While we want to believe that all companies have their consumers’ best interests in mind, it stands that sometimes, certain business practices cannot be trusted and certain Hawaii companies are only out for their own interests. When a company has misrepresented itself or its services to consumers in any way, this can be grounds for a consumer class action regarding deceptive trade practices. But what exactly are deceptive trade practices?
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs details the latest definition of deceptive trade practices. While the list is extensive, what it boils down to is misrepresentation. If a company misrepresents themselves or their goods as belonging to another, more trusted brand, this is a deceptive trade practice. Companies can also misrepresent the quality, origin, age, serviceability and condition of their goods, or deliberately use misleading phrasing to represent services offered. They may even claim endorsement by recognized personas when they have not obtained that endorsement. You may not even realize you have been deceived until later.
These practices can affect consumers, or can affect competing businesses by creating a situation of unfair competition. In unfair competition situations, deceptive trade practices give the guilty party an unfair advantage over companies in similar market spaces through unlawful behavior that misleads customers to choose one over the other. Both companies and consumers have the right to pursue class action against such behavior to recover losses from purchase cost of loss of market share and sales.
This has been an informational blog post that should not be misconstrued as actionable legal advice.