Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices
Businesses in competition can easily lose sight of fair competition. In an effort to get ahead, a business might give into unethical practices. What does this look like? And what can you do about it?What are Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices?
A business is conducting deceptive practices when, for example:
- They misappropriate trade secrets or proprietary business information
- They use “bait and switch” selling tactics
- They misrepresent the quality of a product (for example, stating a product is new when it’s reclaimed)
- They give low estimates and charging more for additional services typically included
- They Charge higher than advertised
While many of these practices can certainly harm the consumer, they could also harm your business. If a competing business practices unfair or deceptive trade practices, this could result in your loss of clients, contracts, or reputation. For example, a competing business could harm your business by making fraudulent or dishonest claims that persuade consumers or clients to avoid your business and flock to theirs.
Protecting your business’ interests is key. You will need to know who has targeted your business in any unfair and deceptive acts and if there have been any complaints filed about the actions. In order to pursue a claim, you will need to be able to explain the harm your business suffered as a result of the competing business’ unfair practices.
Consulting with an experienced litigation attorney will prove invaluable in these scenarios. Your business could be engulfed in the aftermath of unfair competition requiring the resources at your disposal to be full steam ahead with saving business strategies and overcoming the struggles brought upon you by another business. Having an experienced business litigation attorney on your side will allow you to focus on your business recovery while the attorney focuses on the legal battle.
A business owner must be aware that courts do not allow these cases to be used in such a way that one business can sue another simply to gain a competitive advantage. As a result, it is important to have your specific circumstances evaluated prior to bringing a lawsuit for unfair business practices or unfair competition.Internet Defamation
What is it? When a competitor intentionally posts, publishes, or broadcasts false statements that harm your business. There is a statute of limitations for a claim of defamation. This means you must file your claim within a certain timeframe. In the District of Columbia, the statute of limitations for an Internet defamation case is 1 year. A business is expected to act fast when defamatory comments are published. This means you should be monitoring your business’ online footprint and mentions.
In conclusion, unfair business practices resulting in harm to your business must be addressed. Businesses must hold others accountable for the sake of competitive marketing that enhances business viability and increases consumer trust.