Does T-Mobile Sell Refurbished Phones as New? (Warranty)

Does T-Mobile Sell Refurbished Phones as New

If you are considering purchasing a phone from T-Mobile, you have probably seen that they offer the option to choose between a new phone and a “new” refurbished one. But what happens if you request a new phone and receive a refurbished one?

Does T-Mobile sell refurbished phones as new? The answer is… well, maybe. The company is certainly not supposed to do this or allowed to do so, but there have been stories of it happening. The question remains as to whether this is an intentional scam by T-Mobile employees, a glitch with the system, or a simple accident of customers receiving the wrong phone.

The rest of this article is going to go into detail about this potentially shady practice from T-Mobile. Are you really receiving a new phone when you ask for one and is there anything you can do if you do not receive the new phone, you asked for?

Does T-Mobile sell refurbished phones as new?

The answer to this question is up to reader’s discretion. T-Mobile would certainly claim that they do not sell refurbished phones as new.

While they do sell refurbished phones in their store, they should only do so if a customer specifically requests one.

However, there are lots of stories of customers who did not find out until after their purchase—sometimes months after—that they actually received a refurbished phone even though they asked for a new one. It is hard to ignore these reports, especially when it seems to be happening to so many people.

Read also: Does Verizon Sell Refurbished Phones as New (Warranty + More)

Is T-Mobile allowed to do this?

No, T-Mobile is not supposed to do this. While you are meant to be given the option to purchase a new phone vs. a refurbished one, they should never scam you by charging you the price for a new phone while giving you a refurbished one.

If this happens to you, you should definitely take it up with the store. Remember to ALWAYS request a receipt.

Can this cause issues for me with manufacturer warranties?

Yes, it absolutely can. If you receive a refurbished phone, that phone is obviously no longer brand new and has been repaired already.

Thus, it will no longer be eligible for most manufacturer warranties. In fact, this is how many people discovered that their phones were actually refurbished.

When they attempted to take them in to the manufacturer for repair, they were turned away.

Does T-Mobile scam customers with “free” bundles?

There are other reports of T-Mobile attempting to scam customers in other ways, yes. If you are purchasing a new phone from T-Mobile and you are offered a “free” bundle of a screen protector and phone case, be wary.

One customer reports that this bundle was offered to him. He accepted, even though the offer seemed too good to be true. However, the store associate was then cagey about giving him a receipt. When the customer finally demanded a receipt, he saw that he was actually charged $89 for the screen protector and phone case.

Can I do anything about it if I wanted a new phone and got a refurbished one?

Our recommendation is to immediately return to the retailer where you initially purchased the phone and let them know what happened.

If it was indeed an accident or a glitch in the system that caused you to receive a refurbished phone, T-Mobile should immediately apologize and offer to replace the phone with a brand new one.

Because they are not supposed to pull one over on you by giving you a refurbished phone when you asked for a new one, the associates should be accommodating and rectify the mistake immediately.

Make sure you hold on to your original receipt since this could be key in proving that you were charged for a new phone.

If T-Mobile refuses to replace your phone, it is unclear if any legal action is open to you. You could always consult with a lawyer and listen to their recommendation.

Read also: Does Verizon Sell Unlocked iPhones? (Read This Before Buying

I want a new phone. Should I risk getting one from T-Mobile?

Ultimately, this decision is completely up to you as the customer. If you absolutely want to receive a brand new phone, you can still purchase one from T-Mobile.

After all, they sell plenty of brand new phones every day. However, you should do your due diligence to ensure that you are receiving a new one and not refurbished.

How can I be sure to get a new phone instead of a refurbished one?

If you have decided to buy a new phone from T-Mobile and you want to ensure that you are receiving a new one, the first thing you should do is lay your expectations out to the salespeople.

If you inform them, you have heard stories of people receiving refurbished phones instead of new ones, they will know to be extra careful and make sure that mistakes do not happen.

Additionally, if a shady salesperson was planning to scam you, letting them know that you are on your guard should remove their desire to attempt to pull one over on you. You do not want to appear like an easy mark.

Once you have purchased your new phone, you can double check that it is new by taking it to the manufacturer.

For example, if your new phone is an Apple iPhone, you can take it to the Apple store and ask the workers there to double check that it is not refurbished.


So, does T-Mobile sell refurbished phones as new? This is a possibility. Although they are not supposed to, there are stories out there of people who this exact thing has happened to.

This can cause lots of issues for you, such as losing out on the manufacturer warranty you should be entitled to with a new phone.

If you want to purchase a new phone from T-Mobile and you are worried about receiving a refurbished one, make sure to let the salespeople know that you are aware of the stories and you do not wish to be scammed. You can also take the phone after purchasing it to the manufacturer to double check that it is not refurbished.

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Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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