When's the last time you bought something and it wasn't what you thought it was going to be? Judging from all the complaints Consumer Reports receives, it probably wasn't all that long ago.
Subway has long promoted its foot-long sandwiches. So when customers caught the company serving up shorter sandwiches, they took their complaints to Facebook, grabbing media attention and even outraging Stephen Colbert.
The Colbert Report says, "We have been five-dollar footwronged!"
Consumer Reports Tod Marks says that's not the only product that's disappointing consumers.
The Allergy Luxe Premium Bed bug Mattress Protector says it provides "luxurious fabric protection against bed bugs, dust mites, and allergens."
But if you turn the package over and read the fine print at the bottom, it says, "The manufacturer makes no claim that this product will prevent or inhibit human exposure to insects, allergens, mold or other microbial matter."
This packaging for the Cuddly Sherpa Throw shows cut lambs. But look closer! The throw is made from 100% polyester.
Looking for products "made in America" can be confusing as well.
Marks says, "Just because you see a symbol like an American flag doesn't mean it was American-made at all."
The American Glove Company says "We Glove the USA." But on it's label--it says made in Vietnam!
And you'd think dishtowels made by American Mills were also manufactured in the USA. Wrong. They're made in China!
Unfortunately, confusing words and images aren't necessarily forbidden by the Federal Trade Commission-responsible for monitoring deceptive product claims.
Marks says, "What would a reasonable consumer think, they ask. And even there it's not clear cut."
That means reading labels closely is a good habit to get into.
Consumer Reports says if you believe you've been mislead about a product, complain to the manufacturer directly.
And file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at consumer. ftc.gov.
As for Subway, the company has issued a statement says, "We have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve."