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What is False Advertising?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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False advertising is any type of promotion that deceives consumers. Even advertising that only has the potential to be misunderstood by consumers may be considered deceptive. In most cases, false advertising leads the consumer to believe that he is somehow profiting from a purchase. He may think he is getting a good deal, saving money, or buying something that will perform in a specific manner, but actually, the advantage is all on the side of the advertiser. Any potential benefit to the consumer is usually non-existent.

Due to many instances of false advertising, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has regulatory power to step in and end any potentially misleading or deceptive claims. The FTC investigates incidences where claims are made that could lead to a purchase because of misunderstanding of the product or service. This does not apply to claims made by politicians, though many argue it should.

In order to report false advertising in the US, people must have a copy of the original ad to send to the FTC or to their state's consumer protection office. The ad must prove a potential to deceive. This usually doesn’t mean that a person will be able to sue the company, though they may be able to stop certain types of claims being made or get their money back for a product or service they purchased. Usually, the FTC steps in to require the advertiser to add more information to any ads or on product labels, or asks the advertiser to stop an ad campaign. The agency cannot issue warrants for arrest or impose fines unless the advertiser does not comply with its requests.

There are many types of false advertising that consumers see on a regular basis. A common form is called inflated price comparison. In this form, retailers raise the price of items, and then offer them for a lower “sale” price, which indicates to most consumers that they are getting a “deal” on merchandise since it is supposedly on sale. Inflated price comparison might be used when customers have loyalty cards to grocery stores or retail stores of a certain size. Cardholders are able to purchase products at presumed discounted prices. While some loyalty cards can save a little money, they don’t when other product prices are inflated.

Another common type is a product sold with a rebate. The rebate is not given at point of purchase, but instead must be claimed by the purchaser and, unfortunately, some companies are notorious for not giving rebates back in a timely manner. When the advertisement doesn’t claim that the price is “after rebate,” shoppers can expect to pay the full price.

Services that offer introductory prices may be potentially deceptive when ads don’t explicitly state that the price will increase after the introductory period has expired. Other forms include making false claims about products, such as "Georgia" peaches grown in California. Using fillers in packaging is also false advertising because it can increase weight, making the consumer feel like he is getting more of the actual product than is really in a package.

Many companies now attempt to avoid accusations of deceptive advertising by stating conditions of offers. Unfortunately, these may be printed in small print, far from the advertised price. A wary consumer should always look at the conditions and exclusions prior to making a purchase.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a MyLawQuestions contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By anon995257 — On Apr 15, 2016

Just have to say what a disappointment Tim Horton's is. One local restaurant is closed between 10PM and 5AM, even though the web site clearly states the store is "open 24 hours." Their reason: they claim they can not find any one to staff the restaurant those hours. Yet they refuse to correct the information on the web site.

By anon946307 — On Apr 18, 2014

I bought shoes online that said leather upper and when I received it, it was all man made materials. That was a false statement. What can be done with this company doing this to the customers?

By anon353580 — On Oct 31, 2013

So I go to this site and they guaranteed that you will get your money and all you have to do is promote their website. They said you can make $1500 or $2500 a month. They're just liars, because at the end you get nothing.

They get you to take this survey to make sure you're not a robot, then halfway through the survey, it stopped working. No money. Where is my money?

By anon346495 — On Aug 29, 2013

Would it be false advertisement if the product's ad in the store is saying that, for example, a TV is 1080p but it is actually 720p? And what should we do if this happens to us?

By Jenn91 — On Feb 02, 2013

I need some help. I went to this place called Speedy Cash. I go there when I need money in advance. Anyway, I was there and I saw that they were selling an Xbox 360 with kinect and the kinect adventure game for $360 after tax. Yes, I know it was overpriced, but they were willing to take payments, so I got one for my boyfriend and gave it to him when we got home. But, when he opened it, it was sealed closed and it just popped open, so I knew something was off.

He took out the xbox to set it up and the kinect wasn't in there and the game wasn't either. Instead, it was two controllers and three games, two that were the same but none of which were listed on the box. So I looked at the box and on one side is a small sticker that says it has the xbox two controllers and two games. It only is on one side and it covers the word kinect. The sticker does not state that the kinect was not included.

