The ordinance enables the City of Philadelphia to enforce existing consumer protection laws and hold businesses harming residents legally accountable 

PHILADELPHIA — Today, Mayor Cherelle L. Parker signed the Consumer Protection Ordinance into law. The ordinance, introduced by City Councilmember at-Large Rue Landau on behalf of the Parker Administration, empowers the City of Philadelphia to respond to scams and fraud harming Philadelphia consumers and obtain tangible relief to those who need it the most.

Through the Law Department and partner agencies designated by the mayor, the Consumer Protection Ordinance authorizes the City of Philadelphia to investigate reports of unfair and deceptive business practices that harm Philadelphia consumers. The ordinance specifically targets deceptive business practices including misleading financing plans, false advertising of product conditions, and other activities which are deemed illegal under existing Pennsylvania consumer protection laws.

If violations are found, the Law Department can take swift action to hold repeat offenders accountable in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by seeking financial relief for affected consumers, civil penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, and court orders to halt ongoing predatory behaviors by defendant businesses.

Prior to the introduction of the Consumer Protection Ordinance, Philadelphia relied on the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, which permits enforcement through the Pennsylvania Attorney General or the District Attorney. The absence of a specialized local mechanism within the mayor’s chain of command has left Philadelphia without the tools to combat patterns of fraudulent business practices and obtain direct relief for impacted residents. This legislation enables the City of Philadelphia to expand its consumer protection efforts at the local level.

“I’m proud of this consumer protection legislation that I’ve now signed into law,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “While Pennsylvania law protects consumers from scams and frauds, we often face situations in Philadelphia where our residents deal with all manner of fraudulent business behavior directed at them or their families. Thanks to Councilmember Landau and the diligence of our Law Department, Philadelphia now has its own consumer protection ordinance, an additional layer of protection for our citizens.  This bill is now law and an important step forward for consumers.”

“I’m excited to join Mayor Parker in creating stronger consumer protection laws here in Philadelphia,” said Councilmember Rue Landau. “Too many Philadelphians are one scam away from sliding into or falling deeper into poverty. By fighting bad actors with this bill, the administration will protect consumers as they deserve.”

“The Consumer Protection Ordinance provides the Law Department with the ability to investigate and initiate legal action under existing state law against businesses that repeatedly exploit and mislead our hardworking residents,” said City Solicitor Renee Garcia. “I applaud the City Council and Mayor Parker for their efforts to implement this important legislation which will make the city safer to business in, and we look forward to expanding our role in the effort to promote a secure and equitable local economy.”