Whenever you buy a product, there’s a certain expectation that you’ll get what you pay for—something that’s safe, legitimate and does what it’s advertised as being able to do. If you find yourself the victim of a faulty product or other consumer-related problem, you may have recourse. Read on to learn about your rights as a consumer in Texas.
What are consumer rights?
Consumer rights refer to a specific set of rights that have come about. Legislation, lawsuits and consumer awareness have helped shape our perception of appropriate consumer rights:
- Right to safety: The right to safety has been accepted and often codified; product liability cases are one example of the widely accepted right to safety. Consumers should be able to rely on the products they purchase being safe for reasonably foreseeable uses.
- Right to information: This right covers the consumer’s reasonable expectation that products will not be sold with false or misleading claims, and that there’s enough information to weigh alternatives.
- Right to alternatives: Antitrust and unfair competition laws are a good example of your right to choose alternatives. Monopolies are notorious for their suppression of reasonable, available alternatives, from telecommunications to software.
- Right to be heard: Finally, an increasingly available right is the right to be heard—that is, the government will listen to consumer complaints and make adjustments to laws in order to protect the consumer.
Deceptive Trade Practices Act
The Deceptive Trade Practices Act is the primary law in Texas that the Attorney General uses to protect Texas consumers. The law outlines false and misleading business practices, which are prohibited under Texas law. If you want to bring an individual lawsuit against a company, you’ll need to work with a private attorney. However, there is no harm in alerting the Texas Attorney General as to issues that have arisen under the DTPA.
What to do if you have a complaint
If you believe your consumer rights have been violated in Texas, you can start by talking to the (legitimate) business itself. If they refuse to help, escalate your action up the chain of management. Should the company still refuse to help you, you have several options. First, you can contact corporate headquarters, if that’s applicable. Second, you can file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Office or hire a private attorney to file a suit.
If you’re having trouble locating the business’s address and contact information, check with the Texas Secretary of State. All businesses should be registered with the state, as well as an agent for service of process.
Consulting with a private attorney is often your best bet, when normal avenues fail. An attorney can evaluate the individual facts of your case, and let you know whether there are codified laws or legal precedent to pursue the case. At that point, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to take legal action or let the Attorney General’s office handle your issue.
For assistance with your consumer rights complaints in Texas, call The Law Office of Rob Biggers today.
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Categorised in: Consumer Rights