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December 2012 Archives

Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Reached in a Class Action Lawsuit Against Steve Madden for Sending Spam Texts

A $10 million settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit filed against shoe designer Steve Madden, Ltd.,  after allegations that countless unsolicited spam text messages were sent to consumers.  These text messages were considered to be spam in violation of  the Telecommunications Privacy Act, which prohibits unsolicited text messages to cell phones.

Lemons Top The Consumer Complaint List

In a list released by The Consumer Federation of America, (CFA) autos topped the list of consumer complaints.  The CFA is an association of non-profit consumer organizations that protect the interests of consumers through research, advocacy, and education.  The CFA's list comes from a survey of 38 consumer agencies about the kinds of complaints they receive each year.

If You Need To Take Medical Leave, Don't Worry Your Job Will Still Be There...

As an employee you are protected by the  The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), should you find yourself in situation where it is necessary to take medical leave. Both of these acts provide you the opportunity to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain “qualified” events.  Employers with 50 or more employees are covered by the FMLA and CFRA.  Employees who have worked for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding 12 months are covered by the laws.  This being said, employers do NOT need to provide you this the leave if they employees than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

New Laws In 2013 Every Employee Should Know

Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media passwords are off limits!  Thanks to new Labor Code section 980 employers or potential employers will not be able to ask you for your social media passwords. Unless, the request is made to a current employee as part of an investigation of allegations of employee misconduct or violation of law, and the request is based upon a reasonable belief that the information is relevant, or to devices issued by the employer.

Stop Telemarketers From Interupting You At Dinner!

Just heard from a new client who says she keeps getting robocalls from a company promising to lower her credit card interest rates. Yet  her phone number is registered  on both the federal Do Not Call list.   When she pushes 1 to talk to a rep, the person hangs up as soon as she asks for any information. Pressing 2 to discontinue the calls obviously doesn’t do a thing.

Beware of the Payday Loans!

Many Payday Lenders bank on your need for fast cash that you probably can not pay back. And be forewarned Payday Loan debt collectors are some of the most aggressive out there!

Are Data Brokers Behind Those Random Telemarketing Calls You Keep Getting?

The Federal Trade Commission, (FTC) has announced an investigation into nine data brokers,  known as,  Axciom, Corelogic, Datalogix, eBureau, ID Analytics, Intelius, Peekyou, Rapleaf and Recorded Future, that collect your personal information from public and private sources and sell it to ad agencies, telemarketers, etc...

FTC Files Complaint Against Wyndham Hotels

The Federal Trade Commission, (FTC) has filed suit against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and three of its subsidiaries, alleging failures to maintain reasonable security that led to three separate data breaches involving hackers accessing sensitive consumer data. The FTC's complaint claims that Wyndham violated the FTC Act by posting misleading representations on Wyndham websites regarding how the company safeguarded customer information, and by failing to provide reasonable security for personal information it collected. According to the complaint, these alleged security failures led to unauthorized exposure of Wyndham’s customers’ personal information and caused financial injury to consumers and businesses through fraudulent charges and other costs.

Are You Sick Of Surprise "Resort Fees"?

We are, too!   We think the price that you agree to pay over the phone or online should be the price you should be charged,  not a starting bid for the hotel to add fees to after you have checked in.  If they are going to charge an extra $25 "resort fee", we believe that should be reflected in the posted price.   Not, "extra fees may apply" in small writing at the bottom of the advertisement.   Evidently,  we are not alone,  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently found that hotels charging mandatory "resort fees" at the time of checkout may be violating the law by misrepresenting the price consumers can expect to pay for their hotel room.

This is Debbie from Cardholder Services. Sound familiar??

Ugh!  You pick up the phone, hear a silence, then a click, followed by a friendly sounding voice introducing themselves, sometimes its Debbie sometime a different name.  Are you sick of getting telemarketing robo-dial phone calls that sound like that?  According to the Federal Trade commission , they are most likely illegal in addition to being annoying.

That Debt Collector Called You A Lazy Piece of What?!? The Law Says, Don't Take That S@#t!!!!

If a debt collector has used profanity or yelled at you, do not get upset,  get even!   According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, (FDCPA) debt collectors are not allowed to curse at you when attempting to collect a debt.   Consequently,  it is against the law for debt collectors to verbally abuse you by screaming at you, threatening you,  cursing at you or calling you names.  If a debt collector is proven to be in violation of the law, you may be entitled to compensation resulting from their bad behavior/

Sick of getting spam text messages??

You are not alone!  According to Ferris Research,  a market research firm that tracks mobile spam American cellphone owners received 4.5 billion spam texts last year.  In fact,  the FCC reports that spam telemarketing calls and texts were consistently in the top three consumer complaint categories in 2011.

Are Hotel Fees Eating Away At Your Travel Fun?

Have you booked a hotel room at a great price only to find out upon check-out that there was an extra $50 "resort fee"?   Suddenly that great price is not so great after-all.  This  situation happens to many unsuspecting travelers everyday.  Sometimes the extra fees can be for the gym or the internet.  But, what if you don't use the gym or the internet?  It does not seem fair for you to have to pay extra for  amenities that you do not use and that were not disclosed to you in the original price that you thought you were paying.

Help! I keep getting debt collectors calling me for someone else's debt!