Now one reason I got the damn thing was because he wanted the kinect and his xbox was breaking! So I checked the number on the system and the one on the box and they match, so someone must have taken out the kinect and original game right? What do I do? I called them the next day and they said no refund and then the guy said he would see what he could do and that he would call back and still hasn't. Is this false advertising? If so, what should I do?

By anon289384 — On Sep 04, 2012

So this car dealer stated the car comes certified pre-owned with the Lincoln premier warranty, blah, blah, so I decide to go try to purchase the car then once I make the two-hour drive and I get there, the salesman claims the car isn't certified and it would cost $1k to get it certified but they can sell me an extended warranty for 1,500 because the car is a thousand miles over the limit Lincoln will allow them to certify the cars.

Like I just wasted my whole day. They just put that stuff to reel me in and now they are trying to sell me a car for $27,995 (out the door) listed on the car is $25,995, yet the book value is only 24k.

Can I do anything about this? I really love the car I originally made the long trip to buy, but I feel like they misled me and all potential buyers just to get us in and have us spend more money for a useless service contract.

By anon284101 — On Aug 08, 2012

I bought a PC from ASUS, and it stated clearly in the ad that it came with MS Office, but there was no product key included. When I called them, they said, "yes, office is installed on it, but that's a trial version. You have to purchase the key to get the full version". It's borderline fraud. I knew the price seemed too good to be true.

By anon279596 — On Jul 13, 2012

Is there a case if you false advertise a brand name without making money?

By anon256100 — On Mar 20, 2012

Comcast should be busted for false advertising. They are greedy liars about their prices and charges. They charged us 50 for installation and now a $150 deposit? We were never told we were going to be charged an additional $150. Don't get me started on their xfinity boxes. Comcast is a huge monopoly and our government isn't doing anything about it.

By anon252410 — On Mar 05, 2012

I entered a contract to purchase a home in short sale and the contract is still pending due to the seller. My question is: I see the home currently advertised on several websites for a lower price than before. Would it be possible to get the reduced price?

By anon247522 — On Feb 14, 2012

A website claims they can teach you how to change the world and to click here for a free report. Then it says,

once you click and enter your e-mail that the report is being edited and will be sent when it is completed. I feel this is a ploy to get email addresses. What can be done about this?

By anon237253 — On Dec 28, 2011

I just left Subway. I am confused on the difference between the cheese steak sandwich and the Big philly cheese steak sandwich. According to the picture on the menu, the cheese steak has less meat and four pieces of cheese. The Big Philly Cheese shows more meat and eight pieces of cheese. It is obvious that the Big Philly has more on it. The picture entices you. I was just informed it only had extra meat.

If the sandwiches are the same, why do they look so different, let alone the prices. It makes you wonder why you would pay 3.00 extra. It's a shame that restaurants are cutting corners and are not required to update the pictures on their menu. It seems like a case of false advertising to me. No more Subway.

By anon232937 — On Dec 03, 2011

Manchester City Soccer Club Store yesterday advertised a sweatshirt at $58 on their website but at the checkout the price showed $94. I called the clerk and was told it was a price increase. Should it not be sold at the advertised price? --Phil

By anon227767 — On Nov 06, 2011

I went to purchase a home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and was provided information from the developers stating they are the "Exclusive Builder" within the community. Web site for the community also states they are "Exclusive Builder" there. After signing on the dotted line, purchasing a lot and spending a small fortune to have a home built by them, we discovered they are not exclusive builders within the community. Is there another definition for the term exclusive builder that I'm not aware of? How deceptive can they get.

By anon202919 — On Aug 03, 2011

pizza hut's any pizza, any size, any crust, any toppings for $10 promotion is quite misleading. they charge for extra cheese, stuffed crust, and don't allow double toppings. they don't even say how much more the extra charges are. you shouldn't be allowed to use the word "any" in advertising unless it truly means just that.

By anon187975 — On Jun 19, 2011

At Sam's Club I purchased a box of 10 of "California's Finest Peaches." The outside of the box shows a fresh sliced peach (stone-free with red center and pit removed). The peaches are actually cling peaches and the pit will not separate from the fruit. Instead of sliced peaches, I have to whittle the fruit away from the pit. Totally deceptive.

By anon185950 — On Jun 13, 2011

Found The WORKS Toilet Bowl Cleaner in identical sized & shaped containers at Walmart and Dollar General stores. The Walmart one was labeled as containing 28 oz for $1.19, while at Dollar General the bottle's label listed it as 32 oz and had a bold swish across the label reading 33 percent more --for $1.50. How does an identical bottle contain 4 ounces more than the other one when they are equally full?

