ED Magedson – Founder
Lowe's Gas Grill Bait-and-Switch on the same item! Stockbridge Georgia
I was looking for a gas grill to use over the Labor Day weekend 9/13. I searched online and compared Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. Lowes had a Master Forge 4-burner (48,000 BTU) on their website for $62.25 which sounded like an exceptional price. They were showing 15 available for pick-up at my local store in Stockbridge, GA.
I drove to the store and showed the ad to an employee in the grill area and he went to the back and returned with the grill. He stated that he had trouble locating it because it had multiple item numbers accociated with it.
I took the grill and other grilling items to the checkout and the cashier rang it up at $199.00. I informed her that it was $62.25 per their online ad. She spoke with a "manager" on the phone and informed me that it was a different "number". I asked to speak with the manager who's name I didn't get. He restated that it was a different "number".
I also showed him the ad and pointed out that other than the different "number", it was the identical grill with the picture and all specifications both on the grill itself and the online ad being the same.
He again stated that he couldn't honor the price advertised because it was a different "number". He then offered to sell me the grill at a discounted price, but not the advertised price. This was clearly a bait-and-switch tactic.
The manager expected me to go ahead and purchase the grill at a higher than advertised price to in order to avoid the inconvenience of having to search for another grill at some other retailer.
Needless to say, Lowe's has not only lost a sale, but also a customer for life.
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 intention of the bait-and-switch is to encourage purchases of substituted goods, making consumers satisfied with the available stock offered, as an alternative to a disappointment or inconvenience of acquiring no goods (or bait) at all, and reckoning on a seemingly partial recovery of sunk costs expended trying to obtain the bait. It suggests that the seller will not show the original product or service advertised but instead will demonstrate a more expensive product or a similar product with a higher margin.
In the United States, courts have held that the purveyor using a bait-and-switch operation may be subject to a lawsuit by customers for false advertising, and can be sued for trademark infringement by competing manufacturers, retailers, and others who profit from the sale of the product used as bait. However, no cause of action will exist if the purveyor is capable of actually selling the goods advertised, but aggressively pushes a competing product. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait-and-switch)
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/03/2013 09:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/lowes/stockbridge-georgia/lowes-gas-grill-bait-and-switch-on-the-same-item-stockbridge-georgia-1081479. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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