Cash4Gold Counters Critics With Super Polite Blog Posts

Cash4Gold has decided to counter a mounting stream of criticism – a Yahoo! tech article, a Red Tapes Chronicle MSNBC article, posts at Cockeyed and an insider confession at Complaintsboard – by putting up a series of debunking posts on their blog. I don’t know about you but the more four-syllable words a questionable company uses and the more their pronouncements sound like an Intro to Rhetoric term paper, the more I trust them. [cash4gold.blogspot.com] (Thanks to Merck23!)

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  1. rtmccormick says:

    Anyone else think those commercials sound like one of those Nigerian prince emails?

  2. taking_this_easy says:

    so they are saying they’re valuing the stuff you send in based on the amount of gold they’ll get from melting it down…

    • henwy says:

      @taking_this_easy:

      You know, I thought Cash for Gold was full of crap, but after reading the response, it actually makes a lot of sense. If they really are melting down everything rather than reselling the items, it’s no wonder that you would only get the gold value for the item. As anyone with even the slightest bit of sense knows, much of the value of jewelry is in the workmanship of the item. Go out and check the price of any piece of gold jewelry and compare it to the amount that pure gold is trading for on the exchange. The difference is going to be gargantuan.

      I am sort of surprised that Cash for Gold doesn’t re-sell some of the jewelry pieces intact but if they really do melt everything, then it does explain the discrepancy in the price people receive. It seems clear that people should only send in pieces that have no real resale value as is. Things that are broken or otherwise problematic.

      • snowburnt says:

        @henwy: I never really disputed their business plan, I had a problem with the customer service part of it (at least with the experiences posted here). And honestly, I wouldn’t really *trust* any company that substitutes a word for a letter AND has Cash in the title.

        When they lose your stuff, lose your check, pretend your stuff is worth substantially less than it actually is (when you fight it they raise the offer)

      • calquist says:

        @henwy: Snap out of it, man! They have you in the brainwash!!! But since you are already there, can I borrow $100,000,000 to reclaim my deserved royal inheritance?

        • ScottRose says:

          @calquist:

          How much of the $100,000,000 do I get???!!!

          Seriously though, I don’t understand why everyone is suddenly so uppity about these people.

          I remember when they first started airing their commercials lo those [months or a year] ago. (Yes, I watch a lot of Comedy Central late night). I never got the impression that they were going to do anything but melt down the gold. In fact I remember checking the price of an ounce of gold online to see what sort of payout you’d get for a bunch of jewelry. So yeah, duh that a pawn shop will give you more money.

          And the damn commercials looked sketchy (they still do). I would never do business with them, but if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to low-ball me. And it’s obvious that you’ll never get the market price of gold from them; they have costs to cover from running their business. They need to buy low and sell high.

          Anyone that acts surprised by Cash4Gold is a greedy fool. I never found them to be misleading in any way.

          OMG CASH OMG!!!1!!

  3. VOIDMunashii says:

    Oh wow, they have a Myspace page! Well they must be legit then, everyone on Myspace is what they represent themselves to be.
    Why I have an inbox full of hot babes just dying to meet me if I visit their special website, and enter my credit card number.

  4. Raekwon says:

    I think they win the prize for most blogspot labels in a single blog. Holy keyword search batman!

  5. Davan says:

    I wonder if Consumerist has reached a single customer of Cash4Gold… Cash4Gold’s customer base doesnt exactly strike me as the ‘reading’ kind

  6. coold8 says:

    Meh doesn’t seem too irrational, still won’t use their service, but as long as everything is clearly stated, seems perfectly legitimate. Sure the people that use their service are likely idiots, but does it really matter at the end of the day?

  7. XTC46 says:

    Selling gold to Cash4Gold is like selling a car for scrap metal. The scrapper doesnt care about the looks, the shine, the shape, etc, it cares about the meal. Your metal can be shaped like a taures or a ferrari, but at the end of the day, its only a ton of metal to them. Becasue of that, you are getting way less for it. Cash4Gold is not a business to give people lots of money, its a business to make money.

  8. Joe Martin says:

    “Deal with the Refiner!”
    In other words “Eliminate the middle Man!” because middle men do crazy stuff like spend millions on super bowl ad spots and bombard day-time TV with elderly celebrity endorsements.

    • your new nemesis says:

      @Joe Martin: Oh come on MC Hammer can’t be that old, is he? Maybe, next place we will see him is advetising centrum silver or something. MC Ensure.

      • MiltyKiss says:

        @skizsrodt: He’s 46 (47 in March) according to Wiki. His first famous album (Please Don’t Hurt Them Hammer) came out in 1990 (19 years ago).

        I’ve come to figure out two things from writing this post:
        1) I’m bored.
        2) It literally seemed like he took over everything music 10 years ago… not 19.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          @MiltyKiss: That tape (and Vanilla Ice’s tape) that year was my first step into music..

          I finally gave the tapes away to charity last month.. I’m still kindof nostalgic and sad about it.

          I realize this is pathetic.

  9. Julia789 says:

    “Cash4Gold was not aware of all of the tactics being using in my reputation management services.”

    Ha ha – “reputation management services.” I love it.

  10. Michael Belisle says:

    I would hope that if they can afford a Super Bowl commercial, they can also afford a literate PR firm.

  11. Kyattsuai says:

    Fooling impressionable TV-watchers into paying hidden shipping charges or automatically billing their credit card endlessly is one thing, but telling them to mail away the one thing in their house that’s remotely valuable for some pocket change… makes me wonder how long it’ll be until you have to send them your blood in an insured envelope.

  12. Michael Belisle says:

    Hmmm.

    A Detroit-area postal clerk was accused of attempting to sell stolen gold to a pawnshop right before Christmas. … The postal worker has been released on a $10,000 bond and has been placed on unpaid leave by the USPS.

    There are legitimate ways to sell your gold for cash! Visit Cash4Gold.com to learn how to sell your old or broken jewelry for cash! Mail your gold in our insured packaging and receive gold quickly! [cash4gold.blogspot.com]

    I think that last paragraph needs a few corrections.

    There are legitimate safer ways to sell your stolen gold for cash! Visit Cash4Gold.com to learn how to sell your old or broken jewelry for cash! Mail your hot gold in our insured packaging and receive gold cash quickly!

    • Bailen says:

      @Michael Belisle: This is exactly what I was thinking about… Its a perfect fence for thieves who target jewelery. Sure they may not get much money for their work, but its allot safer if they can have the evidence melted away after only a few days. I would have thought they would have to have a 30day holding period and be forced register descriptions of their “purchases” with police like pawn shops have to.

  13. Roy Hobbs says:

    I read a good portion of the first page of the blog posts, and whether you like the concept or not, I’ve got to say that I find the direct answers to questions to be refreshing. Most companies would simply say that they are “taking the issues seriously.”

    I probably wouldn’t use the service myself, but it looks like they are being more upfront than most businesses. Apparently someone over there has read The Cluetrain Manifesto.

  14. BCK says:

    So they can afford a super bowl commercial yet can’t afford a self hosted blog? Being on blogger, host of massive amounts of spam blogs, makes them look worse in my eyes.

  15. easy2panic says:

    “As Seen On TV”

    I never trust anything which has that quote printed on it. To me it says, even though this product looks illegitimate, because it was on TV gives it credibility.

  16. Davan says:

    Does anyone find it peculiar that even after being online for so long and having such high exposure, there isnt a single comment in reply to their post? I find that more than a little unusual

  17. Corporate-Shill says:

    Everybody is looking for a Free Lunch, or to take advantage of the stupid employee mistakes.

    Guess what! Lunch ain’t free and the stupid employees are not that stupid.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for allowing us a chance to respond. There have been a lot of quick judgments across the web, so we appreciate the link. While we feel that much of the negative press is based on misinformation, we acknowledge that it is our responsibility to properly inform the public on our company.

    Next blog, we’ll make sure to use five and six syllable words. Watch out!

    Cash4Gold

  19. bobhope2112 says:

    Quotes from the cash4gold blog:

    This scenario is not in dispute. While it cannot be confirmed that this is indeed what happened, I will trust that it did.

    Ok, so you’re going to be a weasel right of the gate. Why not investigate the transaction that happened beneath your nose?

    However, it is very important to remember that Cash4Gold is not a pawn shop; it is a refinery. Whereas a pawn shop will take your jewelry and sell it in its current form (value dependent not only on gold content but craftsmanship), Cash4Gold melts down your gold and sells the gold itself. It doesn’t matter what your gold looks like. Moreover, it is entirely possible that the pawn shop overvalued the gold in question.

    Riiightt, it’s the pawnshop’s error. That doesn’t really explain why cash4gold offered three times the original amount with very little prodding. The blog does not really address this conflict, but does mention their second offer:

    Cockeyed.com: “Brent called Cash4Gold and immediately and asked for his stuff back. They made a new offer on the phone: $178!”

    The Truth: A customer service representative from Cash4Gold does not have the ability to raise the offer arbitrarily. What they can do is discuss the jewelry submitted with the Estate Buyer to determine if there is anything that may be worth selling as a whole piece instead of melting in the refinery. That is likely what occurred in this situation.

    Wait, I thought you guys are just a refinery? What’s all of this about buying whole pieces based on their value as jewelry? I guess it’s just not enough to live off of other people’s ignorance–you also have to be able to pretend that you’re doing them a favor.

    • Tiber says:

      @bobhope2112: More fun points to add:

      Cockeyed.com: “Brent called Cash4Gold and immediately and asked for his stuff back. They made a new offer on the phone: $178!”
      The Truth: A customer service representative from Cash4Gold does not have the ability to raise the offer arbitrarily. What they can do is discuss the jewelry submitted with the Estate Buyer to determine if there is anything that may be worth selling as a whole piece instead of melting in the refinery. That is likely what occurred in this situation.

      In addition to what Bob said, you mean to tell me that a business seeking to maximize profits defaults to melting it down, and doesn’t consider selling the finished piece until someone complains about a low offer? Plus, they can apparently have it appraised and re-negotiate the offer almost instantaneously, while still on the line with the customer!

      According to a recent study, 92% of Cash4Gold’s customers would never use a pawn shop. The demand for their services are there because the process is quick, easy and anonymous.

      Thanks for adding the anonymous part. I’m sure that’s a virtue to many honest customers.

      Cockeyed.com: “He also noticed that Cash4Gold offers a ‘fast cash’ scheme to forego the paper check and deposit their payment directly into your checking account within 24 hours. This setup would be faster, but gold sellers would give up their chance to examine and renegotiate their offer.”

      The Truth: Dictionary.com has several meanings of the word “scheme,” but it’s pretty clear that their intended usage here is “A secret or devious plan; a plot.” There is nothing secret or devious about the FastCash option. On the website where this option is promoted, it indicates that “By using the Cash4Gold FastCash program, you agree that you waive the 10-day return policy for all material.” This isn’t fine print at the bottom of the page or legal mumbo jumbo that’s included in some terms and conditions that you will not read. It is right there in the middle of the page in regular sized print.

      Way to miss the point. The supposed “scheme” isn’t that you’re trying to hide the fact that the fast cash option waives the right to dispute the amount, it’s that people are (foolishly) trusting you to pay them a fair price.

      ComplaintsBoard: “2. We receive your ‘Refiner’s Pack’ within 3-4 days, BUT we are instructed to tell you that it takes ‘7-10 business days’, for us to receive your pack, ALTHOUGH many times, your package has already arrived.”

      The Truth: At no time would a Cash4Gold customer service representative tell a customer that their pack had not yet arrived if it was in stock. It is common for any business to allow for 7-10 business days for shipping to set expectations. Of course, any package may and should arrive prior to that, and if a customer called about such a received package prior to the expiration of that 7-10 days, the rep would have record of that package that they would share with the customer.

      I remember seeing on ripoff report that someone complained that they hadn’t received an offer after a couple weeks, and was told they hadn’t received it. The next day, the check came. I suppose they found it and overnight-ed it then?

      ComplaintsBoard: “5. We do offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or your jewelry returned, BUT THE CATCH IS, that the guarantee is to contact us within 10 DAYS from when your check is DATED. (This begins with the time it took for the accounts payables dept. to ISSUE the check and also including the TRANSIT TIME for you to receive your check in the mail… If you request (sign) for FAST CASH (direct deposit) you automatically WAIVE your rights to have your items returned, EVEN if you are not satisfied with amount of your deposit.”

