INFOMERCIALS ARE ADDICTIVE
Like so many people these days, purchasing online is becoming the new normal. I must share my latest experience, which will make me think a twice before buying from the store inside my computer. Last week I saw an infomercial for a Rotorazer, while watching the news on television. It was the coolest gadget I had seen in a long time. About the size of an electric drill, the Rotorazer is a small saw that will cut through anything, without creating a big mess. It does the job of about 4 or 5 tools, wrapped into a neat little package. I decided not to be an impulse buyer, which I usually am, because the thing was $150. It seemed well worth the money, so I recorded the infomercial intending to look at it later. Yesterday I gave it another look and yes, the Rotorazer was something I wanted. I called the number and Wendy answered. We had difficulty communicating as the phone line she was using, no doubt a voip connection, was cutting in and out. It was obvious she was working from a script, because each time I interrupted her to ask a question, she answered by continuing to read the script. She was very thorough, but I was getting bored. I explained that I simply wanted to buy the product, but she insisted on continuing her monologue. Finally, after nearly half an hour, we were at the payment part. She again explained the cost, which I fully understood, but added there would be $4.87 charge. I asked why and the answer was simple, “That is the price.” A bit confused, I probed further, and she explained it was because I am in Canada. That did not sit well, so I asked her what the charge was for. It was clear she did not know. I had already asked if the charges were in Canadian dollars, and she continually confirmed they were. With this additional ‘Canadian’ charge, I became skeptical and asked if I could talk to her supervisor. That was impossible, so I assumed she was working from home. She did finally give me a customer service number, and I asked to put the order on hold, as I would call the powers that be. The polite gentleman on the other end of the customer service line explained the charges were in US dollars. That was too much, even though I was already picturing myself using the Rotorazer in all kinds of projects. I politely thanked him and decided not to purchase. The entire process took just under an hour, and I swore I would never order from an infomercial again. Mind you, my Flavorwave oven is great, especially next to my Gotham frying pan and my Magic Bullet blender. Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, published author, award winning photographer and keynote speaker. Watch his new show ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’ on Rogers TV, the Standard online and YouTube.