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Texas Attorney General and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act

Business owners often come across the mention of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act while operating their day to day business. The DTPA deals with false claims that many businesses make in order to further their business interests. The false claims can include supplying used products and claiming them to be new, making false accusations against a competing business, untrue or misleading advertisements and more.

In order to address these issues, the Texas Attorney General's Office files civil enforcement actions under the provisions of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act in order to protect consumers and businesses from these unfair trade practices. In addition to the Attorney General's Office, a consumer or business can also file a complaint, which can form the basis of a state-conducted investigation. All products and services are in the Deceptive Trade Practices Act ambit except for professional advice.

While the Attorney General's Office does not represent individuals or businesses, some legal actions can produce compensation for the consumers. The primary motive of the Attorney General's Office is to protect public interest. It achieves this by filing civil actions and enforcing the decisions of the court on businesses that indulge in deceptive trade practices to further their own interests.

The Attorney General's Office also plays an important role in consumer education. It believes that the best possible way to eradicate deceptive trade practices is through consumer awareness. It recommends that citizens and businesses report incidents of deceptive trade and preserve all evidence that can support their claims. With the help of that evidence, the consumer may consult an attorney to sue the perpetrator in small claims court or file a civil lawsuit in order to claim damages.

Source: TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov, "Understanding the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act," accessed on Oct. 9, 2014

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