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Understanding Florida Deceptive Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA)

The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) as found in Florida Statutes 501.201-501.213 protects consumers and competing businesses from anyone who engages in unfair methods of competition or deceptive practice in any trade or commerce. Such trades may include

  • Automotive sales and service centers
  • Exterminators
  • Sellers of travel packages
  • Resellers of timeshares
  • Sellers and installers of flooring
  • Sellers of prepaid calling cards
  • For-profit schools
  • Data security firms

False and misleading tactics from these industries may be designed to trick a customer into paying more for goods and services than was advertised, or into paying for goods and services that they never received.

FDUTPA was designed to encompass a broad spectrum of deceptive and unfair conduct such as the following

  • “Bait and switch” or other false or misleading advertising
  • Misrepresenting used goods as new
  • Falsely claiming that a vehicle or product is in need of repair or replacement
  • Slipping improper or undisclosed fees into a bill or contract
  • Adding unauthorized charges onto a phone bill
  • Delivering goods that were not ordered and billing unless the customer declines
  • Price gouging after a hurricane, flood or during a state of emergency
  • Salespeople misrepresenting their authority to negotiate terms or close a sale

The statute of limitation for bringing a FDUTPA claim is four years from the date of the event giving rise to the FDUTPA claim. If you believe that there has been a violation of FDUTPA, contact the trial attorneys at Bernhardt Riley to help evaluate your potential claim.