Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? Need some help? Most of the questions we get asked are answered below.

We have compiled a long list of frequently asked questions, and to help you navigate, we have grouped them into sections. If there is a question that is not answered below, please contact us and we will try to answer it.

Questions about fonebak.com and BBC Children in Need 

Why is fonebak the best way to recycle my phone?
Why should I trust fonebak?
What are you doing with BBC Children in Need?
How do I donate the value of my phone to the BBC Children in Need?

Questions about your mobile phone

Do I need to remove the data from my mobile?
How many mobile phones can I send?
How do I find out the make and model of my mobile phone?
I can not find my phone listed on fonebak.com.
How do you determine the grade of a phone?
My mobile phone has no value, can I still recycle it?
My phone is damaged.  Will I get any money for it?
Is my phone classed as 'working' if it works but has a broken screen?
Is my phone 'working' if the battery is flat?
What if my phone is barred?
What if my phone is Network locked?
Do you accept fake/counterfeit phones?
Do you accept stolen phones?
Do I get a higher price for a new handset or rare colour?
How do I delete my personal data from my phone?
What is an IMEI number?
Is the IMEI number important?

Questions about your transaction

What will you send me to confirm the transaction?
My Freepost envelope has not arrived, can I get another one?
All my phones won't fit in the Freepost envelope.  What should I do?
My phone is worth a lot of money on fonebak.com.  Is it safe to send it using the FREEEPOST FONEBAK address?
How long before I get my money?
You have offered me a different amount for my handset?
How long is my order valid for?
What if I get the model or condition wrong?
How often do the prices change?
I think I sent you the wrong phone.  What should I do?
I have changed my mind.  Can I get my phone returned?
What happens to my phone after I send it in?

Questions about sending in your phone(s)

What do I need to include when sending my mobile phone?
How long does it take for my phone to reach you?
What happens if my phone gets lost in the post?
What if I forgot to include the tear off form or order reference in the envelope?
Do I pay postage when I send my mobile phone?
Do I need to include my SIM card?
Do I need to include my memory card?
Can I send accessories in with my mobile phone?

Questions about fonebak and the BBC Children in Need

Why is fonebak the best way to recycle my phone?

Because unlike other cash-back trade-in websites, fonebak takes your personal security and care for the environment very seriously!  We clear every bit of data from every handset received so that when it goes on to its new life in a developing country, you can be sure that everything you stored on your mobile has been removed.  We also operate a zero landfill policy.  This means that if your phone is too old or beyond economical repair it will be safely and responsibly recycled – ensuring that absolutely nothing goes to landfill.  We even recycle the packaging if you send it to us.

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Why should I trust fonebak?

We have been recycling mobile phones for over 10 years for leading brands like Orange, O2, 3, some of the UK's leading businesses, retailers and charities.  We have safely and responsibly handled over 18 million mobile devices.  We are part of Regenersis plc, a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange with an annual turnover of approximately £120 million.
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What are you doing with BBC Children in Need?

Because we are based in Scotland, we believe that it's important to give back and ensure that our children have the best opportunities available.  One in four children live in poverty in Scotland, that's 240,000 children.  We want to do whatever we can to help disadvantaged children lead better lives.  

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How do I donate the value of my phone to the Appeal?

It's really simple.  Find out the value of your handset by typing in the make and model on the website.  Register to send it in, and select how much of the value you wish to donate. Once you confirm the transaction, just send it in following the instructions and we'll make the donation on your behalf.

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Questions about your mobile phone

Do I need to remove the data from my mobile?

We will erase all data from your device. However, we recommend that you remove your personal data before sending your device to us.  Mobile phones are as different as the people who own them and therefore have different ways of deleting data or resetting the software.  Look in the index of your manual (if you have it) for items such as "delete data" or "reformat device" or go to the manufacturer's website and do the same.  Data includes your contacts, SMS, pictures, videos and music, calendar entries, etc.

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How many mobile phones can I send?

