Price Match Guarantee

You’re probably hearing a lot of ads with price match guarantees.  One listener found out they’re not always what they seem.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Listener Wendy S. from Cinnaminson, NJ wrote to me because a home improvement retailer had a price match guarantee on its website offering to match a competitor’s price.  But when she found an identical item for less, the store refused to match it.  So, she wrote to ask whether a retailer who advertises a price match guarantee is bound by it.  Yes, but so is the consumer.

Consumer protection laws say that a company can’t mislead a consumer into believing it’s offering a deal that it isn’t.  But if the retailer has a list of what is excluded even in the tiny print, the consumer is also bound by that.  So you may find that exclusions include anything at membership-based retail wholesalers like Costco, anything on line—in other words, almost anything.  In this shopping season, buyer beware—and read the fine print.  And thanks, Wendy, for listening.

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