The price increases that NuCO2 implemented for the Townhouse are automatic. According to the article, the Townhouse’s owner has no memory of discussing price increases with NuCO2 prior to entering into the contract. In addition, the price increases that NuCO2 implemented in January and February were not related to the dates that customers entered into the contracts. The standard established under the FDUTPA, which addresses “objectivity” in contracts, is unrelated to dates.
NuCO2’s customer relationship management system automates price increases
A lawsuit filed against NuCO2 claims the company uses a “customer relationship management” system to automatically increase prices without warning customers. This strategy is alleged to raise prices by as much as 30% per month for the same customers, and NuCO2’s customer relationship management system does not comply with notice requirements. This is a form of unfair competition. Moreover, a consumer may not be willing to pay this price if he does not have to.
The price of carbon dioxide in bulk is increasing and a customer needs to know about the price increase before deciding whether to purchase the product. NuCO2 uses a customer relationship management system to keep track of the prices of the gas. The price increase is done automatically using the price of the last order. If the price is increased by more than 10%, the customer will be notified by email. In addition, the customer relationship management system allows the customer to set an automated price increase.
Townhouse’s owner has no recollection of discussions with NuCO2 before entering into contract
In the Townhouse’s case, the owner has no recollection of any discussions with NuCO2 before entering into the contract, even though she was the one who signed the agreement. The Townhouse owner also has no memory of discussing the terms and conditions of the agreement with NuCO2 before entering into it. She also does not recall any discussions about the open escalation provision or energy surcharge at the time she signed the contract.
In addition to claiming that NuCO2 did not disclose the contract’s price increases in advance, the Townhouse’s owner claims that NuCO2 made numerous concessions and agreed to surcharges in exchange for additional profits. NuCO2 has maintained that the price increases were necessary to cover the costs of doing business and are necessary to make it profitable.
Customers’ contracts are unrelated to the dates of increases
The lawsuit alleges that NuCO2 violates its own rules by automatically increasing prices without prior notice to its customers. In other words, the company has “for years” increased prices without giving customers notice. The increases are not related to contracts and, as a result, some customers have been forced to pay 30% more per month than the original contract price. This practice has been criticized by some consumer advocates.
While the Court found that the discussions between TSMs and customers are irrelevant, the fact remains that NuCO2 negotiated the price increases and surcharges with some customers outside Florida. In fact, NuCO2’s “Approval Package” includes the price list and sales rules, as well as provisions pertaining to the surcharge. It is also not clear whether TSMs were able to obtain approval for a discount on the energy surcharge without the approval of NuCO2. In any case, the price increase is unrelated to the dates in the contracts.
FDUTPA’s standard is purely “objective”
FDUTPA is a federal employment law. This statute requires defendants to consider a variety of factors, including the consumer’s mindset and his interaction with the defendant. A classwide adjudication would not be feasible because plaintiffs do not present common answers. Therefore, a plaintiff’s classwide recovery would be difficult. But there is a way around this. The benefit of bargain damages model is applied by the Coghlan case. This case illustrates the difference between an out-of-pocket measure and an individualized damages inquiry.
This standard is necessary because the FDUTPA requires businesses to be transparent in their disclosures. This standard may be helpful for determining the true impact of a class action, but plaintiffs must still meet traditional standards to prevail. FDUTPA has many exceptions to the standard of “objectivity.”