Consumers, individuals and businesses alike, drive the global economy. This means that firms trying to reach consumers must compete fiercely for attention to get their products noticed. There are any number of reasons a consumer may choose one product over another: experience with a brand, features, quality versus value, or just the bottom-line price. In making a purchasing decision, consumers often rely on communications from retailers and manufacturers in forms such as advertisements, direct messages and verbal assurances. Sometimes, though, such communications may be less than honest.
When a business attempts to deceive through the use of false or misleading communication, it is engaging in deceptive trade practices. In Florida, the state's consumer protection laws allow buyers who have been tricked or misled by unscrupulous manufacturers or retailers to receive compensation. Deceptive trade practices can include anything from false advertising to outright fraud.
Some of the specific acts prohibited under the consumer protection laws of the Sunshine State include false advertising and tampering with the odometer of a vehicle. Telemarketing activities and aftermarket parts obtained from crashed vehicles are also regulated. In addition to civil damages, certain types of deceptive trade practices are also punishable as crimes.
It can be difficult to identify deceptive or unfair business practices when they occur. If an individual or business suspects they have been the victim of deceptive trade practices, they should seek the advice of an experienced business litigation attorney. A seasoned lawyer can investigate the matter, assess the potential losses and advise on how best to proceed.