What We Can Do
• Read ads carefully to find out what is really being offered. Read everything. • When shopping, take ads with you in case you have questions about the advertised price, brand, or quality. Display items often show attachments or accessories that are not included in the sale price. Ask exactly what is included before you buy. If you see an ad stating that merchandise is 50 per cent off, don’t assume that it’s necessarily a bargain. Stores may raise their prices merely to make sale prices seem more appealing. • Be cautious about ‘free’ offers. An ad must inform you if something else must be purchased in order to get the ‘free’ item, as well as how much it will cost you. Some companies raise their regular prices to cover the cost of free offers. The ad should clearly disclose the terms of ‘free’ offers. • The ultimate responsibility to resist false/misleading advertising is yours. Try to be unemotional about statements like ‘fantastic savings’, ‘lowest prices in town’, etc. If you come across a misleading ad, submit an online complaint at www.ASCIONLINE.org.
Dr Sheetal Kapoor, associate professor, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi