Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

What are deceptive trade practices in Ohio?

Deceptive trade practices are actions that give a company an unfair advantage in the marketplace through lying or false advertising and are prohibited by Ohio statutes. Companies should honor all advertisements by matching the listed price and supplying a reasonable amount of that product, and they should never advertise goods or services that they do not intend to supply to their customers. Any advertised or displayed price reductions should also be accurate and honest about the previous price.

Other parts of Ohio deceptive trade practice laws cover representations about the products. A company should always be honest about whether a product is new or used and should not attempt to represent goods or services as somebody else's. It should also avoid any statements that imply any type of connection or affiliation with another enterprise or any form of sponsorship, approval or certification, unless the statements are true.

The laws also forbid businesses from using fake business information in phone books or directory assistance databases. This includes the name, location and other geographic information. A listed local phone number should not forward to business premises located outside of the local telephone directory's calling area.

Any company seeking business litigation against another due to violations of deceptive trade practice laws can do so without having to prove that it competes directly with the accused company. Some companies use these practices to attract customers to them or to sell lower-quality products at higher prices. Some companies may even state that they discounted an item from a higher price when the price has actually not changed. All of these practices are prohibited fraudulent activities.

Source: LAWriter Ohio Laws and Rules, "4165.02 Deceptive trade practice actions.", September 26, 2014

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