The unauthorized guide to fine print, holiday edition

Zoon/Shutterstock
Zoon/Shutterstock

When Ben Blout invoked a big-box store’s “low price promise” after discovering a lower price on his merchandise, he learned something customers rediscover every holiday shopping season: some restrictions apply.

Make that lots of restrictions.

“They told me they won’t match any printed advertisement that is not valid for at least one week,” says Blout. “Specifically, their price match excludes timed events like early bird specials and door busters.”

Fine print is a problem any time of the year, of course. But most consumers get foiled by it around the holidays, in part because more people are shopping, and in part because of the extra offers with the extra restrictions.

Errors of omission: 3 tips on how to avoid a disclosure scam

Isak55/Shutterstock
Isak55/Shutterstock
They say the devil is in the details. Moyosore Otepola would probably agree.

She recently booked a hotel reservation in Chicago through an airline website. “I found a better deal and decided to cancel the reservation,” she says. But when Otepola phoned the hotel to cancel, a representative delivered some bad news: the reservation couldn’t be changed. Check the terms of her reservation, the employee scolded.

Her airline had failed to mention that little detail.

Latest