BT to charge customers for unreturned routers

(Image credit: Future)

BT customers will be required to return their equipment at the end of their contract in a move that it hopes will aid sustainability initiatives and save money.

The company will no longer charge up-front fees for routers or TV set top boxes and has abolished any costs for returning unused kit early if a contract is cancelled before the end of a minimum term

Customers are free to send their old gear back to BT at any time and will be covered by a warranty that extends beyond their contract. If a customer does not return their kit – or for some reason wants to keep hold of it – will be charged.

BT router cost

This policy will allow suitable equipment to be refurbished and reused, or disposed of responsibly rather than ending up in landfill. There is obviously a financial benefit to BT too as fewer routers means lower expenses, while lower demand for manufacturing will have another environmental benefit.

“By asking customers to return equipment they’re no longer using we will see an increase of approximately one million more Wi-Fi routers and TV set-top boxes being sent back to us for recycling and refurbishment,” a BT spokesperson told TechRadar Pro.

“We’re making this as easy as possible and customers can do this either by post or by simply dropping it into one of our BT and EE stores on the high street across the UK. This will help to limit the amount of waste of going into landfill, and allows us to refurbish more equipment and move towards a more sustainable model and help us achieve our target of becoming a net-zero carbon emissions business by 2045.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.