Back in 2010, we warned you about how those late-night infomercials for The Green Millionaire appeared to just be a way to trick people into incredibly expensive magazine subscriptions. Looks like those suspicions were right, as the people behind the scheme have agreed to refund around $2 million to bilked consumers.
We have evidently not been paying close enough attention to the world of as-seen-on-TV products. Because if we had, we would have reported that Lee Majors, star of the ’70s series “The Six Million Dollar Man” was hawking
bionic ears over-the-counter hearing aids.
If, like me, you’re not a stranger to scanning through the meager offerings on late-night TV, you will more than likely recognize TV pitchman Don Lapre, whose numerous get-rich-quick ads became so infamous he was spoofed on Saturday Night Live. They also landed Lapre in an Arizona jail on charges of, among other things, mail fraud and promotional money laundering. And this is where the 47-year-old was found yesterday morning, dead of an apparent suicide.
For the last decade, the late-night TV airwaves have been home to a series of infomercials hawking a get rich quick system called “Winning in the Cash Flow Business,” in which some guy named Russell Dalbey explains over and over again how easy it is to make money by finding, brokering, and earning commissions on seller-financed promissory notes. Now, the FTC and the attorney general of Colorado are calling Dalbey’s bluff, suing him and his partners for allegedly defrauding an awful lot of insomniacs.
If you purchased Kinoki Foot Pads and were totally shocked when they didn’t “suck out” toxins from your body, have heart. Thanks to a recent class action settlement, you can get ten bucks in cash if you can show your receipts. You can also instead opt for twenty bucks worth of gift products from the same maker for each box of Kinoki Foot Pads you purchased. That sounds like a better deal to me, especially considering one of the alternate products is the “Criss Angel Money Printer.”
Tonight’s episodes of 20/20 (10 p.m. ET) features self-proclaimed infomercial junkie, Marisa Woolsey, and her obsession with all things “as seen on TV.” She has the “Ninja Blender, the Magic Bullet, the George Foreman Grill and the Han Steam Sanitizing Mop. Under every sink in her home, you’ll find ShamWow towels.”
This is an incredible infomercial for “Tajazzle,” a “3-step system of personal confidence” whose third step is a crystal tattoo that you place in an area “only your lover can find.” Everything from the product itself, to the cheesy actors super committed to being super sensuous, is hilarious.
Ever bought an infomercial product that just completely sucked? Didn’t work at all? Maybe it injured you like the fictional “Cornballer” from Arrested Development? If so, we’d love to hear about it. No, we’re not lawyers looking to represent you. As we’ve mentioned previously, Consumerist is working with ABCNews on a project about infomercials.
On Monday, U.S. Customs in Savannah, Georgia intercepted a shipment of 1,783 pieces of counterfeit exercise gear imported from China. The 764 cartons included Shake Weights, Body by Jake, and Total Core. The gear sported counterfeit logos. So not only would you get the normal benefits of a fake exercise product, the fake exercise products themselves were also fake.
You need no better sign that The Empire is on the wane then the “Tush Turner,” a swiveling seat cushion that makes it easier to get in and out of your car without all that “contorting.” Just sit your ass down and spin in and out. And maybe with the few extra seconds it gives you you’ll be able to escape the Visigoths hunting you down as fuel for their war machines.
“Infomercial Hell” is a mashup of 90 different horrible infomercial moments into one 5-minute masterpiece.
The Sunny Seat is a cat seat that sticks to windows with suction cups so you can create a horizontal raised surface for your feline without even having to know how to use a power drill.
A few weeks ago, we asked you which infomercial items you would love to see put to the test, and in the comments and e-mails, a number of you mentioned Mighty Putty, the epoxy adhesive hawked by the late Billy Mays. But then we looked through the archive over at sister site ConsumerReports.org and found they’d already put the putty through the paces.
We all know that it’s best to take the claims of any infomercial — or really, any commercial at all — with a grain of salt so large it would turn Lake Michigan brackish. And yet, there appears to be no end to the stream of products being hawked late at night by loud (and often Australian) pitchmen.
To others, the “Cami Secret” appears to be a camisole, but it’s actually a hankie you attach to your bra.