Apple’s trade-in partner Phobio seems to be facing an “astounding increase” in complaints

According to the reports, in the past few years, Apple has paid more and more attention to trade-in. It is reported that the company’s trade-in plan mainly relies on third-party partners, including Phobio, headquartered in Atlanta, USA. Although many customers are satisfied with their discount experience, The Verge today reported that there has been an “astounding rise” in online complaints about Phobio in the past few months.

According to the report, many complaints have a common theme: a MacBook or iPhone that appears to be working well has unexplainable problems after being mailed to Phobio for inspection. The report also specifically pointed out that many consumers have been informed by Phobio that there are “three or more white dots” on their MacBook displays, which makes their trade-in prices significantly lower than Phobio’s original offer.

The report shared the story of Daniel McGloin. It is reported that McGloin plans to sell the MacBook he bought in 2017 in February this year. The software engineer from San Diego participated in Apple’s trade-in campaign through the mobile app in the Apple Store. His second-hand laptop was quoted at $350. He felt it was in good condition, there was no obvious damage, and the display and keyboard were fully functional.

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After his laptop was sent for inspection, the situation quickly changed-McGloin was told that his MacBook was only worth $140, less than half of Apple’s original offer. The mysterious culprit is: “There are 3 or more white dots on the display.” McGloin didn’t remember that he had seen such a defect, but he should have noticed. McGloin told The Verge that he didn’t see any white spots on the computer when he was packing.

The Verge stated that after McGloin refused to trade-in, they personally inspected his MacBook and found no white spots or any identifiable damage.

Although any company may have a certain percentage of customers complaining online, reports claim that “this does not explain the mystery of the white dots”, which has caused the discount value of some “perfectly functional” Macbooks to be reduced by half or more. The Verge pointed out that Phobio will not directly comment on the white point issue, but the company insists that customers who trade in new products can “get full and fair value.”

As mentioned in the statement, Phobio allows customers to refuse the trade-in offer they give after inspection, and they even send the equipment back to customers at their own expense. All in all, it is difficult to quantify the alarming rise in online complaints against Phobio, because many customers who have a positive experience will not speak out about their experiences publicly.


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