Promising X while intending to only to offer Y.
Bait and switch techniques were already ancient long before the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ( DARPA ) started to assemble the internet.
Such techniques will continue to be staples of high-pressure negotiations long after the last server hosting this website has been decommissioned.
When you find yourself in such negotiations, your first priority should be to remove yourself from the situation.
As Dua Lipa might say, "Walk away. You know how."
You might decide to complain to the organization's management or some government agency.
While it is possible that an employee has gone rogue using such techniques, it is far more likely that management not merely condones such tactics but that in fact management trained the employees to use such tactics.
If you post your experience on social media or internet message boards, keep in mind that you will have a challenging communication corridor to navigate.
You will need to clearly express your displeasure while staying clear of profanity.
Regardless of the facts at hand, any use of profanity could be a tool that the organization being reviewed may cite in order to have your post removed.
The management of a social media site or web forum may be highly receptive towards any reason to take the position of an important advertiser over that of a single poster.
It would probably be useful to present one of however many times I fell for a bait and switch tactic.
However, I am too embarrassed to share any of those with everyone on the planet that has a web browser and an internet connection.
Instead, I will go over a time that I recognized a bait and switch attempt and walked away without signing anything.
During the great recession I applied for a position on a job board.
I then had a phone interview and in person interview.
I received a contract over email.
The rate stated in the contract was well below the low end of the range that had been stated in the advertisement.
In addition, the contract stated that the position would be paid on a 1099 basis instead of as a W2 employee as had been stated in the advertisement.
Taking the job on a 1099 basis would mean that I would be responsible for paying the part of social security tax that an employer would normally pay.
Furthermore, the contract I was expected to sign said that they could terminate me from the project at any time but that I could not leave the project until they were satisfied that it was complete.
The contract went so far as to explicitly say that their failure to pay my invoices in a timely manner would not be sufficient grounds for me to quit the project.
As a W2 employee, your being paid is among the most senior obligations of an organization.
In contrast, as a 1099 vendor, you are just an unsecured creditor.
I emailed them back and said I would not be accepting the position.
That was the end of it for me.
Employers do often engage in puffery in order to maximize the pool of interested candidates, but in this case the difference between what had been advertised and what was then offered was too extreme.
Perhaps whoever did accept the position was paid on time and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but for me it was a risk I could not afford.
If someone will try to deceive you when he or she has no authority over you, try to imagine how tyrannical his or her organization will be if you sign a contract that will then govern your options.
Given a sufficient number of readers there will be some people who shortly after reading this page find themselves in a bait and switch situation.
They will exit the negotiations without having signed any contract, get on with the rest of their life, and credit it not to this webpage but rather to their overall life experience.
To those people I have one thing to say: you are absolutely correct.