Reuse & Recycle Program FAQs

Q: Why is Fairphone relaunching its Reuse and Recycle Program?

We wanted to improve our Reuse and Recycle Program to award customers in Europe to hand in their phones to give them the chance for a second life or, if this is not possible, to recycle their phones.

Q: Who can participate? And from which countries can I participate?

The program is currently limited to EU countries only that we also ship to (see all of our shipping countries).

Any individual living in one of these EU countries, who wishes to send us their phone for reuse or recycling can participate. You can find a list of the phone types we accept in the website application form.

Q: What are the benefits of the new Reuse and Recycle Program for customers?

  • Customers are able to receive a fair market value for their phones. The phone's value depends on make, model and condition, giving customers true market value for their phones.
  • We offer the option to receive a Fairphone Gift card for a future purchase in our online shop. We plan to add an option to receive a cash back on a previous purchase. This will give our customers choice and flexibility in how they would like to receive their payment.
  • A quicker service. Thanks to efficiency and automations, we can provide Fairphone Gift Card codes in less than a quarter of the time of our old program.

Q: When will cashback be available for the Reuse and Recycle program?

We are working to make the option available to participants. The date is still to be decided.

Q: How long will the processing time for the new program be?

Once you have accepted the final quotation after the assessment, you will receive a Fairphone Gift Card code within 24 hours via email. Check your spam folder in case you did not receive anything in your mail inbox.

Typically, cash back payments (planned for a later stage) should show in your bank account within 2 weeks of shipping your phone. However this depends heavily on shipping time. Some customers may receive their payments in less than a week.

Please allow up to 28 days before contacting Customer Support with questions.

Q: How easy will it be to recycle a phone or give it a second life? What steps do I have to take to recycle my phone or give it a second life?

You simply provide your phone information (make, model and condition) via our website form and will immediately see the value you could receive if you send it back. This is subject to validation of the condition of the device by our service partner. If you accept this quotation, it is valid for 28 days.

We will email you a shipping label to send the phone back free of charge. Then we will email you again once your phone has been received and processed. You will receive a final email with your Fairphone Gift card you can use in our online shop on any product you like.

Q: How much will I get for handing in a phone? Why have I received a new quotation?

It depends on your phone’s make, model and condition. You will receive this value as a Fairphone Gift Card, valid for any of the products available on our online shop. Reusable phones have a market value which is notably higher than the value of a phone which can only be recycled. However, when a phone is recycled, the value lies in the materials which are recovered.

A new quotation happens when the declared condition of the device is not verified by our recycling partner during their inspection of the device. This means the phone has a new value. You can accept or reject the new quotation.

As soon as this is done the process will resume. When accepted, you will receive a Fairphone Gift Card with the value of the new quotation. When rejected, we will recycle the device.

Q: How many phones can you send in one shipment?

You can send back up to 3 phones in one shipment - which we will handle as one return. In case one can be reused, you will receive a single Fairphone Gift card for our online shop. If you wish to send more than 3 phones, you can open multiple applications. More than 3 phones in a parcel is usually not accepted by postal organisations.

Q: How long are discount codes valid?

Fairphone Gift cards are valid for a period of 36 months (3 years) from the date of issue. They do not cover shipment costs.

Q: Can Fairphone Gift Cards be used for multiple purchases?

Yes they can be used for multiple purchases! You do not need to use the full value at one time, offering you greater flexibility.

Q: How long are phone quotations valid?

If the phone is received at the Service Center after 28 days or not in the condition in which it was described, you will be contacted by email with a new quotation. Should you accept this new quotation by email, then the phone quotation is valid for 28 days.

Q: How long will you keep my data (such as bank details, etc.)?

We will keep your data that you provided when registering, for 7 years, which is the legal minimum. The devices you send in, should have no personal data on them. We require a factory reset to be done before you send them in. All SIM cards or SD cards will be destroyed upon arrival and the phone will be returned to its factory settings if that has not been done yet. 

Q: Can I send any phone? Can I send other electronic devices and accessories, such as tablets, used modules, spare parts, headphones, cables, or a computer? Can I add an old battery?

No, you can send only phones that our service partner supports for a second life. Our partner does not accept all types of phone. You can only send the battery already inside the phone(s) you are recycling. We do not accept separate old batteries.

Batteries are unsafe to ship as they are a fire hazard. Please discard the lithium-ion battery as soon as possible via your local small chemical waste program. At a suitable, local electronic waste collection facility, you can recycle used modules, spare parts, accessories and all other electronic devices responsibly. If you do not know where to locally recycle batteries or electronics, please consult your municipality or government website.

Q: My battery is swelling, can I send it in?

No, we don’t accept batteries that are swelling. They are unsafe to ship as well as a fire hazard. If a bloated battery is shipped, the sender will be liable. Please discard the lithium-ion battery as soon as possible via your local small chemical waste program - you can check the website of your municipality for options.

Q: My phone has been in the ocean for two weeks and after a night dive, I found it again. Can I send it in?

Yes, you can send it in but expect that the phone will have no value. Also, remember it is important to remove the Google account or the Apple ID account.

However, since we cannot give it a second life, it is more environmentally friendly to recycle it locally rather than shipping it to our service centre located in France.

Q: Why do you have a new program?

We wanted to update our 5 year old Reuse and Recycle Program to offer the best customer experience.

Q: Why are you asking for my passport or ID information?

It’s a legal requirement in the Netherlands, where Fairphone’s head office is registered, to have identification information for any recycled phones as an anti-fraud measure.

Q: What do you do with the identification data that I provide?

It is a legal requirement to record all phones to be recycled at our local government registry office. These records are kept for 5-7 years and aren’t shared with police or any other authority. We will not use this data for marketing, profiling, or any other purpose other than the identification data legally required.

Q: Will I pay for the shipping fees?

You don't have to pay for the shipping fees. Even if your phone is only for recycling, we will take your phone for free if it is in our list.

Q: How do I get my Gift Card code delivered?

Once we receive and validate your phone, we will send you the Gift Card code by email.

Q: My Google account and ‘Find my Device’ or my AppleID and ‘Find my iPhone’ are still logged in on my phone. How do I log out and deactivate them? Can it be done remotely?

We request that you sign out and erase the data when the phone is still with you. These steps are for your data protection. Additionally, the phone might not qualify for the program if a Factory reset protection is triggered.

To sign out your Google account, follow the instructions in this link. After this, do a Factory reset. The phone will be fully wiped, and will deactivate ‘Find my Device’.

If you sent the phone with ‘Find my Device’ still on, follow the instructions in this link to erase your phone remotely. If you simply wish to remotely remove your Google account from the phone, follow the instructions in this link.

If you have an iPhone, use this handy article by Apple on how to prepare your phone for a trade-in, which includes remote instructions.

Q: I cannot find the IMEI number(s) on the phone(s). Can I still recycle to you?

No. If you are unable to find the IMEI number(s), we are unable to accept the phone(s) for recycling. This is due to security and legal requirements. Instead, we encourage you to recycle your old phone(s) via an electronic waste point local to you. If you do not know where to find it, please consult your municipality website.

Q: Can I send the phone(s) to your office?

No. You will need to send the phone(s) to our dedicated recycling center via the program. We cannot accept phones at our head office in Amsterdam. If you are not able to send your phone(s) via the program, we encourage you to recycle via an electronic waste point local to you.

Q: What if I do not want to receive a gift card?

Our system is a gift card system. If you do not wish to receive a gift card, you can recycle your phone(s) via an electronic waste point local to you. If you do not know where to find it, please consult your municipality website.

Q: I have not received my gift card is. When can I expect it?

The usual wait is 1-2 weeks after sending your phone in the post. If 2 weeks have passed, you can contact our Customer Support to look into this for you.

If after reading the article you need more help, contact our Customer Support.