We are living in highly commercialized and competitive market conditions. Even God needs a sponsor during festival seasons. For instance, in India, many leading business firms invest money during the public celebrations of God Ganesha’s birthday. The richly embellished and large statue of the God brings higher turnout of devotees and larger coverage in the mass media. Any business tries to employ all possible methods and gimmicks to lure the gullible consumers. Announcing the attractive offers is one such marketing technique. However, all such offers do come with one or many conditions, which are always shown in small letters or by the familiar phrase ‘Conditions apply.’
A popular pizza outlet guarantees its service for delivery in 30 minutes or providing free stuff. However, the offer carries conditions as ‘Not applicable during special occasions like New Year’s Eve, Christmas and festivals. Not valid for the bulk and small orders. Restricted to the first barrier point such as Security guard, Reception desk, etc.’
A Jewelry firm offered a diamond necklace free of cost as part of its New year celebrations. However, the ‘Conditions apply’ indicated the offer is available only if the order value exceeds a threshold limit. Actually, the cost of the free necklace works out to less than 2% of the minimum order size insisted under the offer.
A reputed builder offered residential apartments for sale at six locations in a city. Its advertisement read as ‘Pick any property and select any offer.’ The choice of offers is listed: No registration charges, Modular kitchen, Wardrobes and Air conditioner, Complete set of home appliances, 5% Cash back, and Furniture and light fittings. The usual ‘Conditions apply’ tag carried an asterisk, but nowhere these conditions are narrated. On enquiry over the phone, the said builder informed that only those bookings made for three-bedroom or bigger size flats are eligible for selecting the offers. How misleading is the ad, isn’t it?
One textile show room announced a whooping 70% discount in large and bold letters. However, a closer look revealed that the said discount was for the old and out-of-fashion stocks. A famous shoe dealer presented the off-season sale with a flat 60% discount. Actually, the shop displayed old and limited stocks under that offer, but this fact was deliberately suppressed to attract the customers. A tutorial centre advertised 100% success of the students who joined it. Upon enquiry, it was found that only five persons studied there.
Many businesses come out with deep discounts on the costly products to woo the public. They play tricks in this also: offer the discount by inflating the original price or reducing the usual hefty profit margin by 20 to 50%. So buyers must be alert, not to get carried away by such misleading advertisements and offers. Moreover, Extra caution is required when the clause ‘Conditions apply’ appears in any of the ads.
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