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.
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