Does your online TOU have a 1789.3 disclosure?

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When you put together your website Term of Use, the easy parts are the big ones, but small oversights can leave the door open for nuisance suits.  One such example is for California based companies that forget to post notices required by Cal. Civ. Code §1789.3.

Passed into law in 1986, the statute is intended to give consumers direction as to where to file complaints against bad actors online.

The provider of an electronic commercial service shall provide to consumers with which it … the service, at the time it contracts to provide the service and annually, on or before June 30 of each year thereafter, all of the following information:
(a) The name, address, and telephone number of the provider of service.
(b) Any charges to the consumer imposed by the provider for the use of the service.
(c) The procedures a consumer may follow in order to resolve a complaint regarding the service or to receive further information regarding use of the service, including the telephone number and address of the Complaint Assistance Unit of the Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

While the state rarely enforces this obscure law, opportunistic consumer attorneys may seek private action nuisance suits seeking damages under the state’s Private Attorney General statute (which allows attorneys to sue to enforce state laws for damages, usually under $10,000).

Rather than deal with the nuisance suits (and settlement fees) or send annual notices, many of the larger companies operating in California such as Apple simply include the §1789.3 notice in their Terms of Use. Even companies where their online e-commerce presence is small compared to their operations (such as the Los Angeles STAPLES Center) include a §1789.3 notice in their Terms of Use.

If you have an online e-commerce presence and would like to have your Terms of Use reviewed, Contact Lachman Law today.

 

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