Rage Against Suburban Zombie-ism
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phones For $$$

I did it. I finally did it. I got a new cell phone with a camera. (<-- So look fwd to some covert pics soon!) Upon my purchase, I was very pleased to see that the packaging has been reduced significantly since my last cell phone. Then again, that was quite some time ago...

(I never understood the need for soo much cardboard padding anyway!)

Since I'm sorta obsessed with recycling, I was also happy to find out that there was an envelope - postage paid - in which to send your old cell phone off for donation. Apparently, the charity is Phones for Food which is tied to Food Banks Canada. <-- The latter is a legit and well-known organisation.

Where it gets sorta dicey is that I'm not sure how old cell phones are transformed into money OR food for that matter.
In addition, the addressee on the envelope is neither "Phones for Food" nor "Food Banks Canada", but rather Unigistix*; most likely a company outsourced to deal with sifting through outdated mobiles.

(I realise that my old cell phone is not worth any money, but I'm still skeptical of any charity that I donate to, especially after seeing a documentary on Guiyu, China, the "largest e-waste site on earth". Lowdown: Many companies, some even Canadian, that claim to 'recycle' your old computer for you will actually ship them off to this part of China where people burn, acid bath, and personally handle our trash - without the proper protection!)

I called and subsequently emailed Unigistix to see if they wanted me to include my accessories, i.e. car charger and wall adapter. I have no need for them and wasn't sure whether or not these extras would help or hamper, so I thought I'd ask. On the phone, I was abruptly sent directly to voicemail by the receptionist AND email was no different. I received no reply.

This whole no response thing was unexpected. I was soo unimpressed that I googled "cell phone donation scam" and many articles came up about how people set up this so-called charities, gather donated cell phones, sell the phones (to whom, I dunno), and keep the money for personal gain. A real disappoint.

So until I can find a reputable charity, I'm gonna hang onto my used, yet usable, cell phone!


* warning: ugly website with Flash!

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posted by Stephania at 7:56 pm
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