Anyone use Phobio for trade-in before? Nightmare experience.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by handsome pete, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Uaaerospace2 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2017
    Within the past 3 weeks, I use Apple BuyBack (Phobio) for a 2011 27" iMac and the process was quick and painless with no surprises. Value awarded was value quoted.

    Within the past 6 weeks, I used Apple Buy Back on a Series 2 Apple Watch. Again, process was painless with no surprises. Value quoted was value delivered.
  2. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Phobio is who Apple uses for the Apple Giveback program??
  3. Knitfiction macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2018
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    --- Post Merged, Dec 1, 2018 ---
    Wanted to update. I spent a good deal of time on the phone with an employee, then asked to be referred to a supervisor. In addition, I wrote Phobio support team an email saying that I would report them to the Better Business Bureau of Atlanta (which I did) and to Apple. The BBB already has a number of complaints related to Phobio on their website. The BBB said they had reached out to the company and received no response. Then, I got an email from a "Phobio support manager" ....

    "Thank you for sharing your experience with Phobio on the Better Business Bureau.
    I have reviewed your trade and I wanted to take a moment to review your trade with you. Although we do not have any indication of transit damage to your device, I am making sure you receive the value of $265 for your computer."

    And I received the gift card from Virtual Rewards as promised... you have to print it up and take it to the Apple Store or use in online...

    So in sum, I would say report any problems to the BBB... I doubt I would have gotten the original quoted amount if I hadn't done that. Also, in the future, I will check the reviews of a company on the Internet before I use them for another Apple giveback...and am letting a friend who works at Apple know about this entire scenario...
  4. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    I had no problem using the Apple Giveback (Phobio). I got the the quoted amount for a working 2011 15" MBP. Fast & easy.
  5. JPH675 macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2016
    Any updates? I just shipped my rMB Saturday in great condition and was offered the same quote.
  6. stillcrazyman macrumors 68020


    Oct 10, 2014
    In Exile
    I used, or tried to use, Phobio for a "Give Back" sale of a Late 2012 iMac I had. They quoted me over $400 for mine, and could not match my serial number to a valid machine type or model. Even an online chat couldn't resolve the issue. The quote and shipping package never showed up - FedEx seems to have lost it. It all seemed a bit sketchy.

    I contacted Mac Of All Trades last Sunday. I had a quote for twice as much as Phobio offered. The shipping label was emailed next business day. My iMac was shipped out to them and delivered safely. The payment (not a gift card) is in progress.

    So, MOAT was a much better solution compared with Phobio. That's just my experience.
  7. AustinMac macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2010
    I'm upset with Phobio as well. I am trying to use Phobio currently as well. At first, it seemed like a quick and easy way to take care of a lightly used Mac. I didn't want the hassle of going through eBay or Craigslist so I went this route. I could have surely gotten more money for it on other routes but in hopes of a quick and convenient process, I thought I'd go this route.

    Timing facts: I put my Mac in the mail on November 29th. It is now December 17th and I have yet to get store credit.

    I had thought, they would open the package, inspect the Mac to make sure it was in good order and then process a payment in the same day. Not even close. I suspect they are trying to delay payment to sellers like me so that they can find a buyer first and make money on the finance benefits of hanging on to the cash for a few days. Good business model except it leaves everyone waiting and waiting and waiting to get paid.

    The email support happens (and I've used it trying to speed the process along) but it doesn't seem to speed things up (and the responses are typically that it takes X "business days" but they don't count business days the way I would expect them to be counted). I was really planning on using the store credit for Christmas gifts but I've given up on that idea. If you are looking for quick and easy way to get payment for an Apple product don't go this route. In retrospect, eBay or Craiglist would have been faster, easier, and more money in my pocket.
  8. JPH675, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018

    JPH675 macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2016
    Had an "as advertised" experience. Received a $400 quote, shipped out the early 2015 MacBook and they received it December 5. Received an email today (12/17) stating the MacBook was received as represented and that $400 was being put back onto my credit card. Happy with the transaction.

    Credit card statement actually shows a credit of $426, more than quoted. Very happy.
  9. Linwood macrumors newbie


    Jan 15, 2019
    I join this club today. $300 quoted, $100 offered. Said there was a microscopic crack in my screen that couldn't be seen with the naked eye. B.S. I told them to send it back. Last time I buy from the Apple Store.
  10. jaybar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2008
    I should say in advance that I had absolutely no issues with Phobio and my iMac trade in.

    That being said, I wonder what percentage of people who initiate a trade with Phobio, have an issue?

    If it is a significant problem, then perhaps Apple should choose another agent. Otherwise some small percentage of adverse experiences is to be expected.
  11. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    I just used Phobio through Apple Giveback to trade in my 2015 13" MacBook Pro. I was quoted $660, and I received $660 after they inspected it. But I included a power adapter, and I was super careful packing it into the box. I also took a million photos of the computer before I packed it up and the packaging when I dropped it off... just to be safe... but I didn't end up needing them.

    The only issue I'd say I had was that this process takes f o r e v e r. 4 days for my package to arrive at Phobio, 4 days for them to get around to inspecting it, and 3 to 4 days to receive the gift card from Apple. I'm waiting for the gift card now... so we'll see when it actually gets here.

    Sure, there were some weekend days in there, but still... up to 12 days is a long time to be without a laptop. The only reason I choose the gift card option is that I'll be purchasing a refurbished Mac to replace this one, and Apple won't let you do a straight exchange (where they credit your account once the computer is inspected) with a refurbished purchase.
  12. jaybar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2008
    IIRC, you don’t get an actual gift card. You get a virtual card, with a link. This can be used at the AS (online or in person). I kept waiting for a card that never arrived, until I followed their redemption instructions (online).
  13. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Yeah you're right that it's a virtual gift card that they email out. Phobio's email after they inspected my laptop said they'd email it to me with no more action required on my part.
  14. J Wyman macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2019
    I had a very similar experience with this company - got a $130 quote on an old MacBook undamaged, sent it in, got an e-mail reducing the offer to $20 since the back hinge was now smashed (with photo). I accepted the offer rather than dealing with an old and now damaged computer, but filed a complaint with the BBB about my experience. I was in good company - there are MANY other similar complaints. They forwarded my complaint to Phobio, who quickly responded to sayi that the package was not damaged on arrival and that they had not caused the damage, but would send me an additional gift card for $110 to restore the $130 offer. Perhaps the BBB is a more effective way to seek resolution. It looked on their site as if many other reduced payment cases had been properly corrected.
  15. natskane macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2019
    Same thing is happening with the iPhone 6 I traded-in. Was in perfect condition prior, and now they are claiming it has a cracked camera lens.

    I have photos taken with the phone prior that can prove no cracked lens when I sent it in, but unsure whether it is worth dealing with unhelpful customer service just to possibly get part of the $150 trade-in value. Also not sure who assumes responsibility if the phone actually was damaged during shipping (I packaged it per instructions).

    Anywho.. I just wonder how often this is happening to people's devices .. feels like it's pretty easy for them to just state devices have been damaged and offer less trade-in value than originally promised..

  16. handsome pete thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Is Apple even a partner with Phobio anymore? I was curious after getting an alert about this thread and Apple Giveback through seems to indicate a partnership with a company named Brightstar. Though Phobio still has an Apple Giveback page on their own site.

    Yeah, knowing what I went through and after reading a bunch of complaints something definitely seems off with some of their practices. But then again, I read a lot of the successful transactions and second guess that feeling.

    Just sold an iPad on Swappa recently. It's basically just them or Craigslist I turn to anymore.
  17. Dakko macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2009
    FWIW, I have had great experiences with Mac of all Trades as well as IGOTOFFER. As for the latter, I recently sent in a 2015 iMac and labeled it as “flawless”. I was pleasantly surprised that within 24 hours they agreed with my assessment. Also, IGOTOFFER has very good reviews on the reseller ratings site.
  18. Azelgato macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2019
    Phobio is a partner with Apple for iPhone trade-ins. I traded in two phones by mail, 6plus/6Splus, promised $200 and $250 as trade in values. The trade in values were verified by Apple. I was shorted on both refunds so far. I contacted Apple support and they say I was issued refunds. In both cases Apple says refunds were issued in amounts that exceeded the trade in values. Apple is looking into it. Next time I’ll trade in my phone at an Apple store and not by mail.
  19. cbooty9001 macrumors newbie

    I can't believe Apple is associating themselves with this outfit. I sent in my laptop and was quoted $449 but when I sent it in, it was revised down to $90 due to "dead pixels" and "dents". It was a 2012 MBP and had minor scratches due to the year, but an 80% reduction in value is crazy. Spoke to Apple and Phobio and just got the run around.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 16, 2019 at 1:53 PM ---
    ...further to the last post, after 2 hours on the phone with Apple through 3 levels of support, they finally offered a credit for the laptop I purchased, which was fair. In the end Apple was frustrating but decent and Phobio not so much.

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