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Can You Sue a Business for a Bait-and-Switch in Florida?


As a consumer, you have a rightful expectation of fair treatment from businesses and organizations. In Florida, the state’s deceptive and unfair trade practices law (FDUTPA) allows affected consumers to hold companies liable for damages caused by unjust treatment. You can sue a company for a bait-and-switch under the FDUTPA. Here, our Miami FDUTPA attorney provides a guide to the key things that consumers need to know about bait-and-switch claims in Florida.

What is a Bait-and-Switch? 

A “bait-and-switch” is a deceptive marketing tactic where customers are enticed by an advertised product or service at a low price. Once they engage, the original item is unavailable, and they are steered towards a more expensive option. The unscrupulous strategy lures buyers with attractive offers but ultimately aims to sell them something that is less desirable or more expensive.

 Understanding Bait-and-Switch Tactics Through a Hypothetical Example 

Here is an example of a bait-and-switch in Florida: A vacation rental scam. For example, imagine that company advertises a luxurious beachfront property at a surprisingly low rate. However, when the consumer inquires about the property, they are told it is no longer available and then they are pushed into a pricier and less favorable vacation rental option. Of course, this is just one potential example, bait-and-switches can come in many different forms. Far too often, consumers do not even realize that they were “bait and switched” until after a transaction is finalized. 

The FDUTPA Prohibits Bait-and-Switch Tactics 

The FDUTPA serves as a shield for consumers against deceptive and unfair business practices in Florida. The law prohibits companies that operate in the state from using bait-and-switch tactics. Consumers have the right to truthful advertising and transparency, ensuring their choices are based on accurate information rather than deceit. If you were adversely affected by a bait-and-switch, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible business.

 FDUTPA: You Can Recover for “Actual Damages” Caused By a Bait-and-Switch 

What remedies do consumers have for a bait-and-switch in Florida? The answer depends on a number of key case-specific factors. That being said, the FDUTPA allows plaintiffs to pursue financial relief for the full value of their actual damages caused by a “deceptive” or “unfair” act, including an unlawful bait-and-switch. Described another way, a consumer in Florida who can demonstrate with evidence that he or she suffered monetary harm because of a business’s deceptive practices can seek financial compensation equivalent to that monetary harm from the at-fault business. Measuring damages in a bait-and-switch claim can be complicated. An experienced Florida deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyer can help.

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Top Miami FDUTPA Lawyer

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida deceptive and unfair trade practices attorneys have the professional skills and legal expertise to handle all types of bait-and-switch claims. Call us now or contact us online to set up your fully confidential consultation. Our firm handles deceptive and unfair trade practices cases throughout South Florida.

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