Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, like consumer protection laws in other states, is designed to be sure that businesses do not take advantage of the members of the public.
After all, most Will County residents do not have the same knowledge about products and services as those offering them. They have to trust that vendors are being open and honest about what they are selling.
Unfortunately, too many businesses use this bargaining advantage to rip customers off by charging way too much for what they are offering, effectively stealing from hard-working members of the public.
The Act prohibits false and misleading statements
The Act’s general rule is that a business may not engage in any false, deceitful or unfair behavior toward consumers when soliciting business. It also may not misrepresent or even conceal or omit important details about the proposed business deal with consumers.
The Act also sets out a number of specific business practices which are either unlawful in Illinois or are subject to special requirements.
The law is not limited only to intentional or reckless behavior on the part of a business. Any behavior described in the Act is illegal, even if it was the result of a careless mistake.
If a business violates the Act, the customer may sue for his or her actual damages, which can include a number items, such as inconvenience. Punitive damages are also available.
Using the Act to prevent creditor harassment
A lot of times, Illinois residents get into financial trouble precisely because the signed an expensive contract for a product or service that is not what it was made out to be. Sometimes, even the threat of invoking the Act can get an aggressive bill collector to back off.