16 CFR Part 424 Retail Food Store Advertising and Marketing Practices Rule, Project No. P104203
I definitely think it's a royal pain to see an advertised item on sale, pack up three kids (or find a sitter), and waste the time, energy, and expensive gas only to get to the store and find out the items aren't in stock - on the very first day of the sale no less! That really chaps my hide - and a lot of times, the item does state "limited quantities, no rainchecks", so there isn't even recourse. Or, I'll ask for a raincheck, but be denied because "a shipment will arrive on ____" during the same week of the sale, even though I'm there the first day, or the shipment is due to arrive the NEXT day after I'm there. I live a good 20 minutes from any store, and the gas/time factoring makes it unlikely I'm going to revisit the store the same week for a supposed new shipment. They always blame it on the warehouse, corporate ordering (not ordered at the store level), or corporate advertising that they were not informed of ahead of time to properly order for. I always complain when this happens, but rarely is change effected. I think these rules should be tightened, and applied to more than just grocery stores. I think drug stores should most definitely have to comply, and maybe other retailers as well. I've seen electronics stores with the same issues, on day ONE of a sale, as well as office supply stores, hardware stores, etc. Very frustrating, and no recourse for the honest customer, especially if there isn't any wording of "limited quantities" etc. I've even found grocery stores that advertise a hot item, do in fact give me a rain check, but the item never arrives back in stock before the rain check expires! Shameful. I hope these rules are updated from the ones enacted over 20 years ago. Thank you.