Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Power is in the Pitch

In chapter 1 we learned about a product called the Q-Ray bracelet and how the manufacturer made claims of their product like having “natural holistic pain relief” properties. The compare the product to traditional Chinese acupuncture and is based on oriental medicine. The company made other imprecise, scientific-sounding claims, which were never really proven but based on testimonials of happy costumers. These outlandish claims later led to a huge lawsuit against the Q-Ray Company where the Federal Trade commission issued a restraining order against the company. This entailed them to revoke their fabricated claims and cost the company millions of dollars in refunds. In page 8 of the book we even see the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida proved “the Q-Ray bracelet is no more effective than a placebo bracelet at relieving muscular and joint pain”. It’s amazing that a company like that can still be in business today. I found many of products with extremely similar claims as the Q-Ray. One of these products is called the Power Balance.  

            The Power Balance claims that their product increases your performance. The holograms are created using a proprietary process featuring cutting edge three-dimensional imaging, which makes the hologram truly unique. The hologram is designed based on Eastern philosophies.” Does this sound somewhat familiar to the claims made by the Q-Ray, using very scientific sounding words stretched to suck in helpless consumers? Many of the characteristics of Pseudoscience are used in selling both of these products, such as the use of testimonials. The Power Balance website has claims that all sorts of professional athletes and famous actors wear their product all the time. They even have a part of the page just for showing mostly famous people that are wearing the bracelet.  

            Even though the Power Balance uses a lot of like-minded absurd claims as the Q-Ray, they did learn on thing from the mistakes made by Q-Ray. At the bottom of the Power Balance FAQ’s page they have a disclaimer saying, “While we have received testimonials and responses from around the world about how Power Balance has helped people, there is no assurance it can work for everyone. We make no claims and let the consumer decide based on their experience. That’s why we offer a 30-day no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, just return the product within 30 days with proof of purchase.”

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