An individual “seeks” goods or services when he or she requests or asks for them. One “acquires” goods or services when one gets or comes to have the goods or services as one’s own. The DTPA does not require a plaintiff to be a direct purchaser of the good or service, as long as the plaintiff is the beneficiary of those goods or services.
There are two basic requirements for an individual or business to qualify as a consumer under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) : 1) the consumer must have sought or acquired, by purchase or lease, goods or services; and 2) the acquired goods or services must form the basis of the complaint. The DTPA, however, does not apply to business consumers that have assets of $25 million or more, or that are owned or controlled by a corporation or entity with assets of $25 million or more.
Consumer status can also be established merely by seeking to acquire goods or services, even if they are not actually acquired. It is unnecessary for money to change hands to establish consumer status. It is also unnecessary for there to have been a written agreement or an actual purchase; it is sufficient for the plaintiff to seek to acquire goods or services in good faith.
DTPA claims are generally not assignable by an aggrieved consumer to someone else. The Act also authorizes actions by the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s office in addition the provides a private civil remedy to consumers for deceptive trade practices that are a producing cause of economic and mental anguish damages to the consumer.