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Fighting Fake Discounts on Websites: Legal Options for Consumers

Mar 13, 2023
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
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We all love a good deal. But sometimes the lower prices consumers see during a sale are all part of a marketing tactic, designed to trick and deceive unknowing customers. Today we are discussing fake discounts on websites.

What are fake discounts?

These fake discounts can be frustrating for consumers looking to save money on their purchases. Also known as phantom markdowns, this term refers to the advertised discounts that do not actually exist and are being used to trick consumers into thinking they are getting a good deal.

The way this works is that the company sells the product at the regular price point, while momentarily hiking up the price disproportionately in order to later on provide customers with a “discount.” This is considered a false representation of the true price, and there are certain legal options available for consumers that have run into this.

If you believe you have been the victim of a fake discount on a website, there are certain steps you can take to fight back against fake discounts and protect your rights as a consumer.

Document everything

If you are considering any type of legal action against a company for a fake discount, it is important to keep good records of your interactions with the company and any relevant documents (such as receipts or proof of purchase). These records can be helpful and even vital in building your case and supporting your claim.

File a complaint

One of the most common methods is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is the primary agency responsible for protecting consumers from deceptive and fraudulent business practices, including fake discounts. You can file a complaint with the FTC by visiting their website or calling them.

Spread the word

If you have been the victim of a fake discount, it is important to let others know about your experience. You can write a review of the website and post it online, or share your story with friends and family to warn them about the potential for fake discounts.

Contact the website and demand a refund

If you have already purchased a product from a website that was advertised with a fake discount, you can demand a refund for the difference between the advertised price and the true price. Be sure to keep any receipts or proof of purchase, as this may be necessary to back up your claim.

Consider joining or starting a class action lawsuit

If you are not the only person who has been the victim of fake discounts on a particular website, you may be able to join or start a class action lawsuit. In a class action lawsuit, a group of people with a common complaint (in this case, being the victim of fake discounts) can sue the company as a group.

This can be an effective way to hold the company accountable for its actions and seek damages on behalf of all the members of the class. It will also connect you with a powerful network, where you can band together and provide moral support for each other along the process.

Legal cases can take time to resolve, and it is important to be patient throughout the process. Keep in mind that it may take some time to gather evidence, file documents, and reach a resolution in your case.

Final thoughts

This article has outlined some of the things you can do, in order to protect yourself and other consumers from being tricked by deceptive business practices. Remember, you have legal options available to you, and it is important to use them to hold companies accountable for their actions.

If you wish legal aid in order to combat false advertising and fake discounts, we would love to hear from you. Contact our law firm today and let us help you navigate the legal options available to fight back against false claims on websites. We have the experience and knowledge to help you get the results you deserve. Call now to schedule a consultation

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