Unfair Trade Practices in Florida

Wed 24th May, 2023 Business Litigation

Florida law (Florida Statute Chapter 501, Part II) protects your rights as a consumer by prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable practices in trade and commerce. If you have been impacted by an unfair trade practices in Florida, you may benefit from speaking with an attorney from Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene.

False Advertising 

False advertising occurs when a product or service is promoted as containing qualities or benefits that it does not actually possess. For example, say a weight-loss supplement is marketed as a cure all for obesity. Their advertising claims rapid weight loss without exercise or diet changes is possible if you take this pill. In reality, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Thus, the advertising is deceptive and misleads consumers into purchasing a pill that does not, in fact, cure obesity. 

Bait & Switch 

Bait and switch is a deceptive marketing tactic that is closely related to false advertising. 

It transpires when an advertisement allures a prospective customer into a retail establishment, or e-commerce website, with the assurance of a specific item at a heavily discounted price, but subsequently substitutes it with an analogous, yet non-identical, product.

Bait and switch is common practice by retailers during peak shopping periods, such as holidays, when customers are searching for hard-to-find items like toys. Retailers promote the rare commodity at a discounted price, regardless of its unavailability, in order to attract footfall or online traffic. 

Price Fixing and Exclusive Dealing 

Price fixing is a collusive practice whereby businesses set a fixed price for their goods or services, augmenting their profits at the expense of consumers who are subjected to restricted choices and inflated prices. For example, two gas stations at the southern and northern corners of an intersection agree to charge the same price for gasoline in order to limit competition and increase their profits. 

Exclusive dealing is when a producer agrees to sell a significant amount of their products to a specific organization, limiting the availability of inventory for other companies and resulting in increased costs. It is a common practice in many industries, but is particularly prevalent in the technology industry. For instance, a manufacturer of a particular brand of mobile phone may enter into an exclusive arrangement with a specific carrier or retailer, thereby circumscribing the access to the phone for other carriers or retailers.

For business owners, fair competition in the free market is crucial for success. Practices such as price fixing and exclusive dealing can hinder fair competition and negatively impact businesses and consumers – both of these practices are considered unfair trade practices and are illegal under Florida Statute Chapter 501.

Connect with an Unfair Trade Practices Attorney from Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene

To discuss options on your case, reach out to Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene by giving us a call at 904-355-0355.