Virgin Media will fix your broken smartphone screen for free

(Image credit: Inspired Images / Pixabay)

Virgin Media is to offer free screen repairs to mobile customers who upgrade their device between now and November 8, claiming one third of all mobile phone users in the UK have a broken display.

The telco hopes to capitalise on growing awareness of device repair services, which have been growing in popularity as consumers hold onto their devices for longer and the high cost of new handsets drives demand for refurbished technology.

“Many of us have accidentally dropped a phone and a cracked screen can be frustrating,” said Annie Brooks, Executive Director of Product at Virgin Media. “Our new screen repair service gives customers ultimate peace of mind as they get acquainted with their new phone – no matter how clumsy they are!”

Virgin Media screen repair

However, in addition to taking out a new contract with the operator, Virgin hopes the offer will tempt clumsy customers into splashing out on a more premium handset than usual.

Only selected devices – such as the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra5G - are included, with the operator hoping that the offer will tempt clumsy customers into splashing out on a more premium handset than usual. Then again, it could be argued that free screen repairs are a more attractive proposition with such an expensive device.

The market for device repairs is not just being driven by thriftiness but also by a desire to make the mobile industry more sustainable. There have been concerns that mobile phones and tablets are designed in such a way that makes them difficult to fix.

Combined with low recycling levels, this means many potentially usable devices and rare elements are not returned to the supply chain, exacerbating the issues of carbon emissions, mining, and electronic waste.

According to the United Nations, the world produces almost 50 million tonnes of e-Waste every year. Only a fifth of this is responsibly recycled, meaning materials that are harmful to humans and can contaminate soil and food supplies are released into the environment.

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.