By Zach Walsh, Attorney
Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA), Washington’s Unfair Business Practices (UBP), and both states’ Lemon Laws protect consumers from deceptive sales or business practices. Designed to protect customers from corrupt business practices, consumer protection laws ensure actors in an Oregon or Washington business, vocation, or occupation are not engaging in unlawful practices. Almost everyone has a terrible experience purchasing a car or motor vehicle, and sadly, this is one of the most active areas of consumer protection litigation.
Am I the victim of an ‘unlawful practice’?
Consumer protection laws prohibit both general and specific conduct. Generally, both acts forbid a person, in the course of business, from:
- employing sneaky or dishonest tactics when selling, renting or disposing of property, goods, or services; and
- failing to deliver products or services or refusing to refund money to a consumer for undelivered goods.
The most common prohibited acts businesses commit are:
- failing to disclose a known material defect at the time of delivery of goods or services;
- making a false or misleading representation of fact about products, or services to the customer;
- misrepresenting characteristics or quality of goods or services; and
- refusing to or not repairing a product under a valid warranty.
If I get ripped off by a business, what should I do?
Contact an experienced consumer protection attorney who has experience fighting for consumers and makes an appointment to discuss your claim. Before the meeting, document and calculate your ascertainable losses of money or property as a result of the unlawful practice. Ascertainable damages include but are not limited to the purchase price of a product (i.e., a car), repair costs, lost wages, and insurance or loan payments during lost use.
Consumers don’t have to accept corrupt business practices. That is why it is essential to talk to an experienced consumer protection attorney who can help you understand your rights. If you find yourself in a situation and have questions about what your rights are, contact McKean Smith. We have your solutions.