Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

For the third time in five years, the U.S. Supreme Court had a chance to reverse a terrifying trend in consumer rights by doing something, anything, to rein in “forced arbitration” clauses that strip consumers of their legal rights and effectively give companies a license to steal. And for the third time in five years, the SCOTUS majority showed its interests lie in protecting the coffers of big business rather than Americans’ access to the legal system. [More]

Federal Judge Rules That California Uber Drivers Can Sue For Vehicle And Phone Expenses

Federal Judge Rules That California Uber Drivers Can Sue For Vehicle And Phone Expenses

There’s a fairly low barrier to entry if you want to work as a driver for Uber or similar ride-hailing apps: you need to be over 21, have a safe driving record, and have a car that meets the company’s criteria. Then the company sends you work through their app, an arrangement that a current class action lawsuit says makes drivers employees of the service, entitled to reimbursement of their car and phone expenses. Now a federal district judge in California has ruled that the workers are entitled to have Uber cover their vehicle and smartphone expenses. [More]

Bill To Ban The Use of Microbeads In Personal Care Products Nationwide By 2019 Passes House

Bill To Ban The Use of Microbeads In Personal Care Products Nationwide By 2019 Passes House

With several states and companies passing or currently considering rules to stop the use of tiny microbeads in beauty products, the nation as a whole has been playing catchup. After at least one failed attempt to pass a measure to keep the microscopic plastic spheres from going down the drain and possibly into the stomachs of our seafood, the House passed legislation this week that would ban the use of the products.  [More]

California Taco Bell Offers Valet Parking For Customers

California Taco Bell Offers Valet Parking For Customers

Taco Bell has made its name selling high-cal, low-price junk food (note: that’s not an insult), but one California Bell is classing things up — at least temporarily — by offering a valet parking service to customers. [More]

San Francisco Sues American Express, Alleging Illegal Restraints On Merchants

San Francisco Sues American Express, Alleging Illegal Restraints On Merchants

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that American Express violated antitrust laws — resulting in higher costs for consumers — by forbidding retailers that accept AmEx from encouraging customers to use competing cards like those from Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Now, the city of San Francisco is suing the credit card company to get back billions of dollars for merchants in California. [More]

Original Taco Bell Building Saved From Demolition, Will Be Moved To Taco Bell HQ

Original Taco Bell Building Saved From Demolition, Will Be Moved To Taco Bell HQ

After facing demolition for nearly a year, the Downey, CA, building where Taco Bell got its modest start will live to see another day. It’ll just see it from a different location: the fast food restaurant’s corporate headquarters in Irvine.  [More]

Hey ID thieves! Did you break a security sticker while installing a card-skimming device on a gas pump? No problem. You can buy 500 replacement stickers for only $69.

Those Gas Pump “Anti-Skimming” Stickers Are Really Just Pointless Decoration

More than four years ago, a number of gas stations in the U.S. started slapping stickers on gas pump credit card readers in an effort to cut down on illegal card skimmers that steal customers’ payment info. And almost immediately, these same gas stations showed they had no idea what to do with these stickers. A new report shows that not only do some companies not really care about these stickers, but that anyone can buy them. [More]

JCPenney To Refund Customers $50M In False Advertising Settlement

JCPenney To Refund Customers $50M In False Advertising Settlement

JCPenney is putting a class-action lawsuit accusing the retailer of violating consumer protection laws by using deceptive discount practices behind it.  [More]

California Accused Of Allowing Nursing Homes To Permanently “Dump” Elderly Patients On Hospitals

California Accused Of Allowing Nursing Homes To Permanently “Dump” Elderly Patients On Hospitals

A new lawsuit accuses the California Department of Health and Human Services of deliberately turning a blind eye to the illegal practice of taking nursing home residents who receive state aid and “dumping” them into the hospital system by refusing to let them return, even under binding orders to readmit them. [More]

Read The Fine Print: Allstate Safe Driving Bonus Checks Aren’t Available In All States

Read The Fine Print: Allstate Safe Driving Bonus Checks Aren’t Available In All States

