Trade practices often revolve around ambitious marketing, and with that comes a significant level of idealization. However, when these promises about a product or service go too far, an individual or organization can be accused of exercising deceptive trade practices.
So, what makes marketing campaigns or product information deceptive? A deceptive trade practice is defined as information that is distributed which is completely false or misleading in nature. It is also seen to be coercive toward the consumer and communicated specifically with the intention of drawing potential consumers into the lies.
What does the law say about deceptive trade practices?
Consumers across states have specific laws that have been put into place to protect citizens from deceptive trade practices, and to persecute those responsible. For example, if a person or company is found guilty of exercising deceptive trade practices in Ohio, they can be subject to a penalty of $25,000. Injunctions may also be applicable. In the same state, a consumer is able to sue for three times the amount of their actual damages for being a victim of deceptive trade practices, or up to $1,500.
In order to create a consistent and unified battle against deceptive trade practices, several states have come together to establish the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) so that class action laws suits across states can be made possible.
Deceptive trade practices can come in many forms. They could be selling services or products that are completely different to what is received, or trying to pass off an old item as that of a new one. If you have any questions, concerns or believe that you have become a victim to deceptive trade practices, an attorney can help you determine your next course of action.
Source: findlaw, “state deceptive trade practices,” accessed Oct. 08, 2017