Bait and Switch

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Bait and Switch

A deceptive sales technique that involves advertising a low-priced item to attract customers to a store, then persuading them to buy more expensive goods by failing to have a sufficient supply of the advertised item on hand or by disparaging its quality.

This practice is illegal in many states under their Consumer Protection laws.

bait and switch

n. a dishonest sales practice in which a business advertises a bargain price for an item in order to draw customers into the store and then tells the prospective buyer that the advertised item is of poor quality or no longer available and attempts to switch the customer to a more expensive product. Electronic items such as stereos, televisions, telephones are favorites, but there are also loan interest rates which turn out to be only for short term or low maximums, and then the switch is to a more expensive loan. In most states this practice is a crime and can also be the basis for a personal lawsuit if damages can be proved. The business using "bait and switch" is an apt target for a class action since there are many customers but each transaction scarcely warrants the costs of a suit alone.

References in periodicals archive ?
This lawsuit will shed light on Uponor's use of bait-and-switch tactics to obtain NSF approval for Multicor and AlumiPex pipe.
Like the 1999 "Battle in Seattle," the Washington "peace" march illustrated the Communist network's skill at organizing mass protests using front groups and bait-and-switch tactics.
Indeed, one might go so far as to accuse Yergin and Stanislaw of playing a game of bait-and-switch.
today charged that a Philadelphia carpet cleaning business uses bait-and-switch tactics and other illegal practices to clean out consumers' wallets.
Buggy software, bait-and-switch advertising, corporations that harvest personal information and sell it for a profit--mediocrity comes in many guises.
The Department of Corporations today warned consumers to beware of a bait-and-switch scam using CDs to lure seniors into buying risky financial products.
Even when you do your homework and study the plans thoroughly, (beneficiaries) are still likely to find out it's a bait-and-switch,'' Waxman said.
At least the scope of the bait-and-switch tactics is becoming evident early on.
Padilla's proposal to get around the two-thirds vote requirement sounds like a bait-and-switch as was the case with the school bond money that was recently diverted from the San Fernando Valley.