Saturday, October 17, 2009
It's not clear to me why anyone would send their gold jewelry into Cash4Gold given the many alternatives available to exchange their baubles for cold hard cash, but apparently enough people have done so and been disappointed with the whole experience that a class action lawsuit has been filed in California.
This story in The Consumerist has all the details:
A class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed against Cash4Gold in California federal court last Friday, accusing the company of a "massive scheme to defraud tens of thousands of consumers throughout the nation," and racketeering.While the report does not identify the gentleman in the photo above, the comments section indicates that it is the company founder, all the more reason to stay as far away from this company as possible despite the appeal of spokesman M.C. Hammer who has been provided with something of a second-life and has probably already squandered all that he's been paid.
The lawsuit says there are two specific promises that Cash4Gold makes and breaks: 1) that there is a 12-day return policy and 2) items sent in will be handled with the highest care. Cash4Gold breaks the first, claims the lawsuit, when checks are received by customers either after the return period is over or close to it, or when the company melts the jewelry before the expiration of the return period - allegedly a frequent occurrence.
Cash4Gold breaks the second when it "repeatedly 'loses' the items sent," frequently blaming the mail service for "an absurdly high number of 'lost' items," according to the suit.
The Consumerist seems to have been all over this company for some time now, the following links being provided at the bottom of this most recent story:
- Cash4Gold Drops Consumerist From Lawsuit
- Cash4Gold Threatened Jail If Negative Comments Weren't Removed
- Cash4Gold Defendant Liberis Files To Vacate Default
- Cash4Gold Activates Magical Press Release Machine
- The Article Cash4Gold Doesn't Want You To Read
- Cash4Gold Counters Critics With Super Polite Blog Posts
- Florida AG Examining Cash4Gold Complaints
- 10 Confessions Of A Cash4Gold Employee
- Cash4Gold Offers Blogger $3,000 To Remove Negative Post
- How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Cash4Gold
The lawsuit says, "These promises are lies. In a massive scheme to defraud tens of thousands of consumers throughout the nation, Cash4gold breaks both of its well-publicized promises with abandon, all the while committing a series of other frauds and misconduct, including attempts to silence former employees who dare to expose this fraud."Surely, aside from the company's massive advertising campaign, part of the appeal of their service is that customers don't have to look anyone in the eye as part of the process, something that could be difficult for some folks.
Furthermore, Cash4Gold employs "a deliberately frustrating so-called "customer service" system which results in most individuals eventually giving up attempting to receive compensation for their "lost" or greatly under appraised jewelry."
The various techniques Cash4Gold customer service reps use to delay and discourage consumers from getting their money's worth or their gold back illustrate how Cash4gold's "institutional culture is corrupt to its very core, designed at all levels to commit fraud," says the lawsuit, which seeks treble damages.
Reached for comment, Cash4Gold responded, "Cash4Gold has not been served with a complaint and therefore has no comment at this time."
Then again, those "gold parties" seem to have been quite popular in recent months.