Intended to be used as a safeguard of sorts, a specific Florida statute – the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act – was designed for the protection of legitimate business enterprises andthe consuming public. It is meant to safeguard them against businesses or individuals that engage in deceptive, unconscionable, or unfair practices or acts in the conduct of any commerce or trade. It also protects against unfair methods of competition.
F.S. §501.201 et seq., or the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, was enacted in 1973. Against any commercial wrongdoing, it gives consumers stronger legal protection. The following are examples that could fall under methods involved in unfair trade:
- Deceptive pricing
- False advertising
- Manufacturing standards noncompliance
- False prize or free gift offers
- False representation of a service or good
In an overall sense, an unfair trade practice can be defined as deceptive or unfair practices or methods being used to promote the supply, use, or sale of any services or goods.
How to Prevent Deceptive Trade Practices
To remain in good standing with the public, and to avoid expensive court cases, companies must do everything in their power to maintain reputable and fair business practices. To prevent undesirable trade practices, avoid the following:
- Illegal selling methods
- False claims about country of origin
- The use of unfair business tactics
- Making misleading or false claims about artwork, souvenirs, etc.
- Making false claims about services or products
- Misleading consumers regarding value, quality, price, etc.
- … And more
The best course of action, if you feel you have been a victim of deceptive or unfair practices by a company or business, is to retain legal representation.