An FTC enforcement action accused a company of bait and switch when consumers sought to trade-in smartphones, laptops, or tablets. According to the FTC enforcement action,
“To get an “instant quote,” consumers went to sites like cashforiphones.com, cashforlaptops.com, sell-your-cell.com, and smartphonetraders.com, entered the make and model of their device, and completed a short checklist about the condition. According to the complaint, the defendants represented that consumers would get the amount of the instant quote. The defendants claimed, “Customers can expect to receive the exact amount we quote in the shortest time possible,” consumers will “[r]eceive the cash promised in your quote,” and Laptop & Desktop Repair “will pay you as soon as we confirm the condition of your [device] and payout amount.
They made it look this easy:
So consumers popped their gear in the mail and waited for the defendants to make good on their offer. But once the company had consumers’ equipment in hand, they dropped their buyback price to as little as pennies on the dollar – sometimes just 3%-10% of the original quote.
And the questionable practices didn’t end there. Consumers typically had only a few days to accept or reject the cut-rate offer, and the FTC and Georgia say the defendants didn’t make it easy to cancel. According to the complaint, the company ignored email requests, hung up on consumers or kept them on hold, and often didn’t return their devices.”
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