Do I need a deceptive advertising lawyer?

Asked about 1 year ago - Randolph, MA

When reviewing a pizza shops online and physical paper menu, a small pizza is listed at $5 and any additional topping is .50 per topping. I then placed my order over the phone requesting a small pizza, with pepperoni and Beef topping. When I arrived to pick up my order, the pizza shop charged me $9.55. At that point I walked away and assumed it was a blunder. However, as recently as yesterday I ordered the same exact pizza. I made the gentleman over the phone aware that I previously ordered a pizza and was over charged. He verified that it was .50 per topping while stating depending on the topping it may be more. (No wear on the online menu nor the paper states it "may be more" depending on the topping. This time he charged me $8 for the same exact pizza. Is this shop being deceptive?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Constantine T Mariolis

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, it is an unfair and deceptive trade practice to advertise one price and then charge another. See my 93A guide for information on how to write a demand letter. You should be refunded $2 which is a little less than the cost of the certified letter you will need to send.

    My answers are general in nature based upon very short, and often incomplete questions. Please do not rely upon... more
  2. Dennis Francis Desmarais

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Hope the pizza was good...

    It sounds like this shop might be skirting the edges of what is permissible under MA consumer protection law, but you might pay more in heartburn than you will collect unless you are careful. It might be that they are just sloppy or informal in the way they price pizza pies.

    Technically, section 940 Code of Mass. Regulations 3.04 from the MA attorney general's office calls for greater exactitude in pricing, as inaccuracies that redound to the favor of the merchant could be interpreted as deceptive and a violation of Mass. Consumer Protection law. The regulations says, " No claim or ... shall be made ... which has the ... tendency ... of deceiving buyers ... as to the ... usual price of a product, ... or any saving relating to a product."

    Consider buying from another pizza shop and letting this shop know the reason why. Good luck.

    This response is intended to provide general information, but not legal advice. The response may be different if there are other or different facts than those included in the original question. My answers are general in nature and based upon very terse and often incomplete information. Please do not rely upon my answers. If you need a legal opinion, you need to hire a lawyer who will take the time to fully understand your problem and research the issues. This communication through a public website is not privileged or confidential and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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