Unnecessary mobile phone e-waste: will Three Vodafone act?

– An open letter to Vodafone Hutchison Australia –

Dear Three,

Thank you for your recent offer of a mobile phone upgrade and 3 months free when I sign up for a 24 month plan. For a while there I was getting quite anxious:

Surely my current phone is older than two years? Why haven’t they offered me one of those new ones yet?

It turns out you are in-fact ‘generously’ ahead of time and my current phone is still under two years old, so silly me.

After some consideration, I do not need or want a new phone. However, I wouldn’t mind a new battery plus the 3 months free and no contract (okay, so I may be pushing it on the last one).

In reality this type of offer would increase Three’s profit. You don’t have to buy me a new phone, I keep spending, and the environment has slightly less toxic waste spilling around.

You could even use this to encourage better environmental practice and cut the enormous electronic waste burden that you and your customers are creating:

Don’t need a new phone? Make the environmental choice and get an eco-upgrade pack from Three.

An eco-upgrade may entail a new battery if the customer wants it (they do tend to die after two years), 3 months free on the new plan and a shorter contract of 12 months so you can tempt us again with new gadgetry in a years time.

Although MobileMuster is an excellent and necessary program, it is not doing enough to stem the tide of mobile phone e-waste. By their own numbers, in 2008/09 MobileMuster was only able to collect and recycle an amount equal to 8% of net mobile phone imports. The quickest, easiest and most profitable way to increase this number is to reduce imports by better servicing the customers and phones you already have in circulation.

I keenly await your response to this proposal.

Yours Sincerely,

Ryan McCarthy.

2 Responses to “Unnecessary mobile phone e-waste: will Three Vodafone act?”

  1. 1 David 22 August 2010 at 11:35 AM

    That’s a great idea! It’d save the enviroment and 3/vodafone will also keep a customer. But what happens if the phone breaks down within that 12 months contract?

  2. 2 Tony Hollingsworth 22 August 2010 at 8:51 PM

    Fantastic post – thanks for sharing that. Its great seeing you hold the telcos to account like this – challenging their business models for a great cause: improved sustainability.

    I look forward (or rather, hope) to VHA’s response and your continued story!

    Best to you,
    Tony Hollingsworth
    Tony’s Black Dog Ride: http://bit.ly/TonyBlackDogRideIntro

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