Bait and Switch
• Offering one product or services and selling another.
• The real purpose of the bait and switch scheme is to lure consumers into a business
establishment with attractive offers and then sell them other more expensive products.
• Some bait and switch sellers have been known to go as far as to penalize
salespersons who actually sell the advertised specials to consumers.
False Price Comparison
• Legitimate advertisers often compare a sale price to a "regular" price.
• Unscrupulous advertisers use falsely inflated "regular" prices in order
to deceive consumers into thinking that they are getting a bargain.
Going Out of Business Sales
• Some retail sales establishments falsely advertise that they are going out of business to deceive
consumers into thinking they will be able to buy products at considerable savings.
• Advertised as: "bankruptcy sales," "lost our lease," building coming down," "forced out of business," "final
days," "liquidation sales," "fire sales," "quitting business," or similar names.
• In most cases, businesses wanting to advertise going out of business sales must first obtain a permit from
the sheriff or the city .
Buy One Get One Free
• Offer is made in an advertisement, the price of the product you pay
for is inflated to cover the cost of the "free" product. In other cases,
the "free" product is of low quality.
• Unscrupulous advertisers often intentionally misrepresent the
characteristics, origin, uses, benefits, or qualities of products offered
• Used cars are advertised as "one owner" cars when they have had
• ”Late model" TV sets turn out to be 10 years old.
• Watches are advertised as "railroad watches" when they are in fact
ordinary watches of relatively low quality.
DO'S AND DON'TS
• * Do shop around to make your own price • * Don't allow yourself to be "switched" from a
comparisons low-priced "bait" product to a more expensive
• * Do whenever possible check out all alternative
advertising claims before making purchases
• * Do ask for a "rain check" when advertised
products are not available for sale
• * Do ask to see a permit for a going-out-of
business sale before buying at such sales
• * Do be on your guard when you see
advertisements offering anything "free”
• * Do report all cases of false advertising to
the Department of Consumer Affairs
The Five-O-'Clock Surprise
• Consumers who do not get a written estimate are often surprised by
unanticipated repair charges when they pick up their cars.
• Repair shops that practice the "Five O'clock Surprise" give very
moderate quotes and then raise the final charges considerably,
claiming that they found additional problems once they began to
work on the car.
• Some repair shops advertise check-ups or preventive maintenance
service for very reasonable rates.
• Unethical shops use these maintenance specials to deceive
consumers into authorizing expensive, and often unneeded, repairs.
• Also known at "50%" operate in service stations along major
• Prey on motorists stopping for gasoline.
– They often spray oil on the wheels of the car and then claim that
the wheel bearings or other parts are leaking.
– They sometimes puncture tires or cut water hoses and then show
the unfortunate motorists the damages.
DO'S AND DON'TS FOR AUTO REPAIRS
• * Do check a repair shop out with the • * Don't forget to ask for old replaced
Better Business Bureau before taking parts
your car there
• * Don't tell a repair shop what repairs
• * Do ask for a written-estimate before
authorizing repairs they should do unless you are absolutely
sure that the repairs are needed
• * Do get several estimates from
different repair shops for major repair
jobs NOTE: YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY
FOR THE ESTIMATES, SO FIRST
DETERMINE HOW MUCH
• * Do ask if repairs are guaranteed and
get all guarantees in writing
• * Do look for a repair shop that has
Protections against False Advertising Federal
• The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main federal agency that monitors false advertising
• * The FTC can issue a cease-and-desist order and bring a civil lawsuit on behalf of people who have
• * The FTC may seek a court injunction to stop a false advertisement
• * The FTC may require an advertiser to run corrective advertisements that state the
correct facts and admit that an earlier advertisement was deceptive
Better Business Bureau
• Search for accredited businesses.
• File complaints against companies.