There is no limit to the number of mobile phones you process using fonebak.com.  The more handsets you send in, the more cash you receive!

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How do I find out the make and model of my mobile phone?

If you don't know the make and model of your mobile, we suggest that you remove the battery casing.  The model number is normally located under the battery.  There is also a unique number, referred to as the IMEI.  You can find this by entering *#06# on your keypad.  You can also enter the IMEI in the search bar on the home page and your make and model will be displayed. We would suggest that you make a note of this number.  If you forget to include a copy of your confirmation page or incluse your Order Reference in the envelope with your phone, this will enable us to track the phone very easily.

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I can't find my phone listed on fonebak.com.

There are many makes and models of phones dispalyed on fonebak.com, but it's not always possible to list every single mobile on the site.  If you can't find your phone, please contact our customer service team with the make and model on or call us on 01708 683413.

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How do you determine the grade of a device?

You will receive the full value shown on our website as long as your device is in good condition (no scuffs or scratches), is fully functional, exhibits no damage and has the battery and back cover intact.

We will carefully assess your handset and your payment will reflect this. To help you to work out how much you may expect to receive, please look at the table below and see which description best suits your device.

 

Reduction in Payment

Definition of Handset / Type of Damage *

  -10%

Cosmetic defects, fully working, with battery and battery Cover.

  -40%

Not functional, powering on, cosmetic damage,  LCD damage, minor fluid ingress, missing Battery,

 -100%

  Blocked, stolen or fake items**, catastrophic damage, no power up, major fluid ingress

* This list is not exhaustive and fonebak.com reserves the right to amend this list at any time.

** Phones under these conditions will also be reported to the relevant authority.

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My mobile phone has no value, can I still recycle it?

Yes, we will recycle your mobile phone free of charge to help protect the environment. 

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My phone is damaged.  Will I get any money for it?

In many cases we will offer you the 'non working' value for your damaged phone, but this depends on the amount of damage and whether or not we are able to fix it.  For example, if your phone has water damage, we are only able to recycle the handset.  However, if the screen is cracked (but not bleeding) we can often fix this. 

Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for damage to your mobile phone sustained while in transit.

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Is my phone classed as 'working' if it works but has a broken screen?

It is highly likely that you will still receive payment for your handset.  As long as the screen isn't bleeding, there is no evidence of water damage to the device and it powers up, it should be classed as working.  If it requires a new screen (which is expensive to replace) we will class it as non-working.

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Is my phone 'working' if the battery is flat?

Yes, provided you know that the phone otherwise works then it's fine to sell as 'working'.  We use our own batteries to test phones.

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What if my phone is barred?

If a phone is listed on the CheckMend register as 'barred' then we are unable to pay you for the handset and will report it to the relevant authorities.  If this happens, you can contact CheckMend directly for a full report and apply to have the bar removed.  Once the bar is removed, we would be happy to take your handset.

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What if my phone is Network locked?

We accept Network locked handsets and pay the full value.

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Do you accept fake/counterfeit phones?

No.  There are a growing number of mobile devices that look very similar to the genuine products, but are illegally produced and may be dangerous to use.  If we receive a device which is counterfeit, we will safely recycle it, but you will not receive any money for it. 

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Do you accept stolen phones?

No. We use CheckMend, a crime protection database.  We check every handset received against this database.  If it is registered as crime-related we will report it to the relevant authorities for further action and you will not be paid for the transaction.

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Do I get a higher price for a new handset or rare colour?

The newer your phone is, the more it is worth.   We don't offer more if it is an unusual colour.

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How do I delete my personal data from my phone?

We offer all our customers access to clear instructions on how to delete all personal data on your mobile phone.  Just send an email to enquiries@fonebak.com along with the make and model of your device and we will send them to you.

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What is an IMEI number?

This stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, it's a serial number which is unique to your mobile phone.  You can usually find this number printed under the battery casing (along with a barcode).  Alternatively, if your phone switches on, just type in *#06# on the keypad and the IMEI number will be displayed on the LCD on your mobile.

