P90X – Lesson: Never Buy from Infomercials

I need to get more fit and lose weight.

I was in Buffalo at the Homewood Suites, after a long drive, drowsy. So I took a nap at 3:00pm and woke up completely groggy at 6:00pm. To help me wake up, I turned on the TV, and an infomercial by P90X rolled in front of me and drew me in. For $39.95 a month, in three months I would be fit, lose lots of weight, look great, and be happy.

I called the number. After all was said and done, I had spent about $310, because I signed up for a subscription for vitamins and supplements. I was smart enough to turn down an online coaching program for another $20 a month or so.

I bought a bunch of DVDs to work out to and a few rubber straps and a pull-up bar. Hmmm.

  • I am not committed to walking 45 minutes a day. So now I am going to work out an hour a day with DVDs?
  • I never take vitamins or supplements? Now I will, just because I subscribed to them?
  • I don’t have a place in the house where there is a TV with  a DVD player where there is enough room to work out. Will I convert the garage to a gym just because I bought $310 worth of gear?

After I thought this through I realized that if I wanted to get fit and lose weight, the obstacle was not the DVDs and the equipment. I even have access to a full gym that I am not using. The obstacle is lack of commitment, which is not going to be solved by buying a product.

So I called back a couple of hours later to cancel the order.

And here comes the drift: It’s easy to buy this stuff, but it takes real work to cancel. The “customer service” office is only open 9:00am to 9:00pm. You can order any time, of course, but you can only cancel at their convenience. When I called, I found out that the order is already on the pallet (oh, too bad) and there was no way to hold it back. So all I would be charged was the $47 that it cost them for shipping.

I protested. They said they could not help it. It was already on the way.

Then I checked the web site:

This shows that shipping is $19.95. Of course, that does not include the vitamins.

So the deal that was so good on TV, that was only going to work if I called within those 20 minutes, is available to anyone that goes to the website to order. Had I gone to the site, I would have been more judicious about what I bought, and I would have thought more about it beforehand, and probably not done it at all.

The $39.95 times three magically turned into $310 – and I don’t really know what more I bought that makes it so much more.

So the cost of my lesson is: $47 for “shipping and handling” of something I bought even though I didn’t really need or want it. Plus the hassle of actually getting my money back credited to my card. I will need to track this carefully. I have to take the boxes back to the post office.

The lesson: Never buy from an infomercial. These guys are master manipulators.

One thought on “P90X – Lesson: Never Buy from Infomercials

  1. And it’s not over. Now that they have your contact information, they will be calling you to try to get you to renew, or try a different product. When you don’t, they will eventually send you a survey to find out why you cancelled and what other product you are now using instead… And your mailbox will start filling up with advertisements for their products, and similar products from other vendors…

    (Sounds like I speak from experience? Mine was a line of miracle makeup products!)

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