NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You’ve probably heard about the various websites that will give you cash for your old electronics, including cellphones.
Now, as CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported, there is a consumer warning about one such site that seems to be promising more than it’s willing to deliver for the old devices.
Tony Caffarelli scanned the internet to find the best site to sell his smartphone. He settled on the popular “Cash for iPhones.”
“They come up with the highest price,” he said.
The company initially quoted Caffarelli $586 for his iPhone 6, so he sent them the phone and waited for his check, which is standard operating procedure for sites of the sort.
But a few days later, he got an email with a much different offer. Now that the company had possession of the device, they wanted to pay just $76.
Caffarelli said he didn’t react well to the new offer.
“I can’t say it on TV,” he said.
According to the Better Business Bureau, which gave the company an “F” rating, there are hundreds of similar comments. One disgruntled customer even set up a Facebook page called “Stop Cash for iPhones.”
“Any time there is a bait-and-switch, it’s a concern,” Ken Abbe, of the Federal Trade Commission, said.
Abbe said companies get away with this because most people often don’t read the fine print.
If you take a look at the site’s terms and conditions, it says initial quotes are “qualified… pending our evaluation.” It also says customers have three days to either accept or reject the new, lower price.
But Caffarelli said he couldn’t reach anyone by email or phone in the three days following his second offer.
“Put on hold, dropped, passed to another consumer rep, dropped,” he recalled.
When he finally got the chance to tell them he wanted his iPhone back, Caffarelli said the company told him it was too late.
“They have to provide a mechanism for people to cancel if they offer the opportunity to cancel,” Abbe said.
Cash for iPhones, which is located in Sparks, Nevada, is now under investigation by the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
Caffarelli said after much back and forth, he finally received the original $586 offer.
But experts say do your due diligence.