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Back Health — Infomercial Reviews…
Back health infomercials have several areas of caution. While most infomercials that promote back health fall within normal sales practices; there are others that use unacceptable businesses practices. The following list explains what you should watch-out for before ordering:
Negative Billing Option
For back related pills/supplements: Negative rebilling refers to ‘free trials’ that have conditions that you sign up for a monthly membership or subscription. This subscription rebills monthly until you cancel. Before you order check the website carefully. The notice that you are signing up for a subscription are sometimes obscure. This is done so you ‘forget’ and the bill continues to mount each month.¹
The other big issues associated with infomercials that promise better back support/health is false or misleading claims. In fact it is one of the most popular scams with As Seen on TV products. “Manufacturers [use] deceptive claims, not backed by science, to advertise their products.”²
This includes back pills and products that promise quick or far superior results. The most famous case is for Doan’s back:
The “longtime advertising message — that Doan’s pills are more effective than other analgesics such as Advil or Aleve for back pain — supports its substantially higher price,” said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But, we are alleging, the company just does not have the evidence to back up its claims of superiority.”³
As a rule of thumb, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
In the health related infomercials celebrities are big. The reasoning is simple: People that if a celebrity endorses it, it must work because they would not recommend otherwise. This is not always the case. It’s been reported that some celebrities have not even used the product, they just sold the rights to use their name.
In addition, some other health related infomercials will casually link celebrities even though no official endorsement exits. They do this by having a segment on how one particular segment had lower back pain. The next segment they focus on their product. While no ‘official’ endorsement exists, they hope users make this casual association as an endorsement. Often times this strategy works.