When manufacturers or retailers make false claims, spread disinformation, or use other misleading tactics to entice sales, they are engaging in one or more deceptive trade practices. Florida Code § 501.203 and § 501.204: prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising of any good or service. These laws recognize that advertising plays an important role in helping consumers decide which products to purchase, and that false, deceptive and misleading advertising can undermine consumers’ purchasing decisions. Deception and unfairness are broad standards that apply to any type of dealer misrepresentation, failure to disclose, or overreaching. If a false advertisement was mailed, it can amount to mail fraud. As almost all newspapers are mailed to subscribers, even a newspaper advertisement can be the basis for a mail fraud offense.
Examples of unlawful, false and deceptive advertising practices are:
- Any media used to make an advertisement misleading.
- Listings of prices that do not indicate that there are deductions in the price for items such as rebates.
- Disclaimers, time limits and modifiers that are not clearly stated, or hidden in a footnote smaller than ten-point type.
- Advertising that items are free if the purchase price is increased to make up for the “free” items.
- Use of the terms “Public Notice,” “Public Sale,” or “Liquidation” not permitted by the Court.
- Use of other terms that are considered misleading such as “dealer’s cost,” “floor plan,” “inventory price,” “factory invoice,” “issue,” “wholesale” or “at no profit.”
- Use of “lowest prices,” “lower prices than anyone else” or “our lowest prices of the year,” unless the dealer can prove they are true.
If you are trying to recoup the money you spent on a product or service after being duped by a false ad, then you might consider filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court. Contact Darfoor Law Firm for a free consultation at 1-833-DARFOOR.
For more information on deceptive pricing and sales techniques, or if you have been duped by a deceptive pricing scheme or sales technique please view our twitter page and leave comment how it impacted you. We look forward to receiving your feedback.