      The Truth: Two items to address here. The 10 days does begin the day that the check is sent out. However, by law Cash4Gold must provide up to 15 days. The 10 days is indicated to encourage customers to have it taken care of quickly, but the 15 days is recognized.

      So you freely admit that your terms are illegal, and you have the gall to say that you’re doing it for the customers’ benefit! I’m sure you tell your customers that when they call on day 11, right? This right here is the real smoking gun, and could be interesting if someone tried a class-action lawsuit.

      ComplaintsBoard: “8. …We issue low checks just to have you call us back if you are smart enough to realize that you just got scammed. For the smart one’s we are paid to offer u a bonus up to 3x the original amount of your check and you accept. For ex: Sally Smith receives a check for $27.86… Now Sally Smith calls the cust srvc dept… and offer you a total amount of $53.20 which is a little under double the amount of your original check; in which case if you accept, the cust srvc rep makes a 15.00 bonus off of your transaction. If the customer service rep offers you under triple the amount of your orig check, he/she makes 10.oo in bonuses.

      The Truth: Cash4Gold customer service representatives do receive bonuses, but only for number of calls, abandon rate and customer satisfaction. No bonuses are based on the amount of payment.

      First, you completely ignore the lowballing issue. Second, there’s the issue of how you can raise the price so much so quickly, which I mentioned. Third, wouldn’t the bonus mentioned (if true) be considered a form of customer satisfaction? That is, “customer satisfaction bonuses” could easily be PR speak for these offer bonuses.

      That’s enough for now, so I’ll end with this:

      it’s alarming that people are so willing to take the word of a terminated short-time employee as fact.

      Perhaps it says something about the perceived reputation of your business, rather than the amount of trust someone places in an anonymous commenter on the internet?

    • The Bigger Unit says:

      @bobhope2112: How can cash4gold investigate the transaction that happened “beneath their nose”? Sure they can validate the $60 => $178 increase, but do you expect them to travel to the pawn shop to confirm that the shop originally offered $198? That’s what the blog is saying….

      Regardless, if you send your crap, er, gold into these guys, you pretty much get what you deserve.

  20. RebekahSue says:

    I don’t know where they’re from, but I’ve only seen pawnshops and jewelers buy by weight. hell, half the times I’ve seen, they use it for scrap (for repairs etc). Our family jeweler buys scrap, and does repairs… I never asked if he uses scrap for repairs, but whatever. I doubt the pawn shop “over-valued” IF they also go by weight.

    The only time I saw a ring purchased for resale value was in an antique shop.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Most pawnshops will do both IF they also have a working jeweler on site (someone can know the value, but not know how to make it). All the wares in the pawnshops you’ve been to were bought off people, it just might be that what you had was broken or otherwise not something they felt could be sold as-is.

  21. Kittyfang says:

    My favorite part was “The Yahoo! article is further evidence that Cash4Gold needs to continue to educate the masses on their service.”

    I have this image of Moses, up on a hill, holding stone tablets and reading the fine prints of Cash 4 Gold to the avid listeners below.

  22. Peter Kraatz says:

    The bias against them is strong, but honestly the company did a good job in their rebuttal. Granted, the ads are cheezy and the base expectation going in has to be something a little more responsible than “I’m about to get rich”. Aside from that they are about what I would expect from this kind of service. Cheap, but you get your money.

    Bobhope-
    The scenario not in dispute is one where a pawn shop offered more for pieces of jewelry than C4G was willing to pay for the raw gold. So what? Who is there to investigate, the pawn shop?

    C4G’s response to the seemingly arbitrary offer hike sounds reasonable. They can sell some percentage of pieces as individual or lot estate sale items. Whatever. I bet they’re even turning a profit on the deal. I would.

    When taken into context with a short term employee who could easily have an axe to grind, who do you believe? C4G admits this is pretty shameful for them, particularly the payoff problem with their consultant. What more do they do?

    This episode has nuked their image for some time. I think it is good to see those warts but I also think their response was appropriate. If the promised video comes out without scandal it will call into question every aspect of the whistleblower’s story. If another expose’ erupts, they’re pretty much toast.

    As I said the commercials are creepy and I don’t think I would ever use the service. It’s just not for me; I would want the best deal. Some folks just aren’t into seeing how close to the spot price per ounce of gold they can get. Perhaps a little “be careful” is in order but I think we can step down from Defcon 2.

