by Mike Masnick

Hertz Dinged For Misleading Online Promotion

from the details,-details... dept

What is it with companies who like to hide the real prices associated with contests and promotions in the fine print? Do they think that people won't eventually realize that the "promotion" is actually a ripoff and won't be pissed off at the company providing it? Yesterday we had American Airlines and their contest for "free" tickets that actually cost $800 per ticket, and now comes the news that Hertz has been dinged by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK for a promotion where they claimed you could rent a car for £1, but the fine print showed it was really £26.85. What marketing person doesn't think so far ahead to realize that when the person who thinks they're paying the tiny amount (or getting something for free) won't be incredibly pissed off at the company providing the "promotion" when they find out how much higher the real price is?

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  • identicon
    Tim, 8 Jul 2005 @ 3:33am

    No Subject Given

    What's the problem? Over here, we have the Sale of Goods Act that forces someone to charge what they advertise as the cost - ie you advertise a melon for 1p, you must accept 1p in exchange for the melon, whether it's worth 1.29 or not.

    So in this case, we have "from as little 1 [sic] plus Location Service Charge", on which they expand later.

    IMNSHO if you don't follow through to find how much the "location service charge" is, that's your own bad look-out. They've really been quite honest about naming a number, there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      thecaptain, 8 Jul 2005 @ 7:35am

      Re: No Subject Given

      No one says its illegal, simply contemptible.

      Just knowing about this would make me pay ANOTHER rental company MORE just so Hertz doesn't get my dollars.

      Its like the plentiful TV offers for FREE stuff...with the tiny tiny fine print that can't be read unless you record it and pause it on an HD TV that says Shipping and Handling is 19.95.

      Its "legal" but clearly designed to sucker you...if you STILL pay, then sure, its your own lookout. However, this isn't what the problem is...its the misleading (I say be stronger...call it "scummy") advertising that the company (or its marketers) feel they can get away with.

      Do YOU like people TRYING to fool you?

      Myself, I hate it...just because they aren't successful in fooling me doesn't make it OK to try it in the first place get it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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