You need to take urgent action if your phone has been stolen - see Lost and Stolen

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Have you got old mobile phones lying around at home or in a desk at work?

Each year, over 100 million mobile phones are thrown away in Europe. In most cases they are thrown away or left lying around in drawers and cupboards gathering dust.

Your old mobile phone could be worth over £100 with envirofone. Save the environment - Recycle your old mobile phones

Visit Envirofone

How Do You Replace Your Mobile Phone?

There are different options available depending:


The handset may be insured on special mobile phone insurance or on your house insurance. Many phones come with 3 months FREE insurance - so it is worth talking to the dealer or network operator even if you did not buy insurance specially.


You may be able to get a free replacement phone:

  • Do you have an old mobile phone you can use?
  • Talk to your friends.
  • Put a FREE advert in FreeCycle,   Friday Ad or try the local paper.

It might be a long shot, but you may be lucky....

If you find that the 'new' phone is locked to the wrong network, then you may be able to unlock it. You can phone up the network operator, but this can cost £20-£40. There are various websites that offer to do this, or you might find a market stall in town. Of the free sites, you could try this for Nokia phones or Samsung phones.

Second Hand

If you can't get a free used phone, you might be able to buy one second hand:

But be very careful and check that the phone is not stolen. It might not be blocked today, but if stolen it could be blocked next week! You can perform checks on the CheckMend site.

If you are on a Contract

If it is not insured then you will have to get one yourself.

Out of Contract or near the end of your contract:

If you are out of contract you should be able to upgrade the handset for 'free' to a new (12/18 or more month) contract (still paying a monthly fee).

Alternatively you could just cancel the contract (when it has ended) and start again with a new contract.

At the start of or in the middle of your Contract:

If you are still in your contract you have more problems - you have to continue paying your monthly contract till it ends and if you don't have a handset you can't make any calls or benefit from the contract.

If you don't plan to get a replacement phone, you should call your network operator and tell them - they may be able to reduce your ongoing monthly payments if you ask nicely.

However all is not lost, because you can buy a new or second hand phone (see above) and get that connected with a replacement SIM. But this can be expensive, unless you know where to look...

If you are on Prepay (PAYG - Pay As You Go)

If you are on Prepay and you cannot find one for free or second hand, you will most likely have to buy a new full priced handset. However the other option is to buy a discounted Contract Phone - see details below. This can often work out cheaper then a Prepay phone.

New Discounted Contract

You need to take urgent action if your phone is stolen - see Lost and Stolen

If you decide to go for a new phone & contract there are some great deals around. You may even be able to get a phone for 'free' or at a reduced price. You often have to pay up-front, but claim that cost back via a cashback deal.

There are, however, some issues to be aware of with any cashback deal - see the Citizen's Advice Report. Not all of the retailers offering these cashback deals are reliable. Remember the way it works is that you commit to a contract with the network operator and then establish a separate contract with the phone retailer to refund this money by way of cashback. There are conditions attached to the payment of the cashback and if you fail to meet these conditions (e.g. not sending off your bills on time), then you will not get the cashback. Also, it is possible that the retailer may go bust (as has already happened to some) and leave you without any means to get your cashback.

So always stick with a phone contract that you would be happy with even if there was no cashback - and then you will be even happier when you do get the cash back.

Free or Cheap phone retailers include:

    Let me know your experiences (good and bad) with these retailers or if you find another good retailer - Contact Us.

    High Street Retailers

    If you prefer to buy a phone from the high street you can find their details here:

    Network Operators

    And finally the network operators themselves sell mobile phones:


    We hope you find this site useful. If you find anything is not working on this site or information is incorrect or out of date, please let us know via the Feedback Page.

    Please note that the comments above are not financial advice and are only based on generalised research.  Therefore they may not be appropriate to your circumstances. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstances.   LostMobile.org.uk cannot be held responsible for the content of external links.

    Back to TopLast updated: October 2012
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