To protect consumers and businesses from victimization by unscrupulous businesses and commercial entities, there are a number of federal and state laws on the books. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, otherwise known as Florida Statute Section 501.201, is designed to protect consumers from unfair methods of competition and unconscionable trade practice. The law is consistent with federal policies governing consumer protection. If you feel your rights as a consumer have been violated, speak with St. Petersburg consumer protection lawyers who can review your case and offer a legal opinion.
As quoted by the statute, the purposes of the Act are:
- To simplify, clarify, and modernize the law governing consumer protection, unfair methods of competition, and unconscionable, deceptive, and unfair trade practices.
- To protect the consuming public and legitimate business enterprises from those who engage in unfair methods of competition, or unconscionable, deceptive, or unfair acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.
- To make state consumer protection and enforcement consistent with established policies of federal law relating to consumer protection.
The Act covers such actions as making false advertising claims about a product, trade libel (making slanderous claims about another company’s product), deceptive marketing and unfair trade practices, such as attempting to eliminate competitors.
A claim brought under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act has three elements:
- A deceptive or unfair trade practice
- Actual damages
In other words, you cannot file a claim if you cannot prove actual damages – an unfair trade practice is not enough. A Clearwater consumer financial protection attorney can determine if your case is worth pursing in court.
Perry Draper Law can help you recover compensation if you have been harmed by an unfair trade practice, breach of warranty, identity theft or other consumer or business fraud matter.