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Is the IMEI number important?

It's only important if you forget to either; enclose the tear off slip (attached to your freepost envelope), tell us your Order Reference, or enclose a print out of your confirmation page (from the website) when you send us your phone.  If you know your IMEI number, you can tell us what it is and we can almost instantly find your mobile if it has arrived at our processing centre.

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Questions about your transaction

What will you send me to confirm the transaction?

If you have registered your handset on fonebak.com you will receive an Order Reference at the time of the transaction.  You will also be sent a confirmation of the transaction via email.  If you requested a recycling bag, this will arrive within a couple of days of your request.  As soon as we receive your device, we will email you a confirmation (assuming you have provided us with your email address.)  If not, then the next time you hear from us will be when you receive your payment.

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My recycling bag has not arrived, can I get another one?

If it has been more than 10 days since you requested your recycling bag, then it may have gone astray.  Please contact our customer service team on 01708 683413 to request another. Alternatively, if you have registered on fonebak.com, just print out the order confirmation page and pop it in any envelope and send it to us at FREEPOST FONEBAK.  Remember, if you're sending a high value handset, we recommend that you use Royal Mail Special Delivery and send your device to the following address:

fonebak
c/o Regenersis
32 Fountain Drive
Inchinnan Business Park
Inchinnan, Renfrewshire
PA4 9RF

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All my phones won't fit in the recycling bag.  What should I do?

Please contact us at enquiries@fonebak.com or call us on 01708 683413 and we can send you more envelopes.   Alternatively, use a large envelope of your own (we would suggest a padded one), enclose the form and send it to us at:

fonebak
c/o Regenersis
32 Fountain Drive
Inchinnan Business Park
Inchinnan, Renfrewshire
PA4 9RF

If you have more than 10 phones, we may be able to send a courier to collect them. 

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My phone is worth a lot of money on fonebak.com.  Is it safe to send it using the using the recycling bag?

We recommend using Royal Mail Special Delivery for high value handsets (more than £35) as we can not take responsibility for any loss or damage caused in transit.  

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How long before I get my money?

We can usually guarantee payment within seven working days of receiving your mobile phone.  We will send the cheque to the address you supplied. 

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Why have I received a different amount for my handset?

With so many mobile phone models, it is often difficult to tell the difference between them.  Some may look the same but have a different value.  We operate a barcode scanning system which scans the IMEI number of the handset to guarantee that we have the correct model.  It may also be the case that your phone was of a different grade than the one you sent to us and therefore a reduced amount would be paid.  Similarly, if you thought your handset was non-working and we found that it was actually working, then we will send you the higher amount.   

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How long is my order valid for?

Your valuation is valid for 14 days from the date you obtained the valuation and registered your device on fonebak.com.

We recommend that you send it to us as soon as you register the handset on the website. as we are not liable for delays caused through shipping.  The longer you wait, the higher the risk that your 14-day guaranteed valuation will expire.  To ensure that your handset reaches us quickly, we would recommend that you use Royal Mail Special Delivery (particularly for high value handsets).

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What if I get the model or condition wrong?

If you realise you have made a mistake, please contact our customer service team and we'll happily correct your order.  They can be reached on 01708 683413.

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How often do the prices change?

Because we are part of one of the largest mobile phone recycling companies in Europe, we attain competitive prices for handsets.  However, the market for reused mobile phones is constantly changing.  Therefore, we only guarantee our prices for 14 days from the date you valued your handset.  So, please try to send in your mobile as soon as you can!

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I think I sent you the wrong phone.  What should I do?

As soon as you realise that you have made a mistake, please contact our customer service team or phone us on 01708 683413 and we will try to sort it out for you.  If your handset has already been processed, then we will be unable return it.  It would be helpful if you had the tracking number, order reference or IMEI available.  Alternatively, we will contact you when we receive the phone to confirm what we've received and whether it differs from what you have sent to us.

