One of the largest wireless carriers in the country filed suit against its mobile phone resale and recycling vendor, claiming it has been shortchanged $6.6 million.
T-Mobile USA filed a complaint on Oct. 12 against Belmont Trading, which is based in Buffalo Grove, Ill., near Chicago. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Through an agreement between the two companies, T-Mobile provided the outdated, damaged or otherwise unwanted phones it received from customers to Belmont Trading, which would resell or recycle them on T-Mobile’s behalf. Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile USA alleges Belmont Trading owes it millions of dollars in revenue from the sales of T-Mobile’s reusable and end-of-life devices.
According to court records, Belmont was served the court papers on Oct. 14, and the company has not yet filed a response in court.
Belmont Trading CEO Igor Boguslavsky told E-Scrap News he can’t comment because the matter is in pending litigation.
T-Mobile USA’s complaint claims the companies first signed a master agreement in September 2015, although the document was later amended a number of times. Under the deal, the wireless carrier owned the devices until they were sold. Belmont Trading was obligated to keep the T-Mobile inventory separate from other electronics it received and needed to obtain T-Mobile’s pre-approval of the prices at which units would be sold prior to completing those sales.
In exchange for its services, Belmont Trading would retain a portion of sales revenue. After the contract was amended multiple times, Belmont Trading received service fees and remarketing percentages for used devices sold through its Asset Management Program, and it received 25% of sales revenue for end-of-life material sold through its Beyond Economic Repair (BER) program, the complaint states.
T-Mobile USA claims Belmont Trading has failed to remit to T-Mobile nearly $6.6 million. The parties’ agreement terminated on May 6, 2022. The complaint asks the court to award T-Mobile that sum, plus interest and legal costs.
Founded by Boguslavsky in 1988, Belmont Trading now has facilities in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia.
A version of this story appeared in E-Scrap News on October 19.
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