Category Archives: CFC in the News

CFC Saved Drivers Over $15 Million On Insurance In 2015

Hartford and Safeco had both sought to boost auto insurance rates by almost 7%, but CFC challenged the rate hike proposals. The result: $5 million in auto policy savings for Hartford customers and $10 million for Safeco customers. In August, GEICO agreed to pay $6 million to settle CFC’s complaint alleging the insurance giant violated civil rights and insurance law by targeting women and unmarried, lower-income motorists with deceptive and inflated automobile insurance rate quotes. It is difficult to calculate motorists’ potential savings resulting from the settlement, but CFC estimates it may reach several million dollars annually. Read More ›

Auto Insurance Company GEICO Pays Out Multi-Million Dollar Settlement

by Tom Vacar, Fox 2 (KTVU Oakland)

GECKO ON KTVU

The Consumer Federation of California charges that GEICO tried to discourage less preferable customers. Those include those not college-educated, not professional, not executive, a woman, an unmarried person, or those not currently insured. They would not be offered those lowest legal minimum [rates]. Read More ›

Geico Pays $6M To Settle Insurance Discrimination Claim

by Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle

Geico gecko in trademark car

Geico will pay $6 million to settle a complaint alleging it illegally discriminated against women, unmarried people, blue-collar workers and those without four-year college degrees by showing them costlier auto insurance policies on its Web site than it showed other potential customers. “We believe the primary intent was to drive these folks away from Geico to someone else’s Web site or at least make sure they were paying a lot more money if they didn’t drive them away,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America, the nonprofit advocacy group that filed the complaint. Read More ›

Geico Agrees To $6-Million Settlement In Discriminatory Pricing Case

by Nick Shively, Los Angeles Times

Mike Konopacki / CFC

The agreement stems from a petition filed by the Consumer Federation of California asking the department to take action against the Chevy Chase, Md.-based insurer on the grounds that it was discriminating based on occupation, education level and other personal characteristics. The federation had tested Geico’s website and found the insurer misrepresented information for customers who were unmarried, unemployed or employed in a low-wage occupation, had not obtained a four-year college degree and had gaps in insurance coverage, according to the petition documents. Read More ›

Ridesharing Drivers Often Stuck In Insurance Limbo

by Alice Holbrook, NerdWallet

Uber executives’ access to customer ride logs came under scrutiny last year, when a company manager referenced a reporter’s log during an interview. Some users were also disturbed by Uber’s use of ride logs to compile a study on customer hookups in 2012. Critics complain that the bill would make essential functions of TNCs, like using GPS to locate passengers, illegal. But [Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California] likens the regulations to medical privacy laws. “Even in a hospital, not just everyone is allowed to look at your medical records.” Read More ›

Bill Would Let Companies Secretly Record Some Phone Calls

by Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle

Business spying on customer phone calls

A bill that would let companies secretly record phone calls with current or former customers for up to 20 seconds was approved by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety Tuesday. … The mockup of the bill that was passed, however, does not say that companies could only record nonconfidential information in the first 20 seconds without consent. [Consumer Federation of California Executive Director Richard] Holober sees no reason companies ever need to secretly record anything. A caller needing a 20-second preamble could simply identify himself or herself, state the nature of the call, request permission to record and then start the recording, he said. Read More ›

Firms Could Record Some Phone Calls Without Consent Under California Bill

by Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

cd drive illustration

The bill was opposed by numerous advocates for consumers and seniors, including the Consumer Federation of California and the American Civil Liberties Union. “At a time when consumers are more and more concerned about businesses invading their privacy, it is wrong to be considering rolling back an important privacy law,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California, testifying against the bill on Tuesday. Read More ›

Calif. ‘Secret’ Phone Call Recording Bill Advances

by Kurt Orzeck, Law 360

Business spying on customer phone calls

The Consumer Federation of California on Tuesday said its executive director, Richard Holober, told the committee that AB 925’s provision for “secret recordings” would allow companies to manipulate business calls through serial phone calls, effectively defeating the purpose of the notification. The consumer group, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, California Nurses Association, California Federation of Teachers and other organizations, wrote in an Apr. 27 letter to the Assembly committee that the bill “would sacrifice well-established privacy interests. … AB 925 would eliminate an important and non-burdensome privacy protection.” Read More ›

Privacy Getting Taken For A Ride

by Samantha Gallegos, Capitol Weekly

iStock

Sponsored by the Consumer Federation of California, a non-profit consumer-rights advocacy group, [Assembly Member Ed] Chau’s bill would set up privacy standards related to “personally identifiable data” that [Transportation Network Companies] — like Uber or Lyft — would be required to follow. Those standards don’t exist now, Chau said. “I guess you could say, well, protecting some personal data is better than protecting none,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation. “Right now none is protected. And I don’t believe the flawed argument that Internet-based companies should have greater freedom than the other businesses who collect and share data.” Read More ›

California Bill Would Force Uber To Guard Passenger Privacy

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

A bill pending in Sacramento would force Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies to follow stricter privacy rules. AB886 specifies that the smartphone-ordered ride services cannot disclose any data on passengers except to combat fraud or other crimes. It also says the companies must destroy all personal information when customers cancel their accounts. “We want to put the consumers in the driver’s seat about who owns their data and personal information, instead of having them take a back seat,” said bill author Assemblyman Ed Chau. Read More ›

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