Friday, February 6, 2009

Response to ComplaintsBoard Article

The purpose of this blog is to lay out critical arguments of Cash4Gold and provide informative responses. Due to the immense attention the company has received since the airing of its Super Bowl ad, there is need to more clearly articulate the purpose and processes of the company, and to clarify any misconceptions.

Recently, a person claiming to be a former employee of Cash4Gold submitted an anonymous posting to

The posting was false and defamatory.

With that in mind, it is also important to take all accusations seriously, address them accurately, and ensure that the public is aware of the facts.

Let's take these one by one.

ComplaintsBoard: "1. The 'refiner's pack' that is used for you to put your jewelry is 'insured for UP TO 100 dollars,' according to how much they determine from a description from you, the worth of your items to be, NOT an actual fully researched appraisal."

The Truth: This is correct. Cash4Gold is not able to make an accurate appraisal until the material has been shipped and examined. The customers are encouraged to purchase more insurance at the post office if they feel their gold is worth more than $100.

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.

ComplaintsBoard: "3. Your jewelry gets appraised by hand, a magnifying glass, a plastic container, a small weight pad, and a bottle of ORANGISH fluid, which your items are then determined a value for. Not million dollar equipment or specially trained jewelry experts. The company was temporarily closed recently due to health and code violations. I have witness testers being transported to Medical Centers, due to the testing department environment. There is literally a cloud of smoke in the air from acid and other testing material..."

The Truth: This is entirely false. The refinery and testing facility are A rated by OSHA for being a safe environment. All employees in these facilities are dressed in scrubs, the environment is clean and sterile, and the equipment is indeed state of the art. In the interests of full disclosure, an article will follow taking prospective customers on a virtual tour of these facilities.

ComplaintsBoard: "4. Although the payment (check) for your item is dated within 24 hrs of testing your jewelry, we SOMETIMES DO NOT actually send out the check until up to 3-4 days later..."

The Truth: All checks are dated the day they are sent out. An audit was done and all 10 day periods began on the date the checks were sent. All of them. 100%.

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.

It is true that a customer waives the return policy if they select the FastCash method. However, this is clear on the FastCash promotional page. There is no fine print, it isn't at the bottom of the page, and it isn't hidden in a legal document. It clearly indicates in the middle of the promo: "**By using the Cash4Gold FastCash program, you agree that you waive the 10-day return policy for all material." Additionally, customers must submit a blank check and sign a form that clearly states that they are waiving this return policy. The customer signs up for this option because time is of the essence to them.

ComplaintsBoard: "6. You generally receive your check around the '7th-10th' business day, AND majority of the time Customers are outraged when they lay eyes on the amount of their check. Some Customer's even receive a check for 0.01 cents."

The Truth: As stated in the response to #5, the 10 day (which is actually 15) period begins on the day the check is sent. Mail can take up to 7-10 days for delivery, but in most cases it is much less.

Regarding the amount of payment received, it all depends on what is sent. Cash4Gold receives many items that are of little or no value -- whether known or unknown to the customer. Additionally, the only value to Cash4Gold is in the material's gold content. Since the company is a full service refinery, the material is melted down -- craftsmanship does not add value.

If a customer is unhappy with their check, they have every right to ask for their material back. They can request by phone or e-mail. More than 93% of customers accept the check.

ComplaintsBoard: "7. There have been times when we have received your package and MISPLACED or LOST it at the facility. We CLAIM to not have received the items and even try to convince you that it was lost in the hands of USPS..."

The Truth: Cash4Gold has established a high tech tracking program to follow all received packages. While packages do get lost in the mail, it would be extremely rare. At no point would a Cash4Gold employee claim that a package was lost in the mail if it was known to be in the facility.

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 have received bonuses, but they are based on the number of calls, abandon rate and customer satisfaction.

ComplaintsBoard: "9. If you accept the offer, the deal is done, and you are told that the call is recorded (which most of the time, the record button does not work, or the box if full.)..."

The Truth: This is not true. All phone calls are recorded.

ComplaintsBoard: "10. If you only want the items that we do not find of any value back, you have to pay 10.00 shipping and handling fee to have your own items returned, which varies. Although it is listed under the terms and conditions, this charge varies from a 10.00-15.00 charge to NO charge, reason being, UNSURE."

The Truth: While Cash4Gold did charge for returns at one point, most returns are now done at no cost to the customer. Of course, given the range of material that may be returned, the company does reserve the right to charge if necessary.

In Conclusion: While the company is open to suggestions on improving its service, the accusations lobbed in the anonymous posting are false and defamatory and should be removed immediately from Complaints Board.


  1. This was a fair and accurate response... thank you for taking the time to do this. I, for one, did not expect this and was impressed.

  2. Came to this blog to read the other side of the story after coming across this article:

    While this is a good step towards addressing the complaints raised in a ComplaintsBoard article, the fact that the company is suing its former employee makes this post nothing but an inane exercise in setting up a blog.

    Had cash4gold simply addressed the points, the ComplaintsBoard article could have simply been dismissed as one by a disgruntled ex-employee. By filing a lawsuit, on the other hand, you fail to recognize a basic psychological principle: an average consumer will always identify with a single person more than with a company. Why? Because an average consumer is not a company. They have no idea what it takes to run a company or the kind of issues that a company has to deal with. A company-vs-individual will always be seen as "a big corporation picking on the little guy".

    The part that all but the best companies miss is that it doesn't matter who's right. A lawsuit against an individual will always attract negative attention to the company. Just think about the RIAA lawsuit against the people who share music illegally. The individuals are clearly in the wrong: they stole intellectual property. Yet, go out into the street and do a random poll, and I guarantee you that the prevailing notion will be that RIAA is just a big company that's trying to make extra money rather than protect the musician's rights.

    This is no different. By filing a lawsuit, you are basically just giving off shady vibes of intimidation (regardless of who's right or wrong on the actual 10 points), which is just a giant PR slip and one that you will not recover from for a while.

    Just my two cents.