The Unlawful Trade Practices Act protects Oregonians when buying real estate, goods or services and healthcare. It limits sellers from taking advantage from their customers in many different ways but most relate to prohibiting deception or misrepresentation by the seller. The Oregon State Bar has collected a list of the most common violations (reposted here).
Misrepresenting the productThe misrepresentations covered by this law can come in many forms, and can be either spoken or written. An unlawful practice may be committed even by the failure to disclose an important fact because the act requires that certain disclosures be made when the seller knows that there are material defects in real estate, goods or services. If you feel you have been victimized, you should keep all your contracts, canceled checks and any other documents pertaining to the transaction. If you wish to file a court action concerning an unlawful trade practice, you must file it within one year from the date the seller committed the violation, or the date you reasonably should have discovered the violation of the act. (Read more at the Oregon State Bar).
By either misrepresenting the characteristics, benefits and qualities of the product or services offered; or making false or misleading statements about prices, including price reductions; or causing confusion about important aspects of a transaction, such as the approval, sponsorship or certification of the product by others; or representing that used or altered goods are new.
By discrediting another’s products or services by false or misleading representations about them; or false representations about the availability of credit; or false representations that goods are available for sale when in fact the goods are not available, or available in only a very limited quantity; false or misleading representations about prizes, contests or promotions used to publicize a product, business or service.
Such as false promises to deliver by a certain time with intent not to deliver as promised; unauthorized service or dismantling of goods or real estate; and telephone or door-to-door solicitation without proper identification.
The Nation Association of Consumer Advocates has more information on specific consumer goods and advice for what to do if you’ve been taken advantage of. Learn more here.