Submission Number: 00051
Received: 9/25/2011 11:28:56 AM
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: 16 CFR Part 424 Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices Rule, Project No. P104203
Attachments: No Attachments
Federal Trade Commission,
Office of the Secretary,
Room H–113 (Annex N),
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20580.
Dear Federal Trade Commission Secretary,
In reference to the Retail Food Store Advertising Rule, Project No. P104203, I believe it would be best to revoke the rule. This rule better known as the Unavailability Rule states it is “unfair or deceptive act or practice for retail food stores to advertise” (1) products at a certain price, but then not have them available to consumers; unless they disclose that supplies are limited or available only at certain stores in the advertisement. It also allows the retailers to get around the rule if they offer “rain checks” or a similar product or compensation equal to the advertised value.
There have been times where I would go to a store based on an advertisement, just to find it is not there or temporarily out of stock. I have seen other shoppers show an advertisement to the cashier because the advertised sales price did not ring up. If a store does this enough, repeat customers will stop going to that store and instead start shopping at a competitor’s store. In today’s economy people are more apt to go elsewhere to shop to save money, and in most places the competition is pretty much the same distance drive. This is where free market competition comes into play. If a business wants to stay in business, it will do honest business or risk going into bankruptcy.
This market competition should deter most businesses from deceptive practices, but there will always be exceptions. In these cases, all fifty states have an agency at the state government level to deal with them (2). Based on federalism, this is a case where the level of government closest to the people should decide the law. Therefore, I believe this rule should be revoked in preference for individual states and the free market competition to police those businesses who continue to advertise falsely. Thank you for your time and consideration.