For those of you who read only Terra Sig and not others at ScienceBlogs (post-morning coffee delusions of grandeur), you may not be aware that a number of questionable advertisements have been appearing on the frontpage run by the purveyors of our pontifications.
Many of this adverts have been of content diammetrically opposed to what each of us stand for professionally and personally.
So, it was to my dismay this morning that I awoke to this ad for a bodybuilding supplement that exploits the endogenous vasodilator, nitric oxide. Commenter Daedalus will be convulsing in a corner somewhere when he reads nitric oxide being referred to as “NO2” and the beautiful IUPAC term, “N.O.”
The product appears to be called “Force Factor” and somehow, I don’t know how, increases levels of nitric oxide in the body. However, the product is certainly one of those “negative option” credit card scams: you get a “free trial” of the product but have to give a credit card for the $4.95 shipping and handling. What you might not be aware of in the fine print is that this obligates you to a monthly shipment and charge of $69.99 (plus $4.99 shipping and handling, of course, an increase of four cents over the last shipment), UNLESS you contact the company to cancel your order.
Pay only shipping and handling today and have no obligation to buy anything in the future as long as you call to cancel within 18 days after the date you place your order. (This allows 4 days shipping and processing plus your 14 day trial period). To cancel, call 1-877-492-7243. If you don’t cancel within the next 18 days you will be automatically enrolled in the Force Factor Fitness Auto-Ship Program. Beginning at the end of the trial period and about every 30 days thereafter, we will send you a one month supply of Force Factor the the highly discounted rate of $69.99 plus $4.99 for shipping and handling, automatically charged to the card you provide today. No future commitments, no hassles. Cancel any time. Auto-Ship policies do not apply to non-free trial purchases. Applicable Local Sales Tax will be added for the following states CO, GA, IL, IA, MN, NE, UT. I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CONSUMER TRANSACTION INVOLVES A NEGATIVE OPTION AND THAT I MAY BE LIABLE FOR PAYMENT OF FUTURE GOODS AND SERVICES, UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, IF I FAIL TO NOTIFY THE SUPPLIER NOT TO SUPPLY THE GOODS OR SERVICES DESCRIBED.
Yes, by ordering your free trial you obligate yourself to $69.99/month. “No future commitments” means that you have no future commitments other than to get a $69.99 product every month.
And I challenge you to try and cancel.
A few months ago, I took a free trial under similar conditions of the Lance Armstrong-endorsed FRS products so I could test in lab their purported quercetin concentrations. I came very close to getting my next shipment because I couldn’t cancel – not on the web, and no one answered the phone number where I called for about five days.
I was interested to find more about what is in the product and by what science the product was formulated. I learned that it was created by former Harvard University rowers; just turns out that I am very, very close to a former Harvard University rower. I’m going to have to do some investigating on my own.
But this NO2/N.O. [sic] product does have me thinking. I would love to look like this while blogging every morning just out of bed and sitting with my cup of coffee. But alas:
THE STORY DEPICTED ON THIS SITE AND THE PERSON DEPICTED IN THE STORY ARE NOT REAL. RATHER, THIS STORY IS BASED ON THE RESULTS THAT SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVE USED THESE PRODUCTS HAVE ACHIEVED. THE RESULTS PORTRAYED IN THE STORY AND IN THE COMMENTS ARE ILLUSTRATIVE, AND MAY NOT BE THE RESULTS THAT YOU ACHIEVE WITH THESE PRODUCTS. THIS PAGE RECEIVES COMPENSATION FOR CLICKS ON OR PURCHASE OF PRODUCTS FEATURED ON THIS SITE.
I understand that ad revenues are important for running the back end of ScienceBlogs. But there has been a massive increase as of late in the dubious products being advertised in the sidebar.
For the record, Terra Sigillata and Abel Pharmboy have absolutely no control over the advertising and other content that appears above the masthead and in the right sidebar. These regions of the pages are under the exclusive control of ScienceBlogs.com and the advertising department of Seed Media Group. Any appearance of adverts for any products and services which compromise the scientific standards of Terra Sigillata is hereby abhored and you are encouraged to ignore them or ridicule them in the comment thread below.