Lacson: Is it false advertising? What do you think?


LAST July 2020, Waltermart Supermarkets launched a promo of getting a free Tornado Mop 360 for a minimum single receipt cash purchase worth P6,000 with any of the participating products. As a frequent customer of their grocery delivery services, my mom and I availed of this promo and purchased in bulk to meet the amount needed. We proceeded with the online transaction, but the free mop, unfortunately, did not come with the delivered grocery items we ordered. The management said that due to high volume of orders, the tornado mops were out of stock.

We still have not received any update after three months of waiting for any text or call from Waltermart Supermarket San Fernando. We have made several purchases after this transaction in an attempt to get our free mop but to no avail. The customer service staff keeps on telling us that the stocks have not arrived yet.

In our opinion (we might be wrong in using the term), this is a case of false advertising. Why? For us, they should have expected the huge turn-out of customers who will avail the promo and have available stocks to give away. Anyone would be enticed to splurge P6,000 worth of groceries to get this freebie, and not getting it right away is unfair to us as customers.

According to the American Marketing Association, "false advertising is the use of false, misleading, or unproven information to advertise products to consumers." The Waltermart Supermarket Free Tornado Mop promo may not have been false but is to us misleading since it led us to buying the required purchase only to be told upon delivery at our doorstep that the mop is not readily available. Had they informed us right away that the mop is out of stock, we would not have proceeded with the online transaction.

This is where we argue that the management of Waltermart Supermarket in San Fernando that they did not disclose this important information to us as consumers. They should have told us before hand that the mop will be available once the stocks will arrive, and gave us the option to proceed with the purchase or not. They should have asked us if we are willing to wait for the stocks, and if in case we are not amenable to waiting, then we can just cancel the grocery delivery.

For some, you might think that I am blabbering just for the sake of a free mop. Think whatever you want, but I am writing this piece to air our disappointment on how the supermarket has addressed our concern so far. Our queries have fallen on deaf ears and we have not received any assurance at all as to when they will be handing us the promised freebie. After all, we are paying customers, to the point of paying the delivery fee for our groceries. This is why, I firmly believe, that we have all the right to air our complaint on this matter. I hope this time, someone from the supermarket will heed and be alarmed at the very least. If not, we think we may have to formally file a complaint at the Department of Trade and Industry. Let's wait and see.


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