You can tell how bad the economy is by the rapidly increasing number of Bad Credit/Work from Home radio commercials we are being flooded with. Very few make me as angry as this commercial for Internet Speedway:
The commercial starts with music trailing off and the announcer telling his audience "Ok, back to the show in a minute, but first-- have you heard about this? There's this new system that lets you make money from home selling stuff over the internet that you don't have to see, or store, or pay for!"
Ok, first gripe: the format of the commercial suggests that it's not a commercial at all, just a radio show host who wants to tell his loyal listeners about this "really cool opportunity" he "just heard about." This is so deceptive, and should be your first tip-off that this "opportunity" is NOT on the level.
And he continues: "I've got the number right here, it's um...it's, wait...." and we hear papers shuffling around as he "searches" for the toll-free number to call to get the "free" start-up kit. Again- it's a commercial. He doesn't need to look for the fricking number. It's Right There.
It gets worse: "You can sell high-interest items like cameras and plasma tvs right from your home...people are making thousands of dollars...sounds like your computer does all the work, and you basically just collect the money." Then there's more paper shuffling, and we get the toll-free number again. And again. AND AGAIN.
Nasty, deceptive garbage. Here's how Internet Speedway works: Your "free" start-up kit comes to you with a shipping charge attached to your credit card, of course. Once you use the DVD to access the Internet Speedway start-up site, you have thirty days to cancel, otherwise you are automatically signed up for their "service." Their "service" is to design a cheap-looking website for you, at a monthly fee, from which you can attempt to sell high-priced items that anyone can find cheaper on store shelves and from offical store websites.
So you set up your crummy website, pay $39.95 a month to maintain it (conveniently charged to your credit card, of course) and watch people NOT buy stuff from you. If you are smart, you call to cancel before the deadline- and if you're lucky, you get something other than a recording when you call and your cancellation is honored. More likely you don't get to talk to anyone until the deadline is passed, and you are out the first month's fee. Plus your shipping charges, of course. Oh, and you have to return the DVD to get your refund. At your expense.
These commercials are obnoxious enough when the economy is humming along and the targets are people just looking to make a little extra pocket money. They are downright criminal when times are tough and people are desperate. Shame on XM/Sirius for selling ad time to these hucksters.
Quick tip, backed up by Consumer Reports: Pretty much ALL Work-From-Home schemes are just that- schemes. They are designed to suck money you really don't have out of your wallet. That nice man on the radio isn't interested in making you rich, and he's not interrupting his radio show to tell you about this neat new idea. (If he believed in the product, he'd be sitting at home, making money on Internet Speedway instead of creating competitors by telling you about it.) Use your brains, people.