Federal Regulatory Action and Florida Lawsuit Brings a Stop to Deceptive Practices By Chargebacks911
On November 7th 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced regulatory action to stop a company called Chargebacks911—a financial consultancy firm based in Clearwater, Florida—from engaging in deceptive and unfair commercial practices. Notably, Chargebacks911 was also sued for FDUTPA violations by the Florida Office of the Attorney General. Within this article, our Miami deceptive commercial practices attorneys provide a detailed review of the enforcement action.
Background: Chargebacks911 Manages/Fights Chargebacks
With a main headquarters in Florida, Chargebacks911 is a financial consulting firm that specializes in chargeback remediation and loss. Most often, the company works with mid-size and large retailers facing reversals of credit card transactions often initiated by consumers.
A chargeback is a transaction reversal initiated by a credit card holder with their bank, typically in response to an alleged fraudulent, erroneous, or disputed charge. It serves as a consumer protection mechanism that allows cardholders to contest charges and potentially receive a refund.
FTC Enforcement Action: Deceptive and Unfair Commercial Practices
In April of 2023, the FTC and Florida state regulators reached a settlement agreement with Chargebacks911 and the company’s two primary owners. Enforcement action was initially taken against the consulting firm on the grounds that it deployed deceptive tactics to obstruct consumers’ ability to win credit card chargeback disputes. The FTC and the State of Florida allege that the company has engaged in improper commercial practices since 2016. Under the terms of the agreement, which is pending a final federal court approval in Florida, Chargebacks911 has agreed to the following:
- It will not serve high-risk clients;
- It will refrain from using misleading strategies to influence credit card disputes;
- It was stop using its “value-added” promotions, which were deemed deceptive; and
- It will pay a total of $150,000 in civil financial penalties to the State of Florida.
Florida Law Prohibits Businesses from Deceptive and Unfair Practices
Florida law is designed to promote a fair, competitive commercial marketplace. Businesses are strictly prohibited from using deception and other unfair practices to take advantage of consumers and/or competitors. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA is a state law that allows parties to file a lawsuit for any damages sustained because they were taken advantage of by a business using deceptive and otherwise unjust commercial practices. Businesses operating in Florida must adhere to high standards of honesty and fairness, maintaining the integrity of their transactions and communications with consumers
Consult With Our Miami Deceptive Trade Practices Lawyer for Immediate Legal Support
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami commercial litigation attorneys have extensive experience handling deceptive and unfair trade practices cases. If you or your company suffered losses due to deceptive business practices, we can help. Contact us today to set up a confidential initial appointment. With an office in Miami, our firm represents clients throughout Southeast Florida, including in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Coral Gables, and Hialeah.