Dear Consumer’s Voice #1
No, they’re not. I contacted the advertiser and asked him whether he could really offer treatments for the conditions he mentioned. The list also included “Heart Health”, “Low Blood Pressure” and “Arthritis”. He was very careful to stress that “Its not MEDICINE” but nevertheless told me that it could help with prostate cancer and “a lot of various ailement and serious health conditions”.
He also confirmed that it was Herbalife products he was using perform these miracles. I pointed out that by claiming these miraculous effects he’d broken certain sections of the Penal Code, that he wasn’t registered as a medical practitioner and that he was in breach of the Consumer Protection Regulations by quoting “scientific or technical data in support of a claim unless the data can be readily substantiated” and by promising “outcomes where those outcomes have no safe scientific, medical or performance basis”. That’s when he got angry and starting sending me some rather silly abusive messages.
I have no particular problem with Herbalife products. While very few people actually need supplements or vitamins if they have a fairly healthy diet it’s nevertheless their choice if they want to waste money on them. It’s their money. But Herbalife products do not cure cancer or boost your immune system. If you don’t believe me you should ask Herbalife themselves. I forwarded the advertisement and the various messages I got from the advertiser to Herbalife and they were as appalled as I was. Their Vice President for Europe and Africa said that making “specific claims related to individual medical conditions is unacceptable” and that they would “correct the individual concerned”.
Hats off to Herbalife for stepping in quickly, a dunce’s cap for the guy peddling miracle cures.
Dear Consumer’s Voice #2
I got an e mail offering me an opportunity to make easy money. I know you warned people about schemes before but can you advise?
This is yet another “Get Rich Quick” scheme and like all of them it’s nonsense. The web site for this scheme, which calls itself “OneX” suggests that “You only pay $5.00 one-time out of pocket.
You can receive up to $99,460...”
As a wiser man than me once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.
Their web site fails magnificently to explain how it will really work. They have an online video that explains that by giving $5 you enter a network of people who will, miraculously and with no obvious reason, start giving you money. Lots of it. However at no point does it explain exactly why they would be insane enough to do this, or how you ‘ll actually be paid this fictional cash.
Also, they’re ever so slightly deceptive when they claim that “You only pay $5.00”. In fact you pay $5, then another $5, then $10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, all out of the thousands they suggest you’ll earn.
This is no more than a pyramid scheme. Actually they do say they’re not a pyramid scheme because they sell a product, What might that be? Educational material on how to run pyramid schemes. Ironic, don’t you think?
Steer well clear of all Get Rich schemes because the only person who will get rich is the crook behind it. Certainly not you.
Consumer Watchdog is a (fiercely) independent consumer rights and advocacy organisation campaigning on behalf of the consumers of Botswana, helping them to know their rights and to stand up against abuse. Contact us at email@example.com, call us on +267 3904582 or find us on Facebook by searching for Consumer Watchdog Botswana. Everything we do for the consumers of Botswana has always been and always will be entirely free.
Thursday, 28 July 2011
The Voice - Consumer's Voice
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