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Misleading Advertising

Misleading Advertising

Old Jun 8th 2005, 12:30 pm
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Default Misleading Advertising

Those of us used to the UK law on Truth in advertising, whatever it is really called, must be constantly appalled by the misleading statements in US advertising.

Here are a couple of examples:

1. The sneaky little misleading GM commercial about "All Americans" getting employee discounts barely mentions that "All Americans" can only get this offer at "participating dealers", without giving any hint as to how many of them there are or where they are.

2. The Blockbuster video "no late fee" advertisement. When I checked at our local store they had a sign up saying that they don't participate. In fact, they said, no store in Florida participates in the "no late fee" promotion.

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Old Jun 8th 2005, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Every car dealership here in the valley claims to be the #1 in the world! in sales. Oh and they are discounting $20,000 dollars off a $40,000 dollar car. because they are such nice guys.
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Originally Posted by TRPardoe
2. The Blockbuster video "no late fee" advertisement. When I checked at our local store they had a sign up saying that they don't participate. In fact, they said, no store in Florida participates in the "no late fee" promotion.
Well theres another lie because ours does.

If there is one phrase that you should never, ever forget here in the US it is CAVEAT EMPTOR! Basically never beleive anything someone tells you if they are selling you something, trying to sell you something or have the slightest chance of getting their hands on some of your folding in any way at all.
There are no consumer laws here and if you buy sommat based on lies (er I mean adverts) its your problem.
 
Old Jun 8th 2005, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Like the auto dealer here that advertised you can walk away with a car costing $000 if we don't sell you the same car as our competition for less than their advertised price. Just bring in our ad and theirs.

We did this and they said it had to be a reasonable sale price and the other dealer's price was not reasonable. Huh? Didn't mention that anywhere in the small print.


Originally Posted by TRPardoe
Those of us used to the UK law on Truth in advertising, whatever it is really called, must be constantly appalled by the misleading statements in US advertising.

Here are a couple of examples:

1. The sneaky little misleading GM commercial about "All Americans" getting employee discounts barely mentions that "All Americans" can only get this offer at "participating dealers", without giving any hint as to how many of them there are or where they are.

2. The Blockbuster video "no late fee" advertisement. When I checked at our local store they had a sign up saying that they don't participate. In fact, they said, no store in Florida participates in the "no late fee" promotion.

T R Pardoe,
- leaving his business signature out for a change ;-)
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Aye, the small print is great, like subway...only ultra healty if you eat with plain bread with no sauces and cheese...then it all adds up...better than eating at McD's, but it's not as healthy as they first make out...and how are they able to compare themselves to McD and KFC when there a sandwich place, not a fast food joint...hmmm...
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Originally Posted by Rete
Like the auto dealer here that advertised you can walk away with a car costing $000 if we don't sell you the same car as our competition for less than their advertised price. Just bring in our ad and theirs.

We did this and they said it had to be a reasonable sale price and the other dealer's price was not reasonable. Huh? Didn't mention that anywhere in the small print.

This reminds me of a news article I read a few years ago. Not sure where it happened, but this is a true story:

A car dealership ran a promotion in their local newspaper which included a coupon for $200 off a new car purchase. A guy saw this and promptly bought 100 newspapers, methodically cut out each $200 coupon, and showed up at the dealership to "buy" a new $20,000 car -- paid for with his one hundred $200 coupons.

The coupons did NOT say anything in the fine print about being limited to one per customer and/or purchase. The dealership said even though the coupon did not say this, they would not honor his coupons and give him a free car. He sued -- and lost. Apparently the judge agreed with the dealership, something about how no reasonable person should expect to get a $20,000 new car for free after spending only $50 to buy 100 newspapers to collect one hundred $200 coupons.

I suppose in this case the judge probably made the right decision, because if the dealership was made to honor this guy's coupons then they'd have to honor anyone else's attempts to do the same thing, and they could go out of business. At the same time, it is a lesson about how important it is to be absolutely clear in the fine print.

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Old Jun 8th 2005, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Originally Posted by Jenney & Mark

A car dealership ran a promotion in their local newspaper which included a coupon for $200 off a new car purchase. A guy saw this and promptly bought 100 newspapers, methodically cut out each $200 coupon, and showed up at the dealership to "buy" a new $20,000 car -- paid for with his one hundred $200 coupons.
Argos did the same with a typo, £10 instead of £1000 for a tele, someone bought a 100 online...they did honour the first purchase and I think they honoured for other people, but they wouldn't for multi purchases...it was a botch up on there half, so probably claimed insurance or wrote it off...
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Here's my favorite about false advertising...supposedly "1-hour photo" places who say to come back in 3 or 4 hours...because they are backed up or whatever. Shouldn't they be called "4-hour photo" processors?

Especially interesting was when I brought my film to a Ritz or MotoPhoto (sp?), and they couldn't do it one hour by any means
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

I remember a few years ago IBM advertised a $1500ish laptop for $0.01 and Kodak did the same with their brand new digital camera that cost around $600. Both had 50 or 60 orders by the time they noticed. I believe IBM immediately said they would honour the price but it took the threat of 60 odd people individually suing them before they agreed. Now if you look at the terms and conditions of almost all online retailers they have a sentence along the lines of "we will not honour prices as as a result of a pricing error." A good few will also say they will give you the option of cancelling the order or paying the real price.

