February 24, 2009

Crap: As Seen On TV

Infomercials, and their 90 second cousins, can make almost anything look like the One Thing That Will Make Your Life Complete!™®© But, most of the stuff there is, of course, garbage. Now, I won't say they're all worthless. In fact, most of them meet some kind of need, or at least improve on something that meets a need, or a want.

For about a year now, I've had cold-like symptoms that get worse, and less bad, but never go away. Included in those symptoms is a head that is so congested, it affects my hearing. As such, the ad for a sound boosting device that looked like a BlueTooth headset was particularly appealing to me.

However, I did not order it. I did what any self-respecting web-junkie would do, I looked it up online. There are actually (at least) 2 sound amplifying infomerical devices that disguise themselves as cell phone hands-free gear. One is called "Loud ’N Clear" (from the makers of the "Listen Up" device that tried to look like an mp3 player or walkman or something). And the other is the Silver Sonic XL personal sound amplifier from Bell and Howell.

The one I saw was the Loud 'N Clear. When I saw the ad, I forgot the name before I looked it up. So after an eternity of searching (I swear, it must have been 10 - 15 minutes of googling!), I couldn't find any direct reviews of it. I did find a few negative reviews of the Silver Sonic XL, but not the Loud 'N Clear.

Anyway, like I said, I didn't order it, but I did buy it - from Walgreens. They have a complete half an aisle dedicated to this stuff. The one I was at actually labelled it "As Seen On TV". Anyway, a moral debate with myself, and $14.99 + tax later, I own my very own personal "personal amplifier".

Having taken the plunge, I was in a hurry to actually try it out. So, in the car, I ripped open the package, put in the (included) microscopic "hearing aid" sized batteries (which, I find ironic, since they took great pains in the commercial to avoid that term), and shoved the thing into my ear...

....

...

(wait for it)

....

....

Nothing.

Nothing. I heard nothing. At least nothing different than I heard right before shoving the thing in my ear. Well, actually it was a bit more muffled on one side, since I had a plastic roach climbing into my hearing hole.... Maybe there's an on switch?

Nope, no buttons. Nothing presses, nothing moves except the volume wheel. AH! The volume wheel! Of course. I cranked it all the way up and shoved it back in my ear.

...

(okay, enough suspense building dots.) I heard it. It was loud! It was.... Some kind of awful rumbling / clicking noise!!! Like something was grinding inside of the device. It was horrible.

Turns out that only happens when there's a certain type of noise in the area, some special frequency (like anything lower than the voice of Linus from Peanuts - or louder than an idling automobile) that turns this thing in my ear into a bicycle with baseball cards in the spokes....

Needless to say, do not buy this thing.

Also, don't buy the Snuggie (or the older, less often televised, horribly named Slanket), you know - the "Blanket With Sleeves!"™®©... IT'S A FREAKING BATH ROBE PUT ON BACKWARDS!!! FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD, I FEEL LIKE I'M ON CRAZY PILLS!!! Anyone who buys this thing - ESPECIALLY if they wear it, or even think about wearing it, in public - needs to be shot.

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3 comments:

AzDana said...

Great reviews! I can't wait until you take on that guy selling ShamWow.

James said...

Yeah, please take on the Sham Wow guy. Chad you should continue to call people on their scams.

JhimBhoy said...

James, as always, is right.

Don't let them get you down Chad!

Isaiah Chapter 53