What constitutes “bait and switch”?

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What constitutes “bait and switch”?

I went to a professional sports game tonight. I got there several hours before the game was supposed to start; got there at 3:45, game starts at 7:30. I parked in a private lot that advertised on several signs “$4 All Day Parking” The attendant tried charging me the $8 “Event Parking” that was not displayed anywhere. I presume the “Event rate” signs go up at 4 PM. I told him that the sign said $4 and I expected to pay the advertised price. I told him that he was performing “bait and switch” by offering a service at a specific price then when I got there telling me the price changed.

Asked on October 14, 2010 under General Practice, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

"Bait and switch" is a term that usually means that a party has committed a fraud in some way by say, false advertising to consumers of a product in order to get them in to purchase a product and then advising that the product was not available.  Generally store owners that use this tactic have "fine print" added to the bottom of their advertisements.  What you are claiming is that there was nothing here at all about the event parking but only the all day parking sign.  Do you know that the sign only goes up at 4?  Was it there when you left in place of the all day parking sign?  Then I can see your point.  Suing for the money here, though, seems to be a wast of your time.  Perhaps contacting your state attorney general's office and inquiring from their consumer fraud division as to the proper agency with which to file a complaint might be the way to go.  Good luck. 


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