- Recommerce/retailers proactively communicate status e-mails while carriers offer a reactive option for the customer to check online. NOTE: Carriers need to improve and proactively offer device and incentive status. They also need to ensure logistics are in place—AT&T, Sprint and Verizon programs tested all had issues with whether devices were received by vendor.
- Recommerce and retailers provide more timely incentives. NOTE: Carriers could look into providing e-cards or more up-to-date incentives.
- Programs from retailers and recommerce companies tend to offer higher value for the devices but also accept fewer types of handsets (feature/basic) than carriers. These companies may want to consider expanding their phone buy back selection.
- Issues with stolen phones being sold online as well as security (lost devices in the mail) may also force a revamp to many of these trade-in programs. For instance, certain programs we tested make it quite easy to sell back without a significant paper trail or device verification. Many of the companies capture limited customer and/or device information in order to participate in their programs. On the other hand, AT&T already requires IMEI/ESN to get a quote so it is ahead of many of the other programs. NOTE: Look for more regulations and stricter policies around device buyback programs in the future.
- Issues around the fear that customer data are not being wiped completely from the devices also hinder the mass adoption of online trade in programs.
Finally, all of the companies examined will need to fine tune their programs to find a middle ground between ease of use and following potential rules around device resale.
If you would like to purchase the entire report which includes details on each online program, please contact Kate Pearce at firstname.lastname@example.org