In today’s real consumer question, we explore if there is any legal recourse for false advertising. 

This consumer wrote in to tell us, “I received a quote from an auto dealership online. However, when I called to confirm the quote, they told me the advertisement was in error, and the car was no longer available!”

Our consumer felt this is a form of false advertising and wants to know if she has any legal recourse. Let’s look at the options.

But, first things first: Dale is not a lawyer! 

So for any legal advice, always trust a reputable attorney. 

That being said, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is very clear about truth in advertising. As the agency puts it, “Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive.” 

Since our consumer lives in Florida and the dealership in question is in California, this would fall under FTC jurisdiction. But first, you’ll need evidence of the original quote. Then you can and should file a complaint with the FTC. 

We can’t guarantee that the FTC will take action on your complaint. However, in the past, the agency has forced dealerships to pay multimillion-dollar settlements for deceptive advertising. And those major investigations can start with a single complaint from a consumer like you.

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