Unfair trade practices are practices engaged in by a company or individual when they use fraudulent, deceptive, or unethical ways to obtain business. These practices may be targeted at consumers or at rival businesses.
What Are the Types of Unfair Trade Practices?
Unfair trade practices include any business actions declared unlawful by law, such as:
- False advertising
- Selling tactics
- Deceptive trade practices
What Is False Advertising?
Any advertisement containing representations that are misleading, false, or deceptive is considered false advertising. As mentioned above, this form of advertising is an unfair trade practice. False advertising includes:
- False statements about a product’s effectiveness or quality
- Fake endorsements
- Fake testimonials
- Fake picture of the product
- Fraudulent prices in the advertisement
- Bait and switch advertising
What Are Deceptive Business Practices?
An individual or a business engages deceptive business practices when they engage in any business activity that may mislead the public. These practices are prohibited by law because of their negative effects on the general public. Examples of deceptive practices include:
- Passing off fake goods as the real thing
- Causing confusion and misunderstanding regarding the approval of the goods and services
Is Puffery an Unfair Trade Practice?
No. Puffery involves using extravagant or exaggerated statements made to attract buyers to purchase a particular service or product. Engaging in puffery is not unlawful because companies are allowed to “puff up” their products as long as it is opinion rather than fake facts.
Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer Regarding Unfair Trade Practices?
Unfair trade practices not only negatively impact the marketplace, but can also result in sanctions from government agencies. If you suspect or have been accused of unfair trade practices, contact a business lawyer. The lawyer can advise you of how to proceed with your case.