Bait & Switch

When an offer is made for a product or service and a customer does not get what was offered this is called bait and switch. Often times there are extra charges; or the price is different; or the product or service is completely different then what was represented. Bait and switch practices can be the basis for a class action. If you have experienced bait and switch, please contact us.

Wikipedia says, “Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by merchants’ advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items (“switching”).”

The FTC has some guidelines about what is “bait and switch” advertising and what isn’t:

  • If the seller does not intend to sell you the “bait,” and does any of the following in the course of selling other merchandise, then it’s probably the “bait and switch”
  • If the seller has the ability to sell you the “bait” but talks you into buying something else. That’s not “bait and switch.”
  • If the seller has run an advertisement which specifies limited quantities, that’s not “bait and switch.”

One example of a class action involving bait and switch involves Dell computers. The suit in California accuses Dell of “bait and switch” practices, false advertising, fraud and deceit in sales and advertising, and breach of contract. The case centers on the allegation that Dell advertises low prices for its computers, but people who try to purchase a machine at the advertised price find it’s no longer available for that price.

If you have experienced bait and switch, please contact us.

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