Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Airline Price Fixing Class Action Filed

It came as no surprise that the airlines kept jacking up their prices and limiting their services, often at a time when jet fuel prices were plummeting. Consumers had almost given in to the turbulence of high ticket prices. But the winds are changing, and the settlements are coming.

All of us have heard the phrase "too good to be true." And most of us know to be skeptical of any claims a company makes on its potential for growth. So, when an entrepreneur tells potential investors that value in the firm will increase by 25,000 percent, that would be enough of a red flag to scare us off.

But not big enough, apparently, for investors into rapper/actor T.I.'s cryptocurrency, FLiK Token. The currency opened at a price of about six cents per token, and was touted to hit $14.99 within 15 months. That didn't quite materialize -- FLiK Token is currently trading at less than a single cent -- and those investors are pissed. They're suing T.I. (née Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) and cofounder Ryan Felton, looking for $5 million in compensation for what they're calling a cryptocurrency pump-and-dump scheme.

Your dishwasher is overflowing; your clothes dryer is on the fritz; your refrigerator isn't running. A malfunctioning appliance can turn your home upside down, and worse, cause more damage than some dirty dishes. So, we trust that when we call a business calling itself "A Plus Appliance Repair" or "Rescue Appliance," that we'll get a competent repair person who can fix what's wrong.

But that's not what was happening in Cincinnati, according to a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General. The suit claims Terry Haynes was taking payment from prospective customers, then never delivering on the repairs.

You Lost Your Credit Card! What to Do Next

How often have you reached into your wallet to grab a credit card, only to discover it's missing? When that happens, no doubt you immediately have a rush of adrenalin, feeling financially exposed. Hopefully you just left it at home when you used it to pay for something online at your desk. Or maybe you left it in your blue jeans pocket with your driver's license from the night before. Should you worry? The answer may surprise you.

What Are Consumer's Rights in a Data Hacking Incident

Every week, there seems to be another announcement of consumer data breach. We've all gotten those letters in the mail saying that the company will pay for a year's worth of identity theft services, which generally cost consumers about $10 per month. However, these hacks have become so commonplace that most consumers have already purchased this service, as a prophylactic measure, since identity theft can be so financially damaging.

In addition to applying for these services, what rights do consumer's have when their data is illegally mined?

We've all heard the phrase "worst case scenario," and we've probably often conjured up such scenarios. Power going out during the big game. Breaking down on a desert highway in the middle of nowhere. The toilet exploding when you flush it.

Wait, what?

According to Flushmate, its II 501-B pressure-assisted flushing systems have a flaw. And that flaw involves bursting at the weld seam and releasing high pressure, enough to lift the tank lid and shatter the tank. So, yeah -- worst case scenario for anyone flushing the toilet.

Most of us don't think too much about the price of canned tuna. It's generally pretty cheap, and if we're not penny pinching we'll likely go with the recognizable label on the shelf. You know, the blue can with Charlie Tuna on it?

But in an effort to squeeze more pennies out of its customers, StarKist, perhaps the most recognizable brand of tuna on the market, got itself into some costly trouble. The company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to fix prices of packaged seafood, and is now facing a possible $100 million in fines.

What Are Your Rights When Your Concert Is Postponed or Canceled?

When a concert is postponed or canceled, the news can hit hard. Sometimes the ticket holder doesn't have the luxury of abundant free time, and can't make the new date. Other times, the purchase price was a lot of money, and the ticket holder really needs that money refunded immediately rather than waiting to resell a postponed concert for a date still to be determined? What are your rights when a concert is canceled or postponed? It depends on who you bought the ticket from, and the decisions of the artist, team, venue, or promoter.

Spark Networks USA, the company behind niche online dating sites like Christian Mingle and Jdate, has settled a consumer protection action filed by San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties on behalf of customers who were automatically renewed for the service and denied refunds.

The company will pay $500,000 in civil penalties and almost $1 million in restitution, distributed to users and the municipalities, including the city of Santa Monica. Here's a closer look.

What Is the 'Neighbor Spoofing' Scam?

There seems to be a new scam born every minute, and this one is tricky, on so many levels. You may have already experienced it, but didn't know it's name. The neighbor spoofing scam is used by con artists and robocallers that call your phone, seemingly with a local number, but they are not a local business.

In this scam, not only the area code matches the victim's, but also the next three numbers, or prefix, will appear familiar, tempting you to pick up the phone even though you don't know this exact number. A telemarketers biggest obstacle is getting you to pick up that phone, but by deceiving you into thinking the call is coming from someone local, they easily clear that hurdle, and are one step closer to completing their scam.