Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Local Suit Filed Against Jobfox Résumé Website
San Diegan Suzanne Werden has initiated a class action suit against McLean, VA-based Jobfox.com, according to a Courthouse News Service report this morning.
According to the filed complaint, Jobfox is marketed as a free job search tool, but “the primary purpose of the website is to induce users to purchase the résumé writing service,” a premium service that charges job seekers $350 to $500 for review and revision of their résumés. Those who sign up for the service also receive two months’ free “Break Through Service,” and then become paid subscribers to the service, though they’re not provided a contract detailing terms of the service.
Arguments against Jobfox include failure to disclose that those seeking to sign up at the website are not required to upload a résumé copy. Further, according to language on the site, the résumés are reviewed by a “Jobfox résumé expert” who “provides an 'honest, straightforward assessment' of the user's current résumé.” Users of the site, however, instead receive a generic critique of their résumé intended to induce them to pay for the premium résumé enhancement service.
The class claims each review “is nearly identical in form and contains numerous matching paragraphs, phrases and boilerplate criticisms,” charging Jobfox “attempts to pull a small number of words and phrases from users' résumés and place them within the critique at predetermined locations.”
Plaintiff Werden, who says she paid $399 for the service, says Jobfox refused to respond to her complaints, including that the suggested changes were not of a quality the website had promised, “many of which made her résumé appear more generic than the original.”
The “Break Through Service,” the complaint claims, is also of considerably lower quality than advertised. It’s alleged that Jobfox “systematically advertises expired and/or filled job listings to subscribers of Jobfox's premium monthly service, posts job listings without the consent of employers, and fails to provide adequate written contracts to such subscribers, conduct that expressly violates California statutes governing job listing services such as defendant.”
In a public post to an online general complaint website in April, Werden asserts that Jobfox is owned by the same entity as CareerBuilder, another site targeted at job-seekers, and claims to have provided résumé services to over 100,000 customers. “I am a second year law student and this is not going away Jobfox until you do the job you stated or refund all the individuals you have ripped off,” writes Werden.
Both statutory and punitive damages will be sought when the case is heard in California Southern District Court.