Bait and Switch

Definition - What does Bait and Switch mean?

Bait and switch is a retail tactic that means a business advertises an item for sale at a low price but pushes a higher price equivalent item to the consumer when they attempt to purchase the advertised sale item. In most instances, the bait and switch method is illegal. However, as long as the company actually has the ability to sell the advertised product, they can avoid being prosecuted for pushing alternative sales. Many products will see the bait and switch method used including financial and mortgage products that offer a very low introductory rate but do not clarify that the rate is only good for a short period before switching to a higher rate.

Justipedia explains Bait and Switch

In most countries in the world, the bait and switch method is against consumer protection laws and in particular in the United States these laws are well defined. If any condition exists within a contract that is not clearly identified at the outset the lender could be liable for breaking these laws.

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