By CamlHerdr1 — On Jun 04, 2011

What can one do when they purchase an item online, receive a confirmation, have payment taken out of bank, then about a week later be sent an email stating that said item is not available? However, by clicking on my confirmation email order number the same item comes up only at an increased price of 1 1/2. The item in question is the exactly same product, sold from the exact same vendor.

I suspect they canceled my order so that the product price could be raised. Thanks in advance. I do have copies of all transaction including web site of said product.

By anon177183 — On May 17, 2011

so a 1.20 sale was offered from a website for 12 hours. when we went to purchase the hot items were sold before the event, and the site "crashed" and no one was able to buy anything within the time limit. does this count?

By anon175217 — On May 12, 2011

Last month I saw an ad on apartments for rent magazine in south Florida that says that if you lease an apartment for 12 months you will get a month free. I went three days after the ad came out to inquiry about it and the Property Manager told me that was not available.

I ended up renting the apartment but I was not given the free month of rent. I just saw the same ad in the magazine that came out a week or so ago. Should they honor the ad? I will sign the contract in two weeks. If not, where do I file the complaint?

By anon169327 — On Apr 20, 2011

I have had an ongoing problem with Walgreens. Every week, I receive a sale circular in the paper. I make a shopping list from that circular.

Week after week, I go, and they have very few of the items available that were advertised. They continue to tell me the same story about that they order the products but the warehouse does not send them ample supply to satisfy demand. Sometimes they have never had a single unit in the store on the day the sale is to begin. Please tell me how they can advertise nationwide products that they do not have in stock.

By anon165281 — On Apr 04, 2011

there is a house online for $1000 a month. I go and look at it and i love it, but they call me back and say it is $2,200 a month. how can they do that? what do i need to do?

By anon161598 — On Mar 20, 2011

I own a property in The Crossings of East Cobb in Marietta, Ga. Someone has posted it is 55 years

and older, which it is not. How can they get away with this?

By anon157204 — On Mar 01, 2011

I was buying two bottles of wine marked 6.99. When I went to the cash register it scanned 9.99 each. I pointed it out to the cashier who promptly called the owner of the gas station. After five minutes of waiting they refused to give me the lower price. I promptly took a photo of the 6.99 price on each bottle. I was so unhappy about how they treated me and the situation, I'd like to do something about it. What are my options?

By anon154053 — On Feb 19, 2011

I have been searching around for a green laser device that can operate at 5mW - 50mW. There is a website claiming to sell this type of laser for $20.00. However, the lasers they sell are labeled as "class IIIa" which means the laser's output cannot exceed 5mW. So they're tricking buyers into thinking they're getting high grade equipment for a low price when it's really just a cheapo product. I know this has to be false advertising.

By anon143905 — On Jan 18, 2011

I signed up for an internet service about six or seven years ago. The main reason I went with them is because they claim they have a monthly rate guaranteed to never increase.

Now, I received a letter saying that I am using too much of the internet and my bill is now going to be doubled. Is this false advertising? They still have the same statement on their web site. Thank you, Chris

By anon136413 — On Dec 22, 2010

I ordered some shoes online and their website stated 100 percent authentic and when I received the shoes they were 100 percent fake, and their website also states a 100 percent full refund but now they're just offering a $20 discount! Is this false advertising and can they be turned in for this?

By anon133433 — On Dec 10, 2010

I bought a shirt from the Store Joyce Leslie about three weeks ago. The back of the price tag on the shirt says "No sale if ever final". I don't have the receipt for the shirt and would like to return or exchange it. When I tried to do so, they told me that I needed a receipt or I couldn't do anything. Isn't that false advertising to put that on the back of the tag and not let me return it?

By anon131371 — On Dec 02, 2010

Walmart's ad said that the sale started at 5 am. I got to the store at 4 a.m. and they were sold out of the items I wanted. They said that they started handing out tickets for the items at midnight, but it never mentioned this in the ad. Is this false advertising?

By anon130600 — On Nov 29, 2010

Dealer advertised a car for 8,995.00. When i called the dealership he stated that it was a mistake. Can I hold him to the price?

By anon130036 — On Nov 26, 2010

I recently bought a bulk amount of security Lorex cameras. And it says wifi friendly on the box. Also says again on the box, will not interfere with your wireless computer network or common household appliances very big on the box.

And soon as I plug it in my internet goes out.

Can I get anything out of this? Because I bought a fair amount of these.

By anon125882 — On Nov 10, 2010

My friend bought online item for a game in which was clearly defined as a 'heavy armor' through prepaid cash. However, the item itself was actually a light armor in game. Mainly the stats of the armor type match the light armor which is (4 def, 1 protection and 4 upgrades) and in the game heavy armor is defined as (6 def, 2 protection, 5 upgrades.) The armor itself in the game is specifically defined between these two. The stats for def and protection may vary if a player crafted a item, (though this one is uncraftable and bought from the company.) but light armors always have 4 upgrades slots and heaves 5 upgrades.

The sale is still on the web page. Is this considered false advertising since its all paid with game cash that has to be bought first before you can redeem the items?

By anon108435 — On Sep 02, 2010

What about those "Hyundai Uncensored" ads? If the ad producers only televise favorable comments, than isn't it misleading to say, "Uncensored?" Not everybody who test drives a car - no matter what the make - will be thrilled by it. And some people who like the auto may say, "But I still like my [brand] better." I detect something fishy.

By anon100110 — On Jul 28, 2010

We won "All Access Backstage Passes" from a company that was promoting a concert. When we went there, we were told things had messed up and that we might have to settle for $400 and floor tickets.

What happened was that we spent our time on the floor and we were only able to go backstage for 15 minutes after the show was over. We had been told that we could use our passes to access anywhere which wasn't true. So we basically won 15 minutes of awkwardness.

We were treated horribly, and left to stand by ourselves and finally we able to speak to one band mate. He implied that he wasn't busy etc, and then our "promoter" told us we should leave instead of having a drink with the bandmate. What can I do?

By anon97027 — On Jul 17, 2010

i won some tickets from a radio station and they sent me the e-mail and everything confirming that i won, and they even put my name on the list of names that had won.

When i went to the office at the place where the concert was being held, they did not have them for me. Can i sue the radio station for that? I still have the email and my name still appears on the website where they posted the names of the winners because this just happened right now and i am so mad i am willing to sue if possible.

By anon88382 — On Jun 04, 2010

How do I handle a situation where a radio station web site has prize you may win?

When I scratched an ad where I could win a family four-pack of season passes to a local theme park and it said I won, filled out the form and it said I would get an email of my confirmation. Shortly I did get an email confirmation that I won but it didn't say what I won but I was going to get another email of how to claim my prize and still haven't. it has been two weeks.

I emailed the person back and even called her at the radio station and she still hasn't returned any reply. I talked to some other person at the radio station and they told me they are regular tickets to the theme park, while I have pictures of the ad and they recently changed it.

I have pictures of both ads, so what can I do to get my prize?

By amypollick — On May 10, 2010

@Anon83170: No, technically, it is not false advertising. It is sneaky, misleading and certainly unethical, but not technically, false advertising. The bike cranks, shifts from neutral into first and stops. The ad says nothing about condition other than that.

You might be able to get the dealer on "good faith" because you called and the salesman assured you the bike was in good mechanical condition. That's certainly a reasonable assumption, since I'm figuring you told him you lived five hours away, and wanted to ride the bike home. A reasonable person would assume that the bike was in good mechanical condition because the salesman said it could make a five-hour road trip. You might get him on that, but as far as false advertising goes, not really because no other promises were made in the ad and you're only out travel expenses, not the price of the bike.

It isn't really fair, and it's certainly poor business practice.

By anon83170 — On May 09, 2010

I Recently made a 10 hour round trip to Michigan to look at purchasing a motorcycle. This is their ad that i copied: "2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (u0703)- Only $1,999!!! "Mechanic Special" Runs, shifts, and stops. Only 9,334 miles! Ride it home for $1,999!!! Call for more information".

I called the dealership and the salesman said it runs and shifts and had all the fluids changed. I specifically asked if it can be driven home in its current condition, and was told that i could. When i showed up, the bike didn't have the fluids changed, the engine made a horrible valve noise when it ran, and the transmission only shifted into first gear, meaning i wasn't going to be able to ride it home unless i did 20MPH the whole way home.

Can I do anything about this? I still want the bike to fix up and ride but he won't sell it for any less. Can i get him to sell me the bike for a cheaper price, because he didn't tell me about the problems it has? Is this considered false advertising?

