Unfair Business Practices
Unfair business practices include any number of unlawful or unfair conduct by a business that is done to gain an advantage or to deceive consumers into purchasing their product or service. If you or your business has been a victim of misleading or fraudulent business practices, contact the Sacramento consumer protection attorneys at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian.
California’s Unfair Competition Law
California’s unfair competition law, or UCL, is codified under Business and Professions Code Section 17200z and was enacted in 1977 and amended in 1992. It includes false advertising as well as any other business practice that are considered unfair, misleading or were designed to misrepresent the benefits of a product to the detriment of a consumer.
Under the UCL, you can receive injunctive relief, or a court order that prohibits the offending business to cease its fraudulent practices, as well as restitution. A claim can be brought by nearly anyone including private consumers, corporations or other associations.
Examples of Unfair Business Practices
There are many forms of unfair or deceptive business practices. Some of the more common include:
- Billing fraud
- Predatory pricing
- Bait and switch
- False or misleading advertisements
- Trademark infringement
Businesses may underprice a product to force your business to go under, or use the bait and switch on consumers by offering a low, introductory price that greatly inflates the price once the consumer purchases the product.
Elements of a Claim Under the UCL
- Injunctive Relief
To sustain a claim for injunctive relief, the claimant need only show that members of the general public would likely be deceived by the business practice. There is no requirement that you show and prove reliance on the misstatement or deception or damages.
While you cannot claim damages per se in an UCL action, you are entitled to an order restoring to you and others any money or property acquired by unfair competition. In other words, you could collect for any money lost by you or your association or gained by the defendant. As a consumer, you must first request a refund or reimbursement. If you do not receive a favorable response, call The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian.
In many cases, a class action may be filed to force a company engaging in deceptive business practices to cease the conduct and to have it reimburse injured consumers and businesses in competition with the defendant company. Defendant companies have been ordered in a number of cases to disgorge its profits and to pay attorney fees and costs so that your recovery is not decreased.
Consult The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian
Determining whether a company violated the UCL or engaged in some form of unfair business practice should be left to legal professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in this area of the law. Contact the consumer protection lawyers at The Law Offices of Alex G. Tovarian for a free, initial and confidential consultation for an assessment of your claim.