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consumer protection

Pam Bondi case over unregistered charities heads to court

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A Tallahassee-based circuit judge will hear arguments Monday in a lawsuit against Attorney General Pam Bondi that claims she forces businesses to pony up millions of dollars to unregistered charities as part of settlements in consumer protection cases. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson will hear the case at 2 p.m. in the Leon County Courthouse, dockets accessed Friday show. The plaintiff, Orlando entrepreneur John D. Smith, was investigated on a consumer fraud allegation by Bondi’s office in 2015. He invented Storm Stoppers plastic panels as a “plywood alternative” to protect windows…

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Joe Henderson: For solar energy supporters, Amendment 1 raises red flags

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In the Aug. 30 primary, Florida voters made it unmistakably clear how they feel about solar energy. Nearly 73 percent of them voted to approve an amendment providing a tax break for businesses that convert to solar power. That was just what backers of clean energy in Florida wanted, of course. Now they have a new request for voters: When Amendment 1, otherwise known as Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative, comes up in November, those same…

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Emails from 2010 show Texas investigators thought Trump U was a get-rich-quick scam that preyed on novices

in 2017/Top Headlines by

As Texas regulators investigated Trump University for fraud six years ago, Donald Trump‘s lawyers tried the same defenses the presumptive Republican presidential nominee cited again as recently as Tuesday — that the now-defunct real-estate workshops were top-notch and the students overwhelmingly satisfied. But internal emails reviewed by The Associated Press show the staff of then-State Attorney General Gregg Abbott weren’t buying what Trump was selling. Abbott is now the state’s Republican governor and a vocal Trump supporter. “The consumers we…

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Pam Bondi makes progress on Frontier service problems

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pam Bondi came ready to rumble against Frontier Communications — and it looks like she won.  The state’s attorney general announced Thursday the Connecticut-based telecommunications company had “committed to improving communications and customer services in Florida.” “After a lengthy, productive meeting with Frontier executives, I am cautiously optimistic that Frontier disruptions in services will be quickly resolved,” Bondi said in a statement. “However, my office will continue to work with the company on each consumer complaint until they are all appropriately…

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Tampa Bay customers still frustrated by Frontier’s spotty service

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

When there’s something strange about your Frontier Communications service, who you gonna call? Or rather, who you gonna call that can actually do something about it? In Florida, it’s not clear. On April 1, Frontier took over Verizon‘s landline, internet and cable TV service in Florida, specifically for Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota customers. Since then, thousands of customers have taken to the company’s Facebook page to complain of outages, poor service and sudden billing increases. California and Texas are the two other states…

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Adam Putnam thanks lawmakers for helping crack down on gas pump “skimmers”

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The House on Tuesday passed a bill designed to stop thieves from using “skimmers,” devices that steal consumer’s credit card information when they swipe their cards to pay for gas at the pump. The measure –  SB 912 – was top priority this Session for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and he expressed his gratitude to sponsor Sen. Anitere Flores and House companion sponsor Majority Leader Dana Young in a statement Tuesday. “Protecting consumers from identity theft at gas pumps requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. I thank Senator…

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Consumer advocates urge lawmakers to keep preinsurance inspection requirement

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Consumer advocates are calling on state lawmakers to tweak proposed legislation that removes the state’s preinsurance inspection requirement. The provision is in two bills (SB 1036/HB 659) relating to automobile insurance. Among other things, the measure allows an insurer to opt out of the preinsurance inspection program and create its own preinsurance program if it files a manual rule with the Office of Insurance Regulation. Jennifer West, executive director of the Consumer Federation of the Southeast, said removing the required…

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