Sunday, July 29, 2007

I Fell for It: A Confession of Succumbing to Infomercial Sales Tactics

Once upon a time I decided that I would get a Windsor Pilates DVD. I found one for only $10, and I had heard that it was good, so I decided to try it. So, I went online to order it. I found it and ordered it, but guess what? I didn't read the fine print.

So yeah. I got my DVD. I've tried it twice. It's okay, I guess. There's this fat-burning workout, and the drum guys on it crack me up. It's like they're checking out all of the people who are doing the workout, AND they got paid for it. Score! And then there's a 10 minute workout and a 20 minute workout. Short workouts sound great, eh? Too bad it's not yoga, the sleeping-in of exercise.

Anyway, before long, I got another package in the mail. I thought to myself, "Oh! What's this? Two free DVDs? I must have ordered during some sort of deal!" So then I threw them on the shelf, not to think of them again. I also went online and checked to make sure they hadn't charged me for them. Nothing showed up on my credit card except for my original purchase.

About a month later, along came another package. I didn't open it, but I did open that invoice thingy that was stuck to the top of it (...after getting around to it. I mean, it's not like I open my mail everyday or anything). Apparently they were charging me for the DVDs. So, I went online and checked, and there was the charge! Argh! I went to the site from where I ordered the original DVD, but I couldn't find any information about how to stop the madness! I did notice the fine print that said that I would blah blah blah... hassle-free... blah blah receive workout DVDs every month blah blah. Hassle-free my eye...

The only way I could figure that I could cancel the madness was to call their number. Argh... calling customer support. The person who answered was nice. She did a good job of sounding surprised that I wanted to cancel, and she even listened to my gripes about how irritating the process was. She also informed me that I couldn't send back my original shipment. Remember? The one I didn't get charged for? Well, I went back and looked, and the charge was there!!! I guess that the charge had shown up later or something. Argh. Money spent for something I never wanted in the first place. It's still sitting there on my bookshelf, unopened. Wanna buy it from me? I will give it to you for a low, low price, and I'll even throw in some old Christmas mint Hersheys kisses I found the other day hiding on my desk. Satisfaction guaranteed or a 30-day money-back guarantee (by Windsor Pilates - and the 30 days have expired). I guess that I will have to starve for a week to end up paying for the DVDs I never wanted. Maybe that's a part of the weight-loss plan?

Anyway, I guess I wasn't jerky enough to the customer support gal because when I was saying how irritating it was to have to CALL to either have a one-time order or cancel the monthly DVDs, I said that I was sure she didn't like to have to receive the calls from people like me who are complaining. She said that she actually liked to receive them because if there weren't people who complained about the product or canceled their orders or had problems with the program, she wouldn't have a job! Um... yahoo for having an annoying sales program? If they didn't have such a crappy sales program, people wouldn't have jobs! Maybe Windsor Pilates should get some sort of humanitarian award for providing jobs via an annoying sales program!

And so the moral of this story is: don't get Windsor Pilates unless you are totally okay with them sending you overpriced DVDs every month or equally happy to support the call center personnel who are more than happy to listen to your gripes. Because without your gripes, they wouldn't have jobs!


Sean said...

I feel your pain. Don't get me wrong, my wife loves the windsor pilates that she has, and we were lucky enough not to have to buy anything extra, but oh how I hate the spending of money for something you don't even want.

Personally, I will stick to running. The running shoes are cheap, and I have to pay for the road whether I use it or not!

Cassie said...

I got the Windsor Pilates thing too but they never did send me anything extra thank goodness. That sucks. I get sucked into those infomercials so bad. There's one out there I'm thinking about called Shapely Secrets and they say that you just stand there and do nothing for seven minutes and you lose weight. I'm tempted to give that the 30 day try. Or I'll just lay off the mercials.

Dub said...

Maybe the girl with the lousy job answering customer complaints is only working there to pay her way through college. While I was in college, I worked two summers for a telemarketing company in Cedar City because it was the only job I could find in my hometown that didn't require me to work on Sundays. I hated the job, but I was grateful to have something. I remember talking to an angry man once who yelled, "Get a real job!" I really wanted to explain to him that I was only working there to pay for college so that someday I could GET a real job, but alas, he had already hung up on me.

KieraAnne said...

I got the Windsor Pilates dvd's too. I ordered them like three years ago though before they had the "convenient new dvds sent every month to keep your workout interesting." I liked the ones I got and actually managed to lose lots of inches doing them. I didn't lose any weight, but lost like three inches from my hips, two from my thighs, and 4-5 from my waist. Now I sound like a testimonial....I hear you about the not ordering stuff they send you thing. That happens to me sometimes when I forget to decline the monthly directors selection from the movie clubs I'm in. Luckily I now usually recognize what it is before I open it and can send it back.

tearese said...

I worked in telemarketing too, like half the people in Cedar. I hate, hate, hate it! But I am very sympathetic toward telemarketers now.