Back in England I once went to a local one off video rental store who were advertising 3 videos for 24 hours for a fiver. I returned the videos a day late and I went with my extra 5 and was told I had to pay full price for the extra day. After a lot of arguing they let me just pay the 5. The next time I went in the sign had changed to say that you would be charged full price if they were late.
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

I just thought of another coupon-fine-print mishap -- this actually happened to me, but luckily in my favor!

When I was in college, every student got a university phone directory each year. Every office and academic dept also got at least one directory as well. In the back of the directory were coupons to get discounts at various local merchants. A particular favorite was one from TGI Friday's restaurant. The coupon allowed one free appetizer with a purchase. There were actually two coupons -- one for the fall semester, and one for the spring semester.

There were several reasons the TGIF's coupon was a highly valued commodity on campus:

1) There was no one-per-table coupon limit.
2) There was no minimum price for the required purchase.
3) There was no maximum price for the free appetizer.
4) You could rip them out of directory's found in various places on campus (the university library, the student activities office, etc.) and no one would care or notice.
5) TGIF's was GOOD grub for us poor college kids.

My group of friends would collect our coupons and go to TGIF's and then each order a free refill soda, which was about $1.00 back then. (We actually only needed to have one person order a soda to meet the purchase requirement, since there was no minimum purchase price, but we didn't want to all share one drink!) Then we would order at least one "Three-for-All" -- their BIG appetizer sampler consisting of Potato Skins, Fried Mozzarella and Buffalo Wings. If my memory serves me, this cost approximately $9.99 -- but we got it for free with the coupon. Sometimes we'd use two coupons (again, no limit on the number of coupons per table!) if we were really hungry.

By rationing out our coupons and collecting them from other places on campus (most of us had campus jobs and had access to them where we worked), we could usually get about 3-4 good meals out of this each semester, and each meal only cost us about $2 apiece.

The coupons had the same flimsy requirements for about two years before TGIF's caught on that they were losing quite a few bucks off us college kids. Still, it wasn't OUR fault that they didn't put the right fine print in there!

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Old Jun 8th 2005, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Reading this thread reminded me of our experience when buying our car last November. I found it on the internet - it seemed such a bargain that we dashed off to the dealership, 50 miles away, early next day. We like d the car immediately, (a 2004 Chevvy Monte Carlo with 12,000 miles on the clock - a manufacturer's vehicle in perfect condition) but when I mentioned the price stated on the net ($12,111 - odd price!)the salesman said "What????" I repeated it and he
said - No - can't be. He went off to check, and came back confused.
He said that it was a bad mistake and if he sold it for that price they'd lose money on it. I thought it was a scam, but we grumbled a bit, told him we'd driven 50 miles on the strength of the internet ad, and he agreed that if we accepted minimum trade-in for the old car we could have it for that price.
As the old car WAS old - though reliable, we agreed. I reckon we still got a bargain, because I checked other similar cars on offer and they were all at least 4 or 5 thousand dollars more.
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Originally Posted by Duncan Roberts

Back in England I once went to a local one off video rental store who were advertising 3 videos for 24 hours for a fiver. I returned the videos a day late and I went with my extra 5 and was told I had to pay full price for the extra day. After a lot of arguing they let me just pay the 5. The next time I went in the sign had changed to say that you would be charged full price if they were late.
somin' similar about a sign change...sainsburys a couple years ago, the sign said crate of smirnoff £6, and it was on a crate 48 pack boxed crate, so I got that, they then said that the sign meant the individual 6 packs within..I told them the sign didn't say that, nor were there any individual 6 packs around, they then said that they hadn't opened the big crate yet..by this point there was a bit of a queue and the manage just said ***** it, and let me have the whole lot for £6...bargain
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Originally Posted by Bob
somin' similar about a sign change...sainsburys a couple years ago, the sign said crate of smirnoff £6, and it was on a crate 48 pack boxed crate, so I got that, they then said that the sign meant the individual 6 packs within..I told them the sign didn't say that, nor were there any individual 6 packs around, they then said that they hadn't opened the big crate yet..by this point there was a bit of a queue and the manage just said ***** it, and let me have the whole lot for £6...bargain
When I worked at Tesco, I was surprised what the supermarkets would do when faced with a customer complaint. In the situation you describe, Tesco would most definitely honour the price. Some customers will actually switch the POS labels to make it look like we made a mistake, then they'd get the product for the price of something completely different.

I guess Tesco didn't really care, they make billions anyway.
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Old Jun 8th 2005, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

For anyone living in Michigan- a little off topic.

A little tip for ya... there is a 'scan law' in MI that compensates you if you are over charged and it applies to all item large and small. It is only $5 but hey $5 is $5. Basically the only conditions are that the item must have a price on it (so it does not apply to signs on shelves). Lets say your chewing gum has a price ticket of $1 and it scans at $1.25 you are entiled to $5 for the error. Apparrently Meijers are notorious for this but I can't say that I ever check my recepit that closely.

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Old Jun 9th 2005, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Misleading Advertising

Here is a crafty one. When buying wallpaper recently the price said "$24.99 a roll", expensive, yep, but all the rolls are double rolls (on one roll not two) so the price per roll is actually $49.98. There is no way you can buy just one roll.

Our local Chevy dealer is known for its ongoing sales and promotions. The one I love is when they advertize they will give you $7,000.00 over book price for your old car. Yeah, right, they will just roll it all in to the price of the new car.
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