Posted by Patrick J. Hughes | Jul 15, 2021

As a consumer, you are probably well aware of the hassle and stress that can come from unfair or deceptive practices in the marketplace. In 1977, Virginia enacted the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA) “to promote fair and ethical standards of dealings between suppliers and the consuming public.”[1]

What's Covered?

“Supplier” means any seller, lessor, licensor, or professional who advertises, solicits, or engages in consumer transactions. The VCPA covers a variety of consumer transactions including, but not limited to:

  • Advertising, selling, or offering to sell goods or services to be used for personal or household purposes
  • Advertising or offering to sell a business opportunity that requires a person's money or property and personal services
  • Advertising or offering to sell goods or services relating to finding or obtaining employment
  • Layaway agreements

What Are Your Rights?

The VCPA enables consumers to file complaints against suppliers for violations including, but not limited to:

  • Misrepresenting goods or services as those of another
  • Misrepresenting the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services
  • Misrepresenting the affiliation, connection, or association of the supplier (or of the goods or services) with another
  • Misrepresenting that goods or services have certain qualities, characteristics, ingredients, uses, or benefits
  • Misrepresenting that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, grade, style, or model
  • Advertising or offering to sell goods that are used, secondhand, defective, or blemished without clearly stating so in the advertisement
  • Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised
  • Misrepresenting that repairs, alterations, modifications, or services have been performed or parts installed

It is important to note that expressions of opinions are not violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The wrongful representation must be a statement of fact.

Maryland and the District of Columbia have similar laws in place, as well. Maryland's Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) provides “minimum statewide standards for the protection of consumers across the State.”[2] Similarly, the District of Columbia's Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) aims to “educate consumers to demand high standards and seek proper redress of grievances.”[3]

The attorneys at Patriots Law Group of Lyons & Hughes, P.C. are familiar with the specific state laws of Virginia, Maryland, and D.C., and can help ensure your rights as a consumer are fully protected. Understanding your rights can be complex and time-consuming – call today to see how we can help.

DISCLAIMER:  The information above is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice for any particular situation.  No attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this information and may not be relied upon based on the above-statements.  Each individual situation is different and therefore a consultation is necessary before any advice can be relied upon as appropriate and accurate for your situation. This information is current as of July 6, 2021.  Patriots Law Group of Lyons & Hughes, P.C. and Patrick J. Hughes, Esq. are responsible for this advertisement.

[1] Va. Code § 59.1-197.

[2] Md. Commercial Law Code § 13-102.

[3] D.C. Code § 28-3901.

About the Author

Patrick J. Hughes

“The only way to truly advocate for your clients is to know and understand them and their issue. Being a part of the same family, I can think of no better community of people I would rather represent than current and former DoD members and their families.” – Patrick J. Hughes