PHOENIX - From mortgage problems to scams, 3 On Your Side gets involved and helps people out when we can.
Now, I'm helping out a guy with his grill, not his barbecue grill, I'm talking about his teeth.
“Gold teeth has always been a big thing in New York. You know, it's like the more glitzier the teeth, the more your name is out there. ‘Oh did you see this guy’s teeth? Did you see his teeth?’” Al Water said.
He’s been wearing gold teeth since he was 15-years-old, and has kept up with the trend since then.
“It used to be just gold. Then, gold with diamond cuts, and then the gold with diamond chips,” he remembered.
Gold teeth grew in popularity back in the 80's hip-hop era and are still worn today.
They even became the inspiration for Nelly's 2005 hit rap song, "Grillz."
Al's most recent grill is a set he bought for $2,700 from a Phoenix store called BBB Fashion.
Al says he was told it was made with 18 karat gold and diamonds, so he bought them, and says at first they were a hit.
“They love them,” he said. “Everybody's like ‘Wow, where'd you get those? Where'd you get those? Where'd you get those?’ And of course, triple B's Fashion.”
But months after buying the teeth, Al says the gold began to change colors and wear off.
Not only that, he says the teeth made his mouth swell to the point he had to go to the hospital.
He sent us a photo of the visit.
Curious, Al says he had the teeth tested and the results indicated they were only 8 karat gold, not 18 karat.
Al says he demanded his money back from BBB Fashion, but they dispute his claim, so he contacted 3 On Your Side.
“I want what I paid for,” he said.
So, we took the teeth to Stan Grossman, a Phoenix businessman who buys and sells gold daily.
His test revealed Al's teeth are at best, 10 karat and about $500 less in value than what Al paid.
With record high gold prices, Grossman says consumers should always ask a business to test any gold with acid in front of them before forking over any money.
“Absolutely, positively, and I'm sure they won't mind whether you're buying it brand new or from a pawn shop,” Grossman said.
In a statement, BBB Fashion tells 3 On Your Side that Al's claim that the gold was supposed to be 18 karat is absurd.
In a statement, BBB Fashion writes, in part:
"We have never accepted Gold Teeth orders in 18K due to the price and unpopularity. Even, we don't have any price table for Gold Teeth in 18K. We have a price table in 10K and 14K gold only."
But Al says he's still disappointed.
“I guess this is fool's gold. This is what I have, I guess now. Fool’s gold,” he said.
He's since stopped wearing the teeth.
Despite BBB Fashion disputing his claims, it has offered to remake the teeth with 14 karat gold.
Al says he will take them up on their offer.
We'll let you know how it turns out.