Unfair Business Practices Attorneys
As companies fight tooth and nail for an advantage over the competition, it is no wonder they resort to unfair business practices to get ahead. False advertising and price gouging often make victims of consumers and retailers of good and services because they can suffer economic loss or injury. But, many who are impacted by these practices are unaware that they can fight back through unfair business practice litigation. With the help of experienced and skilled insurance claims attorneys, consumers who have fallen victim to unfair business practices can attain the compensation they deserve.
Unfair Business Practices
While companies are allowed to come up with creative marketing solutions, these ploys cannot violate the law or damage consumers in the pursuit of driving in business. It is illegal for a business to use unfair business practices to lure consumers into purchasing goods or services under fraudulent pretenses.
What Are Unfair Business Practices?
As suggested by the Florida Deceptive Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Federal Trade Commissions Act, and the Consumer Protection Law, unfair business practices are the use of unfair competition and deceptive or fraudulent methods of business practices. These methods are often used to gain profit or an advantage over the competition, but if it is deemed illegal or if it causes harm or injury to the consumer, it can be actionable under a court of law.
Types Of Unfair Business Practices
The definition of unfair business practices is broad, but courts have held that the following acts are unfair.
- False Advertisement / Representation Of A Product Or Service.False advertisement is the use of fraudulent, misleading, or unproven information to lure consumers into buying the product or service. For example, in March 2016, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen, claiming the company had deceived customers by selling or leasing diesel cars based on false claims that the cars were environmentally friendly and low-emission.
- Tied Selling.This is the selling of a product, service, or goods to a consumer only on the terms that the consumer buys or uses another of the business's products or services. This is considered to be unfair if the product or service is of great need of the consumer, it is an emergency to the consumer, or it impedes their freedom to choose.
- Deceptive Pricing. This is when a business falsely claims that it offers lower pricing to consumers when they are selling the product for similar prices as those generally sold. Hidden taxes and surcharges, running a "going out of business" sale without the intention to go out of business while advertising discount items, measuring unit manipulation, fillers, excessive packaging, and bait and switch are all examples of deceptive advertising.
- Noncompliance With Manufacturing Standards. When selling or distributing a product, a business must comply with its manufacturing standards, which are provided by the business and could revolve around the manufacturing, labeling, instructions, packaging, or storing methods of the product. If a business does not provide these instructions on a product that requires cautious use or could be a hazard, the act (or lack of action) could lead to a premise or product lawsuit.
- Price Gouging. Price gouging is when a business increases the price of a service, good, or product above reasonable market prices. According to FL. State 501. 160(b), any price gouging during a state of emergency declared by the governor is considered illegal and violates the Deceptive Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Civil Action Against Unfair Business Practices
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act refers to a civil action against unfair trade practices. Florida Statute 501.211 outlines the civil action that can occur against unfair trade practices.
A person may recover actual damages plus attorney's fees and court costs if they have suffered a loss as a result of a violation of this act. Though, damages, fees, or costs are not recoverable under this section against a retailer who has engaged in the dissemination of claims of a manufacturer or wholesaler without actual knowledge they violated this act.
The Federal Trade Commission provides resources for reporting unfair business practices and displays alerts concerning consumers. If a consumer buys a product that has been falsely advertised and suffers an injury, based on the interpretation of the advertisement, the consumer may want to pursue damages. It is reasonable that the court may consider other consumers who may not have been injured because of this product.
Do You Have A Claim For Unfair Business Practices?
If you have a claim for unfair business practices, time is of the essence. When filing a claim for deceptive trade practices or false advertising, the first step is to keep all documents relating to the claim, including a copy of the advertisement. Make sure to keep records of how the false advertising or unfair business practice affected your judgment and include an estimate of the losses or damages you suffered. These can serve as evidence in a trial and is useful for the attorney reviewing your case.
Orlando Attorneys For Unfair Business Practices
If you or a loved one have suffered severe economic loss or injury resulting from unfair business practices, contact our experienced Orlando lawyers for a consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Our trusted insurance lawyers can help determine whether you're entitled to pursue damages and help seek compensation for your injuries.