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Old 02.12.2019, 21:01
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False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

It's happened again...

About 4 months ago I had a horrible experience with Interdiscount when I was in-need of a computer monitor; bought from them as they were the cheapest and nearby (saving on postage) days later they email to say they cancelled the order, and need an IBAN to return the funds (which at the time, was hard as I didn't have an IBAN); upon quizzing them, they had the monitor if I wanted it at a much greater price and would have to reorder [other items in that same order were only made with Interdiscount for convenience but they wouldn't cancel them as they'd already been sent].

I've now had a different order cancelled by Steg Electronics in a similar manner.

Quote:
Leider müssen wir Ihnen mitteilen, dass wir Ihnen Ihre Bestellung nicht zum gewünschten Preis liefern können.
Quote:
We regret to inform you that we can not deliver the desired price you your order.
  1. Am I unlucky or is this practise common in Switzerland?
  2. Is this legal? In Australia, this would be considered "False advertising" or "bait and switch" and the seller would be required to honour the purchase and continued deception could be a matter for the courts
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Old 02.12.2019, 21:29
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

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Am I unlucky or is this practise common in Switzerland?
No idea whether it's common practice but it appears to be on the increase.

So many people now use price comparison sites to decide where to buy something and being at the top of the list, with the lowest price, is where some retailers want to be, at whatever cost.

They don't always deliver. Other times, even though they advertise that the article is in stock, it isn't and you have to wait weeks (or even months) to get the goods.
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Old 02.12.2019, 21:58
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

Whether or not that is legal for an in-store purchase, I cannot say. That'll be a question, amongst other things, of when, exactly, the contract of sale is considered to have taken place. I'm not sure about that.

However, I have seen that some online shops have a disclaimer, stating some or all of the following:
  • the items offered on in the webshop are not necessarily available,
  • the items may differ from those shown online
  • putting the item in one's shopping-basket does not constitute a sale,
  • the product will be supplied only if available at the time
  • the webshop company bears no responsibility if a delivery is not possible in the scale of what is offered online.
If you ordered online, you'd need to have a look whether those webshops have such a disclaimer in their Terms and Conditions (to which you are agreeing, when you order something on their webshop).
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Old 02.12.2019, 22:40
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

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If you ordered online, you'd need to have a look whether those webshops have such a disclaimer in their Terms and Conditions (to which you are agreeing, when you order something on their webshop).
So basically you're saying that if they cover themselves in their own Terms and Conditions they don't have to follow consumer rights/laws

That doesn't fly in Australia, and I'm sure the same rules apply (in this regard) for businesses registered in Switzerland. I'm not a lawyer, but I doubt businesses can just contravene through the publication of their own TnCs.

I wonder if anyone in Swiss business or marketing can add their knowledge on this?
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Old 02.12.2019, 23:00
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

It seems to me that the very concept of "consumer rights" is not universal, but means different things in different countries.

As I see it, in Switzerland, the "rights" are to full information, so that the consumer can avail him/herself of all the information, and then take an informed decision about whether or not to proceed, given what the seller is (or is not) offering. We don't seem to have a concept of protecting the vulnerable consumer from the threat of trickery or deceipt by the seller, especially if the seller could have had access to the full information. The consumer reads the contract, decideds whether or not to proceed, and it's caveat emptor.

The full information definitely includes the Terms and Conditions. Those Terms and Conditions must - and there you are right - conform to the law. As far as I know, the list I made is of points that are legal in Switzerland. Of course, the Terms and Conditions ought to be made available on the website.

Even if they are not there, most likely some other general law about when, exactly (at what moment along the way, after which steps) a contract of sale is deemed to have been entered into by both parties, and under what circumstances each party may withdraw from the sale contract.

Yes, I'd also be interested to hear the views of someone who works in this field.
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Old 02.12.2019, 23:47
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

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...In Australia, this would be considered "False advertising" or "bait and switch" and the seller would be required to honour the purchase and continued deception could be a matter for the courts[/LIST]
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So basically you're saying that if they cover themselves in their own Terms and Conditions they don't have to follow consumer rights/laws

That doesn't fly in Australia...
Mate, if you keep comparing everything in Switzerland to Australia you're going to wind up a very frustrated individual. Here is not there. I know you know that, but just to make sure you don't use that "in Australia" phrasing when you complain to a store here.

I do think there's some dodgy business going on once in a while. Mr Wishes recently reserved something online and planned to stop by the store after work to finalize the purchase. A store employee called him before lunch to say they "only had one left" and that he should give his credit card and pay over the phone, that they could not hold it for him if he didn't. He said really, then what's the point of reserving on your site? I'll choose another vendor, thanks. They tried to backpedal but he said either you have it for me when I arrive or I take my business elsewhere. Funny, when he showed up the "only one left" was actually four pieces.
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Old 03.12.2019, 00:10
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

Unfortunately, as I'm only new to living in Switzerland and still a complete novice at the language, I only have my previous knowledge to go on - hence why I'm asking in this forum.

