State Accuses Curacao of ‘Preying’ On Latino Customers

October 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

California’s attorney general is suing one of the country’s largest electronic and appliance retailers for preying on its Latino consumers, specifically those that are low-income, Spanish speakers and immigrants.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the lawsuit against the Curacao retail chain Oct 20, saying in a written statement that the decision comes following a joint investigation with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. The lawsuit alleges that Curacao engages in numerous and pervasive unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a lawsuit filed this week, accuses retailer Curacao of engaging in predatory practices.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a lawsuit filed this week, accuses retailer Curacao of engaging in predatory practices.

Curacao has nine stores in Southern California.

According to Becerra, the retailer targets its marketing and advertising to Latino consumers who have little experience dealing with credit cards and retail payment plans. He accused the company of engaging in “bait and switch” schemes, adding items and services to the customer’s contract without telling them; failing to inform customers that translated contracts are available; not informing customers of the company’s return policies and failing to honor its return policies.

The lawsuit further accuses the retailer of padding its profits by pressuring customers into buying extended warranties and adding other services to customers’ credit purchases that wind up costing the customer double or triple the amount they thought they would pay. The lawsuit also accused Curacao of harassing and threatening customers who fall behind on their payments.

“Curacao is a well-known retailer among many Latino families in Southern California and even markets itself as un poco de su país (a little bit of your country),” said Becerra. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this case to prove that Curacao deliberately and systematically preys on these very families and their hard-earned money,” the attorney general said.

Curacao’s practices are not only “disgraceful,” they are also “unlawful,” Becerra said.

 

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