3OYS: Tempe woman questions textbook buy-back service

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A Tempe woman who decided to go back to school is questioning the textbook buy-back service she used after waiting months for her check.

Ellen Hallen is a full-time student at Arizona State University and expects to receive her bachelor's degree in May.

"It's $6,152 a semester and the books are on top of that," she said.

To ease the financial burden, Hallen, like many students, sells her textbooks at the end of each semester.

"I go online and there's a lot of places that will buy them, or I can take them to the bookstore," she said.

Hallen recently came across an out-of-state company called ValoreBooks, which specializes in buying used textbooks.

“I'd never done business with them but they had the highest price for the buy-back," she said.

She shipped off one of her books and waited for the check to arrive in the mail. That was in October.

When the money never arrived, she emailed the company.

"They said they could not find any record of the book ever being delivered," Hallen said.

She said she showed ValoreBooks a delivery confirmation proving the company received the textbook, but the run-around continued.

Although she was only receiving $40 for the book, she wondered how many other college students were in the same situation.

"It adds up," she said. "How many students? How many thousands of dollars are they ripping off if they're not honoring what they said they'll do?"

3 On Your Side contacted ValoreBooks, which sent an email explaining the delay in processing Hallen's transaction.

"The delay is simply a result of an unusual processing error that I assure you is atypical of the service a customer can expect from us," the email said. "I had her payment processed immediately last night and a check has already been sent."

Hallen said she is happy to finally receive a response from the company and to be getting her money. She also said she hopes it does not happen to other college students, for whom every penny counts.

ValoreBooks' statement:

"ValoreBooks is committed to helping students get the most value out of their textbook expenses. We strive to provide our customers with the lowest prices on their textbook purchases and rentals, and the best prices when they sell their books back. We process thousands of textbook payments every month and work tirelessly to make sure our customers are paid in a timely manner. We know that college is expensive and we are unwavering in our commitment to help make it more affordable for students."