I was just on the TiLite website and noticed this Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Policy that is effective as of April 4, 2017.
It appears to be trying to prevent advertising prices lower than what TiLite would like. It limits advertising lower prices except for in-store displays, in-store banners or in-store price markings, Quotes or contracts, and Internet site "checkout" pages.
In other words, it will make it very hard for customers to compare prices on the internet without getting a formal quote. I find this rather concerning, and think it is important for others like us who order online to know about -- ask for a quote or process your order through to the "checkout" page!
It also seems to favour brick and mortar resellers, which in my view do not necessarily provide better "pre-sale and post-sale service" than good online resellers. The customer is the one who should decide what level of service they want ? not the manufacturer! I think this policy unreasonably restrains competition and gives brick and mortar resellers an advantage in being able to show discounted prices in-store, but internet resellers are not -- possibly this even goes against some states antitrust regulations.
I just did a quick search on some of my favourite online reseller sites, and it does not yet look like they are complying. I will be curious to hear what resellers and customers think of this.
This is an article from the American Bar Association: A Roadmap to Minimum Advertised Price Policies.
This is the link to the Word doc TiLite MAP Policy 2017, which lists Covered Products (all), Covered Advertising (almost all except instore), MAP Rules (prices) and Violations (rather harsh). This is the introduction:
TiLite has built a reputation for providing superior quality complex rehab manual wheelchairs. TiLite believes that a pre-sale and post-sale experience that includes personal service, instruction and education will enhance and solidify TiLite's reputation.
TiLite has established this policy (this "MAP Policy") regarding the minimum advertised price ("MAP") of TiLite products in the United States. This MAP Policy applies to all TiLite dealers and suppliers located in the United States (collectively, "Authorized Suppliers"). TiLite designed this MAP Policy to help maintain TiLite?s reputation for providing superior manual wheelchair products by ensuring that Authorized Suppliers can provide the level of pre-sale and post-sale service that TiLite wheelchair consumers have come to expect and that they deserve.
This MAP Policy is unilateral and non-negotiable, and TiLite will not alter it for any Authorized Supplier. Each Authorized Supplier is free to decide whether to follow this MAP Policy or not. TiLite will unilaterally enforce this MAP Policy as set forth below under "Violations."
This MAP Policy only affects advertised prices. This MAP Policy does not extend to any Authorized Supplier's actual resale price, which each Authorized Supplier sets in its sole discretion.