Five Examples of Violations of the FDUTPA
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a state law that prohibits businesses and other commercial entities from engaging in deception and other types of unfair trade practices. A consumer or business that suffers losses due to an FDUTPA violation can file a lawsuit to seek compensation. This raises an important question: What actually is a violation of the FDUTPA? Within this blog post, our Miami unfair trade practices attorney highlights five specific examples of violations of the FDUTPA.
- Misrepresentation of Product Quality
Product quality matters. It impacts consumer purchasing decisions. A misrepresentation violation occurs when a business intentionally misrepresents the quality or features of a product or service. For instance, this could include a car dealership that advertises a vehicle as “new” or “never been in an accident” when in fact it is a used car or has been involved in a serious collision.
- False Advertising
False advertising is one of the most common allegations in FDUTPA claims. It refers to a situation where a company makes false or misleading statements in its advertising or promotional materials. Among other things, false advertising could be exaggerating the benefits of a product, making unsupported claims about its effectiveness, or hiding crucial information about its drawbacks. In general, false advertising requires proving an inaccurate objective/factual claim.
- Price Gouging
Also only an issue in relatively limited circumstances, price gouging could be deemed an unfair trade practice in Florida. The term refers to the act of raising the prices of goods, services, or commodities to an unreasonable or unfair level, often in times of crises such as natural disasters or pandemics. For example, imagine that a hardware store significantly increases the price of generators during a hurricane warning. They could face an FDUTPA claim.
- Bait-and-Switch Tactics
Bait-and-switch is an unfair tactic that involves advertising a product or service at a low price to attract customers, and then trying to sell them a more expensive alternative when they arrive, often by claiming that the advertised product is out of stock or of inferior quality. A typical example is a retail store advertising a discounted high-end TV, but upon customers’ arrival, pushing a more expensive model instead.
- Unfair Billing Practices
Some companies employ unfair billing practices such as hidden fees, unauthorized charges, or automatic renewals without clear disclosure. A case in point would be a gym that continues to charge membership fees to a customer’s credit card even after they have canceled their membership, without providing a clear way to opt out.
Get Help From Our Miami FDUTPA Attorney Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our commercial law firm has the professional expertise needed to represent plaintiffs and defendants in FDUTPA cases. If you have any questions about whether or not specific conduct violates Florida deceptive trade practices law, we are here to help. Contact us today to set up your fully confidential initial case review. With a law office in Miami, a law office in West Palm Beach, and office location in Wellington, we handle FDUTPA claims throughout South Florida.