Supermarket IOUs
June 2, 2008 10:02 AM   Subscribe

How do supermarket IOUs work?

If something is advertised as on sale is out of stock, supermarkets can give you an IOU option to purchase the product at a later time for the same price. My question is this - is this a courtesy? are there consumer protection laws? How far does this practice/obligation extend - if it's a law does it apply to larger purchases, it advance sale tickets? Is this federal or state specific?
posted by andrewyakovlev to Shopping (4 answers total)
More commonly called a "rain check," it's a courtesy (good for customer loyalty). Most stores get around this by saying "While supplies last" or "Limited to stock on hand" for most sale items.
posted by amyms at 10:09 AM on June 2, 2008

There's a scheme called "bait and switch" which is illegal. This would happen when a store advertises one thing to get people in the door and then don't actually have it, so people buy something else instead (presumably something on which the store makes more money). I'm guessing that this has especially been a problem with grocery stores, as they seem to come under more scrutiny for this.

So basically, unless the ad said that supplies were limited, they are required to give you a rain check.
posted by winston at 11:33 AM on June 2, 2008

When I worked as a cashier, if the store was out of stock of an item on sale, a customer was allowed to ask for a raincheck. We filled out this informal piece of paper that said "Rain Check" and wrote the item, the discounted price, and the quantity they were allowed.

I think they had a year to use it. Then they could just come back to the store at anytime and we would give them the "rain checked" price for that item.
posted by lintacious at 2:54 PM on June 2, 2008

« Older Chat room games (not cybersex)   |   BabySlashDogFilter: Getting that second dog Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.