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What Are Unfair Trade Practices?

What Are Unfair Trade Practices

By definition, unfair trade practices are unlawful business actions that are deceptive, fraudulent, or harmful to consumers.

Consumers in Texas and across the country suffer when businesses and corporations engage in unfair trade practices. Unfair trade practices give the offending company an advantage over competitors. They can also harm consumers by leading them to purchase goods or services that do not meet their expectations or by charging them artificially inflated prices. Examples of unfair trade practices include false advertising, price fixing, and anti-competitive behavior.

Laws that Protect Consumers From Unfair Trade Practices

Lawmakers enacted numerous federal and state laws to protect consumers against unfair trade practices and allow them to sue for damages. These laws also give consumers the right to obtain an injunction to stop the offending conduct and more. It is important to note that these laws are complex, and it is best to consult with a Houston civil litigation attorney for specific advice in your case.

Federal Laws: Several federal laws protect consumers from unfair trade practices, including the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the Sherman Antitrust Act. The FTCA gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to investigate and take action against companies that engage in unfair or deceptive trade practices. The Clayton and Sherman Antitrust Acts prohibit anti-competitive behavior, such as price fixing and market division, that can harm consumers.

Texas Laws: In Texas, several laws protect consumers against unfair trade practices, including:

  • The Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA): This is the main consumer protection law in Texas, and it gives consumers legal rights when combating various types of deceptive trade practices, including false advertising, bait-and-switch tactics, and more. This also includes dishonesty in real estate and lending.
  • The Texas Unfair Insurance Practices Act: This law protects consumers against unfair insurance practices, such as denying claims without proper investigation, misrepresenting policy terms and conditions, and more.
  • The Texas Business and Commerce Code: This code sets out various provisions related to consumer protection, including protections against false or misleading advertising and deceptive business practices.
  • The Texas Health Spa Act: This law protects consumers against deceptive business practices by health spas, including false advertising and unauthorized billing.
  • The Texas Debt Collection Act: This law protects consumers against debt collectors who engage in unfair trade practices, such as using false or misleading information, harassing consumers, and more.

Types of DTPA Violations

In Texas, your claim will likely involve a violation of the DTPA. Some of the most common DTPA violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Business scams
  • False advertising
  • Price gouging after a disaster
  • Making false statements about a product
  • Making misleading claims about a competitor
  • Claiming a used product is new
  • Hiding the need for repairs
  • Lying about endorsements
  • Taking advantage of language barriers
  • Taking advantage of a consumer’s lack of knowledge
  • Claiming the amount of a product is higher than it is
  • Breach of warranty
  • Engaging in real estate transactions without disclosing property issues
  • Car dealers who falsely represent used vehicles

Who Can Get Sued Under the DTPA?

The DTPA is a protection law that allows any consumer to sue someone for deceptive and false practices. This includes partnerships and corporations, as well as individuals. Tradesmen, freelance contractors, and other consumers who violate consumer laws can be held accountable.

What To Do If You’ve Been a Victim of an Unfair Trade Practice in Texas?

If you believe you have been a victim of an unfair trade practice, hiring an experienced Houston civil litigation attorney is essential. These are complex cases and best left to a legal professional. Your attorney will know how to gather the information you need to win your case, including advertising materials, receipts, and other relevant documentation. They may also speak with other consumers who have had similar experiences and even explore internal company documentation and emails to build your case.

Seeking legal recourse against a large corporation or business can be complex and time-consuming. However, by taking action, you can help protect other consumers from falling victim to the same unfair trade practice and hold companies accountable for their actions.

Contact On Civil Litigation Lawyers Immediately!

If you believe you or someone you love is a victim of unfair trade practices, you need to hire a law firm that isn’t afraid to go up against large corporations to fight for your rights. Our Houston civil litigation lawyers have the resources and experience to take on these complex cases – and win.

At Roger G. Jain & Associates, P.C., we know how to assist you in various civil litigation matters. We have the resources and experience needed to win your cases in a courtroom, and we are not afraid to back down. Call us at (713) 981-0600 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.

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