  23. WillG says:

    I think it would be simple enough for “someone” to get the scrap value by weight from a few local sources for some pieces of gold & send it in, documenting the entire thing, phone calls and all…

  24. endless says:

    I know im going to get bashed for “blaming the victim” but dammit it needs to be done!!!

    Only someone extremely dense would trade good jewelry to cash4gold. You might do OK trading in really trashed old gold, but otherwise you are throwing money away.

    its fairly clear from their ads they are going to melt down whatever they get. at least it was to me.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This company offers bad deals but their blog is not written like a rhetoric paper. It makes its points plainly and assertively.

    I’m glad you’re publicizing the bad deals but the vendetta aspect is petty.

  26. TheBursar says:

    Has Cash4Gold’s PR firm been contributing to the comments here? Some of these comment seem really off. Has Ben seen a spike in subscribers today?

  27. Meathamper says:

    Hey, they can’t afford server space to host their own blog (Blogspot? Really?). I guess we’re doing something right.

  28. Gravitational Eddy says:

    I pay cash for used dirty worn out bills. You send me your filthy ones and fives, and I’ll cut you a check right now.

    Operators are standing by new for your call, so don’t delay. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!
    Kids, get your Mom’s and Dad’s billfolds and purses, and trade in all that old useless money for a crisp brand new check made out to you!
    And remember, the more of that old used money you send in, the bigger the check you will get from us in three to five days, by express mail.
    This is a time limited offer, we cannot guarantee that we’ll ever be able to repeat it, so act now!

    “It’s great!”
    “And I got the check back in like three days!”
    - Albee Fharnum
    “It’s like hitting the Lottery”
    “Finally, I can afford to have someone keel my husband…”
    - Mrs. M. Anilla Envelope’

    800-555-1212
    CALL NOW TIME LIMITED ENDS SOON
    800-555-1212

  29. SteveZim1017 says:

    I would like to see someone send in a 1 oz coin or ball of gold and see if they get anywhere near the 1 oz value. just to take the “artistic value” of the jewelry out of the equation.

  30. bobhope2112 says:

    Peter Kraatz: The scenario not in dispute is one where a pawn shop offered more for pieces of jewelry than C4G was willing to pay for the raw gold. So what? Who is there to investigate, the pawn shop?

    I don’t really understand what you’re saying, so I’ll just try to focus what I was saying:

    I’m calling bullshit on cash4gold’s speculation that the pawn shop has overvalued the gold, as they ultimately made the same (within $2) offer. Later in their blog they explain the massive increase in their offer, from $60 to $178, by speculating that their representative on the phone might have valued the items as whole pieces, rather than (presumably) just raw gold. That sounds goofy too, as they earlier made a big deal about them being, unlike pawn shops, a refinery.

    It sounds like they’re trying to have it both ways, and hoping you wouldn’t notice.

  31. Peter Kraatz says:

    bobhope-

    Really we’re just disagreeing about how we interpret the company’s motives in our pawn shop scenario. Plain and simple. I’m just calling for some calm.

    I don’t see the price adjustment as nefarious, just accommodating so as not to lose any kind of sale (they want to get paid, of course). If their primary business is in the gold, how many people will they have to deal with as “middleman”? I can’t see how that is more profitable than just mass melting.

    I can easily be proven wrong. I suspect some folks are already populating envelopes with tested, weighed and photographed jewelry. If those come back as pennies on the dollar I would change my stance in a heartbeat.

    Having said that, I still think the idea of cramming your jewelry in an envelope to Ed McMahon is a bad one. I will never go this route.

  32. Sidecutter says:

    Holy CRAP.

    “According to a recent study, 92% of Cash4Gold’s customers would never use a pawn shop. The demand for their services are there because the process is quick, easy and anonymous. In particular, customers can sell broken jewelry that pawn shops may otherwise have little interest in. The company’s management openly acknowledges that gold owners may be able to get more if they put in the work to go to a pawn shop or jeweler. Many people simply don’t want that hassle.”

    Is it me, or did they just pretty much admit that this is a great way to get cash for stolen gold?

  33. SpiderPaintingDollars says:

    They use blogspot? They must not have convinced themselves they’re a real company yet.