California Consumer Protection Lawyers | Valerian Law

 

Not all businesses play by the rules. When a company engages in fraudulent, deceptive, or unsafe practices, the attorneys at Valerian Law help consumers hold them accountable. We fight unlawful and deceptive practices and vindicate the rights of consumers under state and federal laws. Consumers who need an honest answer come to us.

 

What Are Your Basic Consumer Rights?

Consumers are afforded a wide range of consumer protections under federal and state laws. These rights include the:

 

Right to Safety – Product manufacturers must ensure the safety of their products

Right to Choose – The consumer should have a choice of quality, price, and service options when buying a product or service

Right to Act – If a business violates the rights of consumers, consumers can take administrative or legal action to protect those rights

Right to Information – Before making a purchasing decision, consumers should be well informed and have the means to find substantial information

 

California Consumer Protection Law

Consumer protection laws in California are among the strictest in the country. Consumers have full control over their personal information under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This includes:

 

“The right to know, the right to delete, and the right to opt-out of the sale of personal information that businesses collect, as well as additional protection of minors.”

How Can A Lawyer Protect Your Consumer Rights?

When a company fails to deliver on the promises they have made to consumers, it may be time to take legal action. Wrongdoing by manufacturers, retailers and other companies can take shape in many forms.

 

Some of the most common consumer rights violations include:

 

False Advertising

Anything published or advertised — on TV, in print, on a product label — that leads consumers to an incorrect understanding or belief about a product or service is considered “deceptive.”

 

Examples of false advertising claims include representing that a product is all-natural or organic when it is not, or falsely claiming that a product is safe for use for a certain group or population.

 

Products that are advertised with false or misleading statements, or do not work in their intended manner have been falsely advertised.  

 

There are many techniques used by companies in false product claims, including:

 

  • Unsubstantiated claims

  • Bait and switch advertising

  • Misleading labels

  • Advertising that portrays a product as superior to a similar product from a different company

  • Misleading advertising that does not disclose all the appropriate material information

  • Ads that do not disclose any extra costs associated with a product

In California, consumers have access to a range of legal remedies to combat such practices. False advertising is illegal and can be prosecuted with the help of an experienced lawyer. 

 

Unfair Business Practices

Withholding or excluding important product information, committing warranty fraud, colluding to fix prices, failing to disclose hidden charges and fees, and any other act that adversely impacts customers falls under illegal and unfair business practices.

 

The Unfair Competition Law (UCL) protects businesses and consumers against unfair business practices. The UCL prohibits fraudulent, unlawful, or unfair practices in business including deceptive, unfair, misleading, and untrue advertising.

 

Examples Of Unfair Business Practices

  • Harassment related to attempts to collect a debt

  • Predatory lending

  • Deceptive trade practices

  • Banks improperly manipulating the order of transactions to maximize overdraft fees

  • Misleading credit card add-on products such as protection plans and credit monitoring

  • Charging illegal upfront fees for mortgage or other debt-relief services that were not provided

  • Conspiring to fix market prices by discussing prices with competitors

  • Failure to honor warranty

  • Auto fraud 

 

Holding Companies Accountable

Many companies follow the law and treat their customers fairly, but some do not. Valerian Law is dedicated to ensuring that your rights are protected if you feel that a company has wronged you. At the Valerian Law Firm, we handle both individual cases and class actions in an effort to ensure you are treated fairly under the law.

 

Improper Debt Collection  

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits abusive debt collection practices and offers consumers a way to dispute or determine the accuracy of debts. Sometimes, debt collectors try to recoup debts that have already been paid or discharged through bankruptcy. You can file a claim for improper debt collection practices if you receive harassing or threatening communications from a debt collector.

 

Improper debt collection practices include the following:

  • Harassing or hostile communications

  • Misrepresenting facts or making false statements

  • Attempting to collect after a debt has been paid or discharged

  • Trying to collect from an individual that does not owe the debt

  • Sharing information improperly

  • Providing incorrect information about the debt or failing to verify the debt

 

What kind of debts are covered under FDCPA?

