Recognizing Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices
It is important for both business owners and operators to be aware of what constitutes unfair or deceptive business practices.
Understanding the laws surrounding these actions can be challenging, but it is crucial to be able to identify when a business is engaging in such behavior. To help with this, here are some common examples of unfair and deceptive practices:
1. Misrepresentation: A business should accurately describe its products and services, ensuring that they perform as claimed. For instance, labeling something as “”new”” should only apply to items that are no more than six months old. Additionally, a merchant cannot advertise something as a “”cure”” unless it genuinely cures a specific ailment.
2. Misleading prices: Businesses must be transparent about the costs of their products and services. It is deceptive to offer a 50% off sale while doubling the original price of a product. Similarly, claiming a sale is for a limited time when there is no actual end to the sale is also misleading.
3. Deceptive advertising: Businesses cannot make false claims about their products and services in their advertisements. This includes lying about prices, providing false guarantees, and offering inaccurate descriptions.
4. Taking advantage of customers: Consent to a sale does not excuse deceptive practices. If a salesperson pressures a customer into a purchase through unsubstantiated claims or misrepresentation, they are engaging in unfair practices.
5. Withholding pertinent information: Knowingly failing to provide necessary information to clients is a deceptive sales practice. For example, not informing a potential commercial real estate buyer about a radon leak or weak building foundation would qualify as deceptive behavior.”