FTC charges Laptop & Desktop Repair in Sparks with deceptive buyback offers

A sign posted at Laptop & Desktop Repair in Sparks advises people that the business has been seized by a federal court (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

The Federal Trade Commission and the state of Georgia have filed charges against the Sparks-based electronics buyback company accused of deceiving customers.

Laptop & Desktop Repair, LLC is charged with offering high buyback prices for customers' electronics through several online websites, only to give far less than promised after the devices were sent. The quotes could be dropped to as little as 3 to 10 percent of the original quote.

Thousands of customers have filed complaints with the FTC and other agencies, according to the statement. Formal charges have been filed in a federal district court in Georgia.

“This is a classic case of bait-and-switch updated for the 21st century,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “The defendants in this case lure consumers with false promises of generous payments, then hold consumers hostage once they have mailed their devices to the company.”

The federal court has issued a temporary order that freezes the company's assets and stops them from doing business, according to the statement from the FTC.

The company's storefront on Coney Island Drive was closed on Thursday, Sept. 29, as various agents raided the business. A spokesman for the Sparks Police Department at the time confirmed there was an investigation, though he said police would not be providing any further details.

Laptop & Destop Repair has a failing rating with the Better Business Bureau, and the Nevada attorney general's office said in 2015 it was investigating the company.

It's unclear how much of the local investigation played a part in the charges filed, though the FTC thanked the attorney general's office, Sparks Police and the BBB of Northern Nevada in its statement.

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