Q-RAY Bracelet Investigated For False Claims

CBC Marketplace investigated the Q-RAY, a bracelet whose “ionization” is supposed to “balance your chi” and provide chronic pain relief. The FTC sued Q-RAY for false advertising claims and ordered the makers to return $87 million to it customers. Now Q-RAY only says it improves “well being” and “performance” in its infomercials, but stores themselves still market it as a pain relief product. And when Marketplace took the bracelet to a lab, they found the darn thing wasn’t even ionized.

If it’s being sold on an infomercial, it’s probably a scam.

Meet the little bracelet that raises big questions [Marketplace]

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    WHAT
    A
    SHOCK

  2. Falconfire says:

    Well I wouldnt go so far as to say ALL infomercial things are scams. But those that claim to improve your life or health in a measurable way should be taken as suspect.

    I actually bought one of those infomercial items that had this food storage set that all used the same lids, and its been wonderful. But then I knew what I was buying.

  3. chipslave says:

    Tivo used to be an infomercial, but it has changed my life!

  4. savvy999 says:

    People that buy into this magnet/ion/crystals/magic jewelry stuff deserve to be parted from their money. Anyone have any other $87M ideas?

  5. Chairman-Meow says:

    In other news, the sky is blue, water is still wet, and kittens are still as cute as ever.

  6. Does anyone remember that thing they used to sell called “the magic bullet” or “red bullet”? It looked like a syringe, and you were supposed to touch it to the pain site, and when you pushed the plunger, it made a click noise, and the pain would disappear. I awlays wondered what happened to those.

  7. Falconfire says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Magic Bullet is the blender, I’m not sure what its name was but I do remember that device your talking about, it was the magic bullet though.

  8. AstroPig7 says:

    Here is another site with reviews of the Q-RAY Bracelet. Notice how almost every negative comment is immediately followed by a positive comment. Sound suspicious? But how can you ignore comments like, “After using it for about 3 weeks, my genital area started swelling”?

  9. homerjay says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: I remember that thing. The click means its working! Can’t remember the name, though.

  10. Mariallena says:

    Considering the existence of the Chi is highly debatable, how could it NOT be a scam?

    Buying one of these is like paying for a manicure for a flying pig who can quote Shakespeare and make pancakes.

  11. enm4r says:

    Oxi Clean actually works pretty well. It’s the only thing I’ve ever used that I saw on an infomercial, though you can buy it in some stores now, which is where I got mine.

  12. Bassdrop says:

    It “works” for some people due to the placebo effect.

  13. Cowboys_fan says:

    I think the first clue was showing a golfer nobody has heard of, from 3 years ago!

  14. JeffM says:

    Magic Bullet == Ultimate Margarita Machine!

    But yes, outside of that and a small handful of cleaning products, most infomercial gizmos are a scam!

  15. North Antara says:

    How many times has this been decided to be a scam now? I can count at least 3.

  16. joeblevins says:

    It would only be real if it was Magnet based. Those thing are real. I grew a new toe cause of magnets.

  17. LostDog says:

    Geeze… What scam will pop up next? I just wait for the day that people actually buy small bottles of water for exorbitant prices! Can you imagine!

  18. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @joeblevins:

    So, you now have 11 toes? Do you have to wear special shoes?

  19. snowmentality says:

    I used to work with a nuclear physicist who daydreamed about marketing such a bracelet — “with real atomic nuclei!”

    He figured he’d make a million. He should do it.

  20. kellyhelene says:

    @savvy999: Just goes to show how desperate some people are for relief from pain. When you get treated like a junkie looking for a fix by going through normal channels for help, thanks to the war on drugs, it’s no shock people turn to crackpot solutions.

  21. @Falconfire: The thing I love most about the blender infomercial is the one lady they had who had the cigarette dangling from her lips during the whole presentation as well as a hairnet.

  22. faust1200 says:

    Tempurpedic mattress has an infomercial and I can tell you it’s the single best product I’ve purchased in 6 years. That and my Tivo.

  23. dasunst3r says:

    So how much is it for *cough* placebo effect? *cough*

  24. bonzombiekitty says:

    In other news, the sun will rise tomorrow.

  25. bbbici says:

    There’s a sucker born every minute! It’s the basis of the American economy.

  26. Groganeer says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: It was called “The Stimulator”. I remember because they used Evil Knievel as their pitch man.

    [www.chirobase.org]

  27. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    @GitEmSteveDave:

    That woman was odd. There was a few episodes of “The Soup” where they kept making fun of that infomerical and would constantly zoom in on that lady. They also RIPPED into that damn “money making” infomerical where the two young women sit and talk about this “strange” internet whilst leaning over and showing copious amounts of cleavage.

  28. freshwater says:

    The Magic Bullet also featured the skeptical husband who didn’t like vegetables. I love that infomercial.

  29. badhatharry says:

    @AstroPig7: It makes your genitals swell? We need to buy up all we can and institute a mass emailing program to tell everyone that we have a way to increase their penis size! Quick team! Let’s move on this!

  30. lalala1949 says:

    I bought my q-ray with my Chase credit card

  31. Raziya says:

    @freshwater: QTF, LMAO. I absolutely love that infomerical, it’s hilarious (and I even own a Magic Bullet, heh…works pretty well I must say).

    But outside of that…I don’t think I would buy anything from an infomerical!`

  32. Shadowmist says:

    Infomercial products are generally only good for a laugh, imo. It’s not surprising that this bracelet is getting sold. Not surprising, but kinda sad.

  33. EagleTheta says:

    For blenders, see [www.willitblend.com] for some extraordinary, and humorous, examples of blender Tim Taylor would be proud to own.

    Another product that I think is better than advertized is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Pretty much all it is is a plastic sponge that buffs the dirty surface, but I’ve been amazed by it. It took kid-made markings of our walls that I just knew would require repainting.

    Other than that, many of the other “amazing product” claims are essentially bunk.

  34. @BeFrugalNotCheap: I liked when they had the infomercial for the product that would do all of these things for you, and there was just this random guy behind the lady lifting weights.

    Wasn’t the money making infomercial also the one where they kept saying that e-mail magically appears in your computer by magic?

    I have such fond memories of the informercials of my youth. Juice-man Juicy Jay Korning, QRB, the 90 degree screwdriver, the magic rubber mop/broom, the ovens that used the power of a cyclone to cook faster(I liked when they put the popcorn in it), any vacuum cleaner that would lift a armored car, the wrenches that grabbed the body of the nut and worked on even stripped nuts, that stackable grill that worked on just 3 sheets of newspaper and cooked a frozen steak faster than a microwave, etc…

    Anyone remember better ones?

  35. Elviswasntmyhero says:

    “By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing… kill yourself.”

    –Bill Hicks

  36. Mr. Gunn says:

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me $87 million times, … ?

    Ahh…what’s the point of making them give the money back at that point? The dumbasses are just going to get scammed by someone else.

  37. Artnchicken says:

    Wasn’t the George Forman Grill advertised on infomercials? I know it started on one of the shopping channels; it’s awesome anyways.

  38. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Artnchicken: Yeah, it definitely started out as an infomercial product. That’s the thing about “As Seen On TV” — if the product has even the least little bit of value, it’ll end up on store shelves eventually. Not everything sold on infomercials is a scam, but the stuff that stays TV-only for years probably is.

  39. jimconsumer says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: That clicky thing was nothing more than a piezo ignition device – the same thing they put on your propane BBQ. It supposedly took the pain away by delivering a small electric shock. You could buy one for $50+ or you could go down to Home Depot and get a BBQ igniter for $5, they were the same exact thing.

    I suppose they would work temporarily on mild pain. If the shock is enough to disturb your nerves more than the pain you’re experiencing, you’ll concentrate on it instead. Kind of like hitting your finger with a hammer after getting a sliver – you’ll quickly forget about the pain from the sliver. ;-)

  40. Trackback says:

    Some gadgets change the world. Others don’t. These ones, however, are very effective at one thing in particular: teleporting money out of customers’ pockets.