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February 2, 2009 10:02 AM   Subscribe

"Your article is ranking very well for term 'Cash4Gold'. Is it worth a few thousand to take it down?"

The Consumerist picks up a Rob Cockerham report, resulting in some search results Cash4Gold finds unpleasant. They resort to bribery. They also seem to have disgruntled employees and trouble identifying gold.
posted by christonabike (74 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also related: Last night Cash4Gold aired the first direct response Superbowl advertisement.
posted by christonabike at 10:02 AM on February 2, 2009


Is it me or is there some form of the cash4gold ads airing in different parts of the country under different website names? I'm guessing these have to all be under the same umbrella company . I don't have the urls, but I've seen at least 4 different versions of these commercials in different parts of the country, all sending you to different websites, but seeming curiously similar.
posted by cashman at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2009


Oh, come on. Just take the money, man. Everyone knows Cash4Gold is a scam; they even use the scam font on their commercials.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:08 AM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Now what am I going to do with all of this scrap gold I have around the house?
posted by 2sheets at 10:12 AM on February 2, 2009


Did anybody besides me find that commercial during the Superbowl kind of depressing. MC Hammer, that's one thing, he's made a second career out of being a washed-up flash-in-the-pan. But Ed McMahon? Jeez, that was a bringdown.
posted by jonmc at 10:13 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tandem Interactive - Trendy Online Marketing Solutions

Trendy Online Marketing Solutions? They have a department that beings with the word 'Trendy?'
posted by jonmc at 10:15 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Take the money! These guys have deep pockets.

They bought out my website where I paid out gold for mummified parts of Johnny Cash, which was just as well as the supply of bits is pretty limited and I managed to get all the stuff I needed to complete my fancy new hat anyways.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:17 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favorite part is how's there's an advertisement that sponsors the Cash4Gold advertisement on hulu.
posted by Llama-Lime at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2009


Take the money. And then open up a new blog. Repeat.
posted by ColdChef at 10:19 AM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Clearly, a website worth its weight in gold.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2009


This comment is only here in the event that MetaFilter in general and/or this thread in particular gets offered a lot of money by Cash4Gold to disappear from the internets as well. If there's a share to share, I want my share.
posted by yhbc at 10:22 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Take the money but just keep the stuff up. If they complain, offer to take it down for 3x the original "estimate".
posted by DU at 10:24 AM on February 2, 2009 [25 favorites]


This is pretty funny. At first I thought this was going to be about them trying to bust him for sending in the bottle caps spray painted gold.
posted by queensissy at 10:25 AM on February 2, 2009


Kudos to him for not selling out. How often do you find someone who is not willing to trade their ideals for a few bucks.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:29 AM on February 2, 2009


Ed needs the money.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2009


Will flag posts for monetary compensation.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2009


Er... that should have been, Ed needs the money.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2009


I guess the only difference between infomercial scams and this is that the infomercials are longer.

I'd ask if anyone actually thought they'd get sufficient funds back for their gold, but there are 10 additional complaits posted on Complaints Board, with many having additional comments about people who were not paid what they were due. Why would you send $10,000 worth of jewelry to some distant company in a ziplock bag? Skepticism needs to be taught through TV shows, it seems. Maybe a special episodes of Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know, DU, reneging on an agreed-to bribe seems really unethical.
posted by resurrexit at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hope so very much the newsy websites are going to pick this story up. I'm forward this link to romanesko. cash4gold's search results this time next month might get very interesting.
posted by krautland at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2009


And, of course, now Matt is going to get a sizable check to shut down this thread. The circle of life.
posted by ColdChef at 10:32 AM on February 2, 2009


Cash4Gold is a scam! I accept all major credit cards.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:34 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


And, of course, now Matt is going to get a sizable check to shut down this thread.

I'll bet it'll be one of those big, five foot Publishers Clearinghouse checks. And it will be presented by Ed McMahon himself, live on TV.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2009


HEY CASH4GOLD I RUN THIS METAFILTER SHIT HIT ME UP $500 AND THE THREAD DISAPPEARS.
posted by The Straightener at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2009


Take the bribe, remove the article. Put in a link to a new article in which you describe the circumstances under which you removed it. Include the entire text of the removed article, just so there's no mistake about exactly which article you removed.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Haven't you guys seen House of Games? It's not an old-timey shimsham scam if you give away all the details. Now Cash4Gold won't play the mark.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2009


I wish he would name the other consumer "protection" website that agreed to remove their story after Cash4Gold joined their "advocacy program." Who is he protecting by redacting that name?
posted by msalt at 10:45 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, that's about enough of that. The new servers have to be paid for somehow. Take it to MeTa if you have a problem with it.
posted by mathowie at 1:45 PM on February 2



This thread is closed to new comments.
posted by ardgedee at 10:45 AM on February 2, 2009


ColdChef: "And, of course, now Matt is going to get a sizable check to shut down this thread. The circle of life."

Never mind the thread, the whole site. And the perfect smokescreen is already set up. OPEN YOUR EYES SHEEEPLE!
posted by hangashore at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2009


CASHFORGOLDSUCKS.COM is available!
posted by orme at 10:47 AM on February 2, 2009


geez, ardgedee, you really had me confused there for a second.
posted by GuyZero at 10:48 AM on February 2, 2009


Wait, Ed McMahon promotes scams now?! When did he give up his completely legitimate careers of grunting "yes" to scripted jokes, pointing at other people who (think they) have talent and giving away $1,000,000 in dramatizations of contests nobody ever wins?
posted by DU at 10:48 AM on February 2, 2009


CASHFORGOLDSUCKS.COM is available!

Darn. I have a shed full of gold sucks.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:50 AM on February 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


The folks at yourfavoritebandsucks.com, thisisadoubleyoustupidmoron.org and youcruelbastardgoodlorddonteverdeclawacat.com have made similar offers to Matt.
posted by bondcliff at 10:50 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey all,

If you look at the disgruntled employee link, it has an address. When I checked out the Google Street view, I realized that I used to make deliveries to a place nearby when I worked as a courier.

I then remembered the name of the company that I delivered to...Albar Precious Metals. Now, I'm not saying it's the same company, but they do have a suspicious link.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 10:52 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


In all seriousness, I really do think that when people call Cash4Gold, they more or less know what they're getting into. If you have a piece of jewelry that's actually worth something, then of course you should take it to a legitimate jeweler. Cash4Gold is free disposal, with a small check attached. And that's what their advertising basically says, so it's hard for me to get very riled up about them.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2009


Wait, Ed McMahon promotes scams now?! When did he give up his completely legitimate careers of grunting "yes" to scripted jokes, pointing at other people who (think they) have talent and giving away $1,000,000 in dramatizations of contests nobody ever wins?

He actually started out hawking products on the boardwalk in Long Island before he got into television. Those boardwalk pitches were eventually more or less directly translated into the informercial style that guys like Ron Popeil and Billy Mays carried on to the present, so in a roundabout way he helped paved the way for scams like Cash4Gold to find a niche on TV in the first place.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2009


I wish he would name the other consumer "protection" website that agreed to remove their story after Cash4Gold joined their "advocacy program." Who is he protecting by redacting that name?

The commenters at the Consumerist link think it's Rip-off Report, and that link also connects Albar Precious Metals to Cash4Gold.
posted by gladly at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


They are far away (unless you live in Pompano Beach, Florida)

If you're not sure whether or not an outfit is scammy, find out where they're incorporated. If it's Florida, run. Far and fast.

The consumer protection laws in Florida are incredibly and purposefully weak, to "encourage business". Any smart scammer sets up in that state, because the chances of you being able to hold them liable for screwing you over is near-nil.

If you simply do not do business with Florida entities, you will save yourself a very great deal of potential financial pain, or worse.
posted by Malor at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Cash4Gold is free disposal, with a small check attached.

and the perfect thing for someone who's just acquired a crapload of jewelry he doesn't want the police to find him with
posted by pyramid termite at 11:09 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


The commenters at the Consumerist link think it's Rip-off Report

Wow. That site is... supportive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:11 AM on February 2, 2009


A couple months ago, I wrote up an article on my blog with the title "site L_____ a scam?", filled with my complaints against site L_____.

2 days later, the CEO of L_____signed up an account and made a polite comment that managed to address my concerns enough that , without him asking, I added an "updated" section where I recapped the conversation, and I updated the title to "site L_____a scam? --probably not".

What's funny is I still see search-query-term hits that suggest the CEO does his little search for "L_____ scam" weekly, and he's clicking thru every week to see if I've updated again, or someone has posted a comment.
posted by nomisxid at 11:11 AM on February 2, 2009


Thanks, gladly. That Rip-Off Report is an amazingly obvious whitewash, pure Brave New World doublespeak:

Report: Cash 4 Gold
Category: Advertising / Deceptive

INVESTIGATION: Cash4Gold commitment to 100% customer satisfaction, Cash4Gold implemented strategic changes to insure consumers receive an honest deal. Cash4Gold gets a positive rating due to their continued efforts in customer satisfaction, demonstrates their need for continuing improvement. Pompano Beach Florida
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*UPDATE ...Rip-off Report Investigation: Cash4Gold, Albar Precious Metal Refining pledges to resolve complaints. Commitment to Excellence & Total Consumer Satisfaction & Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. ANY BUSINESS THAT CAN ADMIT THEY MADE MISTAKES AND CORRECTS THOSE MISTAKES IS A BUSINESS YOU CAN TRUST AND WORTH DOING BUSINESS WITH.

posted by msalt at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2009


Oops, sorry for the tag-spaz.
posted by msalt at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2009


Actually, that just improves the reading.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on February 2, 2009


Next we'll have Cash4Pot. Followed soon thereafter by Pot4Gold.
posted by netbros at 11:21 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


and the perfect thing for someone who's just acquired a crapload of jewelry he doesn't want the police to find him with

Yeah, this is pretty clearly just a way to fence stolen jewelry legally. If they rip off a few alcoholics who see the infomercial and decide to sell their grandfather's cufflinks for $15, that's just a bonus. They probably even pay better than a fence would, even with the lowball first offer. I imagine fences pay considerably less than 1/3 the market value.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:24 AM on February 2, 2009


Hypnotic Chick: Albar Precious Metals

IT'S A TRAP!

Oh, you were thinking it too.
posted by hangashore at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2009


Tell me more about your Pot4Gold, netbros...
posted by Mister_A at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2009


I saw the Cash4Gold commercial and I figured, that since it's so obviously a scam, that it was some sort of viral ad for Hulu, what their their stated claim of having an "evil plan to take over the world" and all.

Because you'd need gold to take over the world, right?

And money is the root of all evil, and since gold equals money, the only possible explanation is that this whole thing is a front for Alec Baldwin plans to liquefy our brains.

Obviously.
posted by quin at 11:47 AM on February 2, 2009


I know Cash4Gold is a big scam, but that was one of the only commercials that was funny. "I sent in my gold necklace of me wearing a gold necklace!" Thanks, MC Hammer.
posted by graventy at 12:01 PM on February 2, 2009


This is the internet. You can't take anything down. Rob could have taken it down, and used the money to blow the lid off of other scams. Granted, taking the money also almost legitimizes Cash4Gold in a way, so I guess they're both good options.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:03 PM on February 2, 2009


Brave New World Doublespeak? What's 'at, me droog?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2009


"I took the ring from my first marriage..."

I was so bummed when they changed the ad and dropped That Lady.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


BTW, this is Metafilter's own Rob Cockerham that we're talking about.
posted by Who_Am_I at 12:39 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


when people call Cash4Gold, they more or less know what they're getting into. [...] Cash4Gold is free disposal, with a small check attached. And that's what their advertising basically says,

They hired somebody (costs a lot of money!), and offered $3000 just to bury one story. Your interpretation is like the ridiculous people who claim "advertising doesn't effect ME."
posted by Chuckles at 12:47 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


that was one of the only commercials that was funny

I'm gonna have to disagree with you.
posted by krautland at 12:54 PM on February 2, 2009


netbros, what about pot4cash?
posted by crataegus at 1:07 PM on February 2, 2009


The Wayback Machine result for that Ripoff Report page is rather telling.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:13 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


BlackLeotardFront: Brave New World Doublespeak? What's 'at, me droog?

