Substitution of products.
With respect to industry products offered for sale by an industry member, it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for any member of the industry:
To ship or deliver industry products which do not conform to representations made prior to securing the order or to specifications upon which the sale is consummated, without advising the purchaser of the substitution and obtaining the purchaser's consent thereto prior to making shipment or delivery, where failure to advise would be misleading to purchasers; or
To falsely represent the reason for making a substitution: Provided, however, That nothing in this section is intended to inhibit the shipment of products different from those ordered, prior to obtaining the purchaser's consent to such substitution, when the order is received by the industry member near the close of the planting season for the products ordered and the substitution involved relates but to a product or products the total price of which is comparatively small, and when:
At the commencement of the planting season for the products ordered the industry member had a supply of such products sufficient to meet normal and reasonably expected orders therefor, and such supply has been exhausted; and
The products substituted are of similar variety and of equal or greater value to those ordered by the purchaser and no additional charge is made therefor; and
Notice of the substitution, with adequate identification of the substituted item or items, and with commitment of the industry member to refund any purchase price received for the substituted products if such products are not acceptable to the purchaser and to compensate the purchaser for any expense involved in the return of the substituted products if refund is conditioned on the return thereof, is given the purchaser at the time of his receipt of such products: And provided further, That nothing in this section is to be construed as sanctioning the dissemination of an advertisement of an industry product or products or the personal solicitation of orders therefor unless at the time of such dissemination or solicitation the industry member has a supply of such product or products sufficient to meet normal and reasonably expected orders therefor. [Guide 3]
[44 FR 11177, Feb. 27, 1979, as amended at 59 FR 64549, Dec. 14, 1994]