UK consumers are needlessly ditching devices when they could save pounds… and the planet

UK consumers are needlessly ditching devices when they could save pounds… and the planet


UNITED KINGDOM, November 24, 2021 – New research released today from YouGov and commissioned by the world’s largest full-service tech protection and support provider, Likewize (formerly Brightstar), reveals a worrying truth about our relationship with technology and devices that is also contributing to the growing e-waste epidemic.

The study*, conducted amidst increased attention towards sustainable shopping and conscious consumption this Black Friday weekend, confirms that one fifth (21%) of UK consumers are considering spending at least £250 replacing or upgrading their devices over the sales period.

The two main reasons for people upgrading or replacing their phones are wanting a new model (44%) or due to poor battery life (46%). Furthermore, four in ten say they would only wait up to three days before replacing a ‘broken’ device with a new one. It’s clear that UK consumers’ constant need to be connected surpasses their desire to extend the life of a device and the planet.

“If you’re planning to make a tech upgrade during the Black Friday sales or over Christmas, the responsible thing to do to protect you and the planet, is to take out insurance on your new device, so that it can be repaired if it gets damaged, and re-commerce your old one. We are urging people to consider these options because we ultimately want to keep more phones in people’s hands and out of landfills,” said Likewize Chief Executive, Rod Millar.

Failing to take out insurance also means that many people are needlessly buying new devices when their old one could simply be repaired. According to Likewize, one in three people damage their new device within the first year of purchase. In addition, opting to trade in an old device means that its life is extended with another owner. For every 100 phones that Likewize receives from trade ins, they rehome 95 of them and responsibly recycle the other five – minimising what ends up in landfill.

The research also highlights there is still much work to be done when it comes to educating UK consumers on the benefits of insurance, repair and re-commerce to extend the lifespan of their phones and devices. Over half (53%) of UK consumers admit to keeping their old, unused devices – rather than trading them in or passing them on. As a result, people are sitting on a “hidden” mountain of unused technology that will one day contribute to a global device waste emergency, with the UK on course to become the biggest contributor to rising e-waste levels in Europe over the next three years, according to independent research carried out by Spring.

Despite the financial, environmental, and social benefits of protecting, re-commercing, refurbishing and rehoming devices, people are hesitant to do so, with over one in 10 people (11%) admitting to having disposed of an old phone in the bin or in landfill. Consumers who said they wouldn’t opt to repair or rehome a phone cited concerns around data privacy (33%), keeping a device for the future (32%) and lack of information on options (18%) as reasons for not trading in their devices.

Similarly, many of the phones that are replaced because of performance issues, aren’t actually damaged – which indicates that people are choosing to buy new at the first sign that their service is being interrupted. Ironically, these costs and the ongoing e-waste epidemic could be avoided altogether simply by insuring phones and considering repairs before replacement, yet less than one third of people currently do.

“People aren’t aware of the repair options now available. We can usually repair a device on someone’s doorstep within 24 hours in most parts of the country. And apart from cracked screens or water damage, which is obvious, about half of the devices that people think are broken, can actually be resolved remotely with a software upgrade or via a troubleshooting call, so we often get people back up and running at no cost and in no time at all.” Millar adds.

“At Likewize, we strive to be part of the solution, keeping more devices in people’s hands and out of landfill. Everyone can play their part too, by considering taking out insurance, trading in their old models and being more open to repairing devices rather than swapping them out at the first sign of them going wrong. By doing this, people can protect their tech, their pockets and the planet,” Millar concludes.

Likewize operates in over 30 countries, resolving 250 million problems each year across the following areas:

  • Tech Protection: Tech Insurance, and extended warranty 
  • Tech Repair: We come to you repairs, walk in repairs, mail-in repairs 
  • Tech Renewal: Trade ins, recycling, and certified devices 
  • Tech Support: Always on premium tech support

To learn more about how to protect your device and take advantage of Likewize’s additional tech protection services, visit


Media Contacts:

Fiona Gildea, Director, Red Havas on behalf of Likewize
Phone: +44 7738850278

Shailo Rasanayakam, Account Director Red Havas on behalf of Likewize
Phone: +44 7892 766217

*The survey was conducted by YouGov between 17-18 November 2021, surveying 2,112 adults in the UK.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. This survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Likewize 

When your tech goes wrong, Likewize makes it right. Likewize offers the most comprehensive protection against any technology disruption. Whether a device is lost, stolen, damaged, malfunctioning, in need of an upgrade or the user does not know how to do something, Likewize provides the solution. Trusted by the world’s largest brands, telcos, and banks, to look after approximately half a billion of their customers. We operate in over 30 countries, resolving 250 million problems each year across insurance, warranty, repairs, trade-ins, re-commerce and premium tech support.  For more information, please visit: