DENVER – Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers has reached an out-of-court settlement agreement with Broomfield-based Uzed Enterprises and company president Steven Bonneau. The company operated the Uzed.com website, soliciting and accepting consumers’ used CDs, DVDs, video games, and consumer electronics, such as cell phones, in exchange for an advertised payment. Uzed then resold the goods to media retailers for a profit.
The Attorney General received more than 200 complaints through the Better Business Bureau and the Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2006 and 2007. Consumers complained that payments in return for mailed electronics took far longer than the ten business days promised by the website. Oftentimes, payments took more than six months to arrive, and even more than a year in some cases. Hundreds of other consumers have yet to be paid for their products. The company itself reports that in 2006, it took an average of 33 business days to deliver payments to consumers. Many consumers were slammed with bank fees after Uzed.com’s check was drawn from an account without sufficient funds.
The settlement agreement brokered by the Attorney General’s office requires Uzed and Bonneau to pay back nearly $40,000 to more than 400 consumers across the country who sent their used electronics to Uzed.com. Bonneau and Uzed are further prohibited from operating any business in Colorado in which they are responsible for paying consumers, unless a bond is in place.
Uzed.com’s ten business day representation was often an important selling point for consumers, who were expecting between $20 and $1600. Consumers reported plans for vacations and paying bills with the anticipated returns.
The company experienced similar payment problems in 2003, but eventually rectified the issue. When the problems reoccurred in early 2006, Uzed.com effectively ignored consumer complaints, often responding only after a consumer complained to the Better Business Bureau or law enforcement. Bonneau shut down Uzed.com in May of 2007.
“When a business makes a specific performance guarantee to a consumer, it has a legal obligation to fulfill that promise,” commented Attorney General Suthers. “When companies violate Colorado consumer laws, my office will hold them accountable.”