Consumer Protection Laws - Part 3
Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act
Keep salesmen from taking advantage of unwary consumers through deceptive acts or practices..
I want to mention an old legal concept before we get too far into a discussion of this act: that of "Caveat Emptor".
This is a Latin expression that means "Buyer Beware."
Consumers should not depend upon the government to protect them from themselves.
They should be pro-active.
They should read the contract.
They should not be intimidated.
They should ask questions, and get the answers in writing.
What is prohibited?
The act prohibits the following, if
The seller, knowingly or intentionally, before, during or after, a consumer transaction:
(a) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction has sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, uses, or benefits, if it has not;
(b) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction is of a particular standard, quality, grade, style, or model, if it is not;
(c) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction is new, or unused, if it is not, or has been used to an extent that is materially different from the fact;
(d) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction is available to the consumer for a reason that does not exist;
(e) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction has been supplied in accordance with a previous representation, if it has not;
(f) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction will be supplied in greater quantity than the supplier intends;
(g) indicates that replacement or repair is needed, if it is not;
(h) indicates that a specific price advantage exists, if it does not;
(i) indicates that the supplier has a sponsorship, approval, or affiliation the supplier does not have
(j) indicates that a consumer transaction involves or does not involve a warranty, a disclaimer of warranties, particular warranty terms, or other rights, remedies, or
obligations, if the representation is false;
(k) indicates that the consumer will receive a rebate, discount, or other benefit as an inducement for entering into a consumer transaction in return for giving the
supplier the names of prospective consumers or otherwise helping the supplier to enter into other consumer transactions, if receipt of the benefit is contingent on an
event occurring after the consumer enters into the transaction
(l) after receipt of payment for goods or services, fails to ship the goods or furnish the services within the time advertised or otherwise represented or, if no specific
time is advertised or represented, fails to ship the goods or furnish the services within 30 days, unless within the applicable time period the supplier provides the buyer
with the option to either cancel the sales agreement and receive a refund of all previous payments to the supplier or to extend the shipping date to a specific date
proposed by the supplier, but any refund shall be mailed or delivered to the buyer within ten business days after the seller receives written notification from the buyer
of the buyer's right to cancel the sales agreement and receive the refund;
(m) fails to furnish a notice of the purchaser's right to cancel a direct solicitation sale within three business days of the time of purchase if the sale is made other than at
the supplier's established place of business pursuant to the supplier's personal contact, whether through mail, electronic mail, facsimile transmission, telephone, or any
other form of direct solicitation and if the sale price exceeds $25, unless the supplier's cancellation policy is communicated to the buyer and the policy offers greater
rights to the buyer than this Subsection (2)(m), which notice shall be a conspicuous statement written in dark bold at least 12 point type, on the first page of the
purchase documentation, and shall read as follows: "YOU, THE BUYER, MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO MIDNIGHT OF
THE THIRD BUSINESS DAY (or time period reflecting the supplier's cancellation policy but not less than three business days) AFTER THE DATE OF THE
TRANSACTION OR RECEIPT OF THE PRODUCT, WHICHEVER IS LATER.";
(n) promotes, offers, or grants participation in a pyramid scheme as defined under Title 76, Chapter 6a, Pyramid Scheme Act;
(4) "Pyramid scheme" means any sales device or plan under which a person gives consideration to another person in exchange for compensation or the right to
receive compensation which is derived primarily from the introduction of other persons into the sales device or plan rather than from the sale of goods, services, or
(o) represents that the funds or property conveyed in response to a charitable solicitation will be donated or used for a particular purpose or will be donated to or
used by a particular organization, if the representation is false;
(p) if a consumer indicates his intention of making a claim for a motor vehicle repair against his motor vehicle insurance policy:
(i) commences the repair without first giving the consumer oral and written notice of:
(A) the total estimated cost of the repair; and
(B) the total dollar amount the consumer is responsible to pay for the repair, which dollar amount may not exceed the applicable deductible or other copay
arrangement in the consumer's insurance policy; or
(ii) requests or collects from a consumer an amount that exceeds the dollar amount a consumer was initially told he was responsible to pay as an insurance deductible
or other copay arrangement for a motor vehicle repair under Subsection (2)(p)(i), even if that amount is less than the full amount the motor vehicle insurance policy
requires the insured to pay as a deductible or other copay arrangement, unless:
(A) the consumer's insurance company denies that coverage exists for the repair, in which case, the full amount of the repair may be charged and collected from the
(B) the consumer misstates, before the repair is commenced, the amount of money the insurance policy requires the consumer to pay as a deductible or other copay
arrangement, in which case, the supplier may charge and collect from the consumer an amount that does not exceed the amount the insurance policy requires the
consumer to pay as a deductible or other copay arrangement;
(q) includes in any contract, receipt, or other written documentation of a consumer transaction, or any addendum to any contract, receipt, or other written
documentation of a consumer transaction, any confession of judgment or any waiver of any of the rights to which a consumer is entitled under this chapter; or
(r) charges a consumer for a consumer transaction that has not previously been agreed to by the consumer.
What do you do if the Act is violated?
!. Contact the Division of Consumer Protection
They can bring suit for you and others
Can request reimbursement
Can request any relief that is appropriate
Guilty party must pay for costs of investigation, attorneys fees, & costs
They can assess administrative fines up to 1,000 per violation
They can issue cease and desist orders.
2. You can Contact your own attorney
You can sue on a Private Cause of Action
You can get your actual damages or $2,000 whichever is greater, attorneys fees, & costs.