Category Archives: Unfair & Deceptive Acts & Practices (UDAP), including Discrimination

CA Appellate Court Upholds $21 Million Penalty Against For-Profit College

The California Attorney General brought claims against for-profit online college Ashford University and its parent company for violating the state’s unfair competition and false advertising laws by making false and misleading statements to prospective students. The trial court agreed with the AG, and imposed over $22 miillion in civil penalties. Yesterday, an intermediate appellate court […]

Proposed junk fee rule gets state AG support

This week marked the end of an extended public comment period for the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed rule to rein in unfair and deceptive fees across the marketplace. Notably, 19 state attorneys general submitted a joint letter of support for the FTC’s proposal. The Commission proposes to address bait-and-switch pricing structures to prevent business from […]

US News Sues SF City Attorney Over Investigation Into Hospital Rankings

Last summer, the San Francisco City Attorney announced he was investigating former magazine U.S. News and World Report over its hospital rankings, noting “Consumers use these rankings to make consequential health care decisions, and yet there is little understanding that the rankings are fraught and that U.S. News has financial relationships with the hospitals it […]

My draft article arguing that discrimination is unfair within the meaning the CFPB’s and FTC’s UDAP statutes . . .

. . .  titled Is Discrimination Unfair? is now available. I would love to hear any comments anyone has. Here’s the abstract: Though multiple federal laws explicitly bar discrimination in consumer transactions, many consumer transactions fall in the gaps between those laws. But recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have attempted […]

FTC Bars TurboTax from Advertising Itself as “Free”

The FTC brought an administrative complaint against Intuit based on its nationwide, multichannel advertising campaigns promoting its TurboTax tax preparation service as “free,” when in reality, two-thirds of taxpayers were ineligible for its “free” product. Yesterday, the FTC made public a unanimous opinion affirming an ALJ’s cease-and-desist order and conclusion that the claims were false […]

Travelers United Continues Lawsuits Against DC Restaurant Fees

An interview with Travelers United’s lawyer, explaining their legal theories and the kinds of fees they are challenging under DC consumer protection law, is available here.

Effective date of FTC auto rule delayed amid industry court challenge

The Federal Trade Commission issued an order delaying the effective date of the recently released rule that seeks to provide protections for car buyers against some of the more prevalent deceptive practices in car sales. The Combating Auto Retail Scams (CARS) rule, originally set to become final on July 30, is now pushed back pending […]

NJ Consumer Frauds Act refund provision applies only to food fraud

In 1979, the New Jersey Legislature added Chapter 347 to the state’s Consumer Frauds Act. That  chapter contained a provision expanding what constitutes an “unlawful practice” to include misrepresentations of the identity of food, and also created a refund remedy–specifying that “[a]ny person violating the provisions of the within act shall be liable for a […]

FTC reports on to Congress on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry

The Federal Trade Commission today issued its biennial report to Congress on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. According to the report, more than 249 million consumers have placed their telephone numbers on the Registry over the past two year. The report also notes that the FTC has received more than two million Do […]

Auto dealer industry petitions Fifth Circuit for review of new FTC rule

The Federal Trade Commission on January 4 published in the Federal Register its final rule to rein in widespread unfair and deceptive auto dealer practices. The next day, Reuters reported that the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the Texas Automobile Dealers Association filed a petition before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking review […]