Suing a Company for Bait & Switch

Bait and switch refers to a type of fraudulent activity in which you are baited to purchase a good or service, but after paying you are given a lower quality good or service. Bait and switch can also involve baiting with a lower priced item and switching the item out for a higher priced good after the retailer insists that he no longer has any of the lower priced item. You may sue a company that engages in bait and switch tactics.

Take detailed notes on the bait and switch after the fraud occurs. Keeping detailed records of the events leading to your complaint will strengthen you position. Knowing all of the facts puts you in the best position possible if the company accuses you of exaggerating or making up your claims.

Visit your local county courthouse. Obtain civil lawsuit forms from the court clerk. These forms may include a civil case cover sheet, complaint form and summons. Fill out the civil case cover sheet with your name as the plaintiff and the company as the defendant. Fill out any other required information on the form, including a general description of your lawsuit. Sign the civil case cover sheet form.

Draft your complaint on the civil complaint form. Provide as much factual detail about the bait and switch as possible. Consult with an attorney regarding your legal theory for recovery. For example, your legal theory might be false advertising or fraud. Your state of residence may also have a specific statutory law against baiting and switching which you may use. Sign your complaint, then file the cover sheet, complaint and summons with the court clerk. The clerk will stamp all of the documents, including the summons. Pay any required filing fee.

Hire a process server to personally serve all of the filed documents to the defendant company. Request that the process server complete a proof of service form. File the proof of service with the court clerk.


  • The law of each state varies greatly in many respects. As a result, it's wise to consult with a local attorney before proceeding with a lawsuit.

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