May 20, 2024

27 Practices Made Illegal under DTPA

Feltoon Law, PLLC

practices made illegal under DTPA

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What is the DTPA?

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, or DTPA, is an act that protects customers from being taken advantage of by businesses. From a small convenience store purchase to a multimillion dollar deal, The DTPA covers a wide range or transactions. The Deceptive Trade Practices Act serves as a powerful tool for maintaining honesty in the market and ensuring that businesses operate transparently and ethically.

Along with its broad definition, the Texas DTPA also prohibits 27 specific business practices. If a business performs one of these actions in a transaction, customers are able to sue for any damages it caused them. 

Practices Made Illegal under DTPA

#1

Advertising or representing another company’s goods in order to pass them off as your own.

EX. A retail brand cannot use photos of another company’s clothes in order to sell their own, different clothing. 

#2

Stating a good or service has an outside approval, sponsorship, certification it does not actually have.

EX. A brand of supplements cannot lie and tell consumers they are FDA approved.

#3

Giving the impression that your company is related to another independent company or agency.

EX. An independent coffee shop cannot advertise themselves as a Starbucks spin-off cafe.

#4

Falsely suggesting that a good is from a certain geographic location.

EX. An American watchmaker cannot claim their watches are made in Switzerland. 

#5

Claiming goods or services have the sponsorships ingredients, qualities, advantages, amounts, or purposes it does not.

EX. A skincare company cannot claim their moisturizer contains anti-aging  ingredients if they are not actually found in the product

#6

Secondhand or reconditioned items cannot be sold as “new.”

#7

Companies cannot represent a product as a grade, quality, or standard it is not.

EX. Grade A eggs cannot be advertised as grade AA eggs.

#8

A company cannot make negative claims about a competitor if they are not true.

#9

Advertisers cannot advertise a good or service with the intention of not actually selling the product as advertised.

#10

Companies cannot advertise a good without intending to meet a reasonable expected public demand, unless the advertisement specifies a limited quantity.

EX. A busy grocery store advertising carton of eggs for $1 cannot only have 10 cartons available when they anticipate much higher demand.

#11

Misleading or lying about the reasons for, existence of, or amount of price reductions. 

EX. If $20 clothing is advertised as “50% off,” then the clothing should have previously been available at $40 at that same store. If the clothes had always been sold for $20, the advertisement would have been misleading and a violation of the DTPA.

#12

Making false statements or misrepresentations about a written contract.

EX. If a buyer tries to return a product under the warranty, the seller cannot falsely claim that the contract doesn’t include such a warranty.

#13

Companies cannot falsely claim a good or service needs parts, replacements, or repairs.

EX. A tire repair shop cannot suggest that a set of good functioning tires are in need to replacement.

#14

Misrepresenting a salesperson’s, representative’s, or agent’s authority to complete the terms of a consumer transaction.

#15

Sellers cannot charge extra money for a product warranty or guarantee without clearly stating so.

#16

Tampering with a car’s odometer so there seems to be fewer miles on the vehicle.

#17

Companies cannot advertise a “going out of business” sale if they are not actually doing so.

#18

Selling or advertising a health care discount card as a legitimate health care insurance card.

#19

Using a sales plan where buyers are offered the chance to purchase items and are promised compensation for referring other buyers, but only if certain conditions happen after they make the purchase.

EX. A traveling salesman cannot promise a commission for providing names and addresses of other potential customers.

#20

Making false statements about the rights or remedies falsely a guarantee or warranty does not actually offer.

EX. If a customer is promised a 30-day money back guarantee while in the buying process, the written warranty in the contract cannot contradict this promise. 

#21

Promoting a pyramid promotional scheme.

#22

Suggesting that a service has occurred or parts have been replaced when they have not.

EX. A automobile maintenance shop charging for an oil change that was not done

#23

If someone sues based on a contract where the defendant agreed to pay money for goods or services, they generally need to do it in the county where the defendant lives or where they signed the contract.

#24

Not revealing information about goods or services during a transaction that would have influenced the consumer’s decision not to proceed with the transaction if they had known about it.

EX. A real estate agent not alerting a potential home buyer about a house’s severe foundation damage

#25

Adding the terms “incorporated” or “corporation” when naming a business if that business is not actually a corporation.

#26

Selling or promoting an annuity contract with the intention of it being used in a salary reduction agreement

#27

Capitalizing on demand and panic during a disaster by excessively increasing prices on essential items

EX. Retailers cannot grossly mark up prices on bottled water during a water boil notice.

Legal Action

If a business has violated the DTPA and caused you harm, it’s crucial to reach out to a trusted personal injury attorney. A qualified attorney will help you report the incident to the attorney general’s office, provide you with resources, represent your legal interests, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Feltoon Law is a trusted personal injury attorney in Austin, TX. To learn more about our practice call (737) 281-9100.

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