Comments Off on Hide and Sneak FTC and Unclear Advertising

The FTC is a Federal Government organization that, among other things, monitors web sites to make sure there is no false or misleading advertising. This often comes in the form of something offered for FREE while there are actually strings attached that make the offer something less than free. Rather than state the strings attached, some companies mention another location to obtain the details.

This other location is often hard to find and, let’s face it; most of us aren’t very interested in the details for something that is free. The details, if you can find them, can be virtually anything. They could include how an item must be returned which will immediately have most of us giving up due to unwillingness to make the special effort. They could be a ‘cancellation fee’ which totally negates the free in the original offer.

For example, Network Solutions advertised a 30 day money back guarantee. How could you lose? Well, it was easy. It seems as if the guarantee had some strings attached in very small print at a different place on the web site.

They did mention, in big letters, that there was a 30 day money back guarantee. They didn’t mention you wouldn’t get all your money back. There was a cancellation fee they ignored. The FTC considers this misleading at best and fraudulent at worst.

The cancellation fee was there, only it was all the way at the bottom of the screen in small print. It was hard to find and hard to read. Most people didn’t even notice the ‘see details below’ notice as any form of warning.

The link to the ‘details’ was not only very small; it was in blue, often between two black lines of text. In case you didn’t miss it for its size and location, this would certainly do the trick. Most people give up even if they are curious about the details.

If you did manage to click on the link you were informed that the money back guarantee was not all your money back. The FTC decided that was too little, too late for most consumers. You cannot separate an offer from the strings attached.

So, what does this mean for you? You should read the link below and check your web site against the FTC rules.

Simply put, it is against FTC regulations to advertise if you hide the strings attached in a difficult to locate section of your web site. It is very easy to correct and could keep you out of trouble.

None of us need trouble with the FTC. Check your offers and make sure the details are up front and clear.

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Executive Credit Management is a full-service Debt Collection and Applicant Screening agency with over 20 years experience located in Central New Jersey. We provide excellent service in the following areas: Employment Screening, Business Screening, and Tenant Screening. Executive Credit Management belongs to a number of Skip Tracing databases and offers services to help locate and confirm the current address of missing debtors. Other services provided are: litigation evaluation on all lawsuit decisions, improvement of the quality of the applicant data, Lawsuit Monitoring, Handling of Debtor Disputes. Executive Credit Management features the best Call Monitoring System in the Debt Collection industry.