Consumer Fraud

Know Your Rights

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The cutthroat competition of the business world puts pressure on businesses to do everything in their power to increase or maintain market share.  Obviously, the first and best ways to improve competitiveness are to improve the product, reduce costs, change marketing strategies or increase marketing funding.  All businesses try these options first.  But what if these options fail?  For too many businesses, the ready answer is to resort to fraud.  Consumer fraud most often comes in the form of misrepresenting the nature of the product offered, either in direct misrepresentations to consumers, in advertisements, or on the packaging of the product itself.  

Most of us have been victims of some kind of fraud in our lives, whether it be in the form of a used car salesman rolling back the odometer, the cable company lying to us about what your TV package will cost, or a mechanic or contractor charging for unnecessary repairs.  These kinds of fraud are obvious, and if you are a victim of this type of obvious and direct misrepresentation,
get a free consultation from a consumer fraud law firm. .  However, the more obscure or technical the aspect of the product is that is being represented, and the harder it is for the consumer to test the truth of the representation, the easier it is for a business to get away with fraud and the more likely a business is to commit it.  This is why fraud is so endemic in the world of food products.  How many consumers have the ability to verify if the chickens that lay the eggs in the carton they buy are really “cage free,” or if the food they buy really is “preservative free,” “sugar free,” “organic,” “gluten free,” or any other of hundreds of traits that consumers might find desirable?  

The answer of course is: very few indeed.  The same logic applies to the tech industry.  Technical specifications like “processor speed” are impossible for most consumers to test, yet many consumers base their decisions on comparison shopping based on the fastest, biggest, best.  Fortunately, there are scientific instruments that can test the actual content of food, the actual speed of processors, etc.  If you have a hunch that your yogurt isn’t really “sugar free,” or that your gadget doesn’t really have the qualities they claim it does, you can get a free consultation from a consumer fraud attorney that can potentially test your hunch, and if fraud is happening, you could be part of a lawsuit and do your part to teach businesses that fraud is not acceptable.  There are government agencies that are designed to protect consumers, but these agencies are chronically underfunded.  The sad reality is that consumers themselves and their private attorneys are the main driver of change in the consumer world.  Often, these attorneys can provide consumer fraud help by representing you at no charge. With this effort, you can do your part to make a better world for consumers and eliminate fraud.
To give you a better idea of what kinds of fraud are out there, here are some recent examples of allegations from consumer lawsuits filed in 2019 (these are allegations made by others in filed lawsuits and not allegations by this website):
  • Visionworks of America misrepresented that a “buy one get one free” glasses offer was misleading because the cost of the first pair was inflated.
  • Kohl’s misrepresented that products were discounted because products were never actually offered at the inflated “regular price.”
  • Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream misrepresented that its product was flavored by vanilla bean
  • Fairlife, LLC misrepresented that its cows are treated humanely and with an “extraordinary” amount of care
  • Epic games misrepresented that its video game was “free,” where the game is designed to entice gamers to make in-app purchases
  • ENT Credit Union misrepresented overdraft fee policy
  • Just Born candies committed packaging fraud by selling their candies in boxes with 55% empty space
  • Tropicana Orange juice was marketed as being “natural,” when it in fact included artificial flavors.

The above examples are just a small sampling of the kind of consumer fraud cases that go on daily in our society.  If you suspect that a product you buy has been fraudulently represented in some way, you can obtain a free consultation with an attorney who specializes in consumer fraud.  Click here to tell your story!   

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