Retailing has become very competitive in recent years and too many corporations, including some large retail chains, are using trickery and deception in marketing. Misleading advertisements, displays and labeling, and other sly tactics are too common. Beating the competitor and the consumer, preferably within the limits of the law, seems to be a retail marketing trend.
There are many ways: Store displays that attempt to sell items that appear to be on sale but aren't. Switch and bait selling. Marketing to kids. The use of shock to increase ratings and sales. Encouraging credit, gouging those that can’t afford exorbitant charges when interest rates are at 45-50 year lows.
Then there is the small print, hidden charges, planned over-consumption, self awarded awards, junk mail, telemarketing, loud repetitive commercials, stupidity cards.
Working within the law or self styled guidelines is not good enough, retailers must use strategies that are morally good. An old retailing axiom used to be ‘The customer is always right’. From what I have perceived, ‘The customer is always ripe for picking’ often seems more appropriate.
Unfortunately it does not help a great deal to complain to the corporations as the processes are deeply rooted and are not there by accident. 'We aren't breaking any laws', or 'We strictly conform to guidelines set out by our association', are typical responses I have received.
But we must complain, to governments, consumer associations and everyone who will listen, or we will be unable to blame anyone when all truth is gone from the marketplace.