Today’s business world grows more competitive by the day. Therefore, states and the federal government passed laws to govern business practices.
However, some companies still violate the law and participate in illegal or unfair competition and trade practices. These are signs that your competitors use these tactics.
Some companies use bait-and-switch techniques to get new customers in the door. In these cases, they advertise sales on one product but tell customers that the product is not available when they arrive. Then, they redirect these customers to other, more expensive products. In addition, companies may make false claims about their products, including exaggerating their usage and usefulness. Companies may also not provide product ingredients and origins to the public. They may also substitute one product brand for another without the customers’ agreement.
Some companies may use another’s business name, logo and words or phrases that represent the company or its products. They may also steal trade secrets or other confidential information from others. Look for businesses that illegally package their products to look like another company’s products. Organizations that hire individuals who signed non-compete contracts from companies in the same industry or that are direct competitors who begin working for competitors may participate in theft because they have access to trade secrets. Look for businesses that steal others’ customers by selling their products below cost.
Companies are not legally allowed to slander their competitors. Look for speech, advertising or written documents that have negative or harmful communications about another company or its leadership and staff.
Common law governs most unfair business practices, but in copyright, trademark and false advertising cases, these businesses may face federal charges.