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Were You the Victim of a Bait-and-Switch in Florida? Know Your Rights

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-49-13

For consumers, there are few things more frustrating than discovering that the business that you are working with cannot be trusted to treat you fairly. A bait-and-switch is an all-too-common example of an unscrupulous business practice. If you were the victim of a bait-and-switch, you may have a claim for compensation through the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). Within this article, our Miami FDUTPA lawyer provides an overview of your rights if you were the victim of a bait-and-switch in Florida.

Bait-and-Switch: Defined

Consumer Reports describes a bait-and-switch is broadly defined as a “deal with a disingenuous advertisement.” It is a deceptive marketing tactic whereby a customer is enticed with an attractive offer only to be pressured/persuaded/tricked into buying a less favorable (more costly) alternative. It involves luring consumers in with a desirable product or service, then substituting it with a worse option at the last minute—often after some form of commitment has already been made. Here are some potential examples:

  • Electronics: A store advertises a heavily discounted laptop. However, on arrival, customers are informed that the model is sold out and they are pressured to buy a more expensive one.
  • Gym Membership: A gym offers a low monthly fee for a gym membership, but upon signing up, a customer discovers hidden fees that were not disclosed in the advertisement.
  • Car Dealership: A used car dealer promotes a car at a certain price in a newspaper ad. A customer tries to buy the vehicle but at the last second they are told that the price in the ad is only available if they take the dealer’s unfavorable, in-house financing.

 The FDUTPA Provides a Remedy for Bait-and-Switch Victims 

Florida law bars bait-and-switches as a deceptive business practice. Indeed, the FDUTPA offers recourse to victims of bait-and-switch tactics by providing legal remedies. A consumer—whether an individual, organization, or a business—can hold a counterparty legally liable for any “actual damages” sustained as a consequence of bait-and-switch.

 Three Steps to Take If You Suffered Harm Due to a Bait-and-Switch

 At its core, a bait-and-switch is deception. In Florida, companies engaged in deceptive practices must be held accountable. Here are three steps to take after being victimized by a bait-and-switch:

  1. Request a Correction: You can raise the issue directly to the company. Ask for a correction and explain the situation.
  2. Document Everything: Make a proactive effort to document everything—including any advertisement/representations that were not actually true.
  3. Seek Professional Support: Consult with a lawyer. Your FDUTPA attorney can help you evaluate all potential remedies for financial compensation.

Consult With Our Miami Bait-and-Switch Attorney for a Confidential Case Review

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami FDUTPA lawyer has the skills and experience to handle bait-and-switch cases. If you have any questions about bait-and-switch claims, we are here to help. Contact us today to set up your completely confidential initial case review. With an office in Miami, our firm represents bait-and-switch victims throughout Southeast Florida.



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