Lawmakers Looking To Address Montgomery County's Pawn Problem | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Lawmakers Looking To Address Montgomery County's Pawn Problem

Play associated audio
Big box retailers are currently prevented from taking in trade-in units in Montgomery County.
Mike Mozart: https://flic.kr/p/mHd976
Big box retailers are currently prevented from taking in trade-in units in Montgomery County.

A nearly 30-year-old law in Montgomery County is frustrating customers who are looking to trade-in cell phones and other electronics to get the latest versions of them.

When it was passed in 1985, the county's so-called "pawn shop" law prevented stores from giving cash to customers who brought in goods to sell — stores could only give them checks. It was designed to stop criminals who sold stolen goods for cash.

Three decades later, that law is stopping stores like Best Buy and Apple from giving store credits to customers when they bring in their electronics — mostly cell phones and tablets — that are applied to purchasing the latest versions of those devices.

Eric Friedman heads Montgomery County's office of consumer protection and says that, for whatever reason, this part of the pawn shop law was never updated.

"Back in 1985, we didn't have appliances on the marketplace that were typically replaced every few years with new versions. You bought a television, it lasted 20 years and you bought a new one," Friedman says.

The county council will take up a bill when it returns to work next month that would allow stores to offer credits and gift cards, not just written checks.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 2

A play takes a fictional look at historical figures. An exhibit explores how friendships between writers, painters and musicians may have affected an art movement.
NPR

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

Researchers have found a gene that affects how strongly you experience bitter flavors. And those who aren't as sensitive eat about 200 more servings of vegetables per year.
NPR

Top Spending PAC Aims To Keep The Senate In Democratic Hands

Senate Majority PAC, run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Reid, is the top-spending superPAC in the midterm election season. Its donors are essentially a compilation of the party's big-donor base.
NPR

Tech Firms Chip Away At Credit Cards' Share Of Transactions

Companies including PayPal and Apple are competing to convince merchants and consumers to use their swipe-and-go mobile payment systems. Credit card breaches may speed up the use of digital wallets.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.