Friday, May 27, 2011

Still at the Center of controversy.

A few days ago I received from reader Stuart Anderson* the following email about the Midwest Center for Stress & Anxiety:

Thanks for your blog. I just read it and had to add to the nonsense. My gullible wife ordered this program from a TV spot a week ago. She is now in the process of trying to obtain a return authorization from the company to send the stuff back to them. They are pulling out all sorts of tricks to avoid having to accept the return – past the trial period, etc., even though it is all bogus. My wife had to have her credit card company block all their charge attempts, even though they were not authorized to charge any more than the shipping charges. Sounds like a reputable company to me.
As the sarcasm of Anderson's parting shot makes clear, some corporate leopards may give their web site a major overhaul, but they seldom change their (ad) spots. More evidence: The comments continue to trickle in on my long-ago posts from April 3, 2007 and July 29, 2008.

Indeed, the gamesmanship is as constant as the twisted smirk that seems forever pasted on founder Cindy Bassett's face.

* Once again here, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statements made by Anderson. I publish his email because it seems contextually similar to many complaints that I have received, and read, with regard to the Center.


Dimension Skipper said...

She and her "Center" were definitely the reason I found SHAMblog in the first place...

Her ads had been running during almost every commercial break on my local sports talk station for a month or more, especially late at night. I got tired of hearing them and in a weird sort of self-flagellating way, it prompted me to Google her and her center to get the straight dope... Because I always have mega-doubts about anything advertised THAT much and so I was already fairly convinced there had to be some catch or something at least not quite kosher about it all.

So one might say I went looking for negative information and, well, as often occurs, when you look for something specific you'll FIND it, so no big surprise, right?... Still, I WAS willing to actually BE surprised and read through reams of glowing reports if I could find any. I don't recall now if I did find any (so I won't claim I didn't), but I'm also sure that had I found overwhelming evidence of positive experiences, I would have remembered. At best I'm pretty sure all I found were conflicting anecdotal reports with serious questions raised and accusations made here and there.

roger o'keefe said...

The sad part Steve is, as you've pointed out many times, this is where the money is. Find a viable marketable concept and you'll have a self-perpetuating business model forever, even if what you're selling is totally bogus. On the other hand you can fail repeatedly by selling the truth, simply because people don't want to hear it or acknowledge it. I think you experienced some of that with your book.

Steve Salerno said...

Roger, gee thanks for framing my book as a "failure." ;)

No, I hear what you're saying, and there's a good deal of truth to it. We were all raised to think that good prevails over evil in the end, but alas that isn't always (or even often) the case. Not in this lifetime. And certainly not in the marketing realm.