US consumers are needlessly ditching devices when they could save dollars … and the planet

US consumers are needlessly ditching devices when they could save dollars … and the planet


DALLAS, 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 14% of US consumers are considering spending between $500-$1,000 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 (45%) or due to poor battery life (43%). Furthermore, four in ten (42%) say they would only wait up to three days before replacing a ‘broken’ device with a new one. It’s clear that US 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 the holidays, the responsible thing to do to protect you and the planet is to take out insurance on your new device 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 Officer, Rod Millar.

Failing to take out insurance 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 for re-commerce, it rehomes 95 of them and responsibly recycles the other five – minimizing what ends up in landfills.

The research also highlights there is still much work to be done when it comes to educating US consumers on the benefits of insurance, repair, and re-commerce to extend the lifespan of their phones and devices. Nearly half (49%) of US consumers admit to having kept 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 is contributing to a global device waste emergency. According to the International Telecommunications Union, the Americas generated 13.1 million tons of e-waste in 2019 alone.

Despite the financial, environmental, and social benefits of re-commercing, refurbishing and rehoming devices, people are hesitant to do so, with 15% of people admitting to tossing an unused phone in the trash. Consumers who said they wouldn’t repair, rehome or recycle a device cited concerns around data privacy (31%), keeping a device for the future (28%) and lack of information on options (12%) as reasons for not trading in or repairing their devices.

Similarly, many of the phones that are replaced due to 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 tech in the first place – yet less than a third of people currently do so.

“People aren’t aware of the repair options now available. We can usually repair a device on someone’s doorstep within 24 hours in some locations. 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:

Sharon Nieuwenhuis, Senior Vice President, Red Havas, on behalf of Likewize

Mobile: 973.938.4983

Shane Blackburn, Senior Account Executive, Red Havas, on behalf of Likewize 

Mobile: 917.710.8393 


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1293 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between November 18 – 19,  2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US 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: