What pisses me off…infomercials on television!

I get really pissed off with the companies that advertise on the television, offering all manner of goods from make-up

I get really pissed off with the companies that advertise on the television, offering all manner of goods from make-up to floor cleaning equipment, slimming systems to exercise machines, and much, much more, (sorry if I sound a bit like an ‘ad’ myself here!), and you can have it, for just $1, to try for a month. The $1 price also has to have $39 for postage and packing added of course, but no more information is given than that, except that you can return the goods in 30 days’ time for a full refund, (of $1?), but not of the postage amount. No other charges, like the full price of the product are ever mentioned.

Purely out of interest, I rang the mandatory number included in one of the TV advertisement just to see what would happen, though it did turn out to be much as I had expected. The first thing I was asked for, before I could even speak, was my credit card number! I replied that I was only ringing at that stage to find out what the actual price of the product was and I was told I couldn’t be given that until I had passed over my number. I then said I didn’t want them to have my card number on their files if I decided not to purchase, and in any case if I went into any shop in Australia to have a look round, asked for a price on something before deciding whether to buy, I would never be refused on the basis that they didn’t have my credit card details! I then pointed out that they were, after all just a shop like any other, apart from the fact that they were online, not in my local street. The girl on the other end of the line wasn’t impressed though and insisted that she wasn’t going to supply me with details of the product until I supplied details of my card — so I just hung up!

I really feel this is bordering on, (if not completely on), being a con or scam. What the companies who employ this method of selling are obviously relying on is the lethargy of the average customer, who can’t be bothered to go all the way into town, and pay considerable, (non-refundable), postage to return the product, even if they decide they don’t actually want it after all. It’s so much easier to just let things take their course, with the full price of whatever it is, added onto the credit card, the number of which they had given to the company before the goods were sent to them.

The customer finishes up with a pile of second class goods at a first class price, plus postage, which will most likely be stuffed in a drawer somewhere until it eventually gets thrown out with the rubbish or given to the nearest op-shop!

I have a friend who just cannot refuse any of these offers, and her home is stuffed with them, weird kitchen utensils, window scrapers, blunt knives, thin towels, DVDs, dog coats, chair covers and all manner of other things, most of them still in their original wrappers. She keeps these items until her husband starts to grumble that he can no longer move freely round the house, then she puts everything on the local ‘Buy, Swap & Sell’ site, where she sells it all for about ten percent of what she paid when she bought it, the majority unused.

I know the rule is ‘buyer beware’ but I can’t help thinking there should be some sort of protection for the people who get trapped like this, many of them beyond the age of cynicism and careful consideration — we were able to be trusting of those we dealt with when we were young and we tend to expect the same thing now — a serious error on our part!

Do you agree with Brian? Do television commercials piss you off as well?

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  1. Colin Wick  

    Get a life Brian! If this is the worst thing happening in your life then then you’re in great shape…..be thankful for that and enjoy our truly lucky country.

    • Brian Lee  

      Ooooh! We are touchy aren’t we. These things are all written just for the fun of it and to see what other people’s responses are, not an effort to “get a life” as you so quaintly put it. To make it even more amusing, all the other responders agree with what I have written, so perhaps it’s YOU who is missing something in life!

  2. [email protected]  

    We have to have commercials to pay for free tv but I get annoyed when they stick extra ads at the bottom of the screen during a program.The other thing is we pay for Foxtel yet there can be up to ten ads during breaks .

  3. Maree Wayman  

    I agree with Brian and will never respond to these people; I’m also fed up with email spam which I never read either.
    I have learned my lesson with Internet shopping too; the product often doesn’t live up to my expectations in terms of quality – I’m talking about women’s wear in particular here. And to finish off my rant I’m sick to death [pardon the pun] of ads for funeral Insurance.

    • Margaret Brand  

      I agree, these ads I know are”necessary” but they turn me off the shows.
      I fell for skin products once…
      Once bitten, twice shy!

  4. Marilyn E  

    Have been conned too, there’s no such thing as a free trial, they charge you the full price after your time is up if you don’t want it you have to return it at your expense , so you keep it and pay. PLEASE BEWARE,DONT BE CONNED! . Commercials drive you nuts they go on and on, just go to bed and read !

  5. Shirley Turner  

    My pet peeve is the program advertising itself all throughout!!! Think of (Australian) Better Homes & Gardens, Living Room Block etc. Always makes me think that the advertising department aren’t able to sell the time to genuine advertisers. Bit embarrassing but also extremely annoying.

  6. Joy Anne Bourke  

    Yes, they do piss me off. If I want to watch something I now record all TV shows and then watch fast forwarding the adds. So much better. I have fell for this and over the years have bought many items and then thrown in back of cupboard as the quality is so poor and the postage return is far too expensive. I was recently looking at the Renovator Paint Kit and started to research the cost? hard to find but eventually found some reviews. Far too expensive for the quality you get and reading the reviews made my decision to not buy the product. The paint you pour into the roller has to be very thin, the paint you buy is reasonably thicker then that. Have to water the paint down before you pour into the roller, and that means you have to do at least 2 extra coats to get the finish you want. Does not save time. Also another product that exercise machine that you shake the fat off. HAHA the actual cost of that is nearly $1000 and there are other brands for less then half that cost. Imagine you ring up and decide to try the trial for $14.99 30 day refund BUT THEN SEE POSTAGE $40, so to send back and get $14.99 refunded or have nearly $1000 charged on your card. What person or persons have that sort of money on their card at anytime. I do internet shopping through people who I trust. One is Woolovers UK, Victoria Hill for clothes, and their other companies. Very good quality, better then you can buy in the shops which is all made in China. I love the pure Wool, Cotton etc.

  7. This is exactly why I record everything interesting and watch it at my leisure, fast forwarding through ads. The only things I watch in real time are some shows on the ABC. It’s a great way to watch telly.

  8. Vicki Hooper  

    Also if you do get around to returning the item ,if it is not repacked exactly as it came to you you do not get your money back .Something they don’t bother to add in their mind numbing blurb.

  9. Lorraine  

    They also say 30 day back trial but it takes that long to get some of them so by the time the product has arrived the trial time is up

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