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

DC Federal Court Remands “Junk Fee” Challenge Due to Lack of Article III Standing

Travelers United is a DC-based nonprofit that has sued a number of travel and hospitality providers for putative violations of DC’s consumer protection laws. In one recent case, the organization sued Hilton for their “deceptive Junk Fee practices” that “trick consumers into paying more” to book a hotel room “than they otherwise would.” Travelers United […]

Should banks bear the burden of Zelle scams?

Zelle scams have been drawing a lot of attention lately.  For example, Penny Crosman has an article in the American Banker, Inside a Zelle fraud that almost lost a Florida consumer $3,500 (behind paywall but available on Lexis); she also discusses it on the Banking with Interest podcast. The Electronic Fund Transfers Act enables consumers […]

In $10M settlement, 50 AGs chide cell phone providers’ marketing practices

Following an investigation of the largest wireless providers’ advertising, marketing, and sales practices, 50 state AGs announced a settlement to discourage misleading and deceptive conduct. The cell phone companies agreed to pay a total of $10.25 million to change their practices. Specifically, the AGs investigated the sales tactics of AT&T Mobility, LLC, Cellco Partnership (doing […]

What is the definition of junk fees?

Junk fees are likely to feature in the election this year, so for that reason alone, it would be useful to know what they are. Sometimes they seem to be defined by examples; you can find such a list of examples (as well as a definition that strikes me as underinclusive) here. Because the very […]

Porat chapter on algorithmic personalized pricing

Recently someone texted me a picture of a product. When I pulled it up on the seller’s website, the displayed price was twice the price listed in the texted picture. And here’s a piece that may address that discrepancy: Haggai Porat of Harvard and the Tel Aviv University School of Economics has written Algorithmic Personalized […]

Second Circuit Affirms Expert Exclusion and Summary Judgment in KIND “All Natural” Lawsuit

In 2015, consumers sued the manufacturers of KIND products –first over the company’s use of the word “healthy” in describing its products, and then over the “All Natural/Non-GMO” claim on product packaging. The class action included claims for violation of several state laws. After class certification and discovery, the district court excluded the testimony of […]

CFPB Report Finds “Higher Price Complexity Leads Consumers to Pay More”

This looks like important research bearing on the issue of junk fees, among other things. From the Bureau’s newsroom: Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new report that suggests consumers tend to pay more for products that have more complex pricing structures. The report is based on experiments with multiple rounds of […]

CFPB identifies financial and privacy risks to consumers in video gaming marketplaces

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a report examining the growth of financial transactions in online video games and virtual worlds. “These platforms increasingly resemble traditional banking and payment systems that facilitate the storage and exchange of billions of dollars in assets, including virtual currencies. However, consumers report being harmed by scams or theft […]

FTC sends $62 million in refunds to sellers deceived by online real estate listing service

The Federal Trade Commission is sending nearly $62 million in refunds to sellers deceived by advertising and marketing claims made by online real estate business Opendoor Labs, Inc. According to the FTC’s August 2022 complaint, Opendoor cheated home sellers by tricking them into thinking that they could make more money selling their home to Opendoor than […]

Washingtonian Article on the Rise (and Fall?) of Ambiguous Restaurant Fees

Available here, the article explains the history of additional fees added by D.C. restaurants, the rationales given by supporters and defenders, and the status of enforcement and litigation efforts.