What Is a 'Bait and Switch' Scheme?

Consumer Rights Law Firm Serving Clients in Chicago, Illinois, and Nationwide

Beware of Bait and Switch, Other Schemes - Markoff Leinberger
The Chicago false advertising lawyers at Markoff
Leinberger want consumers to be aware of bait-and-
switch schemes.

The false advertising lawyers at Markoff Leinberger want consumers to be aware of bait-and-switch schemes.

When fraudulent companies try to pull the wool over your eyes, you need an experienced attorney to stand up and fight for you. If you’ve been defrauded in a bait-and-switch scheme, please contact the consumer rights lawyers at Markoff Leinberger today at 1-877-905-5161 to schedule your free case consultation.

This is one of the oldest and most devious tricks in the book of unfair business practices. Dishonest companies continue to employ the tactic despite innumerable court decisions in favor of consumers.

Recognizing a Bait and Switch

A bait-and-switch scheme is a type of consumer fraud in which a dishonest company first “baits” the would-be customer with products or services offered at a low price. But then, once they have lured you into their scheme, they claim to have run out of the advertised products, or they try to sell you up to a more costly product or service. This is the “switch.”

Here are some common examples of bait-and-switch schemes:

  • A resort offers a special deal in which you receive certain products or services for free as part of your stay, but upon receiving them, you are told that there are service fees associated with accepting them.
  • A car dealership promises rock-bottom interest rates, but when you get ready to sign the deal, you discover that only a select few individuals with perfect credit scores are eligible to receive these rates.
  • A big box store offers to give you a free product when you purchase a related one, but when you get there, you are told that they have already sold out, and the retailer tries to sell you up on a more expensive model.
  • An electronics store runs a full-page ad in the local newspaper that includes photos of items you can receive as part of a buy-one-get-one promotion. But when you arrive at the store, you discover that the actual promotional items are not the ones pictured in the ad.

Bait-and-switch is classic false advertising in that you don’t get what you pay for, but there’s a twist. You’re actually pressured into paying more than you had originally planned to. It’s highly manipulative, and courts have consistently decided in favor of plaintiffs who sue for damages in such cases.

Falling victim to a bait-and-switch scheme isn’t your fault. The onus is on the provider of the product or service to stay honest, but when they fail to do so, an experienced attorney can help. Please contact Markoff Leinberger today at 1-877-905-5161 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.