Both state and federal laws exist on the books aimed at protecting consumers from being taken advantage of by both retailers and manufacturers. The overwhelming goal in passing these laws was to dissuade the parties from making exaggerated or deceptive claims when either advertising or marketing their products.
A person or company that purposely misleads a consumer with the end goal of getting them to commit to buying either a service or product can be charged with deceptive trade practices under most any states’ laws.
Odometer tampering and false advertising are perhaps two of the most common examples of consumer fraud.
Other common types of deceptive trade practices are representing a product as new when it’s instead been reconditioned or refurbished or saying that a service needs to be performed when it really doesn’t. Selling counterfeit goods and stating the products have a person or company’s stamp of approval when they really don’t are two other examples of deceptive business practices.
While different jurisdictions’ laws may vary, many impose a standard penalty of as much as $25,000 for each violation. In most cases, plaintiffs are also afforded the right to file a defective trade practice lawsuit as well. If you’re able to do so, then you may be able to recover attorney fees, court costs and as much as three times your actual damages in your case. In some cases, there may even be a minimum damage amount that must be paid.
Since many companies do business not just in their own state, but others as well, many lawmakers have joined in adopting the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA).
If you believe that you’ve been deceived by a company, especially in terms of how they’ve marketed or advertised their product, then a Vadnais Heights attorney can advise you of potential legal remedies that can be pursued in your case.
Source: FindLaw, “Details on state deceptive trade practices,” accessed May 25, 2018