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Office of Consumer Protection

Advertisements

"Lowest Price of the Year", "Best Deal in Town!" Can you really believe the advertisements you see? Have you ever been frustrated because you went to the store to get the advertised item but they were out of the item?

Advertisements should be viewed with an educated eye.  Advertisements by retailers and service providers are subject to both the Montgomery County Consumer Protection statute and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations.  These laws require advertisements to fairly and accurately represent the goods and services being promoted.

Sometimes, there may have been a price mistake in the ad.  Mistakes can happen, and advertisements have usually been viewed by the courts as offers to deal, not creating any binding obligation on the part of the merchant.  If there has been a mistake, the merchant should take prompt action to correct it.  For instance, by placing a correction ad in the newspaper and posting a sign in the store.  Under Montgomery County law, a merchant is required to have enough of an advertised item to meet reasonably expected public demand.  Of course, sometimes demand can be unexpectedly high, and an item will sell out very quickly. If only limited quantities are available, the ad should state the limitation.  If you believe a store has a pattern of never having the advertised sale items, you should file a complaint with us so that we can investigate it.

Use the internet to research prices for the item you are looking for to determine if the advertised price is in fact the best deal in town. If a store does not have the advertised item, ask the store manager for a rain check. They are not required to do so, but most reputable stores will issue a rain check.

Consumer World's "Mouse Print" is a website that shows real life examples of how the "big print giveth but the small print taketh away." 

 

 

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