It is the norm for groups, businesses and organizations to have a voice, while the masses and individuals patronizing their goods and services are difficult to hear. In order to prevent these businesses and corporations from preying on their customers.
California Consumer Laws
The state of California, (apart from the federal laws protecting consumers) established a set of legal rules that protect the consumers in the State. These rules are referred to as the California Consumer Protection Laws.
The California Legal Remedies Act considers the following actions as illegal:
- When legal action is taken against deceptive acts or competitive practices, which was carried out in order to lease goods to consumers or create sales transactions.
- When the origin of goods or services are misrepresented, and refurbishing old goods as new and selling them.
- When repairs or maintenance are recommended without it been required. And also, offering rebate when the hidden conditions are forbidden.
In instances where these groups and organizations seek to deceive or violate these protection laws for consumers, the consumer is able to file a lawsuit against the group or organization. This lawsuit is usually referred to as a “class-action lawsuit.”
The class-action lawsuits provide the consumers with the power to challenge (and win) over the business and corporations and change their behavior.
There are, however, several ways by which groups and organizations can violate the laws that protect the consumers and they include:
Excessive Bank Fees and Charges
In 2010, certain regulations were established at the federal level that protects bank customers from being charged excessive overdraft fees.
Although these regulations are in existence, several bank customers are still subject to these fees they did not agree to pay. The laws of the state of California also seek to protect consumers from bank fraud and it offers consumers protection from:
- Being charged overdraft fees without the customer expressly agreeing to join the program and having the customer enrolled in a bank’s overdraft protection program.
- Having their deposits and withdrawals manipulated in order to generate overdraft fees
- Charging the customers for not using their credit cards.
- Increasing the interest rate charges on credit cards during the first year after which the credit card account was opened and many more.
Deceptive Advertising and Packaging
Provided that the group or organizations make goods and services available for consumers, then it is only natural for the consumer to make decisions based on the information that has been provided.
It is for this reason that it has become mandatory for companies to not engage in false and deceptive advertising. The laws of both the Federal and the state of California have been designed to protect the rights of consumers against these illicit acts such them any involvement in these act violates these laws.
Examples of these acts include:
- Advertising products as being “Made in U. S. A,” when the majority of its components are from foreign countries.
- Representing the quantity or weight of the product contained in a package wrongly.
- Representing a product as “natural” when it contains “artificial ingredients,” or “organic” when the product was not grown organically.
- Publishing fake reviews for a service provider or a product.
- Stating that an herbal supplement has certain health benefits when it has been proven to not have these benefits and many more.
Bait and Switch Advertising is another form of violating the law through advertising. It occurs when a product or service are advertised to cost a particular amount, with the intent to sell at a higher price or coerce the consumers to purchase a product or service that costs more.
There are several other components of the California Consumer Protection Law which include:
Unlawful Debt Collection Practice
Violating Credit Report among others.