A major component of running a successful business is attracting customers and selling goods and services. Given that some industries have cut-throat competition, some business try to entice customers through unfair means.
Unfair practices towards customers is not tolerated in California, and as such the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) seeks to protect consumer rights.
Set within the California Civil Code, the CLRA lists the unfair practices taken on by businesses that are prohibited. Many of the practices fall under false advertisement, with businesses advertising products in such a way that is not how they are actually sold or not indicating that they are of limited quantity. Violations also include intentionally misrepresenting a used product as a new one, its product source, endorsements, or affiliations. False disparagement of the goods and services of another business is prohibited, as well as deliberately mispresenting goods as those belonging to another business. Many more violations can occur as described by the CLRA.
Given that it is a part of the civil code, if a business violates the CLRA a lawsuit can be brought forth against them in order to seek remedies. Such remedies include punitive damages, restitution of property and other reliefs. A lawsuit can only be filed within three years of the unfair business practice – this is the statute of limitations. An important note is that the CLRA also protects against other consumer frauds such as cell phone and telecom fraud. If a person is to receive an unsolicited call with a pre-recorded message, the person must first be greeted by a natural voice informing them of the business and obtaining their consent to listen to the message. However, the person cannot file a lawsuit against the business calling them if they already have an existing relationship with the business or the person themselves requested the call.