Did we get your attention? Good. That was the point. The subject line of this newsletter, much like many of those limited time offer claims you see on tv, was used purely to elicit an immediate response. Just like this email will be available in your inbox any time you want to read it, those “limited time offers” are available any time a consumer calls or places an order online – not just in that 10 minute time period as many ads suggest. Soliciting a response from a consumer in this way may seem harmless enough, but this common practice could land you in hot water.
Although the use of these messages in infomercials has been standard industry practice for some time, many states’ Attorneys General are making moves to change the direct response industry. Maximizing consumer protection is the driving force behind these changes, and hefty penalties (up to $10,000 per violation) are being utilized to ensure compliance.
In addition to misleading limited time offer claims, there several other practices in infomercials and on product websites that are being scrutinized right now, including:
1. Inconspicuous shipping and handling charges
2. BOGO offers that do not clearly disclose additional P&H charges
3. Lack of return / refund policies
4. Pre-selected quantities on checkout pages
5. Lack of product order summary / confirmation
These are just a few examples of routine practices that many state AGs are going after right now. In order to avoid finding yourself on the expensive end of an investigation, be sure to seek the advice of a qualified attorney who has handled these matters and can help you minimize your risk of exposure.