Flipswap Cell Phone Buyback Doesn't Work As Advertised

A Consumerist reader tried to trade in some old cellphones via Flipswap, and it did not go well. Actually, it pretty much didn’t go at all—he may as well have dropped them off at a Goodwill.

He writes:

I read your post from yesterday about Flipswap. So I took my three old cellphones, plus AC plugs, plus two car chargers, to the nearest Flipswap dealer near my home in LA. It did not go as expected.

They do not pay me for the phone, do not offer store credit and, as far as charity, I was told to throw all the stuff in a box and “the boss” comes once a month to pick it up. They do not offer a receipt or any confirmation that it goes to any charity. Mind you, this was before they even saw the phones, so that determination was not based on the phones’ condition.

I went to the Flipswap dealer on Overland Avenue in West LA.

Our verdict as of today: maybe Flipswap isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In addition to this story and the one we covered yesterday, there’s the matter of their fine print, which we discovered when we checked out the trade-in value of an old phone via their website. You must agree that Flipswap can change the amount they promised, after they see the phone, and can even change the offer to $0, and under no circumstances can you ask that the phone be shipped back to you. We think that’s too much trust to put into an untested company.

[Update: the last paragraph has been rewritten to address a misperception that we were blaming the OP or other customers.]