State and federal government regulators often share messages such as “buyer beware” and “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” when letting consumers know how to keep themselves and their money safe. They do this in hopes that they won’t fall victim to false advertising, dishonest sales tactics and other deceptive trade practices. Many Charleston residents do, though. West Virginia lawmakers have passed various laws in recent years aimed at protecting consumers and discouraging would-be schemers from engaging in unlawful practices.
West Virginia Codes 46A-6-102 and 46A-6-104 spell out what false advertising is and how it’s illegal in the state. This set of statutes makes it clear that there must be transparency in labeling products, how companies must clearly state warranty terms and even details what spam mail is and isn’t.
Consumer Protection Code 46A-6-106 also spells out how any consumer that suffers an ascertainable loss can file suit. That state law outlines the remedies available to such plaintiffs, which include $200 or the amount of any actual damages. The same section of the code also notes that a victim may be entitled to either an injunction or equitable relief.
State lawmakers haven’t yet adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act to provide more comprehensive protection for West Virginia consumers, however.
There are state, federal and non-profit agencies that allow individuals to file claims if they’ve fallen victim to deceptive trade practices, and other laws to cover such improprieties. Charleston companies have no right to mislead you through fraudulent practices. A consumer protection attorney can advise you of your right to recover damages that you’ve suffered as a result of a company’s use of unlawful trade practices.