Grocery store flyer deals - OOS on day 1 !!
This pattern is consistent and ongoing. It is not a supply problem, an unforeseeable demand or an error. It is simply a way to entice consumers to shop at their store without offering the advertised discounts. I often see similar product substitutions at higher prices. People including myself often don't notice that it isn't the sale product they've purchased when they unpack their groceries at home.
I've quoted some of the pertinent information from the bureau website below. ( click on the Competition Bureau of Canada link above for full document )
From the Bureau website :
Bait and switch selling
Section 74.04 of the Competition Act is a civil provision. It prohibits "bait-and-switch" selling which occurs when a product is advertised at a bargain price, but is not available for sale in reasonable quantities. The provision does not apply if the advertiser can establish that the non-availability of the product was due to circumstances beyond its control, the quantity of the product obtained was reasonable, or the customer was offered a rain check when supplies were exhausted.
If a court determines that a person has engaged in conduct contrary to section 74.04, it may order the person not to engage in such conduct, to publish a corrective notice and/or to pay an administrative monetary penalty of up to $750,000 in the case of a first time occurrence by an individual and $10,000,000 in the case of a first time occurrence by a corporation. For subsequent orders, the penalties increase to a maximum of $1,000,000 in the case of an individual and $15,000,000 in the case of a corporation.
1. Bargain price
Section 74.04 does not come into play in all cases of non-availability. It is only relevant where a product is being advertised at a "bargain price" as defined in the section. However, other instances not involving bargain prices may fall within the scope of section 52 or paragraph 74.01(1)(a). The use of words in an advertisement such as "sale price" or "special" could bring an advertisement within the purview of this definition. In addition, if a product is advertised at a price that is significantly lower than the ordinary price for that product in the market, then the provision could also apply even if there is no direct mention in the advertisement that the advertised price is a bargain price.
3. Nature of advertisement
An advertiser may clear out old stock that would not normally amount to a reasonable quantity without contravening the section if he or she clearly specifies in the advertisement the number of items available. However, use of a general phrase, such as "quantities are limited," would not be an absolute defence under this section, although it may reduce the quantity that would otherwise be required for a reasonable supply in a given situation.
5. Defences provided in subsection 74.04(3)
5.2 Reasonable quantities
Although the crux of this reviewable matter depends on the definition of this term, it is not possible to specify what quantities might be considered reasonable since this is an issue to be determined on a case-by-case basis. What is reasonable will depend on the factors outlined in the section, some of which have already been discussed. In general, the best guide for an advertiser would be the history of consumer demand for the same or comparable products during previous sales using similar advertisements. If a reasonable quantity were available, the advertiser would likely have a good defence.