|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Buyer Beware: Purchasing Fat Burners and Other Supplements Online
Each month I receive hundreds of e-mails from consumers who have been bilked outof their hard earned dollars by unscrupulous supplement / fat burner manufacturers. Manufacturers who have added them to monthly recurring billingcycles without their permission. Manufacturers who don't honor their money-backguarantees, and, while providing a 1-800 number for refunds, but don't hire areal, breathing person to monitor this number. These manufacturers treat theircustomers with disdain, and in general, regard them as little more than sheepwho need to be parted from their money.
The vast number of complaints I receive involve products marketed almostextensively via...
i) radio advertisements
ii) Internet e-mail and advertising campaigns
iii) television infomercials
These products tend to be marketed by companies who do not have a regularpresence in the marketplace. These companies like to make this sound like a goodthing (i.e., "exclusive T.V. offer!", and "this product is not available in anystores, so order now!"). However, the opposite is generally the case. Why?Selling via the 'Net, T.V. or radio makes it very easy for the manufacturerto...
a) avoid accountability to the customer
b) continue to sell an inferior product to a receptive audience
To further outline the issues, let's create an example scenario with fictitiouscompanies "X" (which will sell its products in stores), and "Y" (whichsells online).
Suppose company "X" creates a new fat burner product with a full money backguarantee. They sell it in local marketplaces through well-known retailers.Suppose you come in to the retailer and purchase that new fat burner. Four weekslater, in accordance with the label guarantee, you return the empty bottle for arefund, feeling the product didn't live up to your expectations.
A quality, customer focused retailer will refund your money right away, noquestions asked (if they don't, make it clear you'll be taking your businesselsewhere). That retailer will then demand their own refund from manufacturer.
What's my point here?...
1) Inferior quality products threaten the local merchant's credibility, andtheir ability to do business with the local audience. After all, no merchant whoclaims to have your best interests at heart while flogging an inferior productcan stay in business for long.
2) It is impossible for any manufacturer to avoid accountability in the localretail market. If a product yields too many refunds, the local merchant willhave to stop selling it. That's because that merchant needs your repeatbusiness for his/her other products. If the merchant does not treat you well,s/he loses the risk of losing ALL your business. Regardless, the bottom line isthat the local retailer has to stop ordering from the manufacturer.
3) Products that generate lots of refund requests are much more work for theretailer than ones that do not. Merchants will not carry such a product forlong.
OK, now for the other side of the coin.
Suppose company "Y" creates a new fat burner (covered by a 100% money-backguarantee) and markets it via infomercials, radio ads, and the Internet. Suppose"you" purchase the product, and later try to get a refund when you find thequality of the product unsatisfactory. Here's where things get interesting...
Unlike your local merchant, who needs to keep you happy to earn your repeatbusiness, company "Y" knows it is unlikely to ever hear from you again. So itmakes it as difficult as possible to obtain a refund. Its 1-800# plays anendless loop message for 45 minutes. It's nearly impossible to get a real humanbeing to talk to.
Good luck getting your refund.
And when you buy products in this manner, often you'll get added to a recurringbilling option without your consent. In other words, you'll receive anotherbottle of the product every 30 days and your credit card will be chargedaccordingly.
Again, good luck getting your refund.
Advertising and selling in this manner makes it very easy for the manufacturerto avoid the issue of accountability to the customer. And most manufacturers usecall centers, professional warehousing and drop shipping facilities to furtherisolate themselves from contact with their clients. Chances are that should youorder such a product, you won't get a company representative on the phone, but acall-center employee with performance-based incentives. Is that the sort ofcompany you'd like to do business with?
By declining to sell their products in a local retail environment, manufacturersare able to isolate themselves from the local merchants who could demand largevolumes of refunds, and threaten their business by refusing to stock alow-quality product. Additionally, it also makes it more difficult for badproduct word-of-mouth to circulate amongst consumers.
There are several recommendations I have for purchasing fat burners or any othersupplements...
1) Do not buy products advertised on TV, the radio, or the Internet unless...
a) those products CAN by purchased from a local retailer. That way, you'll havesome recourse should you be unhappy with the product. While not all companieswho advertise in this manner are deceptive or unethical, there is greaterlikelihood you will experience an issue with a merchant who advertises in thismanner and does not maintain a local presence.
b) the product is sold by a well-recognized, respectable brand company.
2) Buy only well-recognized brand names with a established history in thesupplement industry (e.g.., MuscleTech, Isatori, Champion Nutrition, BioTest,EAS, and so on). I'm not saying the major brands always create better products.I am saying, however, that their "brand" and reputation does mean something tothem, and they do recognize the value of a long term repeat customer. 9 timesout of 10, if you have a problem with a product, you can phone such amanufacturer for a refund directly.
On the other hand, products marketed online or on TV do not have a "brand". Soit does not matter what the reputation of that brand is, or how it resonateswith consumers, since the manufacturer will simply create a new one for the nextproduct.
3) Establish a relationship with a local or online merchant, and make all yourpurchases from that merchant. Trusted, valued customers can always take theircomplaints to a good merchant, who knows it is in his/her best interest to lookafter them.
In the end, losing weight is hard enough without having to worry about losingyour money, too. Your best bet is always to purchase brand name products from atrusted local retailer.
Paul Crane is the webmaster of Ultimatefatburner.com. Ultimatefatburner.com is your "one-stop" destination for reviews of fat burners, diet supplements and prescription diet pills, bodybuilding supplements and programs, and weight loss programs.http://www.ultimatefatburner.com/
Weight Loss Doesnt Work
Your brain has this really interesting system that is kind of like a search engine on the internet. It is called your RAS for short.
Heres A Diet That Wont Work
How's this for a diet: Take in fewer calories than you expend and you'll lose weight. I just read another article that suggested this as the sure-fire way to lose weight.
Weight Loss For Beginners
Getting into a weight loss program or any type of dieting is intimidating for a beginner. Better health is something that we should all work towards, and be bold about.
Can Quick Weight Loss Really Work?
Quick weight loss is promised by diets all the time. "Lose 10 pounds over night," the ads will scream.
5 Tips For Weight Loss
Are you ready to lose some weight? Perhaps you're surfing for the magic pill that will vanish your weight away. Maybe you're simply searching for the right information to help you lose and keep the weight off.
Weight Loss: Goal-Setting for Success
If you were going to travel to the other side of the world, you'd need to plan it. I mean, you're not going to just book a seat on a plane, take off and just take it all as it comes.
Are Weight Loss Supplements Right For You?
The debate about whether supplements for weight loss are healthy or not will go on and on for years to come. There are good and bad points to using weight loss supplements.
Too Many Calories
How many calories do you need? Well, that depends on a lot of things. Your age, sex, type of work, physical activity, all come into play.
Why Did Your Diet Fail You? Or Did You Fail Your Diet?
Are you someone who has, in the past, been on a diet, only to find at the end of it you had lost no weight? Despite putting your best efforts into the diet much of the time, and keeping quite close to recommendations when it came to calories and so on, for some reason things did not quite work out. Eventually, with the pounds drifting off too slowly and back on again too quickly, you just gave up, and went back to "normal".
Low-Carb Diets - An Introduction
According to a recent survey by the National Health Institute, about a third of overweight Americans who are trying to lose weight, are doing so by eating less carbohydrates (carbs) largely because of the increased popularity of fad diets like Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet.Who Invented Low-Carb Diets?The term "low-carb" was coined around 1992 when the USDA recommended that Americans include six to eleven servings daily of grains and starches in their diet.
Can Water Really Help You Lose Weight?
I believe that water not only helps with weight loss, but is also one of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to lose weight. Here are just some of the reasons why everyone should be drinking at least eight glasses of water day.
Weights Before Cardio: Stop Working Against Yourself
Just because you're working hard, doesn't mean that you're working smart. I see it every day.
Hispanics and Obesity - The Worrying Truth
What is the link between Hispanics and obesity? Are people of Hispanic origin more prone to obesity than others?Respected Hispanic trend watcher Jaun G Tornoe feels there is enough anecdotal and scientific data supporting the link between Hispanics and obesity to raise warning flags?One of the culprits he identifies is the huge choice of cheap, fast food and sugary drinks on offer to newly arrived Latino immigrants, many of whom come from extremely deprived backgrounds?Fast Foods and Obesity - a Warning From a Friend..
The Secret to Safe Weight Loss
The safe way to lose weight begins with a thorough checkup by your family physician. He can check for any health problems that might defeat a simple diet plan.
What are Fats?
Fat is fuel. That is basically what it is.
Fast Weight Loss and Exercise - Pay Now or Pay Them Later!
Why have I allowed myself to get into this shape? Have you ever said that? With life comes responsibility and with decisions comes consequences. It's your choice today to do something positive.
Help to Reduce Belly Fat
Can You Lose Weight Where You Want?If you have excess weight only in specific parts of your body, you still must look at yourself as a whole. It's not possible to spot reduce; in other words, you can't dictate that you only want weight to come off one place or another.
Dieting Obstacle When Life Gets in the Way
Dieting Dilemma No 1: When Life Gets in the WayThat pesky thing called life has a way of fouling up our the best laid plans. First you decide you're going to start keeping your car cleaner, thinking, "I'll wash it every Saturday morning.
Weight Loss Plateaus -- 7 Easy Steps to Overcome It
Have you ever experienced this scenario before?"I have successfully lost 15 of the 25 pounds that I want to lose, but now I am stuck at the same weight even though I am faithfully controlling my food intake and doing my exercises. What happened? Is the diet not working anymore?"Yes, many women over 40 start off their weight loss programs full of excitement and determination, and indeed you do see the pounds dropping off over the first few weeks.
Obesity and Weight Loss - Muscle and the Importance of Low Body Fat!
Today you have a good chance of getting diabetes or becoming obese or both. And if you do, then chances are you will be in for a long life filled with pain, discomfort and little quality in your life.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.