In the competitive world, companies adopt various tools to stay in business. Competition between businesses or companies consists of trying to attract the customer to buy their product instead of one produced by the other competitor. In order to capitalize more and more market, companies start giving false advertisements of their products and thus fooling their customers. As advertising has the possibility to influence people into commercial transactions, they fall prey to misleading advertisements. As we all know false advertising is illegal in many countries, but still advertisers finds way to deceive customers in ways that are legal, or legitimately illegal but you cannot approach to court to enforce it. Companies just claim that their product is cheap, superior to others, offers attractive gifts and discounts and people easily get victims to those misleading advertisements. How companies fool their customers in order to dominate the market, might appear a baffling question for lot of people. But we are here with straight explanations. Read on!
10. Rewards and gift packages:
There are different ways to motivate customers with rewards incentives. Many companies will give you gifts, membership cards, certificates for buying their products; others will offer you an actual cash reward or gold coins, while others may provide holiday packages. Some travel companies are fooling their consumers into paying big money for their holiday without providing them the service they promised before. Specialized deal websites are another major concern for shoppers online where they offer you “full holiday package” for a certain price without including flights in it. Many companies are cashing their accounts through these fall practices.
9. Sale and discount:
In many cases, shopkeepers hire merchandiser from a closing store to sell the products left in their shops. All they actually do is they raise the prices on items that were already tagged. For products already marked down, shopkeepers increase the price and then give you “50% discounts” or more than that. Customer thinks that they are getting the product at half the rate printed on the price tag. Another example where companies fool their customers is when they go for “buy one, get one free” sale. The second item is not absolutely “free” under the any condition, since, to get it, the buyer needs to pay the full price of the first item.
8. Companies have gone to court for the right to lie:
We all assume that every ad has some hidden facts but the basic facts need to be the same. For example, when Coca-Cola claimed that their drink is“Vitamin water” by promising the drink would “boost your immune system” and “help fight free radicals,” someone made the remark that the drink is sugar water. Coke responded that they were completely shocked to hear that anyone thought their drink was healthy. Recently Apple was advertising their iPhone 3G as, “Twice as fast. Half the price.” You will think there is nothing better than this, but then when someone points out that there is nothing true about the statement; Apple’s legal defense was the same as Coke’s: “No reasonable person could think like that or they might have misunderstood the statement”.
7. Products are still claiming health benefits:
You must have seen the advertisement claiming that chewing gum makes your teeth glow like a fluorescent light. No, they don’t really whiten teeth. All they really do is whiten your molars, and do nothing to the teeth that actually show when you smile. Coca Cola claims their drink as a healthy drink, but recent studies have shown that cold drinks have adverse affect on human health. Companies claiming their tea as a tool to reduce stress and lose weight are just fooling around with no actual proofs.
6. Misleading illustrations:
When you visit restaurants or hotel to have your meal, you get tempted seeing the pictures posted on their menu. You get excited by their large size and thinks that they are offering you a larger quantity at a reasonable price, but then the picture gets cleared when they will serve the food and you will feel cheated by them after seeing the small size of the food. Another example is advertised images of burgers, which promise you to be bigger in size than they really are. Many a times, every ingredient which is visible from the side being pictured in the advertisement, while in reality they would be much less available. Products which are sold in spare or unassembled may depict a picture of the finished product, without showing a real picture of what the customer is actually buying.
5. Guarantee or warranty:
Many customers get confused between guarantee and warranty provided by the company on their product. If a company does not promise you what they will do if the product doesn’t meet your expectations, then they really don’t care. You will complain that the product is not working well or some of its part have been broken and wants its replacement. Company will tell you that the part you want to be replaced or repaired doesn’t come under either guarantee or warranty or will start giving excuses that you didn’t handle the product well or may be you have tempered it.
4. No risk:
Companies always claim there is no risk in trying their product, when certainly there is. For example, they may often charge yours credit card for the product, assuring you a full refund if there is any risk. However, the risks of such products are many. Customers sometimes may not get the product at all, they may be charged for things they didn’t order and they may need to call the company to return the product, but are unable to do so. They claim that there are no side effects in their product and when customer faces such problems they refuse to accept it by giving some false excuses.
3. Incomplete comparison:
These days companies are fooling their customers by making incomplete comparison between the products. They often use “Better” term for their product which means one is superior to another in some way and also “best” which means it is superior to all others in many ways. However, advertisers often fail to tell the way in which they are being compared, whether in quality, price, size etc. So, without telling how they are taking the terms “better” or “best”, these terms have no meaning at all. An ad which claims “Our cold moisturizer is better” is just promising to be improvement over the other product in the market without telling the way in which their product is better.
2. Manipulation of terms:
Many terms do have some meanings but their literal meaning is not defined, leading to their misuse. For example company manipulates organic food as light food. Organic food means to be low in calories, carbohydrates, sugar etc. The difference arise when companies manipulates “Organic” as “Natural” which has no legal meaning when taking food products. Many a times you will find labels such as “All-Natural”, but they have no meaning. Tobacco companies, is using terms like “regular”, “light”, “ultra-light”, “mild” or “menthols” in order to define that products with such labels had less adverse effects on human health, but in recent years many surveys taken by various agencies proved these terms as misleading.
1. Hidden fees and charges:
Whenever you go to market to buy any item you find that the cost of the product is higher than the advertised price. It is so because service providers often charges fees and the surcharges that are hidden to the customers in the advertised price, though in few cases they are so unanimous that they are not displayed. When booking air tickets online you will find some additional charges when going through the payment procedure. In the case of buying automobiles, there are hidden charges like road tax, insurance, registration fees, and additional charges on accessories that are needed to bring the vehicle on the road. For delivered items, they charges additional shipping and handling fees to maximize their profit margin.