Video Professor not so smart....

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Herbert West, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Herbert West

    Herbert West Guest

    This is sort of security related...

    Anybody see the Video Professor's newest "free" CD? (Only $6.95!!!)

    The newest computer education CD is all about "Identity Theft." I was
    wondering when he'd start cashing in on this! His new ad uses the all
    the usual FUD tactics the other scammers use to get you to
    buy^H^H^Hrequest the CD. He even "admits" that he, himself was a
    victim of identity theft and that it cost him many thousands to clean
    the mess up. Gee, if he is half the computer genius he claims to be,
    he's never have committed anything so clueless that would get his
    udentity stolen via computers. Just a marketing ploy.

    I wonder how much it actually costs to produce, advertise and
    distribute these free CD's... He definitely makes his money on the
    shipping charges. Of course, these "free" offerings are come-ons for
    more expensive full-sized courses that cost quite a bit more...

    I just got a chuckle out such a computer "expert" claim to be a victim
    of his own lack of basic computer security kinowledge, even if I
    realize it's probably untrue and just a marketing ploy.
     
    Herbert West, Sep 14, 2004
    #1
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  2. Herbert West

    Guest

    In article <>,
    Herbert West <> wrote:
    >This is sort of security related...
    >
    >Anybody see the Video Professor's newest "free" CD? (Only $6.95!!!)
    >


    I always have to laugh at shipping charges, since it costs 37 cents, the price
    of a single stamp to send a CD thrugh the mail. I send recorded live
    concerts to friends all the time. One ounce. One stamp. That's it.
    --
    --
    Computers are like air conditioning.
    Neither one works when you open windows.
     
    , Sep 14, 2004
    #2
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  3. Herbert West

    Lou Guest

    On 14 Sep 2004 08:55:05 -0400, wrote:

    >In article <>,
    >Herbert West <> wrote:
    >>This is sort of security related...
    >>
    >>Anybody see the Video Professor's newest "free" CD? (Only $6.95!!!)
    >>

    >
    >I always have to laugh at shipping charges, since it costs 37 cents, the price
    >of a single stamp to send a CD thrugh the mail. I send recorded live
    >concerts to friends all the time. One ounce. One stamp. That's it.


    "Satisfaction guaranteed. Money back if you're not happy with our product.**"

    <YADDA YADDA>

    ** Refund original purchase less shipping and handling charges
     
    Lou, Sep 15, 2004
    #3
  4. wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > Herbert West <> wrote:
    >
    >>This is sort of security related...
    >>
    >>Anybody see the Video Professor's newest "free" CD? (Only $6.95!!!)
    >>

    >
    >
    > I always have to laugh at shipping charges, since it costs 37 cents, the price
    > of a single stamp to send a CD thrugh the mail. I send recorded live
    > concerts to friends all the time. One ounce. One stamp. That's it.


    Let's see now . . . say, on average, the Video Professor "sells"/gives
    away 20,000 CD's per infomercial. His production costs are $.50 per CD.
    His actual shipping cost, as you point out, is $.37. The infomercial
    costs him $100,000 per. He grosses $139,000. His costs are $117,400.
    He nets $21,600. He does 10 informercials per month -- that's $216,000,
    times 12 months, equals $2,592,000. I'm thinkin' maybe the Video
    Professor is not so dumb. ;-{)>
     
    Ralph A. Jones, Sep 16, 2004
    #4
  5. Herbert West

    Leythos Guest

    In article <g5h2d.9$>,
    rajones@SPAM_ME_NOT_AT_tconl.com says...
    > wrote:
    >
    > > In article <>,
    > > Herbert West <> wrote:
    > >
    > >>This is sort of security related...
    > >>
    > >>Anybody see the Video Professor's newest "free" CD? (Only $6.95!!!)
    > >>

    > >
    > >
    > > I always have to laugh at shipping charges, since it costs 37 cents, the price
    > > of a single stamp to send a CD thrugh the mail. I send recorded live
    > > concerts to friends all the time. One ounce. One stamp. That's it.

    >
    > Let's see now . . . say, on average, the Video Professor "sells"/gives
    > away 20,000 CD's per infomercial. His production costs are $.50 per CD.
    > His actual shipping cost, as you point out, is $.37. The infomercial
    > costs him $100,000 per. He grosses $139,000. His costs are $117,400.
    > He nets $21,600. He does 10 informercials per month -- that's $216,000,
    > times 12 months, equals $2,592,000. I'm thinkin' maybe the Video
    > Professor is not so dumb. ;-{)>


    The math is slightly flawed - there is the cost of salaries for the
    people stuffing the packages, cost of answering the phones, etc.... I
    bet he only nets about $10,000 per show on average - still a very nice
    number.

    --
    --

    (Remove 999 to reply to me)
     
    Leythos, Sep 16, 2004
    #5
  6. Herbert West

    Herbert West Guest

    On Thu, 16 Sep 2004 09:06:13 -0500, "Ralph A. Jones"
    <rajones@SPAM_ME_NOT_AT_tconl.com> wrote:

    > wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>,
    >> Herbert West <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>This is sort of security related...
    >>>
    >>>Anybody see the Video Professor's newest "free" CD? (Only $6.95!!!)
    >>>


    In his adverts for his latest "Identity Theft" lesson, Mr. Scherer
    uses the same sleazy FUD and scare tactics as the Internet-based
    spam-scammers in order to frighten newbies into rushing into getting
    the CD's.

    >Let's see now . . . say, on average, the Video Professor "sells"/gives
    >away 20,000 CD's per infomercial. His production costs are $.50 per CD.
    > His actual shipping cost, as you point out, is $.37. The infomercial
    >costs him $100,000 per. He grosses $139,000. His costs are $117,400.
    >He nets $21,600. He does 10 informercials per month -- that's $216,000,
    >times 12 months, equals $2,592,000. I'm thinkin' maybe the Video
    >Professor is not so dumb. ;-{)>


    That's not the issue. $6.95 is only the cost of shipping. As they
    say in TV: "But wait!!! There's MORE!!!"

    Unless the consumer very carefully reads the entire web page, he will
    not be aware that the free lesson actually costs $69.95 and that
    unless he returns the CD's within 10 days, his credit card will be
    billed for the full amount.

    The TV ads don't say anything about the full price!

    The fine print is that you actually receive a *multiple* CD package,
    but only ONE of the CD's in it are free. After receiving the lesson,
    you must call them for an RMA to return the "Bonus" within 10 days, or
    your credit card will be billed $69.95.

    The website hides the expensive truth away on a "How it Works" page
    that is very likely to be missed by the average respondant. You do
    not have to read the above-mentioned page, to place your order. All
    you need do is provide your Credit Card number, Name and address, and
    check a nondescript box at the bottom of the order page that states
    you read the "How It Works" page.

    So, while it's not a true scam in the legal sense, it comes pretty
    close by placing undue emphasis that customer need pay only 6.95
    shipping, but minimizing any reference to the TRUE COST $69.95!
     
    Herbert West, Sep 20, 2004
    #6
  7. >Unless the consumer very carefully reads the entire web page, he will
    >not be aware that the free lesson actually costs $69.95 and that
    >unless he returns the CD's within 10 days, his credit card will be
    >billed for the full amount.


    >The TV ads don't say anything about the full price!


    I have only seen the TV ads (with mute mode set). Isn't there an 800 number, or
    something? I wonder what they tell you when you call.
    --
    Dave "Crash" Dummy - A weapon of mass destruction
    ?subject=Techtalk (Do not alter!)
    http://lists.gpick.com
     
    \Crash\ Dummy, Sep 21, 2004
    #7
  8. Herbert West

    Herbert West Guest

    On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 21:47:13 -0400, "\"Crash\" Dummy"
    <> wrote:

    >>Unless the consumer very carefully reads the entire web page, he will
    >>not be aware that the free lesson actually costs $69.95 and that
    >>unless he returns the CD's within 10 days, his credit card will be
    >>billed for the full amount.

    >
    >>The TV ads don't say anything about the full price!

    >
    >I have only seen the TV ads (with mute mode set). Isn't there an 800 number, or
    >something? I wonder what they tell you when you call.


    The 800 number goes to one of those boiler-shop contractors that
    merely takes orders for other companies. The sales person is just an
    order-taker droid who works from a script and doesn't even know WTF
    they are actually selling. They just take your name, address and
    credit card number and punch it into their keyboard. All she knows is
    what is in the script. "That will be $6.95 for shipping. Thank you!
    You will receive your CD in 4-6 weeks. Have a good day!"

    Once you receive the package, you will find 2 or 3 CD's and upon
    reading the contract that comes with them, you find that must return
    at least one of them or be billed $69.95.

    Several reports I've read also relate that Video Professor' program
    operates like the old record-of-the-month clubs. Once you order the
    first CD, you will automatically be sent a set of CD lessons each
    month, being billed $6.95 shipping. Upon receiving the package, you
    must either return at least one of the set of 2-3 CD's, or be billed
    $69.95 for the actual "Lesson CD". This will go on on a monthly basis
    until you finally opt-out of the entire Video Professor program.

    The whole program is opt-out rather than opt-in and they push the
    product based upon the *shipping* price, doing very little to make the
    customer aware of the true total cost. Unless he very carefully reads
    the contract that comes with his "free" CD's, he won't have a clue
    until it shows up on his credit card bill later.

    I didn't believe it at first, either...

    I went to their web-page and started an order for one of the lessons.
    I found that I could go from 'Start' to "SUBMIT" (finally commiting my
    self!) without having to actually read the "How It Works" page -- All
    I needed was to check a box saying that I had read and understood the
    "How It Works."

    I'd say that it's a "social engineering" approach where the marketters
    figure that many suckers will simply tick the checkbox without looking
    and commit themselves. It's the same type of social engineering that
    suckers people into clicking on executibles they receive in email and
    infecting their computers... <g>

    Bottom line is the old saying, "If an offer is too good to be true,
    it's generally neither good nor true." Buyer beware. And don't
    click on things you encounter on the net until afterfully
    investigating what they are attached to. <g>
     
    Herbert West, Sep 21, 2004
    #8
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