The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) is a set of statutes designed to protect consumers against false, misleading, and deceptive business practices, unconscionable acts and breaches of warranty. If a person or business commits a violation that causes consumer damage, they may be held liable, all thanks to the DTPA.
What Is a Consumer Under the Texas DTPA?
Under the DTPA, a “consumer” is defined as an individual, partnership, corporation, or governmental entity who seeks to acquire, by purchase or lease, any goods or services. A person purchasing a slice of pizza is a consumer as much as a multimillion dollar company seeking to acquire is, although businesses with assets of $25 million or more are exempt from the Texas DTPA.
Unlawful Acts Under the Texas DTPA
There are three primary categories of prohibited practices under the DTPA:
- Breach of Express or Implied Warranty – An express warranty can be either written or spoken, while an implied warranty is a guarantee that a good or service works as claimed.
- Unconscionable Acts – An unconscionable action can be described as a seller taking advantage of a consumer’s lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity to a grossly unfair degree.
- False, Misleading or Deceptive Acts – These acts include:
- Passing off someone else’s goods or services as your own
- Selling goods or services for a different price than advertised
- Claiming that goods and services are a certain quality, standard or style when they are not
- Advertising goods as new or original when they are used, deteriorated or second-hand
- Claiming that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, uses, ingredients, benefits or qualities they do not have
To pursue damages, a consumer must send a certified letter of written notice to the seller. The letter must contain details of the complaint, as well as quantifiable damages. If the seller fails to send back the amount requested in the letter, a suit may be filed. Remedies include:
- Economic damages
- Noneconomic damages
- Punitive damages
- Attorney fees and court costs
- Revocation of the seller’s license to do business
- The appointment of a receiver
- An injunction
- A restoration order
Note: A consumer can obtain three times the amount of damages if the seller’s conduct is committed knowingly or intentionally.
Contact Deans & Lyons Today!
If you believe you are the victim of a false, misleading, and deceptive business practice, unconscionable act or breach of warranty, contact Deans & Lyons immediately. Our experienced Dallas business litigation attorneys can provide legal guidance to help you collect evidence, draft a certified letter of written notice and collect damages. We understand the complexity of a deceptive trade practice claim and can examine every detail of your case to build a strong legal strategy.Reach out to us today! Call (844) 297-8898 or contact us online.