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San Francisco Consumer Attorneys

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San Francisco Consumer Attorneys

As consumers, we are all protected by federal law from the use of unfair, fraudulent, or deceptive business practices. Unfortunately, many companies do not respect these protections and engage in conduct that is both unfair to consumers and unlawful, such as using false advertising practices, charging excessive fees, or including unfair terms in sales contracts. For help holding a company accountable for its use of deceptive practices, please contact the experienced San Francisco consumer attorneys at Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP today.

Federal Consumer Protection Laws

There are a number of federal laws that protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) broadly prohibits companies from using unfair methods of competition and any unfair or deceptive business practices, which includes:

  • Making material representations, omissions, and practices that are likely to mislead a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances; or
  • Engaging in conduct that is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers, when that risk is not reasonably avoidable or outweighed by the product’s benefit to consumers.

Other federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), ensure that consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies that sell information, only provide accurate information to lenders. Consumers also have the right to know what information is contained in their own reports and to receive a free credit report every year. The Fair Debt Collection Practices (FDCPA), on the other hand, bars collection agencies from using any unfair or deceptive techniques when collecting bills, including when, where, and how often they can contact borrowers.

State Consumer Protection Laws

California consumers are protected from unlawful business practices not only by federal statute but also by a number of state laws. The Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), for instance, provides some of the most comprehensive consumer protections in the country, as it prohibits various forms of false advertising, including:

  • Misrepresenting the source or quality of goods
  • Falsely representing that used goods are new
  • Making false statements about what a product consists of or its purpose
  • Making false or confusing statements about a competitor’s product
  • Making false or misleading statements about the existence of, the reason for, or amount of a price reduction
  • Misrepresenting that a part, repair service, or replacement is necessary

Other state laws, on the other hand, such as the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) prohibit employers from asking outside agencies to perform a credit or background check on an employee or applicant without first:

  • Obtaining that person’s consent
  • Giving the employee or applicant proper notice
  • Giving the individual in question the opportunity to request a copy of the report

Unlike federal law, the ICRAA requires that employers obtain consent each time a report is sought during employment unless the report is related to suspicions of misconduct or wrongdoing.

Call Our Legal Team Today for Help with Your Case

If you were taken advantage of by a business that engaged in unfair business practices or had your private personal information accessed and disclosed by a collection agency, call the experienced San Francisco consumer attorneys at Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP for help.

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