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2006-08-13
Palm Coast, FL. State AGs Office Investigates Home Depot Over Hurricane Shutters

When Victor Good bought some hurricane shutters at Home Depot in Palm Coast, Florida, he probably did not know he was buying a can of worms at the same time. But that's what his Home Depot purchase opened up. Good recently moved to Palm Coast, and went to Home Depot to buy some shutters that would meet hurricane building standards as set by the Miami-Dade County. The area was hard hit 14 years ago by Hurrican Andrew, so Good thought that he would buy "certified" shutters at Home Depot. The shutters Good wanted were not in stock at Home Depot, but the retailer ordered some for him. When his order arrived, the shutters were stamped with certifications that they met the Florida build code standards. But there was no certification that they meet the county's building code. "If you want that extra protection and extra piece of mind with the Dade County approval, you have to know what to look for," Good told the Daytona Beach News. Good called up Home Depot, and the manufacturer -- both of whom claimed their hurricane shutters met county standards. Unfortunately, county officials told Good that the shutters he purchased were not on the certified list. Good then asked Home Depot to replace his shutters with certified ones -- which Home Depot did. But Good filed a Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice against Home Depot with the state Attorney General's office, and an investigation began. If the complaint is valid, Home Depot would face a fine of $10,000 per violation and up to $15,000 if the victim is a senior citizen or disabled. "Anybody that ordered these storm panels and told they were Dade County approved are not getting what they paid for," Good told the newspaper. "People are buying these things and they need to be educated on what to look out for."

What you can do: Home Depot has sought a lot of media attention for its hurricane-related relief efforts in the south. Obviously, hurricanes are good business for Home Depot. Such storms help move a lot of products at the chain store. This case, to Victor Good,looks like an open and shut case, but Home Depot wants to wait to see what the Attorney General's office rules. Was Home Depot selling a deceptive product? Good clearly thinks they were.










 
 
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