Beware of misleading advertisements

07/11/2012 11:47

Consumers are urged to beware of misleading advertisements when shopping during this festive season.

The Council, as of October this year, found a total of 45 cases of misleading advertisements compared to 44 for whole of last year.

The most common misleading advertisement is the sale price tags displayed by supermarkets. Through its market surveillance, the Council found a number of supermarkets with promotional sale prices that were higher than that displayed in the price tags. Some products which were understood to be on sale had the normal price marked on them instead.

Consumers often rush to put sale items in their shopping trolleys without thoroughly checking the products and ensuring that the sales are genuine without any gimmicks.

Other forms of misleading advertisements include sale prices of electronic goods which often don’t include necessary accessories like cords etc. One common misleading advertisement is when supermarkets have sales on certain items, but then the sale prices are only at “selected stores”. In one case, a major supermarket had a newspaper advertisement where it was stated that the sale prices were only in their selected branches, but the names of these branches were not disclosed. Council has been receiving such complaints from the consumers which are becoming a norm.

The Council is warning traders to refrain from unethical trade practices that lure consumers to spend more.

However, consumers can benefit from some bargains particularly ones that are not offered always by the traders. It might be a good idea to make bulk purchases if it comes cheap, for instance milk. It is, however, advisable to think whether you will need the product or not before buying them. Refrain from buying items for the sake of sale where it is bought and forgotten about later.

Consumers are advised to check a product twice before purchase. Rushed and impulse shopping often results in regrets. Instead do comparative shopping. Do the right thing in the first place and it will save your time and money.