Repair or Replace – What is Best for The Environment?

Posted by Michael Lindsay on

There are so many enticing reasons for your prospective clients to buy a new phone as soon as the one they are using gets broken or the battery dies. The marketers have made sure of that. With each new mobile phone launch, we see these vast machines lurch into action. They give our customers 100 reasons why they should throw their easily repairable phone in favour of the newer, more this and better that option!

We have put together a few reasons why we believe that repairing is better - not only for you, the repairer but also for the environment!

The effects of climate change loom closer, these are the difficult questions we have begun to ask our clients as consumers. Remind your prospects when you talk to them and on Facebook etc... Depending on the damage to their phone it can be beneficial to invest in a new phone. However, we are finding that often repairing an old phone is the way to go. It saves them money and considerably decreases their carbon footprint. Up until a few years ago, few cared about that but increasingly it is becoming a factor when making such decisions.


Why buying a new smartphone has such an impact on our environment.

In truth the ever increasingly bigger screens and thinner devices aren’t all that they at first appear to be. It does appear that devices are getting smaller and retailed as energy efficient. The fact remains though that the environmental impact is getting worse. The carbon footprint from ICT (Information Communication Technology) production has tripled since 2007. It is suggested that smartphones specifically are going to have the biggest carbon footprint within the tech industry over the next 20 years. 

Did you know that relatively rare materials are needed to build a smartphone? I bet your clients don't. Research has shown that the CO2 emissions from mining these materials are equivalent to the total CO2 emitted from using the phone for two whole years. So what does that mean to your customer when it comes to the choice between repairing their phone or buying a new phone? In short it means that investing in an older smartphone saves them from emitting two extra years of CO2.  That is worth mentioning, right?

Bringing this really into focus are you aware that less than 1% of all smartphones get recycled? That means their easily repairable phone could end up in a landfill. And all because the battery died or the screen cracked.

How long should I keep a smartphone?

Experts suggest that keeping a smartphone for two years can lower the carbon footprint dramatically. That could seem a little on the ambitious side for many of our clients, especially if the problem costs more to fix than buying a new model phone would. We recommend talking to them about the fact that phone hardware can live for a number of years and can take a bit of a beating. This is where the decision-making comes in for the client. It becomes important for the repair of the mobile to be an attractive proposition. Financially, time efficiently and dependable. Screens and batteries are among some of the most common parts that break. Your customers need reminding that they are affordable and quick to repair. In most cases we have found that other repairs, even if they cost a few hundred dollars, are usually worthwhile. 

To repair or not to repair? 

During the manufacture and production process of building a new mobile phone, the motherboard and chip need the most amount of energy. These tend to be the costliest to repair from your customers perspective. If it is a motherboard or chip issue, then it can be a real dilemma. Try to encourage your client to look at the bigger picture. Work out what year the phone is. Are there any other expected repairs in the near future? Also take into consideration perhaps the most important aspect which is the software. With ongoing developments and upgrades in mobile phone software, it is important to look at the broken phone’s compatibility.

So, really the big question is do the pros of repair outweigh the cons of a new purchase? Chat about the option of repair and then waiting two to three years until it is time to upgrade, this will lower their carbon footprint and is much kinder to our environment.

The important takeaway from the question “to buy or to repair?” is to first consider the impact on the environment and how your client can behave to be a conscious consumer. The good thing is we are here to help you convince your prospects that repair is the best option.

Our experience is that if you are using OEM parts then your reputation for providing a great mobile phone repair service will be great! We know that using OEM products help to build your client base and will result in a higher enquiry rate!


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