Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back-2-Life Machine is a "Sham" for Many

There appears to be a trend right now for healthy lifestyle products to be advertised on TV or radio, with a great number of claims being made about what they can do -- and some very shady business practices to go along with those generally bogus claims. Some of these products are very expensive.

My wife recently tried a "free sample offer" for a product called Hydroxatone (a skin cream) and an invoice arrived in the box for nearly $160.00. She was charged $12.95 to ship a product that cost $3 or $4 to ship, at the most, with instructions to return the remaining lotion within 30 days or her card would be charged the full amount. How does that sound for a "free" trial offer?

In my case, I got suckered as well, by a company that sells a $200+ device on TV, called the "Back 2 Life Machine." I responded to an offer that, once again, was too good to be true. The device itself has to be returned within 30 days to get a refund that does not include shipping and handling each way (and the unit is large). My guess is that at least half of their customer base returns it and they make enormous profits on the other 50% who miss the cut off date. While it is an interesting concept, I was not able to find any credible scientific evidence supporting its claims. You lie down with this device, put your legs up on the saddle, and let it pull you gently for 12 minutes or so every day. Personally, I knew that I had only a short time with it before my window to send it back closed, and so I used it three or four times a day.

I really, really wanted that Back-2-Life Machine to work. Unfortunately, I achieved no results at all -- not one difference in my back pain. Upon calling the firm to get an RMA number (even though I would lose about $50), they offered me all kinds of incentives to keep it. Even a huge reduction in the price.

Let me recommend to marketers that if your product has some value, price it fairly from day one. Don't make one consumer pay a higher price, while others buy it for substantially less because they called and complained. That's just adding an E to the back end of your SHAM product . . . SHAME on you.

Dave
PS - The comments section of this blog has been closed for many months. Please do not attempt to leave a message. We've been inundated with spam and with messages on either side of the issue that we do not want to publish as the author has stopped taking messages on this issue.

17 comments:

Dave Jensen said...

A set of overly positive comments on this device has been posted here, but due to the very likely possibility that it was an advertisement from the company that makes the device, I have deleted it. If "Chief Running Mouth" would like to write me a direct email, I will post the message once I confirm it was written by someone who isn't simply a tout. Thanks, Dave

Saku said...

Hi Dave,

I have a dear friend who suffer from Lyme for quite long time... and she uses this device.
I'm very curious about it...

Anonymous said...

Very impolite when I called to ask about returning the worthless machine,cost 60 bucks shipping to me and back and if the shipping service you use dont get it there before the 7 days after you get the return authorization number ,no refund and you will be forced to buy and keep it like it or not.
Summary: Dont order anything from these scammers or you will be sorry.

Ether64 said...

Dave,
Thank you so much for this information. Unlike many who saw and reached for the dream of being pain free, I decided to research this a bit before investing my hard earned dollars in it.
Initially, I thought the idea of that kind of motion in the lower back would be beneficial, so I was interested in the product. After reading several forum postings where I found both good and bad reviews, the bad began to outweigh the good.
However, I've bookmarked you because your credentials held more weight for me as a researcher in the health field, and also because you tend towards the holistic.
Thus far, in investigating this product, I've come to realize that a little bit of effort with a ball and the pelvic tilt & dead bug exercises would be just as effective as this machine claims to be, and certainly, a lesser financial alternative.
I think the people who have wasted money on this product may be reluctant to make that little bit of effort, and perhaps are drawn to the claim that the machine does all the work for you. Remember, we live in the land of the free...and the lazy. Peace and blessings.
Sandra

Dave Jensen said...

I've just received an anonymous posting about this machine from a Donna. Please be in touch with me, as I believe you are an employee of this company based on your commentary.

Anonymous said...

Well, I bought it and I'm returning it. I too really wanted this thing to work - I also do exercises (herniation L4-5). I called to get an RA# and was told to call back in an hour (computers were down). I have plenty of time to return it, and will do so via UPS to have a proof of delivery and return date.
I should have known better. When I called to order they tried to sell me vitamin supplements, weights on other stuff. When i asked her to "stop reading her script, I just want the device" she told me she couldn't... I threatened to not order at all.. when she continued I hung up. A superviser called back 1/2 hour later and placed my order at $40 discount.
Don't waste your money.

