The Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) was created on December 17th, 1968. Commonly referred to as the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Act, it prohibits businesses from participating in unfair or deceptive trade practices. It also protects consumers from unfair competition.
In the event that a company violating the UTPCPL, the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Pennsylvanian Attorney General’s Office will investigate and prosecute the companies under federal and state law. However, the act also states that consumers have the right to bring about private lawsuits against businesses. The UTPCPL states that a lawsuit may be filed by
“[a]ny person who purchases or leases goods or services primarily for personal, family or household purposes and thereby suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal,” as a result of conduct that the statute prohibits. (73 P.S. section 201-9.2.)
Unfair Trade Practices According To The Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Act
The UTPCPL outlines 21 specific actions that are considered unlawful. Here are some unfair trade practices that you might experience that also fall under the realm of lemon law:
(i)Passing off goods or services as those of another: (for example, going to a used car dealer and they sell you a BMW that is actually a Mercedes)
(iv) Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services: for example, the authorized dealer states that the car was made in the United States but was made in a factory in Japan
(vi) Representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used or secondhand: for example, trying to pass a used car for a new car
(ix) Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised: see: bait and switch dealer fraud
(xiv) Failing to comply with the terms of any written guarantee or warranty given to the buyer at, prior to or after a contract for the purchase of goods or services is made: for example, if brakes are under warranty and they do not work three or more times within a one year period, you can file that the car is a lemon
(xvi) Making repairs, improvements or replacements on tangible, real or personal property, of nature or quality inferior to or below the standard of that agreed to in writing: for example, the authorized dealer fixes the issues temporarily and not permanently
(xx) Failing to inform the purchaser of a new motor vehicle offered for sale at retail by a motor vehicle dealer of the following: (A) that any rustproofing of the new motor vehicle offered by the motor vehicle dealer is optional; (B) that the new motor vehicle has been rustproofed by the manufacturer and the nature and extent, if any, of the manufacturer’s warranty which is applicable to that rustproofing: for example, the dealer sold you a new car that had not gone through the process of rustproofing and failed to mention this to you
However, these are just a select few examples, if you feel that you’ve been misled or misinformed at all before, during or after the sales process of a new car, then you should fill out our case review form.
What Am I Entitled To If I File A Claim Under The UTPCPL?
In order to file a claim, but you must be able to prove that an unlawful trade practice occurred before, during or after the time of purchase. If you are able to bring a successful claim under the UTPCPL, you can recover actual damages (i.e. the amount you paid) or $100.00. This is in reference to unlawful trade practices on lower end consumer goods.
When it comes to the UTPCPL in regards to lemon law, most likely you will be able to settle your case quickly and claim “actual damages”. This is because the UTPCPL also states “the court may in its discretion, award up to three times the actual damages sustained” plus attorney fees. This fear usually prompts businesses to settle out of court as quickly as possible because they are afraid in the event that the claim goes to court, they will be penalized a significant amount of money.
Contact Our Lemon Law Lawyers
This area of law is very complex and a lot of people don’t realize when they are the victim of an unfair trade practice. If you’ve been a victim and need help seeking damages then please don’t hesitate to contact any of our lemon law lawyers to review your case. We will work with you to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve.