video professorIf you’ve ever been up late at night, you are sure to be familiar with John W. Scherer, Founder and CEO of Video Professor … as he says it endlessly, telling you to “try my product.” The question is, should you?

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is currently on a bit of a personal crusade to rid the world of advertisers who scam you out of more money than you are first led to believe to be spending.  While I have personally never been a huge fan of Mr. Arrington, I can’t say I exactly disagree with his current mission.  There are numerous companies out there that will get you when it comes to the fine print, and someone pointing those companies out is nothing but a good thing.

After making a cursory comment about Video Professor being one of those companies, they contacted the Washington Post, which syndicates content from TechCrunch, and demanded the comment be removed.  The paper refused and said they would need to speak with Mr. Arrington.  The whole sordid tale has now been spelled out on a post on TechCrunch, and it’s worth reading for the finer details of how Video Professor gets you for $289.95 when you really think you are only paying $4.85 in shipping.  You just need to wade through Mr. Arrington’s trademarked chest thumping of how he is superior to all other tech journalists to get to it.

The moral of the story is that you always have to read the fine print on offers that sound too good to be true.  Video Professor lures you in with the idea you can get a free lesson CD from them on the computer subject of your choice, and you only have to pay for the shipping to you.  If you decide you don’t want it within 10 days, simply return it and they’ll refund your shipping.  What they neglect to tell you outright in most cases is that if you don’t return the CD within 10 days, you are authorizing them to charge your credit card $289.95 and you’ll end up with the entire series of CDs.

The information is there, you just have to read the fine print, which is something hardly anyone ever does.  And the sad part of this is that it is totally legal.  Is it moral or ethical?  No, but it is legal.  Of course you think, “Well, if I get that charge, I’ll just ask for a refund.”  Good luck with that.  As you can read the stories of others who have tried this on Ripoff Reports and Epinions, that is no easy task.

While we are only pointing out Video Professor here, they are certainly not the lone perpetrator of such tactics.  It is just an easy way to point out that you should always read the fine print of any offer, and, as the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true…”

Categories: Shopping   

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