Sometimes, it’s annoying to watch television and see ads for businesses or products that don’t exist in your area, like the Sonic ads on cable that taunted us here in the Northeast for years. In a series of Allstate ads that air nationwide, the insurer talks about a biannual bonus check that customers who don’t get in accidents receive. “Where’s my check?” asked one Allstate customer who hasn’t had an accident in decades. Where, indeed? [More]

(Ross Catrow)

Clerk Sells Wrong Lottery Ticket, Customer Wins $381K In Powerball

Many years ago, I had a job that included selling lottery tickets. Sometimes I’d make a mistake, maybe printing out a quick-pick when the customer wanted to dictate numbers to me, or printing off a Win 4 ticket instead of a Take Five. “That’s okay,” some customers would say. “Maybe it was a lucky mistake. I’ll buy that one.” This never translated to big payouts for my customers, but won a convenience store customer in California $380,774. [More]

This prairie dog is not impressed by your hollow threats of legal action. (Angela N.)

Fertility Service Threatens Customer With Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit For Complaining To Better Business Bureau

A New Jersey woman who thought she’d been cheated out of several thousand dollars by a service that connects prospective parents with willing egg donors did something that a lot of ticked-off consumers do: She filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau — not knowing that the company would then threaten her with a massive legal action for daring to speak her mind. [More]

Amazon “Prime Now” Drivers Accuse Company Of Wage Theft

Amazon “Prime Now” Drivers Accuse Company Of Wage Theft

If you’re in one of the markets where Amazon offers one- to two-hour “Prime Now” deliveries, the courier who comes to your door may be wearing an Amazon uniform, but they might not be Amazon employees. Some Prime Now drivers in California are accusing the e-commerce giant of using their “independent contractor” status to get away without paying them a legal wage. [More]

Anthem Blue Cross Will Pay $8.3M To Customers To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Mid-Year Policy Changes

Anthem Blue Cross Will Pay $8.3M To Customers To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Mid-Year Policy Changes

When you sign up for an insurance policy, you’re given a price for that plan for the year. So when California consumers discovered changes to their Anthem Blue Cross policies in the middle of the year that came with extra out-of-pocket costs, two policyholders filed a class-action lawsuit against the insurance provider in 2011. Anthem Blue Cross has now agreed to a settlement that includes reimbursing about 50,000 customers in California almost $8.3 million. [More]

(Michael)

Police: Walmart Shopper Doused Halloween Costumes With Lighter Fluid, Set Them On Fire

There always has to be someone – or something – that tries to ruin everyone’s favorite spooky holiday: the thief who wiped out a preschoolers’ pumpkin patch, the wild boars that threatened to put a damper on trick-or-treating, and now a California man who allegedly set an aisle of Halloween costumes on fire at Walmart.  [More]

(Consumerist Dot Com)

Contractor Accepts $7,500 In Payments, Disappears

When you hire a contractor and they do a competent job, you should be able to just hire that contractor again without checking their background and starting the process over. Right? Not so fast, as one person who aspired to have new doors installed in his home learned the hard way. He hired back a contractor he had used in the past without checking any licenses, and paid about $7,500 for his mistake. [More]

California Governor Finally Signs Nation’s First Law Getting Tough On Antibiotics In Farm Animals

California Governor Finally Signs Nation’s First Law Getting Tough On Antibiotics In Farm Animals

Weeks after the California state legislature passed the nation’s first law intended to hold farmers and veterinarians accountable for the use of antibiotics in livestock, Governor Jerry Brown finally signed the bill over the weekend. [More]

Beauty Products Sold In California To Be Microbead-Free By 2020

Beauty Products Sold In California To Be Microbead-Free By 2020

While a bill that would have prohibited the use of tiny microbeads in face wash and other personal products nationwide died in Congress last year, California didn’t give up its fight to keep the microscopic plastic spheres from entering its waterways and turning up inside the stomach of consumers’ seafood, passing legislation that bans the use of the products in the state by 2020.  [More]