A TV infomercial…
Magical Hair Removal Cream.
NO FUSS! NO MESS! A LIFETIME OF HAIRLESS BLISS!
Order within 12 hours – receive two tubes of cream for the price of one!
It was too good to pass up. I ordered and impatiently awaited my package, preserving my current crop of leg and armpit hair for the new product’s expertise.
It removed hair, also epidermal skin cells. I itched. I scratched.
Refund information was scanty. Apparently, it was mailed from a storage locker in rural Kentucky. Nonetheless, I persevered, returning it with a strongly-worded refund request. After nine years, I still dog the mailbox, hoping for my money, compounded with interest, of course. I reverted to shaving my legs and armpits, and none too soon.
My next internet buying experience had a loftier purpose than body hair. I wanted to get my hands on this product before the purchasing public stampeded and bought out all the copies of The Nifty Guide to Wealth by Dr. Stan. This resource guide and DVD guaranteed lifetime financial success.
I dialed frantically. At Wealth, Inc., Dana took my information.
Dana: “How fortunate! We’re offering free express shipping today.”
Me: “ Wow! Thanks, Dana.”
Dana was pumped. “Hold On! Another irresistible offer. Dr. Stan personally invites you to try his just- upgraded program for only 15.00 more. It’s so chock-full of information it will take the better part of an hour to explain the benefits. Here we go!”
I was appalled. “Uh, Dana, why didn’t they upgrade the original? Tell me it isn’t so. I don’t have it yet and it needs upgrading?”
Dana did not respond, then proceeded to maneuver me back onto Information Highway 101.
I started to get sleepy during her monologue. Occasional “um-hms” slumbered from my end of the connection.
Dana started coughing and she took a breather, slowing down her word avalanche. “This is usually 150.00 but today it is only 29.95!” She paused for my gasp of wonderment.
I was adamant: “No thanks. I only want the now out-of-date DVD.”
Dana: “Well, dear, this is a one time thing. You’ll make your money back the first week. Cancel it after 60 days if you’re dissatisfied.”
I stuck to my guns. “I’m dissatisfied already. Just the DVD. Nothing else. ”
Dana wasn’t through. “OK. I can offer you a FREE membership to Discount Dave’s. For 30 days, buy whatever you like. If you continue the membership, which is a no-brainer, of course you will, it’s only 49.95 a month. It includes a 50 dollar gift card to your favorite restaurant. Shall I rush that gift card to you?”
I was a rock. “Not if it comes with a trial membership. Remember I only want the original DVD.”
Girl: “But what about the gift card?”
She was whining.
Me: “No, I really only want that DVD.”
Dana had reloaded. “How about this? Choose four free magazines. Your four subscriptions come with a $30.00 gift card. Now what magazines would you like?”
Me: “Dana, I don’t want any stupid magazines. I JUST WANT MY DVD.”
Dana Girl didn’t miss a beat. “ Listen to this! You’ve been selected as a lucky winner of a free trip for purchasing our DVD. I’ll connect you to our travel agent.”
It was my opportunity to escape. The order was done. There was no need for me to stay entrapped on the line. But I stayed, a captive audience. Was I a victim of Stockholm Syndrome?
A last word from Dana: “Ma’am. Shall I connect you to the travel agent?”
I was tired. “Yes,” I mumbled.
The travel agent picked on my second ring. I suspected her desk was right next to Dana’s. She inherited the holdouts.
She described my prize….six days and seven nights at a luxurious hotel/spa with a golf course and various other amenities too numerous to mention, but she described them all anyway. In painstaking detail. My ear was numb.
“…and these wonderful days and nights are yours, for planning two trips with our agency during the year.”
My free vacation spiraled away out of my reach. Once again, I said firmly….”No thank you. I only wanted that DVD, whatever it was.“ And then I hung up.
Six weeks later, the DVD is still sitting on my desk untouched. I am wondering if there is something else I need to do with it to become wealthy. I wonder if I should get that upgrade…