The State of Georgia is a strong proponent of consumer protection and has enacted the Fair Business Practices Act, or FBPA, to protect the public from deceptive and unfair business practices through sales, leases or rental of goods or services. The FBPA works to protect the public interest with consumer transactions that are involved with personal, family or household purposes.
Official Code of Georgia Fair Business Practices Act
The Official Code of Georgia provides a strong legal foundation listing examples to the variety of ways the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act provides consumer protection. Some of the examples of unfair or deceptive acts or practices in consumer transactions that are deemed unlawful under Georgia law include:
- Passing off the goods or services provided as those of another; this could include fraudulently selling artwork by a rising artist, or performing remodeling work using the name of a respected local company
- Purposefully causing confusion or misunderstanding related to the affiliation, connection or association with another person or business; in other words having you believe that they are certified or that they share a business relationship with a person who may be held in high regard.
- Causing a consumer to be confused and to purposefully phrase information in such a way to make an Atlanta consumer misunderstand just where a specific product or service came from, what it was made of, or who it was made by. The Georgia Fair Business Practices Act takes a strong stand against this with specific consumer protection laws.
- Another example that the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act deems to be unlawful revolves around published phone numbers or advertisements for Georgia goods or services. In Athens, a non-local business must clearly state in their telephone listing, advertisement, or even in a non-classified directory that goes out to a local community or service area that while they may have a local phone number the business is actually located in a non-local location.
If you feel you have been the victim of an unlawful business transaction or have purchased service goods or practices that violate Georgia Fair Business Practices Act, calling for a free confidential consultation with an Athens consumer protection lawyer is the first step toward compensation for the “wrong-doing.”
Georgia’s Office of Consumer Protection
Georgia Governors’ Office of Consumer Protection, or OCP, may become involved in cases where the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act is violated. The OCP keeps track of all claims and cases that directly relate to unlawful consumer transactions when there is evidence that there is substantial public interest involved. Retaining the services of an Atlanta consumer protection attorney, well experienced in the Fair Business Practices Act, as well as your local counties’ rules and regulations is essential in successfully representing your case within the court system.
Examples of Unlawful Business Practices
Other activities that are unlawful and prohibited by the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act include:
- Selling goods as new when they are used items
- Provide false or misleading information about another business or product in order to persuade the consumer to purchase their product or service
- Advertising goods or services with either the intent not to sell them as advertised, such as in a “bait and switch” situation, or advertising knowingly not having enough of a product or service available unless the ad states that “quantities are limited.”
- Purposely manipulating advertising or statements about sale prices, when the prices have not changed in the past month or more.
- And in addition, selling goods or services that are supposed to be of a particular quality or grade by making false claims; for example selling jewelry that is made with 14K gold as having been made with 18K gold.
The Georgia Fair Business Practice’s Act also has specific provisions written into the law that specifically cover:
- Health clubs, fitness centers, work-out facilities
- Promotional contests and give-a-way promotions
- Telemarketing fraud
- Fraud that is committed over the internet, or network
- Credit reporting companies and agencies
- Price gouging during a declared state of emergency
- Going out of business sales or events
- Odometer tampering when selling or trading a vehicle
- Vacation prize offerings in the mail, on-line, on the phone
Atlanta Consumer Protection Attorney
In addition to all the examples listed above, there are scores of other examples and situations that can be included under the Georgia Fair Business Practice’s Act. These unlawful breaches of public trust can be legally claimed under the complex and varied Georgia code and law.
Calling your Georgia consumer protection attorneys at Hurt, Stolz & Cromwell for a free consultation is the right move toward protecting your rights, assets, and financial security.