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I have changed my mind.  Can I cancel the transaction?

Once you have sent us your device, it can not be returned.  This is also true with SIM cards, memory cards or any accessories you have sent in.

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What happens to my phone after I send it in?

Phones are sorted, checked, valued and tested prior to resale in developing countries where new handsets are unaffordable. Non-working handsets are safely recycled ensuring that absolutely nothing goes to landfill. Some of the handsets, for example, go to help micro-entrepreneurs in Asia, with our partner Enable Community.
Click here to see how your unwanted mobile may be helping people in developing countries.

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Questions about sending in your phone(s)

What do I need to include when sending my mobile phone?

Please remember to include the following:

Please ensure that you remove your SIM card before sending us your mobile phone as SIM cards and data cards contain personal details.  We will not accept liability if SIM cards are sent with the handset or any charges incurred by you before or after receipt of your handset.  Once received, we are unable to return SIM cards, however, they will be securely destroyed.

Please note that we recommend using Royal Mail Special Delivery for high value devices (over £35) to provide additional insurance & security and to ensure quick delivery.  We do not accept responsibility for any loss or damage sustained in transit. Unfortunately we cannot pay any additional delivery charges for you.

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How long does it take for my phone to reach you?

If you use the Freepost envelope  (or the Freepost address – FREEPOST FONEBAK) it can take up to 15 working days for items to arrive, particularly around busy periods like Christmas.  If you use prepaid first class, then it should arrive with us in a couple of days.

If you have sent your mobile phone via Special Delivery it will normally arrive within 48 hours.  If we have not received your mobile phone within this timescale, then it may possibly be lost in the post.  In order to make an insurance claim, you will need to contact the Royal Mail on 08457 740 740 or visit http://www.royalmail.com to find out more.

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What happens if my phone gets lost in the post?

We can not accept responsibility for any mobile phone lost by the mail service.  If you're sending a high value device, we recommend that you send it via Royal Mail Special Delivery.  In this case, please use the following address:

fonebak
c/o Regenersis
32 Fountain Drive
Inchinnan Business Park
Inchinnan, Renfrewshire
PA4 9RF

If it does get lost in the post, please let us know immediately and we can help with the investigation, but can not compensaste you if the handset has not been received.

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What if I forgot to include the Order Confirmation?

We've made it really easy by providing a peel and stick label for your recycling bag.  However, we would suggest writing down the IMEI number of your handset before sending it in to us.  This can normally be found under the battery on the back of your mobile.  If your phone still has power, you can enter *#06# and the IMEI number will be shown on your mobile.  This is a number which is completely unique to your phone.  If you forget to enclose a copy of your Order reference page or tear-off slip, or in the rare case that it gets separated from the envelope as well, we can track it via this number.

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Do I pay postage when I send my mobile phone?

It's your choice.  You can use our free service using the our pre-paid first class recycling bag, you can send it to us for free in your own envelope using the address FREEPOST FONEBAK. However, we recommend using Royal Mail Special Delivery for high value devices (over £35) and it's the fastest method of delivery.  You will need to pay for this yourself.  

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Do I need to include my SIM  and Data/Memory card?

Please ensure you remove your SIM and Data/Memory cards before sending us your mobile phone.  Also make sure you cancel any airtime contracts associated with the mobile phone.  Please ensure that you remove your SIM card before sending us your mobile phone as SIM cards and data cards contain personal details.  We will not accept liability if SIM cards are sent with the handset or any charges incurred by you before or after receipt of your handset.  Once received, we are unable to return SIM cards, however, they will be securely destroyed to protect you and your identity.

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Do I need to include my memory card?

If you include your memory card, we will erase all the data and have the card securely destroyed and recycled.  We would recommend that you keep this, unless you would like it recycled.

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Can I send accessories in with my mobile phone?

The value on the website is for the handset only.  However, if you want to send any accessories in with your package this will not increase the value but they will be safely recycled.

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