By anon79623 — On Apr 23, 2010

What do you do with false advertising on TV and web? Weight Watchers is advertising "free" membership in their online service. If you go to their web page, they say that the service is free if you pay for a membership plan. I think what this means is that they will waive a membership fee if you pay in advance, but that's not what they say. How can this be reported?

By anon72874 — On Mar 24, 2010

AT&T was advertising that they were bundling their internet, cable and phone services.

so i called to ask questions about their ad, and i was told that a bundle was any two services or all three.

I got internet and cable service and was told that my bill would be exactly $69.94 per month for the first 12 months. Then the first bill came from AT&T and the amount was $89.66 not 69.94 like i was told. Then a week or so later i received a bill from DirecTV, for $73.00. now i'm very confused. I did not call DirecTV for anything; I only called AT&T. I was told that a bundle was two or more services, provided by one company at one price, and in one bill. if this isn't false advertising i don't know what is. Someone please help me!

By anon65696 — On Feb 15, 2010

The idea that Subway can advertise 5 dollars for any footlong, and then exclude half their menu boggles my mind. The signs on the store only exclude premium subs, but when you get inside, they don't bother to tell you the signature subs are also excluded. How can you make a jingle claiming any footlong is 5 dollars, then not actually uphold it?

By anon61777 — On Jan 22, 2010

I applied for a job that advertised that it paid $14/hour. I interview and got the job. I thought it was understood that was going to be my pay but when I received my first check, the hourly pay was only $13. Is that illegal? I even have a print out of the posting that says "$14/hourly".

By SubwayOwner — On Dec 31, 2009

Today I went into Admiral Tobacco Store in Michigan. On their display both in the front window and above the cash register hangs a sign that reads Marlboro 1/2 Carton $22.30

Now it stands to reason, if a half carton is 22.30, two of them would come to 44.60.

Nowhere on the sign does it read "Specific brands or items."

When I was charged $58 for a carton. I told them I want to buy 2 1/2 cartons then. (I purchased Marlboro Lights in the box).

I was then informed that the advertised price was only for Marlboro 72's and Marlboro Medium.

I flatly told them that it was falsely advertised that it did not specifically state on either sign that they were only specific brands, it plainly reads Marlboro.

She then argued with me. I told her they should honor the price they are plainly advertising, and she refused.

According to Michigan Law:

The Michigan Penal Code (Excerpt)

Act 328 of 1931

750.33 False advertising; penalty; excepted participants in publication.

Sec. 33. (1) A person who, with intent to sell, purchase, dispose of, or acquire merchandise, securities, service, or anything offered or sought by the person, directly or indirectly, to or from the public for sale, purchase, or distribution, or with intent to increase the consumption of merchandise, securities, service, or other thing offered or sought, or to induce the public in any manner to enter into an obligation relating to or interest in the merchandise, securities, service, or other thing offered or sought, makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates, or places before the public, or causes directly or indirectly to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before or communicated to the public, in a newspaper or by radio broadcast, television, telephone, or telegraph or other mode of communication or publication or in the form of

a book, notice, handbill, poster, bill, circular, pamphlet, letter, or communication, including communication by telephone or telegraph to 2 or more persons, or in any other way, in advertisement of any sort regarding

merchandise, securities, service, or anything so offered to or sought from the public, or regarding the motive or purpose of a sale, purchase, distribution, or acquisition, which advertisement contains an assertion, representation, or statement or illustration, including statements of present or former sale price or value, which is false, deceptive, or misleading, or calculated to subject another person to disadvantage or injury through the publication of false or deceptive statements or as part of a plan or scheme with the intent, design, or purpose not to sell the merchandise, commodities, or service so advertised at the price stated therein, or otherwise communicated, or with intent not to sell the merchandise, commodities, or service so advertised is

guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an owner, publisher, printer, agent, or employee of a newspaper or other publication, periodical, or circular, or of a radio station or television station, who in good faith and without knowledge of the falsity or deceptive character thereof, publishes, causes to be published, or takes

part in the publication of an advertisement described in subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to any person, firm, or corporation providing telephone service to subscribers as a public utility.

History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931;¾Am. 1941, Act 340, Eff. Jan. 10, 1942;¾CL 1948, 750.33;¾Am. 1955, Act 176, Eff.

