In Ohio, there are laws that have been created to protect consumers from deceptive or unfair practices. These laws have become increasingly common in recent years and continue to evolve as the nature of trade evolves, particularly with increasing online sellers and shopping platforms.
Consumer law representation in Ohio can help you better understand violations of the deceptive trade practices laws and how they may apply to you. Consumer law can be intimidating for many people who are unfamiliar with it, but lawyers who specialize in trade understand the nuances of Ohio’s trade law and stay up to date with the changes in the law and its execution.
The Problem of Deceptive Practices
Deceptive sales practices laws protect consumers from fraudulent business scams or schemes.
The market is saturated with sellers and products, and with so many options to choose from, buyers are always looking for the best deals and quality products, but there’s always the chance that a buyer may choose deceptive sellers who don’t follow fair practices. To prevent this from happening, laws have been put into place to protect sellers from harmful or unethical sellers who are not honest about their products or brands.
There are several deceptive practices that Ohio law addresses. One of the main things the law protects against is false advertising, which includes businesses that state false or misleading facts about their products or services.
Another harmful tactic is bait and switch, which means a business will offer one product or service and then switch that out for another less desirable product or service. This can also apply to offering a product at one price and then switching it for a higher price.
Deceptive pricing, in general, is unlawful. Deceptive pricing can include saying a product is on sale and then listing the “sale” price at the price that
Car sellers have specific standards they must reach. For example, you cannot manipulate the car’s odometer to try to mislead the buyer to how many miles are on the car. If the odometer is lowered, it must be disclosed to the buyer.
A final example is a seller that lists a product at a super low price to draw consumers in, but then they have an extremely limited supply of that product and are advertising that product just to get people to the store.
These instances give a sampling of deceptive practices that businesses must avoid.
What is the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act?
The goal of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act is to define what actions and behaviors signify business misconduct. Businesses, therefore, are not just ethically expected to uphold certain standards in their advertising, production, and sales, but they also have legal expectations they must reach.
This act specifically refers to the interactions between suppliers and consumers, and most businesses are suppliers under this code. Businesses do not need to have a direct relationship with consumers to be considered suppliers. Meanwhile, consumers are buyers who are purchasing products or services for personal or household use.
The Ohio Revised code details various regulations for commercial transactions. Section 1345.02 deals with unfair or deceptive acts or practices relating to sales. This code states that suppliers should not use unfair or deceptive acts and practices in transactions, and these rules apply before, during, and after transactions.
What are Deceptive Practices?
But what is considered deceptive under Section 1345.02? This code deals primarily with false advertising, which can occur in a number of ways. Some examples include:
- The quality, style, or model is not the same as advertised
- The product’s uses, accessories, or benefits do not match up
- The product is described as new when it is not
- The product is available for a reason that does not exist
- Claiming specific price advantages do not exist when that’s not the case
- The seller says they have a connection or sponsorship that they do not have
- There’s a false representation of warranties or other rights or obligations
- A part of the product or the whole of the product needs replacement or repairs when not specified
Deceptive practices are practices that are meant to mislead or lie to buyers to make more money without giving a product that meets that description, and these practices can cause a lot of harm.
Find Consumer Law Representation in Ohio
If you are running a business and are concerned about the laws you must follow or believe that you have been the victim of deceptive trade practices, now is a great time to speak to a consumer law attorney. A qualified legal team can help you understand what steps you can take within the law. Trade law can be complicated and cause headaches for those unfamiliar, but attorneys in this field are highly familiar with the laws and how to act within the laws to create the best outcomes for businesses and individuals.