What are Deceptive Trade Pratices?

If you're in business, you should know about the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Here's what you should know about deceptive trade practices.
Dooley Noted, Business Lawyer, Estate planning, Restaurant Lawyer, Insurance Dispute attorney, Alternative Dispute Resolutions

Staff Writer

Staff Writer, @DooleyNotedLaw

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You’re not alone if you’ve ever been scammed or tricked when buying a product or service. Deceptive business practices are unfortunately all too common. But what exactly is the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and what can you do to protect yourself? In this article, we’ll explain the act and give you some tips on how to stay safe from illegal business practices.

Examples of Deceptive Business Practices 

There are many different types of misleading business practices. The goal of each class is to get people to come into a store based on untrue or misleading information. Ultimately, deceptive practices are when the business deceives its customers. The following forms are typical examples, but there are many more.

False Advertising

False advertising includes making false statements about the brand’s product or a competitor’s product. Most of the time, only objective claims may violate false advertising laws. For example, a business can’t make an objective claim about the incorrect number of miles per gallon a car gets. However, subjective claims are harder to enforce. For instance, a subjective claim about how a product makes the customer feel is difficult to disprove. Above all, false advertising is an illegal business practice in Texas. Although, if you’re not sure whether the advertising is unlawful or not, contact a business lawyer in Texas.

Odometer Tampering

Another type of illegal business practice is odometer tampering. In Texas, it’s unlawful to change the mileage on an odometer of a vehicle. If caught, they could face significant penalties. However, if the car needs a new odometer, the seller must disclose that information. 

Bait and Switch

Companies may bait a customer with a product or service at a lower price. However, the customer discovers that the advertised goods are not available. Then, the company pressures the customer to buy a more expensive item. This is known as bait and switch. Ultimately, this is illegal in Texas under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Low Stock Scams

Sometimes sellers will list a low price for an item with few items available. However, they know that the ad will continue to run after the vendor sells out of the item. Nonetheless, sellers can avoid illegal business practices by including the number of items in stock in an ad or the website.

Breach of Warranty 

The Deceptive Trade Practices Act holds companies accountable for any verbal or written warranty. If consumers are not happy with a product, they can speak to the company about their concerns. Typically, businesses will work to make things right for the customer. However, if the industry doesn’t cooperate, the act protects consumers and their rights.

Deceptive Pricing

Another common deceptive trade practice is when a retailer lists a regularly priced item under a sale sign. This makes the customer believe that they are getting a better deal than they are. Nevertheless, business owners can avoid deceptive pricing by ensuring that regular and sale prices are listed simultaneously.

How to respond to deceptive practices?

Deceptive Trade Practices hold companies accountable for fair business. However, customers and state governments can also enforce legal business practices. Additionally, customers can file a lawsuit against the company. The penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense and the victim’s age. Generally, businesses need to pay for actual and treble damages. Further, they will have to discontinue deceptive practices. 

Filing a DTPA Lawsuit 

To file a Deceptive Trade Practices lawsuit, you must provide a written notice to the company 60 days or less before filing your claim. The written statement should describe the complaint and include an estimated cost for pain, suffering, and lawyer fees. After the customer files the claim, the company can either pay the fees requested, propose a settlement, or ignore the claim altogether. The court can award up to three times your damages if they can prove that the company knowingly committed illegal business practices.

Deceptive practice lawsuits are becoming increasingly common. If a business has wronged you, reach out to an experienced business lawyer in Texas. They can help you understand your rights. Further, they can guide you through the process of filing a claim.

Why hire a Business Lawyer in Texas?

Filing a Deceptive practices claim can be confusing and overwhelming. However, business lawyers in Texas have the experience and knowledge to help you every step of the process. They can also represent you in court if the case goes to trial.

If a business has committed illegal practices, don’t hesitate to contact Dooley Noted. We are ready to assist you with affordable and solution-focused services. For more information on the deceptive business, visit our website or give us a call today. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.

The contents of this post, and the posting and viewing of the information on this post, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

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