TALLAHASSEE, FL – An agreement reached today between Attorne…

TALLAHASSEE, FL – An agreement reached today between Attorney General
Bill McCollum and Home Depot will entitle some South Florida consumers
to free replacement hurricane shutters and will improve customers’
options for hurricane safety. Consumers will also receive refunds of up
to 25 percent of the prices paid to purchase hurricane shutters which
may not have provided sufficient protection from dangerous storms.
Eligible consumers include those who placed special orders for hurricane
shutters at Florida Home Depot stores in 2006.

“As we continue preparing for storms during hurricane season, it is
reassuring to know that consumers will have even greater resources at
their disposal for protecting their homes and their families,” said
Attorney General McCollum.

In June of 2006 the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division
received a consumer complaint alleging that Home Depot had falsely
represented aluminum hurricane shutters as being Miami-Dade County
approved. The aluminum hurricane shutters were later determined not to
be Miami-Dade County Building Code approved. The company cooperated with
the Attorney General’s investigation, resulting in today’s agreement.

All of Miami-Dade and parts of Broward are designated as “high
velocity zones” because of their extreme vulnerability to hurricanes.
Hurricane shutters sold in this zone must meet Miami-Dade design and
construction standards which more strict than those in other parts of
Florida. Under the agreement, consumers living in the Miami-Dade
compliance area who special-ordered panels will receive a completely new
set of Miami-Dade approved storm panels. Those consumers living outside
the code compliance area will receive a 25 percent refund of their
purchase price. The Attorney General’s Office will contact all consumers
who are eligible for new shutters or the 25 percent reimbursement.

Attorney General McCollum encouraged all Floridians to take the
necessary precautions this hurricane season. More information about
services available to Floridians following a natural disaster is
available on the Attorney General’s website at
http://www.myfloridalegal.com.

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