I've added "as in Australia" to each statement to validate my questioning (as it has a reasoning and it's just something I made up):

Quote:
Bait advertising is the illegal practice of advertising specific prices (usually special ‘sale’ prices) on goods that are not available or are available only in very limited quantities
cite: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/adv...ing-statements

I thought by posting it here someone might know if there's similar laws in Switzerland?
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Old 03.12.2019, 00:28
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

Forget about Australian laws, this is another country.

What price difference are we speaking about?

If it should be clear that the price is a mistake than the seller does not have to deliver, if it just a small difference and you could not have known it should be a mistake he should deliver (if in stock and all such)
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Old 03.12.2019, 11:23
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

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Unfortunately, as I'm only new to living in Switzerland and still a complete novice at the language, I only have my previous knowledge to go on - hence why I'm asking in this forum.

I've added "as in Australia" to each statement to validate my questioning (as it has a reasoning and it's just something I made up):



cite: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/adv...ing-statements

I thought by posting it here someone might know if there's similar laws in Switzerland?

digitec.ch, the website is in 4 languages including English.

What other people about "fully informing the customer" is a message just above the add to cart button that explains if the product is in their warehouse and ready for delivery (posted next day), if the product is in a supplier warehouse (3-5 days), or if it needs to be imported first (several weeks).

I had this problem once. I ordered a phone which was very cheap but had several weeks wait time. After 2 weeks I cancelled the order and got a reimbursement in the credit card. I just clicked cancel and got my money back, no long phone calls and no shady fees. Since then, I only order products that are at digitec's warehouse.
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Old 03.12.2019, 11:39
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

It may be just errors/incompetence. I've been struggling with getting a regular turntable for well over a week now. I ordered from Digitec; the site said "In stock". The confirmation e-mail, which I got immediately after I pressed the "ORDER" button, said "Estimated shipping: 7 to 9 days". So I cancelled the order, and ordered through azone.ch. Same story.

Last night I cancelled the order from azone, as they were giving me the run-around for a week, and placed an order through InterDiscount, for local pick-up. The site said: "Order before 20:00, pick up next day". The site says now "Estimated delivery: 5. Dez".
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Old 03.12.2019, 12:25
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

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Am I unlucky or is this practice common in Switzerland?
You are unlucky. I've been shopping online in Switzerland for a long time, and perhaps a few times I've received an email telling me the package is delayed and would I like a refund. On one of those times, the package had already been delivered - on time! Sometimes there are errors in the computer system.

I think it is unlikely any of them are deliberately doing "bait and switch".
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Old 03.12.2019, 13:13
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

A real error in pricing which is obvious is a valid reason to cancel a contract. But it must be done in time ans ASAP.

Mere incompetence in performing business and setting a too low, non viable price, is not a good enough reason to get out of contract and deny delivery.

BGE 105 II 23 https://www.bger.ch/ext/eurospider/l...=show_document

The sentence:
Quote:
Leider müssen wir Ihnen mitteilen, dass wir Ihnen Ihre Bestellung nicht zum gewünschten Preis liefern können.
does neither state the the non delivery is due to an error (Art. 23 Code of Obligations https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a23 ), it also does not state that delivery is totally impossible (like a one of a kind item which got damaged beyond repair, Art. 119 Code of Obligations https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...ndex.html#a119 ).

You might reply with the follwing:

Mit bedauern lese ich Ihre Nachricht, dass Sie die Lieferung meiner Bestellung verweigern. Da es sich augenscheinlich weder um einen nicht fahrlässigen Irrtum noch um eine nicht selbst verschuldete Unmöglichkeit der Leistung, sondern alleine um kaufmännisches Unvermögen ihrerseits bei der Preisgestaltung und der Warenbeschaffung handelt, kann ich ihrem Rückzug vom Verkaufsvertrag nicht zustimmen und beharre auf der fristgerechten Erfüllung des Vertrags und Lieferung der bestellten Waren zum Bestellpreis bis zum <14 business day from today>.

Sollte die Lieferung weiterhin und definitiv verweigert werde, so bin ich gewillt den Rechtsweg zu beschreiten, denn Fall gerichtlich klären zu lassen und zumindest die Mehrkosten infolge einer Ersatzbestellung als Schaden zivilrechtlich einzufordern.



Potential risk: You might be barred as a costumer for ever.
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Old 04.12.2019, 10:22
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Re: False Advertising / Bait and Switch Laws

It is tough coming from Australia and expecting consumer laws to be a version of what we are used to but in fact they are the opposite.

I have struggled with this over time but had it explained to me by a Swiss lawyer dealing within building protection/rectification laws. He stated most protection laws in relation to buying/selling a good or service were based upon how Switzerland was in the 1800s and not much has changed law wise. At this time Switzerland was poor but there were a lot of wealthy families who would exploit the fact that they had money. Consequently small merchants or tradespeople were often short changed or not paid for what they supplied so laws were put into place to protect these people from "rich" consumers. As general wealth has increased over time and consequently the number of consumers with the laws not changing it has allowed merchants and service providers to exploit (which is probably too stronger term) this situation. The onus on self responsibility for all things is stronger here than almost anywhere else so this extends to allowing some questionable terms and conditions.

With the cartel situation here (read grey imports) which sets a theoretical retail price on goods means the 70% saving (ie Black Friday) is quite often not off the normal selling price but this set retail price so whilst being technically correct is not actually real saving.
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