Information on the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act
Enacted on May 21, 1973, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) serves to protect consumers against deceptive, false, or misleading business practices or insurance practices - including unconscionable actions and breaches of warranty. A consumer could be an individual, a partnership, a government entity, or a corporation with less than $25 million in assets.
Some of the deceptive, false, or misleading practices may include:
- When the seller takes advantage of a consumer's lack of knowledge.
- When a seller engages in false advertising or makes misleading statements about their products.
- When a seller generally makes false statements about reasons for price reductions.
- When a seller misrepresents the quality, style, or model of a product.
- When a seller misrepresents a used, refurbished, or secondhand product as new.
- When a seller breaches a written warranty or a verbal warranty.
- When a product does not work in the way that it is normally used or the way that it is described by a salesperson.
- When a seller creates confusion regarding their good or service - or when a seller creates misunderstandings regarding their good or service.
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) can be utilized in a very large number of circumstances - unlawful acts according to the DTPA can range from a used car salesman tampering with an odometer to a refinery misrepresenting the certification of the products it sells.
Below are a few more possible examples of unlawful acts under the DTPA:
- A watch seller tells his customers that his goods were made in Switzerland, when they are in fact produced domestically.
- An accountant advertised that she is a Certified Public Accountant when in fact she has not passed the CPA exam.
- An investment broker claims that his products are insured by the FDIC when they are not.
- An automobile repair company charges customers for repairs and new replacement parts on their cars when new parts or repairs were not actually made.
- A seller of real estate reports the property to be free and clear of any liens when there are liens against it.
- A crude oil supplier told its customers it had a contract to purchase crude oil from a particular field and would resell to customer when supplier never had the contract.
- An insurance agent misrepresents an insurance policy's vandalism coverage to a purchaser.
- A seller did not inform the buyer that a building was subject to the city's demolition order.