Unedited press release from Attorney General Moody’s Communication Office
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced a Consumer Protection investigation into allegations of misleading and potentially dangerous sales pitches by Norwegian Cruise Lines. According to reports, NCL provided its sales force with inaccurate one-liners to respond to customer concerns about COVID-19. The misleading sales scripts allegedly downplayed the severity and highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus in an effort to close cruise package sales.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We are in the thick of a public health crisis like our modern world has never experienced. My Consumer Protection Division is conducting an extensive investigation to get to the bottom of the disturbing allegations against Norwegian Cruise Lines. Let this serve as a warning to anyone seeking to mislead consumers during these challenging times. I will do everything within the power of this office to hold accountable those who would prey on Floridians during this health crisis.”
At this early stage in the investigation, NCL is fully cooperating. Information about the misleading sales pitches was first brought to light by media reports in Miami, where NCL’s corporate headquarters is located.
According to reports, a whistleblower leaked emails that show NCL managers encouraged employees to downplay the risks associated with contracting COVID-19 with lines like, “the only thing you need to worry about for your cruise is do you have enough sunscreen,” and “the coronavirus can only survive in cold temperatures, so the Caribbean is a fantastic choice for your next cruise.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and countless health experts, these statements are blatantly false. The CDC states on its website, “the virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community.” The CDC also advises people to “defer all cruise travel worldwide.”
This is just the latest action by Attorney General Moody, as she continues to work to prevent price gouging and scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Attorney General Moody issued a Consumer Alert urging the public to beware of potential coronavirus scams when researching information about COVID-19. The Attorney General also activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline for consumers to report allegations of illegal price increases related to the COVID-19 state of emergency.
Attorney General Moody is also partnering with all three United States Attorneys in Florida to present a united front against anyone who would exploit the COVID-19 state of emergency to rip off Floridians.
To report price gouging or scams related to the COVID-19 emergency, call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, visit MyFloridaLegal.com or download the NO SCAM app for free in the Apple and Android stores.
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