You would think with all the laws we have that we have enough. Nope. There’s one we don’t have which we desperately need. Let’s call it the Truth in Pricing Law. It would keep advertisers from hiding or lying about what you’ll pay for what you buy.
If you watch ads on TV, subscribe to cell service or cable TV, fly on a plane or stay in a hotel you know the price you see is never the price you actually pay!
Let’s use Flex Seal Brite as our example. You’ve seen Flex Seal with the screen door rowboat, floating pick-up truck and smiling pitch from lovable everyman Phil Swift.
Quoting the website, “Buy 1 Large Can of Flex Seal Brite®, Get 2nd Large Can Free!”
So, how much will the two cans cost? $19.99 is the large font price.
Less obvious is $9.95 shipping and handling plus $9.99 processing for the second can… the free can. So, not $19.99, but $39.93!
Surprise! These costs are disclosed, though not in the same size type as the $19.99.
Imagine going to a store and being hit for processing!
Why do we allow this type of advertising to persist? I have no idea, but they’re everywhere. Enough already.
11 thoughts on “We Need This Law”
The cell phone fees !!!!!! My god, they are written in English and they seem to mean “Extra money for us.” I dislike them. Airline fees are something else. Any day I expect to see a fee for having a pilot fly the plane.
How about the call now for your FREE introductory offer… those are never free either.
See Friedman on this topic: (abstract)
There is no reason to allow sellers to call something “free” when somewhere else in their advertisement they explain why it’s not free.
There is a truth in pricing law! (The FTC Act.) There’s even a free offer law, at both the federal and state levels. It’s just that these laws don’t work. These regulations were essentially ratified by the advertising industry.
my favorite are online ticketing order fees…
Goodspeed its $5 a ticket
Ticketmaster it’s like $4 a ticket.
So for a show ticket costing $40 at the goodspeed, and for two tickets, would be $80 without these fees. With the fees, it’s $90 total…for what? Paying people to do their job-answer the phones, check online orders, give you your tickets at the door, that sort of thing, that’s what, things that the $90 would pay for. If you’re going to charge a processing fee, add it to the ticket price, no matter the sale-online,phone, at the door.
I agree! Every infomercial is the same. If you call now, you get two for the same price, just pay extra shipping and processing. Those fees are so inflated it’s ridiculous. If there is something I want I just wait until it’s in Walmart.
Another worse one is how they speed up the disclaimers at the end of radio commercials at least 4-5x so they’re literally impossible to understand. What’s the point of wasting the 1.5 seconds? The same with the tiny print on TV ads. It’s impossible to read, so why have it?
And BTW, on ticket fees – most places (e.g. Oakdale) STILL charge you a convenience fee even if you buy the ticket at the door!
We probably don’t need a new law. Everybody seems well aware of what the truth is. If you don’t give them your money because this practice offends you, guess what happens?
They sell Flex Seal at Walmart, but I never checked out the price. I’ll have to do that. They have a number of different “as seen on TV” products on display.
What I would like is TAX applied prices in stores. When I want to buy something I want the price I see to include the tax I pay. If I see $19.99 I would like to pay 19.99 not add sales tax onto it……..
I won a cruise for 2 awhile back but it was going to sost around $900 and they were still talking when i said forget about it