Published on October 16th, 20130
A reader was able to catch this radio ad for RedEnvelope.com, a shopping website that is advertising “25% off almost everything” if you use the code “FAST” at checkout.
But when our reader (and when we) went to the site to try to use the code FAST — we also tried “fast” and “Fast” — the site told us the code was expired or invalid:
Our reader noted this seemed an awful lot like bait-and-switch advertising — consumers come to the site for the advertised sale, but when they’re ready to check out, the price is higher than anticipated.
RedEnvelope.com did not respond to TINA.org’s request for comment on the advertisement.
If you get pulled into a store or a website by an advertised sale only to discover there really is no sale, think very carefully before buying anything. For more on bait-and-switch advertising, click here.
Updated October 30, 2013: Red Envelope contacted the reader who initially submitted the complaint and offered her an e-mail coupon for $25 off her next order. The only problem? The coupon was expired.
Updated December 4, 2013: CBS Radio says they have pulled the ad. Red Envelope has still not responded to TINA.org’s emails or phone calls.