Majority of consumers ‘more likely to replace broken phone than get a repair’

More than half of smartphone owners are more likely to replace a broken handset than wait for it to be fixed, a survey suggests.

The findings came after a report by MPs told tech giants to do more to collect, recycle and repair old products in a bid to cut down on the UK’s mounting electronic waste.

According to research by EE, 60% said they would rather buy a new phone altogether.

Common phone faults left to linger include audio issues, with one in three indicating they would wait a week before getting a crackly speaker or the volume button repaired.

Based on a survey of 2,000 adults, half said they would tolerate a faulty camera for more than a month, while nearly one in 10 would leave a cracked screen for a year or longer.

Apple iPhone 4
Nearly one in 10 people surveyed said they are prepared to leave a cracked screen for a year or longer (Geoff Kirby/PA)

EE carried out the research as it launched a same-day in-store repair service at some of its high street shops.

Customers can typically expect to wait between one and two hours and it does not matter which network they use.

The service will be available in EE’s Bluewater, Nottingham and Portsmouth stores only initially, with an additional two hub stores coming early next year and hopes of expanding to 25 others by the end of 2021.

Same-day repairs will be limited to Google, Huawei and Samsung devices, as well as Apple from next week.

Sharon Spilsbury, channel strategy and operations director at EE/BT, said: “Our retail stores play a critical role in keeping people connected to their family and friends, especially during these challenging times. We know our customers don’t like to be without their devices for long, and our in-store repair service will keep separation anxiety to a minimum.

“We also encourage regular phone checks to reduce the need for repair, which we offer in-store to help anyone on any network.”

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