John said...

As a chiropractor for over a decade and reading everything I can about low back pain and it's treatments I can say that there is no quick fix in the majority of cases, and no one treatment works for everyone. Though I have great results using a trask table (flexion-distraction) if the patient is unwilling to get more actice in thier own care they will not have lastinf effects in most cases. I have yet to see any device like this work, and if it had, I would be using one myself.

RickersGirl said...

I appreciate being able to read blogs like this. I just saw this device on the TV at my gym today and was curious. Thanks for the internet and being able to find reviews quickly! I'll pass on this device as I see it has terrible feedback. Thank you, Dave.

Anonymous said...

I am like most of those who are too trustworthly when viewing TV recommand procucts. Especially I am in a great deal of back pain in the past few months. It even affecting my arms and legs. So I order the Back-2-Life via their official website. But then, my husbank told me to read the comments from Sham vs. Wham. Boy, it really makes me feel stupid. Right away, I called to cancel but the operator indicated the online order was in as yet. I emailed to they official websit proveded them with the order ID and requested to cancel the order placed on the same day. Now...I am anxious to know how will they handle the order and the cancellation. As well as the changes to my credit card.
Thank you for Dave and to all for sharing your experiences. Wish me luck for the cancellation!
MKF

Dave Jensen said...

This is a note from Dave Jensen, author of the original blog. I want to let you know that I will not be publishing any further reader comments on this "Back-2-Life Machine" commentary. I believe that the manufacturer has found this blog affecting sales and they have attempted on several occasions to put through positive, razzle dazzle reviews in the commentary section. I'm not going to be a party to some company using this forum as a place to sell machines. Sorry readers!

Dave Jensen said...

Thanks to Ingrid, who complimented this blog site and suggested that we need to keep commercial elements from touting their wares on this site.

Stanley said...

As a credit card processor, I just want to tell everyone that the big CC company's are usually more than willing to do what the industry calls a "charge back" if you purchase something with your CC card and it doesn't do what was promised. A charge back costs the retailer the full cost of shipping, and the full cost of the product, plus $25's to the CC company. However, it usually only works with purchases made through U.S.--based company's. If you've been done wrong, call your CC company and explain your exact situation to the customer service representative. Be extremely polite, and they can work wonders, especially if you are a regular card user.

Dave Jensen said...

Once again, I must ask that no more comments be posted to this thread.

trinketgirl said...

After spending 15 minutes on hold trying to get the return authorization, I called back and hit the # to BUY a machine. As luck would have it the call was answered immediately. The service rep then can give you the information without the indignity of having to listen to their informercial. Gee, if they won't make it easy to return, take the other route and save the aggrevation. Also they can take up to 50 days to issue your credit. The 29.95 s&h that they keep is a big money maker for them.

Anonymous said...

I ordered the back 3 life 2 weeks ago. Its made my back feel worse. I've tried contacting these people numerous times. I've been on hold up to an hour at a time. Ive even emailed them 6 times. I am worried my 30 days marks will be here before they contact me back... This is bunch of BS. I will be contacting Better Business Bureau.

Kim

cj said...

I guess I am one of the few who have something positive to say about this device. I have maintained all along that my back pain is due to spasms caused by my own self abuse regarding how I carry things, my poor posture, bending opver for long periods of time at work, (I am a surgeon). I have used the device now for approx. 2 months. I initially used it twice daily as recommended, but quickly fell off to once a day and now 2 or 3 times per week. I have not had an episode of back spasms since I began its use. I definitely agree with one of the other reviews which stated that there are many different causes of low back pain, and this device will likely not be effective for many of them, especially things like ruptured discs, radiculopathy, etc. But for the right patients this device may work well as it has in my case. I can't really comment about the customer service issues as I have never again contacted the company.

Dave Jensen said...

ONCE AGAIN I AM CLOSING THIS COMMENT AREA. There will be no more sales pitches from the company, or any overly negative rants. Take my blog for what it is -- my experience, and that's all.