The following debts are covered under the FDCPA:

  • Credit card debt

  • Medical bills

  • Mortgage

  • Auto loans

  • Student loans

 

Can debt collectors contact me at any time or any place?

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is prohibited from contacting you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and also cannot contact you at work if you tell them you can’t receive calls while you are there.

 

What information do debt collectors have to tell me about the debt they are pursuing?

Within five days of first contacting you, debt collectors must send you a written "validation notice." This notice must include the following information:

  • The name of the creditor pursuing the debt

  • Amount of money you owe

  • How to proceed if the debt does not belong to you

 

Defective Products 

As a consumer, you have certain rights when purchasing a product. Among the most basic rights is the right for the product to work as advertised and be safe to use as intended. It's true that many high profile product defect lawsuits are filed by people who have been physically hurt, but you do not need to be hurt for your rights to be violated.

 

If a product does not perform as promised, state and federal laws provide remedies for the consumer. A consumer who has suffered economic or personal injury as the result of a defective product, or who purchased a product that simply did not work as promised, should consult our experienced consumer protection attorneys.

 

Consumer goods sold in California come with an implied warranty by the manufacturer and the retail seller that the item is merchantable, meaning it must reasonably match the expectations of the ordinary buyer. Regardless of whether an explicit warranty is offered by the seller or not, this warranty applies. Inferior goods for sale must be explicitly marked “as is” or “with all faults.”

 

Privacy and Data Breach

With sensitive financial, medical, and other personal information routinely stored in large data banks, protecting personal information is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. 

 

When companies fail to protect consumers’ personal information it leads to privacy breaches with devastating consequences. If you’re having internet privacy issues, have been a victim of an internet scam, or believe your information has been compromised as part of a data security breach, you shouldn’t face them alone.

 

Internet Privacy Issues & Violations

Website tracking software, phishing scams, and spam email contribute to privacy issues on the Internet. Online privacy violations are prevalent, and Internet privacy laws are struggling to keep up with online privacy threats. Our attorneys guide clients through online privacy issues, including Internet privacy lawsuits and evolving legislation relating to Internet privacy rights.

 

Data Breach Issues

To protect the privacy rights of consumers and patients, companies need to invest in encrypting sensitive data and detecting and preventing data security breaches. In the event of an unauthorized breach, companies need a plan in place for notification and response.


 

Unwanted Telemarketing

 

Is your cell phone flooded with robocalls, junk faxes, texts, or collection calls, even though you did not provide your number to anyone? If so, you may have had your rights violated. To protect individuals and businesses from unsolicited telemarketing, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted.

 

The TCPA restricts advertisers from using automatic calling systems, recorded voice messages (robocalls), fax messages or from sending text messages to cell phones. Even in the event you have an account with a particular business, they still need your consent to contact your cell phone.

 

You can sue a company if you've been receiving unsolicited messages from companies in violation of the TCPA with the help of an experienced attorney.

 

Valerian Law Firm has the expertise to combat TCPA violations. If you are receiving countless faxes or texts from a collection agency or solicitor, or receiving inconvenient phone calls or texts, we can help you stop unwanted solicitation.

What to Do When Your Consumer Rights Are Violated

If your consumer rights are violated, take the following steps:

 

  • Know your rights

  • Inform the company of the incident and keep a written record of your communication

  • If your complaint is ignored, contact someone higher up in the company

  • Get in touch with your local government agency 

  • File a lawsuit in small claims court

 

Contact The Consumer Protection Attorneys At Valerian Law

Valerian Law Firm has an in-depth understanding of the laws protecting consumers from unfair practices. Consumer laws are complex and dense. Our attorneys take the time to understand your needs and carefully examine all details surrounding your case in order to provide you with effective solutions.

 

Call our law office today or use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation.