What to do about a “bait and switch” ad?

I recently got a catalog from an on-line retailer and wanted to order a spindle of 50 Verbatium DVD+R DL discs they had advertised for $29.99. I went to their website and found the number listed in the catalog V34-2526 to be listed on their website as a 20 Pack spindle of Verbatium discs, so Icalled them about it and they said they do not even carry a 50 pack of Verbatium discs in the DVD+R DL. They then offered me a 50 pack of Memorex discs instead. Is there anything that can be done about the misleading ad? Others on the net have had similar problems with them.

Asked on March 16, 2011 under General Practice, West Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am having difficulty in understanding if you actually ordered the item - i.e., paid for an item - and if the company sent you something completely different from what you paid for.  Is that the case?  Or were you instead a wise consumer and called ahead?  I would consider reporting them to the better business bureau or the state attorney general's office as frequently listing items that are really not for sale on their web sites.  But I am hard pressed to tell you that you have an actionable claim (i.e., a right to bring a lawsuit) against them.  Think about it: what are your actual damages here?  Nothing.  But you can be a good consumer advocate and help rid them from the internet.  Good luck. 

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