What is Bait and Switch?
Bait and switch is a deceptive sales practice in which a customer is “baited” by advertisements of products or services at an attractive price, but then “switched” to different, usually costlier items. It’s a type of fraud and is illegal in many countries.
Examples of Bait and Switch
Bait and switch tactics are used in a wide variety of situations, including:
- A store advertises a product at a low price, but when the customer arrives, the store is out of stock. The customer is then encouraged to buy a more expensive product.
- A travel agency advertises a package deal for a popular destination, but when the customer arrives at the agency, the deal is no longer available. The customer is then offered a more expensive package.
- A car dealership advertises a sale on a certain model of car, but when the customer arrives at the dealership, the car is no longer available. The customer is then encouraged to buy a different, more expensive car.
The Consequences of Bait and Switch
Bait and switch is a form of fraud and is illegal in many countries. It is also unethical and can damage a company’s reputation. If customers feel they have been deceived, they may not only avoid the company in the future, but they may also spread negative word-of-mouth about the company.
How to Avoid Bait and Switch
Consumers can take steps to protect themselves from bait and switch tactics. Here are some tips:
- Be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals.
- Read the company’s return policy before making a purchase.
- Don’t be pressured into making a purchase. Take your time and shop around.
- Be wary of door-to-door salesmen offering deals that sound too good to be true.
- Be aware of hidden costs, such as shipping and handling fees.
- Research the company or product before making a purchase.
Bait and switch is a deceptive sales practice that can lead to harm both for consumers and businesses. Consumers should be aware of this practice and take steps to protect themselves.