During the past year the IHPA and its members launched the “Get the
Number” campaign addressing the dangers of protecting homes with unapproved, untested, or misrepresented products.
The IHPA spent considerable time and effort in gathering and compiling advertising and technical materials demonstrating misleading advertising and unfair or deceptive trade practices regarding the marketing of unapproved products and window film for use as hurricane protection. Late last year the IHPA Board of Directors, under Tom Johnston’s leadership, submitted the findings to the Florida Attorney General’s Office during meetings and direct correspondence. Our report and communications highlighted the tremendous risk of consumers being mislead; thereby creating a recipe for disaster and potential unnecessary loss of property and life. The IHPA Board and its members are pleased that Attorney General Bill McCollum and staff immediately recognized the seriousness of the issue and took direct action to alert consumers to the issue and dangers of using unapproved products for hurricane protection.
An excerpt from the press release reads: Purportedly, some window film companies are also falsely claiming that by purchasing the window film for residential use, the homeowner will be eligible for an insurance discount. In reality, the insurance industry may not recognize this discount because the window film does not meet the standards for use in a residential home.
Recently, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) has began issuing manufacturer and dealer alerts in an effort to make sure companies are adhering to proper business procedures. While most members are following proper advertising and sales practices, some are not. Additionally, not all film manufacturers are part of the IWFA, therefore they are not held to the same standards.
Attorney General McCollum offers the following recommendations to consumers to avoid falling victim to dealers who may be misrepresenting the film’s capabilities:
· Ask to see the product approval and the corresponding number;
· Check with your local building department. Most building departments require a permit to install hurricane protection; and
· Report any company that is making fraudulent claims about window film.
Consumers who believe they may be victims of fraud may contact the Attorney General’s fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or file an online complaint at http://myfloridalegal.com.
The full press release can be found here.