Republicans Push To Deregulate & Remove Consumer Protection Acts

When looking for a company to provide a service, anything from purchasing your new car to planning your next vacation, it’s important to know that you’re dealing with a legitimate one. Certain rules are in place in order to dodge sketchy businesses; some Florida legislators are working to pass a new law that terminates these safeguards that are there to help protect the public.

A new bill is in the works in Florida State that if enacted will deregulated many industries that seem to need some watchful eyes and regulation. The bill is named HB 5005, is sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, and terminates surety bond requirements and other protections for 14 industries including health clubs, charities, moving companies, telemarketers, travel agents and vehicle repair shops. Of the 14 industries to be deregulated, three are in the first five of the 2010 Top 10 Consumer Complaint List compiled by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services with telemarketing at the top racking up 8,599 complaint filings. The advocates of this bill say it will urge new businesses to come to Florida to boost jobs; but is quantity more important than quality?

The regulations in place that this potential bill will get rid of are for the benefit of Florida consumers. With the removal of surety bond requirements it’s also doing away with protection the bonds provide. In an industry like telemarketing where consumer complaints are the highest, it makes sense to have some regulation in place. Having a surety bond requirement for the telemarketing industry and industries alike helps protects the public from any dodgy organizations.

The bond is there to guarantee that a company will follow the rules set by the state that they’re operating in. Should they be deceitful in any way and cause financial harm to a client, the client will file a claim on the company up to the full amount of the bond. The surety company who wrote the bond will pay that claim since they are the ones who wrote the bond for the questionable company; but they will turn around and collect money from the company who didn’t follow the rules of their state. If a business chooses to ignore a surety bond requirement, they will then be operating an illegal business which is a big risk in itself. Taking away the surety bond requirements is an open invitation for crooked companies to open up shop down south.

Surety bonds are necessary in the consumer world, they guarantee that a business will follow the rules that they agreed on. Bonds help deter dishonest companies from trying to startup and this bill is going to axe that protection; Florida legislators should think twice before ridding these industries of surety bonds.

Eric is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog. He has held a range of different roles within the surety industry, from agent assistant to bond issuer, which gives him a unique insider perspective on surety related topics.

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