What We Can Do

Consumer Voice - - Feature -

• 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

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