I understand that bait and switch is a fraudulent marketing technique in which one 'bait' product is advertised at a certain price, then after the consumer is drawn in they are instead offered a similar product at a higher price. I'm wondering if the term 'bait and switch' also applies to switches made after purchase, or if there is a different term for it? I'm assuming it's just as illegal under consumer law, but if the law is different please clarify.
- customer signs up for a 12 month tv contract offering channels X, Y and Z. Before the contract runs out, the contract is modified to only offer channels X and Y, for the same price. Channel Z can be purchased for an additional fee, but this is optional.
- customer purchases a premium item within a game which offers some bonus. At some point after purchase the item is modified to give a smaller bonus. No partial refund or compensation is offered.
In both examples the consumer initially gets what they originally paid for, and it is only some time later that the product is modified to be something less than what they were originally offered, but they are not offered any kind of compensation or partial refund to account for the difference.
If the company includes a clause in their contract saying they reserve the right to make such changes without offering refund or compensation, would that make these tactics legal? What are the company's legal obligations in these examples?