This is not a post about parenting, so if that’s what you’re here for, then you’re better off looking at another post. Scroll down, you’ll find something. This post is about Cash4Phones, and how you can overcome their weedy little scams.
It’s a trap I should have seen coming – just a simple Google search would have revealed that Cash4Phones are nothing but a bunch of crooks, but I was in a hurry and didn’t do any research.
Cash4Phones have a very simple strategy: they quote higher than their competitors (Envirofone, Mazuma, etc.) for your phone, then email you to say that they’ve received your handset but due to ‘excessive wear and tear’ it has failed its inspection and they are therefore giving you a revised offer. To quote my own experience: they offered me £75 for my BlackBerry Bold 9700, then reduced it to £44. I know for a fact there wasn’t a scratch on the phone.
What they then do is give you five days to respond – if you don’t respond within five days they assume you’ve accepted their revised offer. They’re playing on the fact that most people can’t be bothered to complain, and therefore Cash4Phones get to keep your phone for a fraction of what it’s worth. And, if someone does complain, they either revise their offer up slightly or return your phone to you – at a cost of £4.95 to you.
After speaking to Zoe Robinson, someone I’ve known through social media for a while and who has a strong law background, it became apparent that what Cash4Phones does is inherently illegal.
A basic contract is all about offer and acceptance. Envirofone offers you a price for your phone, and – in sending your phone to them – you are accepting that offer. Cash4Phones’ terms and conditions are significantly different. They say that their quotation is a non-contractual quote, nothing more, and that in sending your phone to them you are making them an offer.
This is an unfair legal term, and under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 they have to explicitly inform you of this at the point you accept their quotation in order for it to be legally and contractually binding. Just clicking ‘Confirm’ to state that you accept their terms and conditions is not enough – they have to negotiate this with you beforehand.
So, if you find yourself on the receiving end of Cash4Phones’ scam, here’s what you do:
- Ring them on 0845 4601064 and quote your order number.
- State that you reject their offer. They might, at this point, state that they’ll have another look at your phone as ‘sometimes their technicians make mistakes’. If you want them to do this, that’s fine, but state that you’ll accept nothing less than the asking price.
- There’s no need to spout legal jargon at them just yet, but just mention that their T&Cs are invalid under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.
- They will say they’ll call you back the same day, but they invariably won’t. Wait until the next day before you call them back – by stating that you waited for their call which never came you can put more pressure on them.
- They’ll come back to you with a revised offer. If you like it, accept it. If not, ask to speak to a manager and start quoting the Regulations. Say you’ve got a background in law, and they have three choices: Continue to offer a low quote and face the risk of court action; return your phone to you free of charge; or honour the original quotation. Chances are they’ll avoid the former, as they know that legally they’re at a huge disadvantage.
- As and when they make you an offer which you accept, categorically state that if you do not receive the money within 48 hours you’ll be starting legal action. Many people on forums across the Internet have said that they’ve waited weeks for payment.
And that’s about it. Hope this helps!