Refurbished Phones: A Great Green Step That Needs A Little Push

I feel like I spend  just about all my free time finding places for unusable gadgets and goods.    We had a great and rather expensive office chair from Pottery Barn that broke.  They refused to fix it & refused to sell us the very unique part that would allow someone else to fix it.  After calling around to at least 1/2 a dozen shops and being told that without the iron swivelly piece they couldn’t fix it, we very grudgingly ended up putting it out on big garbage day in hopes that someone would come and take it for scrap.   Our microwave blew out about 6 months ago and we tried to have it fixed.  The entire computer board in the thing went wonky and Maytag said they would rather buy us a new one.  Disappointing…yes…but at least we found a few places that take old junked electronics for parts.   Our pedestal sink has a serious crack in it…can’t be mended.  No idea where that will go when the contractor drags it out.  Am I the only one who feels like even when you try you just can’t help but dump massive amounts of crap upon the earth?

So when my cellphone pooped out on me I was pretty much at the end of my consumer rope.  I went on to AT&T’s site to see what freebies I could get.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how many refurbished phones they offered.  Cool I thought…the full cycle in action.   Finally!    I found several that would suit me just fine…went on to read the specs.  Then something caught my eye that sadly shut down the whole deal for me.  90 day warranty!  WHAT?  So I am going to take a used phone and only get 1/4 the warranty you will give me for a new phone?  Considering my track record with cell phones,  that is not a risk I can afford to take.  Being me, I couldn’t just let it go.  I called AT&T to discuss the options.  The representative could not have been nicer about it and actually totally agreed and said it is an issue for them too because the refurbished phones weren’t really selling because of the measly warranty.  So great green idea…that falls pretty short if no one can use it.  I feel like there is potential here to REALLY make these companies take some responsibility for what they put out into the world.  They already have a system to do the work that needs to be done.  The next logical step is to annoy the bejeebies out of phone manufacturers until they actually stand behind their green ideas.  Who is with me?

Alas…so many people to annoy….so little time.

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