One practice that is almost universally disapproved of by consumers is the use of autodial marketing pitches received on their cellphones and by text messages from companies to whom consent was never given. The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits advertising campaigns to be sent to cellular telephone numbers, including as text messages, unless the consumer has provided unambiguous prior written consent. This protection against consumer fraud and harassment has been effective in California and other states since Oct. 2013.
You may have heard about consumer woes back in 2012, when iPhone users switched to Android phones. Some consumers who made the switch complained that they were unable to send texts or receive texts from other iPhone users. This caused three plaintiffs to file a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming a violation of the Federal Wire Tap Act. The lawsuit finally came to a halt today after a federal judge made a decision.
Some people may not remember the ill-fated Trump University that halted operations in 2010 when students in several states joined in two class-action lawsuits in federal court, claiming that the online, unlicensed school was a sham of false promises and false advertisements. The cases are now inching toward trial in a federal court in California where the judge ruled that the students have a right to have the allegations heard by a jury. The case has been an albatross of consumer fraud allegations that has trailed the presidential candidate throughout his appearances in the past several months.
A product intensively advertised by cable TV direct marketing ads and online is feeling the heat recently as the parties involved fight a class action claim filed in a federal court located in California. The case is joined in by 200 women from throughout the nation. The plaintiffs claim that the WEN hair care products have caused them severe damage, including bald spots, rashes and abnormal hair loss. The defendants in this consumer fraud class action include Chaz Dean, the celebrity hairstylist, and Guthy-Renker, the high-powered marketing distributor of the products.
The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has the authority to regulate the labeling and marketing of organic foods. It also gives permission to retailers to affix the word 'organic' on the labels of approved products. For that reason, a California state court ruled that a consumer could not bring a state class action against a grower and seller of herbs that billed its herbs as being 100 percent organic. The plaintiff alleged that the seller committed consumer fraud because it knew that it was really marketing a product that had non-organic materials mixed in with organic.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard a case that presents an issue for which the lower federal courts, including those in California, are in conflict. The question is when does an employee's resignation from a job constitute a constructive termination to meet the requirements of the civil rights laws? The employment discrimination case deals with the regulations regarding federal employees of the U.S. Postal Service.