Is it a good idea to buy a refurbished cell phone? It all depends. A refurbished cell phone is one that has been returned to the factory from a cell phone company and rebuilt, usually to new specifications. Sometimes, a favorite model will no longer be manufactured new, but a customer can get a refurbished one.
A refurbished mobile phone should, in all respects, work exactly as a new phone. This is probably more likely to be the case when the refurbished mobile phone does not have many complex features, such as a camera, personal digital assistant and Bluetooth® capabilities.
Cell phone customers routinely upgrade their mobile phones every couple of years or so, and the old ones have to go somewhere. Some are discarded, if they are no longer compatible with the cellular system, but many are sent back to the factory to be refurbished. This is also the case for phones that malfunction.
Whether buying a refurbished mobile phone is a good idea depends greatly on the manufacturer. Reputable makers usually produce a good product, but this may not be the case with "off" brands. A consumer should also always ask his or her cellular service provider if they have many refurbished phones returned for malfunction.
Sometimes, the manufacturer will provide a warranty of some description, but the consumer should insist on one from the service provider.
The question of getting a refurbished mobile phone may be crucial for someone who needs a phone at a moment's notice and cannot afford to risk having a refurbished cell phone malfunction. On the flip side of that coin are elderly customers who have a good phone that they like.
Many elderly customers don't want to have to learn how to use their phones all over again, and if a refurbished mobile phone in their preferred model is available, they may want one.
Price is another consideration. No customer should be asked to pay top dollar for a refurbished cell phone. This is not fair. Even if a phone has many features, if it is refurbished, the customer should not have to pay what she would for a new phone. However, cellular service providers are aware of this, and they often offer a refurbished mobile phone as one of the free models for upgrade or for signing a service contract.