INFOMERCIALS: What You Need to Know

AS SEEN 300x220 INFOMERCIALS: What You Need to KnowCheck out that ad on the tube!  That product can save you time!  It can save you money!  It can improve your health, your life, and much more!!  The sky is the limit!  So what is this product?!  I’m not so sure, but there seems to be a new one out, every day.

Have you been lured in by infomercials?  Some of the advertised products for sale are outstanding, but it’s the ones that aren’t that you have to watch out for.  Many times, the BBB receives calls from consumers asking about these products from infomercials.  The advertisements typically are so new that there is no public information on them.  This is where it can be dangerous to the consumer for making a purchase. Why, you might ask?  Here is an example:

A consumer reported that she purchased a specialty, pressure cooker from one of these infomercials. The payments were to be approximately 4 payments of $35.00 or about $140.00. She had agreed to this over the phone but then was bombarded with all of these other offers.

  • Upgrade to professional quality for $5
  • A 6-year warranty for $6
  • Shipping and handling at $29.99
  • A $50 gift card to Walmart, Target, etc. to join a distinguished club for $20
  • A trip offer to Orlando or Las Vegas, in exchange for purchasing magazines

The most frustrating part about the call was that every time she wanted to opt out of something, there was no way to do so and no way to talk to a customer service representative. She dealt with an automated system and was given the choices of saying “yes” or pressing “1.” At the outcome her bill turned out to be $147.95, which was a far cry from the $35.00 payment that she was originally expecting. She called Visa to have the payment cancelled, but they did not show the charges in their system. They would have to be disputed at a later date.

This is an example of what can happen, if you make a purchase with an unfamiliar company. If you are calling the BBB or are checking our website to vet one of these unknown companies and find no history, you are taking matters in your own hands. It’s Buyer Beware. Things to consider when dealing with unknown companies are

1) How long have they been in business?

2) Are they reliable?

3) What is their business track record?  Do they have one?

4) Are they telling the truth in their advertising?

If you don’t have the answers to these questions, then you may be putting yourself at risk. It’s better to deal with a company that you know something about than it is to take a risk at having your debit/credit or banking information compromised and a potential risk of identity theft. KNOW who you are dealing with and what you may be getting yourself into. Check with us first!

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/renaissancechambara/3231398049/”>renaissancechambara</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

 

 

 

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About Kristal Heffley

Ad Review and Social Media Specialist of BBB serving Northern Indiana. Kristal spends a great deal of time learning, writing about, and educating the public on scams of the day. She also is quite the social-media enthusiast and community partner. You can follow her posts, i.e. BBB serving Northern Indiana on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and of course, our blog.