Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

Hidden fees-a form of false advertising

It may be common for New Yorkers to exaggerate a bit when they are telling one another the benefits of a new product or service they are using and most people overlook it. But when manufacturers engage publicly in this type of behavior, it could result in civil liability.

False advertising, also known as deceptive advertising, is when an advertisement is misleading in a material aspect, either because it is confusing or completely untrue. To determine whether an advertisement is misleading, not only are the representations made and suggested by the advertisement taken into account, but also whether the advertisement fails to reveal material facts relevant to the use of the item.

One of the actions prohibited under law is charging customers hidden fees-this means companies cannot charge customers more than the advertised price for their product or service. Some companies may try to include these fees in the fine print of a contract where they overlooked by an unsuspecting consumer. Under advertising law, a contract must not be so confusing that a consumer is unaware of key provisions. Charges are only permitted if a customer is aware of them.

Unfortunately, contracts and agreements often contain complicated legal language that many New Yorkers may find confusing and they may end up signing documents they do not fully comprehend. If someone believes they are the victims of false advertising, it may be in their best interest to consider contacting an experienced attorney who could guide them through the process of protecting their rights.

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