Oh, wait, there is a little icon after “free.” Let’s see where it takes us. Well, first off, the fine print says, “Guaranteed to have shoes shown in sizes 8 - 12.” Hmmm, a small qualification from what the headline clearly promised, but OK, we’ll let that go for now.
On to the next part of the disclaimer: “If we are out of these styles at the store, we will ship it to you within 7 business days. If you do not receive the purchased shoes within 10 business days, we will mail you a certificate for a free pair…etc.”
So basically, even though they have guaranteed to have my size in stock (well, at least in sizes 8 – 12), what they really mean is that they will guarantee to have my size sent to me if the store inventory is not sufficient.
Wait, it gets better (or worse, depending if you are a customer or the store). After some further fine tuning, the copy concludes, “Advertised merchandise may not be carried at your local (store name) and selection may vary by store.”
So the shoes shown in the ad, and, once again, “guaranteed to be in stock in your size,” might not even be carried by my local branch.
Which leads me to my two questions, one relevant, one just idle curiosity.
• Why in the world—especially today’s world of customer service being a key differentiator—would any store run an ad like this, loaded with more hemming and hawing than a lawyer with a bad cold and guilty client?
• Why, when you go from telling a “lie,” to calling someone a “liar,” do you change the “e” in “lie” to an “a”?