It’s that time of year again – The South Florida Fair is back for three weeks! Some of us cannot wait to get on the rides, others love the games and the food! Watching the cow birthing is a favorite. Then there are the vendors. Herb oils, condiments, candles, jewelry, toys, pots and pans, hurricane shutters, you name it and it is for sale.

OK – so now you are watching the pottery demonstration and it looks like such a great product. The chef makes it look so easy. Or – look at the fellow flying the model helicopter – it looks so easy. A crowd gathers and the next thing you know you paid $150.00 for a radio controlled helicopter – that you plainly don’t need – but “gotta” have. The vendor made it look easy – he caught the toy in his hand. But – is it a quality product? – will it work properly? – what if it does not? – do you have any way to get it fixed or return it?

The simple answer is – you probably have NO recourse and no way to get spare parts, repairs, or your money back. We know a person who bought the helicopter! He took it home, and it was garbage. It did not work! He did not have the vendor’s name, no address and no manufacturer was listed in any documentation. It was just a cheap poorly made imported product. What could he do?

Believe it or not, the Fair Authority monitors their vendors. They have rules and requirements. The Fair does not want its patrons to be ripped off or unhappy – so they do a lot of homework before they allow a vendor on site. You best bet is to call the person at the Fair who is responsible for the vendors – they will “impress” upon the vendor what is the right thing to do. Our friend did this. He went back to the fair after contacted the officials. The vendor was waiting for him. And – the vendor gave him a very hard time. When the customer asked for a refund, the vendor reached between his “stacks” of helicopter models and pulled out a sign which he had hidden. It said “No refunds – No exchanges!” Our friend did the smart thing – he did not get into an argument with the vendor. He took out his cell phone camera and when the vendor put the sign back where no customer could see it, he took a few quick photos. Then our customer went and asked for help from a deputy sheriff. When the deputy arrived, guess what – the sign was in plain view, having just been put there for the first time. Our friend showed the deputy his photos and the deputy questioned the vendor – who lied to the deputy’s face. That was not smart. At the end, our friend got his refund, a report was made to the fair officials and the dishonest vendor will not be at the fair again.

What lessons were learned? Don’t buy garbage – there are no deals that good. You will be ripped off. Always talk to authority and do not confront a vendor in his own environment – you will either get aggravated or ignored. And when all else fails, take a picture and call law enfocement.

If you have any question regarding this or any other legal matter our firm may be able to help you. Please contact Jupiter Legal Advocates at (561) 748-8000 or email us at info@jla.legal for further information and assistance. We try our very best to respond immediately.

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William A. Fleck




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