|September 9, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today issued a consumer advisory warning Floridians about window film companies that have sold or are selling products to residential homeowners as “hurricane protection.” The implied benefits leave homeowners with a false sense of security, and ultimately very vulnerable to the destructive forces of hurricane winds and flying debris.
Through information gathered from the International Hurricane Protection Association (IHPA), investigators have determined that aggressive sales tactics may have misled some homeowners to believe the hurricane protection for windows has been approved for residential as well as commercial use, when in reality the film protection advertised has only been approved for commercial use. The Florida Building Code compliant forms of hurricane protection contain no approval(s) for film applied to a residential structure. The consumer must be aware that passing some but not all testing does not qualify a product for approval.
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;
· Go to www.floridabuilding.org and/or www.miamidade.gov/buildingcode/ to assure that the number supplied is verifiable;
· 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.