New York laws protect consumers

New York, New York, is known as one of the busiest centers of commerce on Earth. Business people from the full spectrum of professions come to New York to ply their trade. Of course, the sheer volume of deals made inevitably means that a significant number of them will wind up being contentious between the parties involved and may result in commercial litigation.

The problems leading to that point may be because of deceptive trade practices, which are defined as practices that include false claims, disinformation and other misleading tactics that are employed with the specific purpose of getting people to pay for a service or product, resulting in sellers profiting from deceiving buyers. An example of that is car dealers who set the mileage on a car's odometer to much lower than it actually is, in order to convey the inaccurate impression that the car has been driven less to a potential customer. Another example, which many retail stores use, is bait and switch, which involves drawing potential customers to their store by promising the availability of an item that they don't actually carry in the hopes that, once at the store, customers will buy other products.

Those are deceptive trade practices, and New York has laws against them. Odometer tampering in specific is treated as a misdemeanor, and false advertising, which can be harder to prove, is also legally prohibited. Overall, the laws against deceptive trade practices allow for both civil and criminal penalties.

An injured party who prevails in a deceptive practices claim can be awarded actual damages in an amount up to $1,000, based on there having been purposeful deception, and can also be reimbursed for the costs and fees he or she expended for legal representation. These laws are very beneficial for consumers, and hopefully even more so, a determent to businesses to keep them from engaging in deceptive trade practices in the first place.

Source: FindLaw, "Details on State Deceptive Trade Pract," accessed Dec. 21, 2017

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