How to Report Protect America for False Advertising

Have you tried to use a product or service for Protect America and found that it didn’t live up to expectations? You might be wondering if they were guilty of false advertising and if they were, how to Protect America for false advertising.  We go over the laws that govern false advertising and how to report it.

What is False Advertising?

False advertising, sometimes known as deceptive advertising or misleading advertising, all falls under the same category of any situation where a company uses false or misleading information in association with their products or services. Usually this is done in an attempt to get you to buy something.

Most of the time it’s not necessarily nefarious, meaning companies aren’t purposefully withholding vital information or lying to you, but that doesn’t make it legally acceptable.

The rules about deceptive marketing and false advertising can be found in a collection of state and federal consumer protection laws. Most laws, however, are governed by The Federal Trade Commission Act, which established the FTC in 1914. Some examples of the rules outlined in that section are:

  • If a business says that something is manufactured in a certain place or is environmentally sustainable, that has to be true.
  • Product demonstrations have to show exactly how the product really works and can’t be falsified. 

Basically when you see an advertisement you should have a clear idea of what it’s going to cost, how it’s going to work, and what potential health concerns or safety concerns might be associated with it.

Note: No one actually needs to be misled for a court to find that an advertisement is misleading.

What Are the Different Types of False Advertising?

Sourced from the FTC with creative input from FairShake.

The FTC has a lot of categories for false advertising but some of the most common types include the bait-and-switch where you might be told that something is on sale or that you get a special promotion when you purchase, but in the end that’s not what happens. This is much more common with companies that force you to sign on for a contract because you might sign up with a discount and then find out now that you’re obligated by contract, they pulled the bait-and-switch.

Similarly there are issues with hidden fees where a company fails to disclose things like equipment fees or maintenance fees, and even in situations where that information might be hidden in the fine print, the FTC might say that it was hidden a little too well and therefore qualifies as misleading.

Protect America False Advertising Scandals 

The BBB page for Protect America highlights a recurring problem with hidden fees and failure to disclose information, particularly with regard to long term contracts and cancellations. In fact, many customers complain about being charged long after they try to cancel, and then only getting partial refunds–if any–after the fact. As one customer put it:

“Signed up for a three year subscription for an investment property. After two years I sold my property, called them to pay off the remainder of the contract in a lump sum and cancel the service. A year later started to get billed again. When I called to ask them to request a refund they acknowledged that I paid off the contract a year ago, but said I did not have the right to cancel the service at that time and my contract rolled over automatically. Offered me only a partial refund so I have to dispute the rest. It’s a relatively trivial amount of money but now I won’t ever use them again and wanted to warn other people not to use their service. Seems like a terrible business model churning through customers and virtually guaranteeing they will never get repeat business.”

What to Do If You See False Advertising in Action

The most important thing here is that Protect America doesn’t have to falsely advertise on purpose. They can do it on accident and still be charged. More importantly, you don’t need to have been affected by the false advertising in order to convict a company of doing it. You can report it just by witnessing it. Start by submitting a consumer complaint to the FTC.  The FTC wants to know about the situation so that they can investigate and take action against the company. You can also submit a complaint to TruthinAdvertising.org where it will go public.

But in situations where you are personally wronged, if the FTC takes action against the company and does something like charge them a fine, that doesn’t really help you. The recourse available to you for compensation will depend on your state’s laws related to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices.

Affected by False Advertising? Here’s What You Can Do

So what can you do when you are personally affected and you lose money because of false advertising? You can try to go through regular customer service with Protect America and submit a claim or reach out to the Protect America corporate offices. But usually just takes a very long time and doesn’t amount to anything. So what then? If that is the case, there are other options. One of those is consumer arbitration.

Consumer arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than trying to go to court. But there are still some deadlines at official legal paperwork because it is a legal process and that can get complicated. That said, FairShake helps you navigate the consumer arbitration process, from filing your claim to getting the resolution you deserve.

Tell us about your complaint and we’ll help you get a fair resolution.

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