I was watching Jay Leno one night and I believe it was Carmen Diaz who said she adores infomercials and orders from every one of them.
I have to hand it to her for sitting through what is usually a cheesy story line and even more so, sitting through the ordering process.
And I marvel that infomercials seem so unchanged by advances in marketing and technology.
The last time I ordered from an infomercial (several years ago), I ended exhausted from being coerced into listening to other offers in order to get what I wanted and then I ended up cancelling the sale because of the exorbitant shipping charges. I had forgotten my experience until I tried to order a small blender from an infomercial this weekend.
Of course, this was no ordinary blender. It grinds coffee, blends fruit smoothies and mixes up an omelette. Each item takes 10 seconds and the couple demonstrating it can move through all this food prep quickly because the blender comes with multiple blades and jars.
The innovative twist on this blender is that when you need to do different functions such as chop ham, grate cheese and stir eggs for an omelette, it does them all at once.
We do a lot of blending in our household from protein shakes to soups so this gadget seemed very handy.
Then I found out it cost $99.00.
Then I found out that for $99, I would also get an additional blender, a juicer and an extra 21 piece set with all the cups and blades at no additional charge.
Well, that seemed pretty good, so yes, I called to order the items.
A pleasant voice answered the phone and verified that I was calling for the special for $99.00. She proceeded to go through a list of additional offers: for additional cups, another $10 or so, for additional blades, another $15, for something else, half off if I ordered today.....
That is when I recalled my previous experience ordering from an infomercial.
I asked her if we could skip the upgrades and options. No, they just came up on the screen. She had no control. How many would there be? She didn't know. I'd rather cancel the sale I said.
She then figured out how to skip the upgrades and go to the shipping screen. When I found out the shipping charges, I cancelled the sale.
Twenty minutes later, they called back. What if they lowered the cost to $106? I figured that was about $7 for shipping. I said yes.
We completed the transaction and after giving them all the details of address and billing, I learned that I would get my products in FOUR weeks.
This process did not inspire confidence in the product or company.
I don't have a good feeling about what I'm going to get in the mail or if I will ever get it.
Can't infomercials do better?