State Statutes


73 P.S. § 201-1. Short Title


This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law."


73 P.S. § 201-2. Definitions


As used in this act,


(1) Documentary material means the original or a copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription or other tangible document or recording, wherever situate.


(2) Person means natural persons, corporations, trusts, partnerships, incorporated or unincorporated associations, and any other legal entities.


(3) Trade and commerce means the advertising, offering for sale, sale or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed. and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situate, and includes any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of the Commonwealth.


(4) Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices mean any one or more of the following:




(xii) Promising or offering prior to time of sale to pay, credit or allow to any buyer, any compensation or reward for the procurement of a contract for purchase of goods or services with another or others, or for the referral of the name or names of another or others for the purpose of attempting to procure or procuring such a contract of purchase with such other person or persons when such payment, credit, compensation or reward is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time of the signing of a contract to purchase;


(xiii) Promoting or engaging in any plan by which goods or services are sold to a person for a consideration and upon the further consideration that the purchaser secure or attempt to secure one or more persons likewise to join the said plan; each purchaser to be given the right to secure money, goods, or services depending upon the number of persons joining the plan. In addition, promoting or engaging in any plan, commonly known as or similar to the so-called "Chain Letter Plan" or "Pyramid Club". The terms "Chail Letter Plan" or "Pyramid Club" mean any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property, services, or anything of value whereby a participant pays valuable consideration, in whole or in part, for an opportunity to receive compensation for introducing or attempting to introduce one or more additional persons to participate in the scheme or for the opportunity to receive compensation when a person introduced by the participant introduces a new participant. As used in this subclause the term "consideration" means an investment of cash or the purchase of goods, other property, training or services, but does not include payments made for sales demonstration equipment and materials for use in making sales and not for resale furnished at no profit to any person in the program or to the company or corporation, nor does the term apply to a minimal initial payment of twenty five dollars ($25) or less;


73 P.S. § 201-3. Unlawful acts or practices; exclusions


Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce as defined by subclauses (i) through (xvii) of clause (4) of section 2 of this act [ i.e. 73 P.S. 201-2(4)(i) to (4)(xvii)] and regulations promulgated under section 3.1 of this act [ i.e. 73 P.S. 201-3.1] are hereby declared unlawful. The provisions of this act shall not apply to any owner, agent or employee of any radio or television station, or to any owner, publisher, printer, agent or employee of a newspaper or other publication, periodical or circular, who, in good faith and without knowledge of the falsity or deceptive character thereof, publishes, causes to be published or takes part in the publication of such advertisement.

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