City Attorney David Chiu

Chiu highlights consumer protection efforts during Consumer Protection Week

The City Attorney encourages consumers to report businesses that deceive or defraud consumers

SAN FRANCISCO (March 6, 2024) — City Attorney David Chiu today celebrated San Francisco’s consumer protection efforts during National Consumer Protection Week. As City Attorney, Chiu has vigorously prosecuted businesses deceiving or defrauding consumers and property owners violating housing codes or affordable housing laws. In 2023, the City Attorney’s Office launched a consumer complaint web portal and hotline to bolster its consumer protection practice.

City Attorney David Chiu
City Attorney David Chiu

“Consumer protection continues to be a top priority of mine,” said City Attorney David Chiu. “I am proud of our successful efforts to hold individuals, businesses, and property owners accountable for taking advantage of the public. Our web portal and hotline allow us to hear directly from the public about issues facing consumers. I look forward to this collaboration continuing to inspire legal actions to protect members of the public.”

California’s Unfair Competition Law prohibits unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices as well as unfair, deceptive, untrue, or misleading advertising. Certain city attorneys in California, including the San Francisco City Attorney, can send subpoenas or letters of inquiry and file lawsuits on behalf of the People of the State of California to protect consumers and ensure fair competition among businesses.

During City Attorney Chiu’s tenure, the Office has initiated and won myriad consumer protection actions. In 2022, the City Attorney’s Office secured over $350 million in settlement funds and benefits from the opioid industry to abate the opioid crisis in San Francisco. The City Attorney’s Office also won a lawsuit against Ingleside landlords for profiting off of unsafe units, secured a judgement against a predatory immigration consulting business, and investigated problematic COVID test sites that ceased operations after City enforcement action.

The City Attorney has sued the maker of Vanilla gift cards over gift card draining, online tobacco retailers for violating local flavored tobacco and e-cigarette bans, a company impersonating the government and defrauding small businesses, and SRO owners over unsafe living conditions. Chiu also launched an investigation into U.S. News & World Report regarding the company’s undisclosed financial ties to the hospitals it endorses.

The City Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting members of the public and encourages anyone to report businesses that deceive or defraud consumers, as well as of property owners that maintain properties in substandard conditions or violate housing laws. Consumers can submit complaints through the Office’s web portal and hotline at (415) 554-3977.