An extensive investigation by the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in conjunction with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a lawsuit announced today by the Attorney General against retailer Curacao.
Curacao is a retail store chain that ranks among the 50 largest electronics and appliance retailers in the United States and has nine locations in Southern California.
The company actively markets its products to members of the Latino community – specifically low-income, Spanish-speaking, and undocumented immigrants – who lack a credit history and have minimal experience with credit card and retail installment agreements.
In the lawsuit, Attorney General Becerra alleges that Curacao engages in numerous and pervasive unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices.
“Deceptive business practices take hard-earned dollars from the pockets of consumers and jeopardizes their economic security,” DCBA Director Brian J. Stiger said. “Our department is proud to work in collaboration with Attorney General Becerra and his office to help make sure the marketplace remains fair for consumers and businesses in Los Angeles County.
Becerra alleges that Curacao takes advantage of consumers through:
* Bait-and-switch advertising
* Product bundling
* Adding items and services to consumers’ contracts without their knowledge or consent
* Failing to provide notice that translated contracts are available to consumers who negotiate in Spanish
* Failing to tell consumers about return policies until after purchase
* Failing to honor return policies
* Failing to explain contract financing terms
* Failing to tell consumers about important warranty terms
* Failing to honor warranties
* Harassing and threatening consumers who fall behind on their payments
* Failing to properly serve consumer defendants in small claims cases
If you believe you have been a victim of unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices by Curacao or their parent company Adir International, LLC, we encourage you to file a complaint with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Please contact Investigator Esther Martinez at 213-974-9770.
If you have general questions about consumer rights or want to file a complaint about another business, you can contact DCBA by calling 800-93-8222, going online at dcba.lacounty.gov, or visiting a DCBA office location.
A copy of the lawsuit is available at oag.ca.gov.
Since 1976, the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs has served consumers, businesses, and communities through education, advocacy, and complaint resolution. We work every day to educate consumers and small business owners about their rights and responsibilities, mediate disputes, investigate consumer fraud complaints, and enforce Los Angeles County’s minimum wage ordinance. For more information, visit dcba.lacounty.gov.