Deceptive Sales and Practices

A deceptive act or practice is any conduct, representation, or omission that misleads a consumer. It may be a materially unfair act or practice that causes substantial injury to the consumer. The FTC acts to prevent such acts and practices by prohibiting them in the marketplace. The Commission also has the authority to investigate and determine whether an unfair or deceptive act or practice has occurred in the marketplace.

A representation or omission may be deceptive if it is likely to mislead a reasonable consumer under the circumstances and is likely to affect his conduct or decision concerning a product or service. The representation may be written or oral and may include express or implied claims or promises or omissions of information.

The FTC has several Guides against Deceptive Pricing that set out certain principles it will use to evaluate price claims. These guides are not themselves law, but they serve as important clues to the commission’s judgment on the merits of a particular claim.

One type of deceptive sale is the bait-and-switch, in which a salesperson attempts to sell a product at a lower price than it is actually available. This is a common tactic for advertising low prices on products with high prices and can be a serious threat to consumers.

Another type of deceptive sale is the comparison or comparative misrepresentation, in which a company makes a false and misleading comparison between its own products and those of another manufacturer. This can be a serious problem for businesses selling both similar and different products.

Examples of this type of sales include those by security providers and other businesses in the home services industry, such as lawn mowers, pest control companies and furniture stores. These businesses compete with each other for the same customers and often use similar marketing tactics.

The FTC has a long record of holding security providers responsible for deceptive sales practices. These types of practices can undermine the reputation of the industry as a whole and harm consumers who believe they have chosen the best possible security provider.

A deceptive practice is a sales practice that violates the law or a contract with a customer. It includes, but is not limited to, misleading statements about the terms of a contract, false or fraudulent claims made by a salesperson or agent, and deceptive marketing techniques such as false promises of free installation or discounts on products and services.

In addition to a salesperson’s representations, the law considers any omission of information about the product or service to be deceptive. This includes omissions of vital information that may be required to ensure the safety of the product or service.

The most common examples of these omissions are the failure to disclose important facts about a product or service or the failure to disclose a product’s benefits, such as its safety and performance. The failure to disclose a product’s safety is especially dangerous because it can lead to a consumer becoming injured or even dying.

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