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

FTC examines companies’ environmental claims

Politico reports: “As demand for sustainable products has skyrocketed, so have concerns about greenwashing. Public comments were due yesterday on the FTC’s first update in 11 years of its “Green Guides,” which are essentially advice for how companies can make environmental marketing claims. The nearly 60,000 comments shed light on what companies, industry trade groups […]

FTC approves order against company for hijacking online product reviews

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order against The Bountiful Company for abusing a feature of Amazon.com to deceive consumers into thinking that its newly introduced supplements had more product ratings and reviews, higher average ratings, and “#1 Best Seller” and “Amazon’s Choice” badges. Details, including a link to the complaint, are […]

CFPB takes second stab at defining “abusive” conduct

The public comment period closed yesterday on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule to create a public registry for terms and conditions in non-negotiable nonbank contracts that limit consumer rights and protections. The proposal recognized a certain powerlessness of consumers who are forced to surrender critical rights when seeking out essential financial products. Part […]

FTC action leads to industry ban for operators of “extended vehicle warranty” scam

As a result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit, the operators of a telemarketing scam that called hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide to pitch them expensive “extended automobile warranties” will face a lifetime ban from the extended automobile warranty industry and from all outbound telemarketing. The FTC’s press release is here.

CFPB seeks public info on data brokers’ business

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to know more about data brokers and their practices, as these entities gather and sell consumers’ personal and private information. The CFPB requests public feedback including information about the entities that collect personal consumer data, the types of data collected, sources that data brokers use to collect information, their […]

Consumer issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native communities

A new Federal Trade Commission report to Congress details the consumer issues that affect American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations, as well as the FTC’s enforcement, outreach and education work on these issues. The report summarizes the agency’s efforts to hear directly from tribal leaders, community members, advocates, and others about issues affecting their […]

Remedies for Violations of the Consumer Review Fairness Act

Over at his Technology and Marketing Blog, Eric Goldman points to a recent district court decision issuing a preliminary injunction against a solar installation company which, according to the decision, engaged in a series of shady practices vis-a-vis consumers who agreed to use its solar panel installation services. In an action brought jointly by the […]

Using consumer law to protect workers

In Consumer Law as Work Law (forthcoming Calif. L. Rev. 2024), law professor Jonathan Harris describes the possibilities and challenges of turning to consumer law as part of an integrated work law to help remediate the bargaining power asymmetries between firms and workers. Here is the abstract: In recent decades, firms have radically transformed labor […]

FTC’s fair lending report highlights auto dealer practices

Shady auto dealer practices take center stage in the Federal Trade Commission’s latest report on its 2022 enforcement activities related to fair lending. Each year, the FTC submits a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recounting actions it took tied to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a law to combat discrimination in lending. Last […]

8th Circuit: FECA does not preempt Minnesota consumer protection law

After receiving consumer complaints about its use of pre-checked recurring-donation checkboxes, the Minnesota Attorney General sent subpoenas and a civil investigative demand to WinRed, a so-called “conduit” political action committee (PAC). WinRed sought a preliminary injunction against the investigation in federal district court, arguing that Minnesota’s consumer protection laws were preempted by the Federal Election […]