LOS ANGELES – A Philadelphia law firm has filed a class action lawsuit in California federal court that alleges a website that offers cash for old iPhones is running a bait-and-switch scam.
Plaintiff Helaina Washington filed the lawsuit March 19 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California through attorneys at Milstein Adelman in Santa Monica, Calif., and Golomb & Honik in Philadelphia.
The lawsuit says Cashforiphones.com targets owners of used iPhones with Internet ads and ultimately offers an amount much lower than it quoted to those who take part in the exchange.
“The website goes on to ‘guarantee top dollar’ for these old iPhones, claiming that it ‘gives awesome offers for any iPhone in any condition,’” the complaint says.
“However, Cashforiphones.com is actually running a fraudulent bait-and-switch scam on its customers.”
After the iPhone owner requests it, Cashforiphones.com sends he or she an initial quote, as well as a box and shipping label for the phone to be mailed to it, the complaint says.
“Once the company has the phone in its possession, it makes the consumer a revised offer which is a lowball offer that is generally 10 times less than the ‘initial quote,’” the complaint says.
Cashforiphones.com only allows three days for the customer to contact its purchasing department to reject the new offer, the complaint says.
Doing so is impossible, Washington claims, because no one in the purchasing department is available to answer calls. Also, she says, emails to the company come back with error messages.
“In reality, the three-day return policy is a lie,” the complaint says.
“Cashforiphones.com has no intention of returning the iPhones it receives. Instead, it regularly, deliberately and systematically makes contacting the Purchasing Department impossible so that customers simply cannot reject their offers and get their phones back.”
Ruben Honik, Kenneth Grunfeld and Tammi Markowitz are the three Golomb & Honik attorneys representing Washington.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California case number 3:15-cv-00627