That would be happy, corporate unreality, what Christopher Hitchens called Huxley's "hedonist nihilism" beckoning us "toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus" -- in contrast to the rhetorical facism of Orwell's 1984, and with no connection I can fathom to ClockWork Orange's violent pyschedelic neo-Cockney slang ("droog").

Either that or I was winging it on a pre-caffeinated Monday morning, not wanting to use the cliche 1984 reference and too lazy to check my own accuracy. Like I just did on Clockwork. I forget which.
posted by msalt at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2009


Man, I bet they'd hate it if someone were to post something like: "cash4gold is lame. cash4gold rips off the unwary. cash4gold should be prosecuted for consumer fraud. cash4gold provides terrible service. cash4gold is run by Scientologists. cash4gold funnels money to terrorists."

I don't know if those things are true of cash4gold, of course, so I wouldn't say them about cash4gold myself, but if someone did say that about cash4gold, I bet the cash4gold people would be annoyed. Especially if such comments regarding cash4gold were posted on a highly-trafficked website. That'd be even worse for cash4gold.
posted by jamstigator at 1:17 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I took the gold from my first shipwreck...
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2009


I thought the Superbowl commercial was a parody. I wasn't sure there really was a cash4gold. Odd for the superbowl. Seemed odd.
posted by billdyszel at 1:45 PM on February 2, 2009


Off topic:

How is it that -when watching the Super Bowl- so many of my friends were intimately familiar with Kurt Warner's wife's former hairstyle? Was it that important?
posted by yeti at 2:29 PM on February 2, 2009


So, if we take turns suggesting Cash4Gold is a scam or a front for trafficking in stolen jewelery, google-bomb one another, we can all get rich?

Count me in!
posted by rodgerd at 2:49 PM on February 2, 2009


Cash4gold funds baby-eating Scientologist Holocaust deniers.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:33 PM on February 2, 2009


Ok Rob, I hereby forgive you for the Levitra couches and will begin patronizing your site again.
posted by Kwine at 5:22 PM on February 2, 2009


For the nine hundredth and first time.

Read this earlier in the week when Waxy posted it. All I can wonder is how anyone can watch the Gold4Cash commercials and not see giant 50 ft. tall blinking letters on the screen screaming "FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD."
posted by eyeballkid at 5:23 PM on February 2, 2009


How is it that -when watching the Super Bowl- so many of my friends were intimately familiar with Kurt Warner's wife's former hairstyle? Was it that important?

Basically, she went from looking like Kurt's mom in the 2000 Super Bowl to Kurt's younger wife in this one, with the main noticeable change being her haircut.
posted by graventy at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2009


Consumerist just posted 10 Confessions Of A Cash4Gold Employee.
posted by Susurration at 6:54 PM on February 2, 2009


Those "confessions" sound like backhanded compliments designed to reassure people that they can figure out how to play Cash4Gold, using this "inside" knowledge.

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. ... 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."
posted by msalt at 9:50 AM on February 3, 2009


I have a feeling a certain mr. howie is gonna get the chance to make a lot of dough off this thread.
posted by krautland at 4:17 PM on February 3, 2009


ATTENTION SEO/AFFILIATE/WEALTHENDONGLEMENT/WHATEVERTHESCAM CHUCKLEHEADS: PLEASE STOP SIGNING UP FOR METAFILTER AFTER SEEING THIS THREAD.

THIS IS NOT A GREAT MARKETING OPPORTUNITY. THIS IS NOT A STEPPING STONE IN YOUR SOCIAL ADVERTISING CRAP PARADE. THIS IS NOT A PLACE YOU WANT TO GO AROUND JUST HAPPENING TO MENTION YOUR CLIENTS' SHIT ON WHAT YOU HAVE MISTAKEN FOR "THE SLY".

WE'RE JUST GOING TO BAN YOU AS SOON AS YOU START PLANTING LINKS. WE ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO THAT BULLSHIT AROUND HERE. SAVE YOURSELF FIVE DOLLARS AND US SOME TIME, AND NIX THE TINKERTOY HIJINKS BEFORE YOU EVEN START.

THANKS IN ADVANCE,
MGMT.
posted by cortex at 8:20 AM on February 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


uhm cortex... don't tell them just yet, you guys just bought a new server.
posted by krautland at 9:29 AM on February 4, 2009


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