What are refurbished phones?

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What are refurbished phones?

You may have heard the term ‘refurbished phone’ and wondered what it means. Is it code for a clapped-out phone that’s on its last legs? Patched-up, rundown and no longer fit for purpose? You couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let us answer your questions – and dispel a few myths.

What is a refurbished smartphone?


A refurbished smartphone is one that’s been returned after a customer has changed their mind soon after buying it. Not years later, but shortly after. But because it isn’t brand new, it can’t be sold in the original packaging.

But doesn’t ‘refurbished’ mean there was something wrong with it?


No - the term ‘refurbished’ doesn’t necessarily mean the phone has a fault, or has been for a repair. It just means that it’s been returned to its factory settings. You wouldn’t want somebody else’s stuff on your phone, would you? And they probably wouldn’t be too keen for you to have their stuff on your phone, either. So, a factory reset is the best way to make a clean break.

So why buy one?


The main reason – to save money! You can expect to pay a lot less upfront for a refurbished phone compared with a new one, and your monthly line rental might be cheaper, too. It’s a good way of getting the latest phone without paying the full price. Winner.

Does it come with a warranty?


You might think not, but actually it does – if you buy from Carphone Warehouse, that is. In fact, the warranty’s the same as you’d get with a brand-new phone – 12 months. Any problems in that time, and it’ll be sorted. Hopefully you won’t need to take advantage of your warranty, as every refurbished phone is inspected by a qualified engineer, and will have passed a rigorous quality control test.

What grade phone will I be getting – and what does it mean?


Refurbished phones are usually given a grade. If you’re not familiar with how refurbished phones are graded, here’s a quick rundown.

A – Almost mint condition. Genuinely as good as new. Just a small chance of a tiny scuff or scratch.
B – You can expect a scratch or scuff here and there, but not really anything to worry about.
C – This is where refurbished phones start to look used. Expect up to half a dozen scratches.
D – A well-used phone, and one that has needed a repair. Looks used.

When you buy from Carphone Warehouse, you’ll always get a Grade A phone.

Are refurbished phones locked to a network?


When you buy a refurbished phone from Carphone Warehouse, you’ll find it’s unlocked, which means you’re free to use any SIM Only contract. Already have a SIM card? Great – just to pop it in and you’re on your way.

As you can see, there’s nothing to be worried about when it comes to getting a refurbished phone. You may even decide it’s right for you. Got any questions? Ask away in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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