False Advertising / Deceptive Trade Practices
As a consumer, you should be able to purchase services and products with peace of mind and assurance that the company’s advertising claims and descriptions are trustworthy. Regrettably, many consumers purchase products and services in reliance on the marketing and advertising practices of a corporation or business, only to find out that they were false. When consumers are duped into believing advertising that simply is not true, the business must be held accountable.
Companies may use false advertising, deceptive marketing, or predatory business practices in order to attract customers and increase sales. They may make lofty promises or exciting guarantees that are deceptive or even fabricated. When this happens, the consumers’ reasonable trust and reliance is betrayed, and they are entitled to recover compensation for the business’ violation.
Consumer protection laws are vitally important to the success and maintenance of the marketplace. Every day, consumers enter into thousands of transactions with large and small companies. Unfair business practices in the marketplace are inappropriate and must be challenged.
Consumers are greatly protected by a number of federal and state laws which prevent companies from intentionally misleading consumers through dishonest business practices and false or deceptive advertising practices. These false advertising statutes go beyond the normal breach of warranty claims and provide the wronged consumer additional remedies.
Common examples of prohibited false advertising and deceptive trade practices include:
- False promises;
- Failure to disclose important information;
- Bait and switch schemes;
- Inflated price comparisons;
- Unadvertised surcharges;
- Hidden limits and fees;
- Footnote disclaimers;
- Deceptive labeling;
These prohibited practices have a simple common aspect: businesses are prohibited from using an ad that tends to mislead or deceive consumers. Even if the consumer is not actually fooled, the ad is unlawful if its overall impression is deceptive.
There is a wide spectrum of advertising practices that can be deemed false or deceptive. For this reason, consumers who believe they have been wronged by a company’s false advertising should consult an experienced Virginia false advertising attorney. At MartinWren, P.C., our false advertising attorneys are well versed in the specific laws protecting consumers. We will listen to your concerns and review your case to represent you effectively and aggressively against any unscrupulous business.
Often, however, the individual consumer suffers nominal monetary damages and may deem it pointless to take the steps necessary to file a legal action. But it is in many of these instances when an investigation uncovers a large number of consumers who have also suffered from the same false advertising. The collective harm being committed by the company must be addressed. In these situations, a false advertising class action is appropriate and is often the most effective way to end such deceptive practices. Such class action lawsuits are powerful tools as they allow the consumers to band together against wealthy corporations who engage in fraudulent advertising or deceptive trade practices and to allow consumers to form a collective group to challenge dishonest and deceptive practices.
If you have questions regarding false advertising, deceptive trade practices, or other consumer protection issues, please call Robert E. Byrne, Jr. at MartinWren, P.C. at (434) 817-3100. The Virginia false advertising attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. will put their experience and professionalism to work for you.