Wireless Earbuds Startup Kanoa Accused of Scamming Consumers

A proposed nationwide consumer class action lawsuit is claiming that headphone startup Kanoa swindled hundreds of customers who pre-ordered but never received the company’s wireless earbuds.

Kanoa, a crowdfunded company, promised its customers in-ear wireless headphones with features like Bluetooth technology, a state-of-the-art charging case, and adjustable ambient sound pass-through, but shut its doors after a string of technical problems and a scathing YouTube review detailing several basic flaws with the wireless earbuds.

This didn’t go over too well with plaintiff Wilfredo Cruz Jr., who decided to take legal action against Kanoa. Cruz says he pre-ordered a pair of Kanoa wireless earbuds through the company’s website for $149.00 in February 2016, expecting them to arrive in April 2016. However, he was later informed that the product shipping date would be pushed to Summer 2017.

But in August 2017, Kanoa informed Cruz and other purchasers through a statement on their website that development of the wireless earbuds ceased and that no refunds would be issued to customers who pre-ordered the product.

“Plaintiff and others similarly situated paid valuable consideration to pre-order the Class Products from Defendants and expected to receive the Class Product on or around April 2016, but did not receive it because Defendants ceased development.”

According to the Kanoa wireless earbuds class action lawsuit, Kanoa made no attempt to refund its customers after scrapping plans to develop sell their wireless earbuds.  In fact, Cruz claims he attempted to contact Kanoa through phone calls and email about obtaining a refund for his purchase, but has yet to receive a response.

He now believes that Kanoa deceived and schemed to mislead consumers about the release of their wireless earbuds and has filed a class action lawsuit hoping to recoup his loss for the product he paid for and never received.

“Defendants profit from the sale of the pre-orders of the products. Without [Kanoa’s] representations, many of the consumers would not have purchased their products,” the complaint contends.

The Kanoa wireless earbuds class action lawsuit brings claims of false advertising, unfair business practices, fraud, and various violations of federal and state consumer protection laws. The complaint seeks to certify a nationwide class of all consumers who purchased the Kanoa wireless earbuds and did not receive a refund when the development of the product ceased.

Along with unspecified statutory and punitive damages, Cruz is asking the court to grant an order requiring Kanoa to fully reimburse all consumers and to engage in a corrective advertising campaign regarding the wireless earbuds. Additionally, the class action lawsuit is requesting an injunction mandating the company stop advertising, developing, and selling wireless technology,

Cruz and the proposed class are represented by Todd M. Friedman and Adrian R. Bacon of The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman PC.

The Kanoa Wireless Earbuds False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit is Wilfredo Cruz Jr., et al. v. Kanoa Inc., et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-01476-DAD-JLT, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

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