You’ve seen the ads in newspapers, seen them on the internet, heard them on radio commercials, and seen them in TV commercials as well. “Nobody beats our deals!” “We won’t be undersold!” “We have the lowest price, GUARANTEED!”
As a consumer, how can you be certain that the offer being advertised is truly the “lowest price guaranteed?” Also, if an advertiser states in their ad that they meet or beat any advertised offer, and then what does a consumer need to do in order to take advantage of the offer?
Our BBB Code of Advertising has the following guidelines for advertisers:
Lowest price, underselling claims
Despite an advertiser’s best efforts to ascertain competitive prices, the rapidity with which prices fluctuate and the difficulty of determining prices of all sellers at all times preclude an absolute knowledge of the truth of generalized underselling/lowest price claims. Advertisers should have proper substantiation for all claims prior to dissemination; unverifiable underselling claims should be avoided.
Price equaling, meeting competitors’ prices
Advertisements which set out company policy of matching or bettering competitors’ prices may be used, provided the terms of the offer are specific and in good faith and provided the terms of the offer are not unrealistic or unreasonable. Advertisers should be aware that such claims can create an implicit obligation to adjust prices generally for specific merchandise upon a showing that the advertiser’s price for that merchandise is not as low as or lower than a competitor’s, in order to preserve the accuracy of the advertised claims.
An advertisement which expresses a policy of matching or bettering competitors’ prices should conspicuously and fully disclose any material and significant conditions which apply and specify what evidence a consumer must present to take advantage of the offer. Such evidence should not place an unrealistic or unreasonable burden on the consumer.
Whether a business is or is not BBB accredited, they are all held to the standard of accountability. We invite consumers to assist the BBB in efforts to insure that all advertisements adhere to the BBB Code of Advertising. To view the entire code, visit http://evansville.bbb.org/bbb-code-of-advertising/.
For more information you can trust, visit www.evansville.bbb.org, or you’re always welcome to call our office at (812) 473-0202 or toll-free from within our 18-county service area at (800) 359-0979.