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Understanding deceptive trade practices in Ohio

Businesses have a duty to always act ethically with their partners and customers. This includes not misleading others through your business dealings. When the practices of a business become deceptive, they become illegal, and are therefore prohibited by state law.

Deceptive trade practices pertain to the fraudulent, or sometimes borderline fraudulent, activities of businesses toward their consumers. This can include false advertising, bait-and-switch scams, vehicle odometer tampering, deceptive "sale" pricing and other shady business practices.

According to Ohio law, a person engages in deceptive trade practices if any of the following is done "in the course of the person's business, vocation, or occupation." See the Ohio deceptive trade practice statute for a comprehensive list:

  • Passes off goods or services as those of another brand

  • Misrepresents the geographic origin of goods or services

  • Lists a fictitious business name in directories

  • Claims that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities that they do not

  • Represents that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used or secondhand

  • Represents that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model that they are not

  • Disparages the goods, services, or business of another entity by false representation

  • Advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised

  • Makes false statements concerning the reasons for, existence of or amounts of price reductions

  • Advertises goods or services with intent not to supply enough to meet public demand, unless the advertisement discloses the limited quantity


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