Gadgets for Cash Company Left Customers Awaiting Payment

NBC 6's Alina Machado reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017)

Everything from tablets to smart watches, Stopoint, a Miami-based company, promised fast payments to consumers looking to trade in old electronics. It was that promise that got the attention of consumers like Sean Wang, a business professor who wanted to sell a Galaxy Watch.

“I looked into a couple places that were willing to buy the gadget back and Stopoint was one of the first places that came up,” said Wang.

The process, according to Wang, seemed easy enough – register on the company’s website and send in the device using a prepaid shipping label.

“And upon immediately receiving the device, they would refund me back a quoted amount which I believe was $46,” Wang said.

FedEx tracking information shows Wang’s package was delivered to the company on June 8th. But the money didn’t come and Wang said he got no answer to emails he sent.

“For me, it was just 47 bucks but some people sent back $400 iPads,” said Wang.

Stopoint was founded by twins Steeve and Ally Simbert and their friend, Marc Estinville two years ago – their start-up was featured in a Miami Herald article in February and on several national media outlet websites including NBC. But soon after, concerned customers posted on the company’s Facebook page.

“Sent in my iPhone 6 … almost 2 months ago and have still not received payment,” wrote Molly Bailey. “Any help in how I can get paid or get my phone returned to me would be greatly appreciated.”

Jordan Leigh wrote: “I still have not received my money.”

And Kristin Yoon wondered, “What’s going on Stopoint?”

NBC 6 Responds registered and packed up four iPhones and shipped them using the provided FedEx label. Our team received confirmation that all four devices were delivered the following day.

Weeks later, our account remained at $0.

When our calls and emails also went unanswered, we stopped by the company’s office but no one was there.

We eventually reached out to Marc Estinville at his home and spoke to his wife who told us he was on his way to meet with us.

Estinville never showed up, but did send NBC 6 an email where he said the company “experienced some major financial difficulties” causing “a major slowdown in our fast-payment promise, and as a result a few dozen customers are sadly impacted.”

He also said he’s “no longer a member of Stopoint’s executive team,” but said all customers would “be paid over the next few days.”

The same day NBC 6 Responds stopped by the house, a message was posted on Stopoint’s website and Facebook page promising to pay customers within 45 days.

“I sent that email so that everybody knows that every device that we received will be taken care of,” said Brunel Cherry, the new owner of the company.

In July, Estinville and the Simbert brothers transferred the company to Cherry.

Cherry says he and the former owners "have a contract where all of us is responsible" for paying the customers what they're owed.

He promised everyone would be paid.

“That happens with companies,” Cherry said. “You have good experience, you have bad experience and unfortunately it happened to a few people. I’ll make sure I apologize to every single one of them.”

Wang, meanwhile, did eventually receive his payment after our team got involved.

So did NBC 6 for three of the four phones we sent. Stopoint claims it didn’t receive one of them, even though FedEx tracking shows they were all delivered at the same time.

NBC 6 Responds followed up with Cherry in late October. He said nearly $15,000 had been paid to dozens of customers who had been awaiting payment for gadgets.

He says he hopes to have the company back up and running before the end of the year.