque dropped through my letter box and cleared through my bank account without problem.
I have nothing but praise for the service. The website was clear and easy to use, the terms of service were reasonable and most importantly the speed of service was indeed impeccable.
Admittedly I may have got a little more cash for the phone if I had sold it on E-bay but when you consider the auction site's seller fees and postage then there would have been little financial difference.
It's not all roses though and due to the speed of technological developments you might find that your expensive phone has little or no re-sale value. Even in these cases you can still send your phones to the company for free and they will recycle them in an environmentally friendly manner.
Top quality service all round and I will definitely use them again.
© M Jones (Otalgia) 2009
Summary: A professional phone recycling company.