New York law protects consumers like you from false advertising. False advertising is unlawful. When you shop for goods or services, the store, seller or service provider must provide you with truthful information about their products and services.
False advertising is any advertising that is misleading or deceptive in any important way. The false advertising can be on a sign, made in a statement by the seller or service provider, depicted in a picture, or a false promise about an item you are buying or a service offered.
False advertising is usually about the price or the quality of an item you are purchasing. However, another tactic sellers use is called the “bait and switch”. The seller advertises a product or service at a certain price. Then, when you get to the store, the seller either says the product is sold out or they try to sell you a different product or service at a higher price.
Surprisingly, sellers and service providers are allowed to use what is called “puffery.” This is when a seller or service provider exaggerates. For example: “World’s Best Auto Repair,” or “New York’s Best Cheese Cake.” Puffery is considered different than making a false claim or stating a false fact about a product or service, and is not unlawful.
False & Misleading Advertising is governed by New York General Business Law §350. Under this law, you will need to prove that the advertisement was consumer-oriented, the ad was misleading in a material way, you were harmed, and you relied on the misleading ad.
If you are a victim of false advertising, you can file a lawsuit against the seller. You can recover any actual damages you suffered or $500, whichever is greater. You can also get your attorney’s fees paid by the seller if you win the lawsuit. If the court finds that the seller willfully and knowingly violated the law, you may get extra damages. The court may award three times your actual damages, up to $10,000.
If you believe you, a friend, or a loved one, has been a victim of false advertising, call the Law Office of Dana Stricker, PLLC at (914) 588-0651 or visit us online. We are here to help!