Service of Trust II or I Wish It Were True

January 8th, 2015

Categories: Medicine, Quick Fix, Scams, Trust

Tax relief

I would like to know how you gauge which commercials to trust, especially those involving health-related products, identity theft protection, tax relief advice, weight loss, gardening aids, deer and mouse repellants.

identify theft protectionI was inspired to cover the topic [again] after listening to a segment of “Health Matters,” on NPR sponsored by Sharon Hospital in Conn. The doctor, Jared Zelman, shared sage if obvious advice: Don’t believe quick fix solutions regarding weight loss remedies or those described by people who claim to have been cured of their chronic diseases simply by taking X. The hospital and/or doctor must come across plenty who fall for useless tonics or they wouldn’t select the topic–there are so many other potential ones.

Deer eating plantsRadio personalities tout [and say they swear by] miracle anti-wrinkle creams, weight loss tonics that take off 30-40 lbs. in a month, easy back tax relief for those who owe $10K or more, foolproof rodent repellants, effective organic garden pest deterrents and protection from identity theft. The latter makes me chuckle: If Sony, Target, TJ Maxx and Home Depot can’t fend off hackers while allegedly spending $billions, how are Mr. and Mrs. Middle America supposed to protect themselves by tossing monthly dollars at some company?

If I’d saved what I’ve spent on useless mouse and deer repellants alone I’d be on easy street. I continue to fall for what I so desperately wish would work. Do you? And as I asked in the lead, how do you know what is really effective? Are you ever tempted to give something new a chance?

garden pest

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4 Responses to “Service of Trust II or I Wish It Were True”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    All one need do is realize the purpose of an ad is to sell and is no guarantee of quality. I learned the hard way years ago when the late John Gambling promoted two products which resulted in disastrous purchases. I never listened to him again and continue to trust no one. The prospect of being fleeced a third time is not appealing.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I listened the other day to a garden guru who promoted a product not in an ad, but in response to a listener’s question. I noted the product’s name and found some. Before buying it, I asked one of the sales people at the garden center about it. He said, “We use it–it’s effective.” Well it isn’t.

    Staff at this garden center have turned me on to excellent products that cost a fraction of what I was looking for [and planning to buy] so I trust them.

    Maybe the creatures I’m trying to discourage haven’t read the literature. Sigh.

  3. Simon Carr Said:

    I’ve noticed a long term trend in most new products. Apart from being more cheaply made, they tend to transfer an ever greater portion of the cost of labor from the vendor to the buyer.

    Take milk for example. When I was a boy the milkman delivered a reusable hourglass bottle (cream on top, milk in the bottom) to your door every morning. Now you have dozens of different milks to chose from but you’ve got to go to a store to buy it, and then you have to lug it home yourself.

    Take another, alarm clocks. Today you need both batteries and a degree from MIT, to be able to make them work, and still they don’t go off. (I was given one for my birthday which even has a computer chip in it which will supposedly enable you to converse with intelligent life in Galaxy 321B-CF681, but even after diligently reading the instruction manual, I was not able to figure out how to set it to wake me up.) Give me an old Big Ben any day, You wind it up. It wakes you up.

    One gadget that does make sense, though, is the torque screwdriver. You turn it, and it screws effortlessly and quickly, saving both time and labor, and nobody is out of a job.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I lived in Manhattan and don’t recall such milk bottles but when I visited a friend’s grandmother in Mass., she would get milk as you describe it and I hated it because there were lumps of cream in the milk and it creeped me out. The bottle wasn’t shaped to capture the cream.

    I was given a handsome alarm clock that is unreliable: It works when it wants to. The one I depend on, with trepidation, is over 40 years old, its stand is broken and I hide it unless I need it– it’s so unattractive. But so far it still works!

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