My office receives several calls a month from annoyed consumers, regarding debt collectors calling them about someone else's debt.  I recently had a client call me complaining that he had been getting calls every day on his cell phone from a debt collector looking for a "Mr. Miller".  He told the debt collector that he did not know who "Mr. Miller" was and to stop calling him, but that did not stop the relentless collection calls from coming every day.  It turns out  that "Mr. Miller"  had owned the phone number before my client and he had fallen behind on his debts and now the debt collectors were calling my client trying to track down "Mr. Miller".   Unfortunately, this situation happens to many people every day.  You try to explain to the debt collector that, not only, are you not the person they are looking for, but in many cases you have never even been a customer of their company.   This issue is so prevalent that my office has filed many class action lawsuits against several well-known companies for this very behavior, including T-Mobile and Dish Network. If you have been a victim of debt collectors harassing you for someone else's debt,  there are remedies available to you and if the debt collector is found to be in violation of the law (FDCPA, TCPA or Rosenthal Act)  you can be compensated.  You should notate the phone numbers, amount of calls and whether they are coming from a robo-dial system.   It is yet another violation for them to contact you randomly via robo-dial on your cell phone. I specialize in helping victims of rogue debt collector harassment and I can help you.  Please call my office, The Law Office of Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898 to discuss your case.   For more information on how to become a participant in the T-Mobile Class Action Lawsuit

Tis The Season To Be Merry and Wise

The holiday travel season is upon us.  Tis the season to be merry and cautious.  Scammers love  the holiday season because they know that you are often too distracted with holiday shopping, traveling  and family gatherings to pay attention to their sneaky tactics. Travel scams vary  widely, from pickpockets to legal resort charges--don't assume that legitimate businesses can't legally scam you, because many can and will. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that Americans are tricked out of $10 billion per year in travel-related scams. From shady cab drivers that take you "the long route" around town  to the  "too good to be true" vacation packages, here's what to be aware of: Surprise "Extra"  Fees Travel companies often quote ridiculously low prices and then tack on huge fees for things you expected to be included, such as the use of the pool, gym or even electricity (a hotel in Las Vegas tried the electricity thing with me once).  Even if you don't use the gym or pool, resorts can require all guests to pay their "resort fee," which can make your vacation a lot more expensive than you expected. Rental Car Scams When you rent a car, you are given the opportunity to look for and report damage before you drive it off the lot so that you aren't charged for damage you didn't cause. However, some shady companies count on you being to busy to not notice  hidden damage such as under the car so that they can charge you for it later. Cabbies Some rogue cabbies will  set  the meter for the night/weekend rate during a weekday.  Another cabby scam is the well know taking the longer  "scenic" route to people who are not familiar with the area. Imposters A typical way travelers get scammed is by people pretending to be someone they're not. For example, it's becoming increasingly common for scammers to call hotel guests in the middle of the night claiming to be the front desk attendant. They say there was a problem with your credit card and need the number again, counting on the fact that you're too sleepy to be suspicious and just give them your number.   If you have been the victim of a scam or hotel "hidden fees" please give my office, The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman a call today at (877) 449-8898  

Is Your Employer A Bully?

Bullying is not a behavior that is restricted to the school yard.  It can also happen in the office by adults that should know better.  Workplace bullying includes tactics such as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. It is described by experts as, "systematic aggressive communication, manipulation of work, and acts aimed at humiliating or degrading one or more individual that create an unhealthy and unprofessional power imbalance between bully and the victim.”

Are Debt Collectors Calling Your Employer?

Aggressive Debt Collectors know that having your co-workers or employer find out that you are  being perused by debt collectors, can be very embarrassing and that you might be inclined to take any means necessary to get them paid faster.

Checking Your Credit Report Can Save You From Identity Theft

Recently, a client contacted me regarding collection calls for debts that she did not recall incurring.  According to her, she never used credit cards and she purchased her used car years ago in cash. But, the debt collectors were sure the charges were made by someone with her name and social security number.  After checking her credit report she found that she had been a victim of  identity theft.  Even though she thought she had taken the proper precautions to protect her personal information, identity thieves still managed to get a hold of her information and use it to open credit cards fraudulently and because she never checked her credit information she did not know this was happening for several months (until the debt collectors started calling).  Thankfully,  I was able to resolve her issue with the debt collectors by proving that those debts were not hers.

What To Expect During Your Personal Injury Case

After an accident in which you have suffered a personal injury and you have sought medical attention for your injuries, most of you will consult with a personal injury attorney to handle your claim.    Below is a brief description of the steps that you and your attorney will go through during your case.

Reinstating vs Redeeming Your Repossessed Vehicle

Consumer have the right to  “reinstate” their car loan by paying all amounts past due, plus any applicable delinquency charges, collection and repossession costs. California consumers should be aware that a creditor can NOT deny the right to reinstate merely because the consumer is behind on his or her payments.   Consumers can also “redeem” the vehicle by paying the loan balance in full, plus any applicable delinquency charges, collection and repossession costs.  Reinstating the loan generally costs the consumer less than redeeming the vehicle.

Deleting Spam and Telemarketers From Your Life

Telemarketers, spam emails and spam texts have become heavily engrained into our everyday lives.  So much so, that most of us do not even realize how much time we spend deleting the spam that fills our lives.  Whether it’s the latest political candidate asking for money, credit card offers, people wanting to sell you magazines,  the constant barrage can wear away at your peace of mind.

Beware of Debt Relief Scams

Many consumers who are drowning in debt are being duped into seeking help from companies representing themselves as debt relief specialists.  And getting nothing in return.

When You've Had Enough, Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation

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