Oct. 14, 1955;¾Am. 1957, Act 180, Eff. Sept. 27, 1957;¾Am. 2002, Act 672, Eff. Mar. 31, 2003.

Former law: See sections 1 and 2 of Act 245 of 1899, being CL 1915, §§ 15340 and 15341, and CL 1929, §§ 16988 and 16989; and

section 1 of Act 319 of 1925, being CL 1929, § 16990.

They have committed false (deceptive) advertising to lure in consumers.

Now does anyone know how I can report them?

By SubwayOwner — On Dec 31, 2009

"i went to subway to purchase a footlong as they say it's 5 dollars. don't believe them i had to pay 12 dollars for a footlong and a 6 inch. i think that's false advertising. they said that only a few of the footlongs are 5 dollars. so think before you go to subway next time

- anon55091"

As an owner of Subway I can assure you, all the $5 footlongs are listed in one section of the menu board. Not all subs are $5. If you read the fine print on the television ad, it states that.

The $5 promotion will be running again very soon, and will last for six weeks. The $5 menu does not include double meat, or cheese, and does not include the premium sandwiches.

The every day $5 footlong sandwiches are: Meatball Marinara, Italian B.M.T®, Subway® Melt, Tuna, Cold Cut Combo, Spicy Italian, BLT.

Premium Sandwiches are not $5. They are: Roast Beef, The Big Philly Cheesesteak, Chicken and Bacon Ranch, The Feast, *Also any double meat or double cheese items.

All the items listed on Subway menus can be found on their website.

$5 footlong items are listed under classic subs.

Hope this helps.

By anon55784 — On Dec 09, 2009

Lexmark printer model x5650es advertises on its box that it has a quick connection for laptops. Their website and owners manual for series 5500/6600 show the quick connect for laptops to be on the front of the printer.

The printer I purchased does not have a quick connect port on the front. Supervisors in their technical support claim that the note in the manual that says quick connect is not on all models means that the 5650 does not have to have one, even though the website and box say it does.

By anon55376 — On Dec 07, 2009

I'm sure you've all seen the television ads for Mcdonald's Sausage Egg McMuffin. In it, they claim they use freshly cracked eggs and even show one being cracked. Do not be deceived. I worked at McDonalds up until a couple months ago and we used frozen eggs. We never used fresh eggs, ever. I don't see how companies can be allowed to blatantly lie like that. It's sickening.

By anon55091 — On Dec 04, 2009

i went to subway to purchase a footlong as they say it's 5 dollars. don't believe them i had to pay 12 dollars for a footlong and a 6 inch. i think that's false advertising. they said that only a few of the footlongs are 5 dollars. so think before you go to subway next time

By anon55012 — On Dec 03, 2009

I recently purchased a HP printer, and the writing on the box says in the package contents: four separate ink cartridges. After installing the printer I've realized that the ink cartridges were sample ones. I felt like I was ripped off. Thought I was getting four cartridges by what I saw on the box, but got just 30 printed pages out of them. Is that a false advertising?

I contacted HP told them what the box says, and what I got. They said that the box contained testing cartridges, ad I told them that the box says something different. Said I can take the printer back. how should I report that to FTC if it is considered false advertising?

By anon54255 — On Nov 28, 2009

Wal-Mart's big advertisement for Black Friday was "We'll match other stores' prices". Ha, Ha. Don't believe them. I tried it and it didn't work. Same product as another store, I took the other store's ad to them and they said no.

By anon53855 — On Nov 25, 2009

watch out for public storage. $1 first month is actually $49 first month after taxes, fees, and the lock they make you buy.

By anon46473 — On Sep 25, 2009

I do not know very much about internet advertising or any kind of advertising for that matter but I have an honest question. I was looking up some information on the internet about face cream for wrinkles. I was doing an internet search and I was checking out a number of the websites listed. One of the websites was advertising a combination of an oral capsule and a facial cream and I was reading it. They had two pictures (before and after) of a woman, giving her name and claiming to be from a certain town that I will not name. She claimed to look so much younger due to the items advertised and, they were offering a sample of the products. Then several websites later another website was advertising the same products with the same offer, they had two pictures (before and after) of a different woman, using the same name as the other website and the same town. Neither woman looked younger after using the product for awhile; you know how they can make people look better with make overs. Anyway I think this type of advertising should be removed because to me it is clearly false advertising, since they have two different women claiming to be the same person. Please tell me what you think and if I should report it to the Better Business Bureau or someone who takes care of matter such as this type.

By anon46466 — On Sep 25, 2009

We changed our internet supplier to because we were told that we would get 10 megabytes speed. Well after several weeks we were only getting between two to three megabytes so we called customer service. They sent out a technician and he checked out everything and told us we were not getting more than three megabytes, which we knew. He told us that they were still working on getting the equipment installed so we would be able to get the 10 megabytes of speed they promised us and were charging us for. After several months we were still not getting much more than three megabytes. We called customer service again and they sent out another technician who did the same thing as the first tech and told us the same thing: they were working on getting the equipment installed to deliver the 10 megabytes of speed we were promised and were still being charged for. We complained that we were paying for 10 megabytes but we were getting nowhere near that. After the run around they did reimburse the difference in the billing. Well, to make a longer story short, after over a year and never getting any where near the 10 megabytes, they are still telling us that they are working on getting the equipment installed to provide the 10 megabytes of speed. My question is, should they be able to tell people that they can provide them with 10 megabytes of internet speed when they know that they do not have the equipment installed to provide 10 megabytes?

By anon43632 — On Aug 31, 2009

A local used car salesman (Billy Ray Taylor) ran a full-page paid advertisement in the local paper stating that every vehicle on his lot had a 1,000 mile/30day warranty. Every vehicle on his lot was ready to go on the road. My parents looked at a vehicle on his lot on Monday of that week, bought it on Tuesday, got it home and had no oil pressure on Wednesday, called him that day trying to get it taken care of. He only offered to pay half of the cost to clean the oil pan and see if that fixed it. They didn't agree to that because he advertised a warranty. My brother changed the oil pump and pickup and flushed it. It did not fix it. It will have to have a new motor or be completely reworked. We filed a claim with the better business bureau. He failed to respond to the first letter they sent him. In response to the second letter, he lied and told the BBB my parents drove the vehicle two weeks before telling him there was a problem. He advertised this warranty in the paper and will not stand behind it. Is this not false advertisement? He should not be allowed to get away with this. He is wrong!

By anon43196 — On Aug 26, 2009

Evony ads need to be stopped!

By Steph6603 — On Jun 10, 2009

Hello all...hope someone can help, I bought a crib at Target that had signage that said it came with a mobile (I took pictures for proof), after talking with both the manufacturer and target, target came back and said the signage was wrong, it was not meant to have a mobile...they will not do anything for me what should I do?

By anon33625 — On Jun 09, 2009

I have ordered bare mineral start kit. For a special time promotion, they were giving a 2nd set for free. 2 days later, I log back to check my order status, it shows 'canceled', which I did not cancel the order, neither got a notification for that. Then I called customer service, I was told that the order is canceled because they never meant to give the 2nd set for free. Well, I told them I placed order because I saw the ad on the internet. Then, they say it was not advertised. I do not have proff any more, but some blog still has the post for the deal that shows the limited offer. Is this false advertisement?

By Chakka1 — On Apr 18, 2009

Walmart is another one. I ordered a site to store LCD television because after much checking nobody else came even close to the price. I ordered it weeks ago but still don't have it. I have however, received 2 emails telling me that shipment will be delayed. I looked at the website and found 14 places that were supposed to have this television in stock. I called all of them, not one has it in stock and wouldn't even attempt to suggest when they will get it in. I'm wondering if they ever had the intention of selling this TV for the price. I think this is unfair to other merchants and consumers.

By anon28849 — On Mar 23, 2009

False advertising should be nothing more than what it states. I don't know how many hours of my life have been wasted searching the web for information through sites that right up front state "Free!" and when you get there and waste your time searching they ask for a credit card before giving the information. That is not Free! It should not be allowed to be advertised "free" when your charged in the end! Come on America, Get Real!

By Steph6603 — On Mar 05, 2009

Hello, I hope someone can help.

I bought a crib and on the sign at the store it said that it came with a mobile. Well long story short it did not, we went to the store and had them open another box and found there was no crib in there either. Any suggestions? I have called the manufacturer of the crib and of course am waiting for them to get back to me.

