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Consumer Protection: What You Need To Know

Every customer deserves the freedom to make an informed decision.

Consumer Protection Privacy Rights LawyersSome businesses try to take away this fundamental consumer right. They engage in deceptive business practices by lying or making misleading claims about their products. Fortunately, California has powerful consumer protection laws to punish businesses that use unfair or deceptive tactics.

What Are Consumer Protection Laws?

State and federal consumer laws safeguard your legal rights as a customer and help protect important things in your life:

  • Home
  • Family
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Bank account
  • Privacy and personal information
  • Credit rating

Consumer protection laws hold sellers accountable for false advertising, deceptive practices, and fraud. They also give customers ways to fight back against defective products, dangerous services and businesses that cut corners.

What Protection Do Consumers Have in California?

California has one of the most comprehensive sets of laws in the United States for consumers. It covers many harmful business practices including:

  • Fraud and false advertising
  • Defective products
  • Fraudulent charges
  • Exorbitant interest rates
  • Unsolicited automated robocalls or phone calls
  • Data breaches and privacy violations

What Is False Advertising?

Deceptive advertising can be anything that tricks consumers into making a purchasing decision based on incorrect information. Here are some common examples:

  • Claims of health benefits: Products falsely claim to improve your health or treat diseases.
  • Earth friendly: Products falsely claim to be biodegradable, compostable, or environmentally friendly.
  • “Sale” pricing: A business raises prices just before putting items on “sale.”
  • False quality claims: Products claim to of a quality, or be made of materials, not provided.
  • Unsubstantiated claims: Products claim to be of an origin they are not, e.g. Made in USA.
  • University fraud: The university doesn’t follow through on employment promises, internships or promised certification.

What Are Class Action Lawsuits and How Do They Work in California?

When a business engages in fraud or false advertising, you’re probably not the only person affected. Some consumer protection violations involve thousands or millions of people. In these situations, legal action may be organized into a class action lawsuit. Instead of needing to file thousands of individual cases, the group can join forces to hold the company accountable.

What Legal Rights Do You Have?

The law considers businesses responsible for avoiding false advertising, not the clients who purchased the products.

Sometimes, a direct lawsuit is a good course of action; other times, it makes sense to pursue a class action lawsuit. The specifics depend on the type of fraud, financial damage, and harm you’ve experienced. Cases of personal injury for defective products are often handled differently than large-scale false advertising.

Who Should You Contact for Consumer Fraud in California?

There are several avenues for reporting false advertising, though it can be confusing to know what to do. The Federal Trade Commission handles U.S. cases of consumer fraud. In California, you may need to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of the Attorney General or Bureau of Automotive Repair. Many cities and counties also handle consumer protection at a local level.

Make things easier on yourself by working with our team of experienced consumer protection attorneys at Matern Law Group. We can guide you through the necessary steps, offer personalized recommendations and show you legal options. Learn more about your rights today.

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Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

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