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November 25, 2010

Skyphones.org customers not being paid, losing phones

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by Brian Turner

Techwatch has been receiving a flood of complaints about Skyphones.org this month, claiming that the company is not paying out for mobile phones sent to it.

Skyphones is one of the newer businesses advertising themselves as a mobile phone recycling company.

However, not only are consumers reporting they are not receiving their money, they are also reporting that they are unable to contact Skyphones about the issues.

We did a little digging here at Techwatch towers, and despite trying to call Skyphones multiple times, we constantly receive a default engaged tone. The company appears unable to answer the phone.

Additionally, the Facebook group created by Skyphones themselves reads as nothing but a string of complaints about the company not paying up.

While the first posts on Facebook give the impression of general satisfaction at its launch 4 months ago, these quickly deteriorate even after the first weeks.

The complaints start with less money being offered for mobile phone recycling than originally stated on the website.

Then they become a torrent of complaints about payments not being made, phones not being returned, and the company being uncontactable.

Various claims of contacting Trading Standards and being advised of Skyphones being in “breach of contract” appear to have been made - all without any response from Skyphones themselves.

In all the barrage of complaints about Skyphones on their own Facebook page, there is only a single reply from someone claiming to be from the company, who only appears briefly four months ago to apologise for late payments due to company computer problems.

There is no further word from them after.

There are also a number of similar complaints on the Money Saving Expert forums.

Is Skyphones.org a scam?

It could simply be that Skyphones are unable to cope with the volume of mobile phones being sent to them, as opposed to anything more nefarious.

However, at this stage, unless Skyphones are able to make a public comment on why the internet is fast becoming littered with complaints about them, we can only recommend consumers think twice about sending their phones to the company.

We’ve covered the issue before: Mobile Phone Recycling companies: scam? A review, where we pointed out that there are a small number of companies who have been in the business for years and can be considered generally reliable.

Companies such as Fonebank, MobilePhoneXchange, Mazuma Mobile, and Envirofone, all seem to have passed the test of time, despite some customer care problems along the way - issues these companies are believed to have addressed long ago.

However, there remains a slew of less reputable companies, often working as nothing more than referrers, affiliates, or lead generation websites for the industry, where they are unable to provide any degree of customer support.

It remains unclear what the problem with Skyphones.org is at present - however, as the company appears incapable of answering press requests for comment, you may want to think very hard as to whether you really want to send your mobile phones to Skyphones.

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8 Comments »
  1. Dear Customers,

    Skyphones would like to sincerely apologize for the negative experience that you had with our company. This is not representative of the way we treat our customers. We are very sorry that it has taken such a long time to remit our payments to you and we hope that you will understand that we have been experiencing some extremely high volume of mobile phones being sent to us. However we would like to inform you, that we are now on the road to recovery and anticipate to clear all our backlog of orders before the 21 of December 2010. Thank you for your patience and please be assured that we
    will do everything in our power to ensure that this type of error does not occur in the future and payments will reach our customers in time.
    Sincerely,
    Skyphones Management

    Comment by Mike — December 1, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  2. I have currently two phones with Skyphones and I have received 2 emails from them but no payment. I can only hope that theis so called delay is resolved. The next step, taking advice from Trading Standards is to contact both the police and issue a solicitors letter in relation to them retaining goods they have not issued payment for. Also it is worth retaining your phones IMEI number so you can report it as stolen and have it fully blocked. Hopefully skyphones will resolve this issue but until they do it looks like bad news for the consumer.

    Comment by Phill — December 1, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  3. I have an LG phone with Skyphones. The “used” value was originally £25 when we sent it to them, which had dropped to £22 when they checked it and they offered £17 because of “a few light scratches”, ok their small print allows for an adjustment of -5% for “Signs of general wear and tear” but £17 from £25 is more like a whopping 32%. To add insult to injury, payment was promised on 15th Novemeber and it’s now 3rd December. I agree with Phill that the next move should be Police and Trading Standards. I think I will run out of patience long before 21st December.

    Comment by Andrew Brown — December 3, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

  4. i have sent off 2 phones 8 weeks ago again they reduce they price they originally offered me by £15, it seems to be getting worse. they have never responded to my emails but i finally got through on the phone and was told i would be paid this evening but i have not received anything. NEVER USE THE SITE!!! HAS ANYONE BEEN PAID YET?

    Comment by george — December 7, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  5. sent of a Nokia N900 6 weeks ago, they said £146 would be paid on the 9/11/10, now the 15/12/10 and still no payment received, they do not respond to emails, the phone is wither engaged or an answer service. Next step after the 21st is to report the phone STOLEN to the Police and will get my solicitor involved. I still have the IMEI registered to my Vodafone account and will get it blacklisted. STAY AWAY FROM THESE BANDITS, you have been warned !!!!

    Comment by tony — December 15, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  6. Paid today! Only 3 weeks late! I shoulf be happy but somehow I’m not. This is one company I never want to hear about again.

    Comment by Andrew Brown — December 23, 2010 @ 3:09 am

  7. I sent my Blackberry Storm in to them in November, I received an email on the 1st December saying the phone had some scratches on it which resulted in a £10 drop. They then informed me that if I didnt accept I can pay £12 to have it returned.

    It is now the 29th December - no money - no response - no answer from their phone. I may just contact my insurance to see if I can claim it stolen. In a way I guess it has as it has not been paid for and is being held ransom for £12 lol.

    Comment by Daniel Jones — December 29, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  8. well - Mike’s comment is good news but I’m still owed 80 quid after I was sent a rubber cheque. Mike - if you’re still reading - can I have my money or my phone back, please?

    Comment by Sheila — December 31, 2010 @ 12:08 am

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