By anon27477 — On Mar 01, 2009

i was going to buy some poker chips to play texas hold 'em on myspace. so i found a web site that offers 10 million chips for 15 dollars when i was going ahead with the purchase i happen to glance at the bill and noticed that the billing price was 150 dollars. i barely caught this and was 1 mouse click from buying. i'm kind of upset i almost didn't catch it in time and would have been charged 150.00 instead of the 15.00 they advertise on the web site.

can i bind them to the 15 dollar price ? isn't it false advertising? who do i report it to?

By anon24248 — On Jan 09, 2009

I'm not sure if this would be considered False Advertising but, Lets say a store is advertising that they are selling item "x" for a limited time and after lets say, 2 weeks it will leave the store. The two weeks pass and The item is still being sold, and you find out that the item will continue to be sold in the stores for good! Unfortunately you spent a lot of money and bought multiples of this product because of this advertisement, Could you do anything about this? or are you just out of luck?

By anon23145 — On Dec 17, 2008


I don't know if wherever you live is similar to the U.S., but here in the states, by LAW the retailer must adhere to the lowest marked price, even it was a mistake.

By anon19633 — On Oct 16, 2008

I bought a backup unit from geeksquad due to the fact that it was a. recommended BY THEM AT THE STORE, and b. they made a bold claim on the box stating that the unit was made in a top secret location in mexico by select geeksquad agents.

When I needed to file a claim, I learned that geeksquad had no part in the making of the unit, but instead cyberpower had made it. The warranty also has the geek squad scrawled all over it. Nowhere did it mention cyberpower.

Since filing complaints they have recently changed their marketing to 'recommended by AGENT 50'. Although they have changed their texts for marketing, what can be done for the millions who bought the unit thinking it was made by geek squad due to the false advertising!?

By anon18601 — On Sep 26, 2008

Me and my partner went to a pet store to purchase a dumbo rat, there was one in the very top tank which was hard to see, but the label clearly said Dumbo Rat.

So a member of staff came and sorted it out, put her in a box and we got charged the price for a dumbo rat. After having her running round in the cage a while, we started to have suspicions she wasn't a dumbo, but a fancy rat. After doing a little bit of research on the internet we are certain she is a fancy rat not a dumbo,

Is there anything we can do about this?

By anon17012 — On Aug 20, 2008

Comcast ads state they have over 500 channels of HD, more than Direct TV. Last night I counted all of my HD channels and came up 454 channels short of their claim of 500. Sounds like Comcast is doing a little false advertising of their own here....

By tbhenson — On May 28, 2008

Discover Card's 5% back on all gas purchases?????

I have not been able to find where you only get 5% back of the first $100.00 and less than 1% back on the remaining $2900.00 you spend in one "anniversary year". I have emails, now, explaining that my conception was wrong to assume that I would get 5% back on "all Gas purchases".

Read the fine print. This advertising by Discover Card is extremely deceptive. Anyone having a good path to take to deter this type action please advise.



By anon12787 — On May 13, 2008


I am a member of an official music fan club and they are selling VIP Soundcheck Upgrade for the concert tickets. The perks included in these VIP packages are listed very clearly. I purchased one of these packages about two weeks ago but when the day of the event came they didn't honor what they were claiming to be included in the package, without even giving an explanation. I believe I deserve a refund for that but I'm not sure I am entitled to. Could you kindly inform me if this is false advertising, please? Thank you for the attention and I hope in a response from you as soon as possible.

Kind regards,


By yu21012 — On May 13, 2008

i went to a local nursery that advertised free local delivery. when i bought 10 bags of mulch and asked for free delivery, they said i had to spend $100. no where on the flyer does it have that stipulation. can i complain to FTC?

By anon11551 — On Apr 18, 2008

I booked a ticket with British Airways on 16th April 08, as they were advertising that the sale ended at midnight.

When I then revisited the BA site today, I found out that they were having a new sale and that the price of my ticket had come down by £100.

Is that false advertising? I rang to see if I could get a refund or change my ticket to the new prices, but they categorically refused. I would appreciate your help with this query

Thank you so much, J

By anon11192 — On Apr 10, 2008

Yes, that is false advertising. You should take a picture of the label and report it.

By anon9571 — On Mar 09, 2008

Hi, my daughter went to the shop brought some sweets the price on the counter said 36p when she got to the till the price was £1.36. The cashier said the label was a mistake and my daughter would have to pay the full amount. Isn't this false advertising, shouldn't she have sold it to my daughter for the amount stated on the product? We asked for a refund and the cashier said no.


Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a MyLawQuestions contributor, Tricia...
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