Consumer protection laws are one of the main tools available to those who have been taken advantage of by businesses. These laws can range widely in coverage from state to state. While the Federal Trade Commission has a set of baseline laws that protect consumers, many U.S. states have their own laws that expand upon the federally mandated protections.
California, for example, has six separate consumer protection laws. From homestead laws to lemon laws, each of these protections is aimed at stopping consumers from being taken advantage of through duplicitous business practices such as multi-level marketing, or MLMs, and certain other forms of fraud.
California Consumer Protection Agency Complaints
California has a complaint referral table that covers every type of business from accountants to weights and measures. Say you purchased a boat that sunk on the first use through no fault of your own. Using the referral table, you can find the link for the California Division of Boating and Waterways Enforcement Unit. By following the instructions on the PDF, you should have all the steps you need to file a proper complaint.
Read More: California Lemon Laws: Tanner Consumer Protection Act
General Business Complaint Requirements
In general, all business complaints in California need to have:
- An outline of the event from the beginning and items in the order that they occurred. Use specifics whenever possible.
- What was said and who said it during the course of the incident.
- Names of the parties present during any conversations and actions.
- The location and time where and when these conversations and actions took place.
California Consumer Protection Laws
In general, there are four areas of California’s consumer protection law. Each section deals with a specific aspect of the law. Generally speaking, these chapters are:
General Provisions in California Law. The general provisions of the California laws lists all of the separate obligations that a consumer, a seller or a business have. When doing business in California, it is essential to understand that you must have certain proof that can back up your claim.
Construction and Definitions Law. This chapter defines all of the different terms and specific language that will be used during consumer protection litigation. These terms are laid out to best serve a consumer that has been taken advantage of.
Deceptive Practices in California Law. Outlining what, specifically, is a deceptive practice may seem unnecessary, but by doing so, California protects both the consumer and the business or seller. The aim of this section is to give clear, understandable guidelines as to what actions are illegal within the state.
Remedies and Procedures in California Law. If a business practice has been found to be deceptive, this section outlines what can be done to remedy the situation for the consumer. Remedies can include monetary reimbursement or even policy changes for the business.
Consumer Protection Agency California
When looking into consumer protections in California, it is important to understand that these laws are not just for businesses and single consumers. While there is a great deal of focus on scamming operations, such as telemarketers and pyramid schemes, California laws attempt to shed light on almost all monetary dealings.
Some California consumer protection agency complaints or lawsuits can make national news. The most common example of this would be when a group of people is represented by a single law firm to file a class-action lawsuit against a company. Class-action lawsuits typically involve a group of individuals that were using a service at the same time. California also has consumer protection laws that cover rentals, home mortgages and other housing-related issues.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. Her experience includes years of work in the insurance, workers compensation, disability, and background investigation fields. In addition to being the content writer and social media manager for Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, she has written on legal topics for a number of other clients. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com) and enjoys writing legal articles and blogs for clients in related industries.