Were You a Victim?
What do fake testimonials, pictures of the wrong merchandise, and misrepresentations of price all have in common? They are each deceptive trade practices. Most consumer transactions are covered by the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act. The DTPA provides protection for a wide range of crimes as its definition of a deceptive act is pretty broad, "false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful." Any consumer (corporation, government entity, partnership or individual) can file under the DTPA. How do you know if you have been the victim of a DTPA violation? While the definition of a 'deceptive trade practice' is broad, there are many specific components that usually point to this crime:
- Using the term "corporation" or "incorporated" when a business is not incorporated
- Taking advantage of a disaster (under Chapter 418 of the Government Code) by selling or leasing fuel, food, or medicine at an excessive price
- Not disclosing information concerning goods or services at the time of a transaction
- Distant forum abuse: making a promissory note payable in a city far away from where a consumer resides
- Representing that work or services were performed, when they were not
- Multi-level distributorships or "pyramid sales plans"
- Saying that a warranty involves rights in which it does not
- A chain-referral sales device, in which a consumer pays an unreasonable price but is told he/she will receive a price reduction for each prospective buyer he/she recruits
- Fraudulently advertising a sale saying a person is going out of business
- Reducing the number of miles on an odometer gauge
- Not disclosing the price of a warranty separately
- Misrepresenting an employer in the terms of a purchase contract
- Knowingly making false or misleading statements of fact concerning parts or repair service
- Misrepresentation or false statements about a written contract
- Misleading advertisements about the reasons for price reductions or the amount of price reductions
- The "bait and switch" technique: advertising a product at a very low price when the seller only has a very limited supply
- Advertising goods or services with the intent to not sell them as advertised
- Disparaging the business of another through false or misleading facts
- Representing goods/services to be of a particular quality when they are not
- Representing goods to be new when they are second-hand
- Claiming that goods/services come with a sponsorship or benefits when they do not
- Stating that a product comes from a certain geographic region when it does not
- Causing confusion regarding the relationship between the seller of the goods/services and the provider
- Causing confusion as to the source, sponsorship or certification of goods/services
- Passing off services or goods as those of another
Seek compensation today!
If you were the victim of a DTPA violation, you could be eligible to collect monetary compensation and equitable relief. Texas' state statute prohibits 25 specific practices, and also covers insurance violations, unconscionable acts and breach of warranty. Because the laws concerning deceptive trade practices can be complex and intricate, if you believe you have been taken advantage of, you should contact a personal injury attorney from Zinda Law Group immediately. We will take a look at the details of your case and help you evaluate whether or not you could be eligible to collect damages. When you buy something from someone or shop at a company, you expect to receive a quality product and to be treated with honesty and integrity. When individuals and companies do not maintain their ethical character, consumers can hold them responsible. What are you waiting for? If you have been victimized by a deceptive trade act, we are here to help! Entrust us with the details of your case, and we will walk you through the applicable laws and what you can expect throughout the legal process. We have the knowledge you are looking for and are prepared to assist you in any way that we can. Give us a call today!