As Seen On TV

How embarrassing.  My wife and I were doing some online shopping late last night, brainstorming gift ideas, when I remembered an ad I saw on television for a foot scrubbing product called Easy Feet (are you tired of the difficult, dangerous chore of washing your feet in the shower?  Try Easy Feet!).  My sister-in-law explicitly stated she would love to receive this as seen on tv product for Christmas, so it seemed like a no-brainer. Let’s buy it!

Almost immediately, my internet hackles began to bristle as a series of warning signs presented themselves.  Credit card information was required very early in the ordering process, an ambiguously worded buy one get one deal was offered, and it became apparent that shipping and handling for the items would be nearly equal to the price of the product.  These alarming signals were ignored in my enthusiasm to obtain Easy Feet as I clicked “no thanks” to additional product offering after additional product offering, finally arriving at a confirmation page that confirmed both that our order had been placed and that the quantities and prices had doubled.  Instead of ordering two units, I had been duped into ordering two “Buy One Get One” offers.

What to do?  The customer service line was already closed for the night, and some quick googling uncovered what we already suspected, that many other people had been tricked by the language and ordering process into doubling their intended order.  Janelle made a strong case for admitting defeat, simply accepting the outcome and giving Easy Feet to someone else on our list, yet I had a tough time letting the issue go.

How could I have ignored such obvious warning signs?  How will I be able to teach my children how to function in our extractive, marketing based economy when I am clearly such a sucker?

I called customer service this morning and after a mere twelve minutes on hold reached someone who fixed the order and promised I would be charged the amended amount and shipped the correct number of Easy Feet.  No easy feat (ouch) judging by the comments from other frustrated consumers who were unable to reach a representative by phone.

So what have I learned?  Not to buy the junk they sell on tv.  And not to be so hard on myself.  There are plenty of mistakes to be made and I need to make my share if I expect to do better next time.  Huh, sounds like a line I could use on my children.  It won’t stop them from getting fooled once in a while, but I will feel a little better about it.