Video Professor And The Continuity Model

Continuity programs have to be the number one industry being dogged and harassed by online reputation issues. I figured out why. Hang on here…this is profound…people are DUMB!! Totally, unabashedly, ridiculously, box of hair dumb.

Continuity programs, for those of you not familiar with the term, are also known as auto ship programs or some variation on that theme. Basically you order a product then every month they ship you another order, or the next CD or whatever. Typically the first month is free and you just pay shipping. These programs are hot in the affiliate space and quite often backed with late night infomercials. Big deal right? I’m sure we can all agree that there is no free lunch and if you stop and think for even 2 seconds you can probably come to the conclusion that nobody can pay for infomercial time by giving away their products. Clearly common sense eludes the masses.

Probably the most well known continuity player is Video Professor. John W. Scherer (the Video Professor himself) is a very recognizable face today. You all know who he is. He looks like your favorite uncle and by all accounts he’s a phenomenal business man that’s build an empire teaching people how to add numbers in Excel or get rid of red eyes in their digital photos.

I poked around www.videoprofessor.com a bit to see how hard it is to miss the small print that explains that you are enrolling in a program and will be sent more DVDs and be charged for each one. It was pretty damn easy to find. When you fill out the order form there is a check box that is unchecked (you MUST check it to order) that says:

I have read and agree to the details of this offer by reviewing the HOW IT WORKS and Use Agreement program overview.

How It Works and the User Agreement are hyperlinked and one opens a popup and the other opens a new page. I’ll bet the language is confusing and cleverly obfuscated though…

How It Works:

ANY TWO of the three computer tutorial CD-ROMs are yours free without further obligation, PERIOD. Take 10 days to decide if you want to keep the complete set of CDs. After your 10-day free trial, if you decide to keep the complete set, we’ll conveniently bill your credit card just $89.95. Or simply call our customer care number at 1-800-503-3536 if you decide to return any one of the lessons. You will be charged nothing more, and get to keep two computer learning CD-ROMs! You can also return everything within 10 days and receive a full Shipping and Processing refund upon your request.

Hmmm…that’s pretty plain english. Just like you’d expect from your favorite uncle.

User Agreement:

At the end of any Trial or other promotional period, we will begin billing your credit card for subscription fees at the current rate in effect for your use of the SoftwareKeep plus any applicable sales taxes. For your convenience, we will charge the subscription fee (plus any taxes) to the credit card you provide to us during registration (or to a different credit card if you change your account information). Your subscription, whether it is Trial or another promotional period, unless it is a Direct Purchase, will automatically renew for successive subscription periods, without prior notice to you, unless and until you cancel your subscription or we terminate it. You must cancel your subscription before it renews in order to avoid billing of subscription fees to your credit card. We will continue to bill your credit card on a monthly basis (or other periodic billing, depending upon the terms of your subscription) for your subscription to the Software until you cancel your subscription. If you are not satisfied with the fees or billing methods, you may cancel your subscription at any time, but Video Professor will not refund any remaining portion of the monthly (or other periodic) fee when you cancel your subscription. If you subscribed to a free or paid Trial period to the Software, you should understand that your subscription runs continuously from your initial subscription regardless of your use of the Software, and to avoid being charged a subscription fee, you must cancel your account before the end of the Trial period. Video Professor reserves the right to change our fees or billing methods at any time, but we will give you thirty (30) days advance e-mail notice of these changes if your subscription fee(s) will be affected. In certain circumstances, termination charges may apply if you cancel prior to the end of a designated term, if, for example, you have obtained a bonus product.

Certainly that copy is more formal but it’s still pretty damn clear that you aren’t getting anything for nothing.

The real problem here isn’t that continuity programs are hard to describe. It’s also not really that people are dumb. It’s that these dumb people are still smart enough to blog. The bar is too low. Between wordpress.com, blogspot.com and various authoritative complaints websites it’s just too easy to get your uniformed, naive complaint published and ranking for brand related searches. I know this sounds totally arrogant but I kinda liked it better when my idiot cousin didn’t know how to work the internet or didnĀ“t know anything about great fonts for resume.

I found a couple great videos too:

Video Professor

Video Professor

YouTube Canada? Take Off Eh!! Buncha Hosers

Wheee – YouTube is launched in Canada. I can barely contain my excitement and appreciation that someone has recognized us in the Frozen North and…wait…excitement contained and anger rising. This is about the lamest, insulting, piece of crap I’ve seen in a long time and it’s your lucky day cuz I’m gonna rant about it for a bit…EH!! Let’s start with the YouTube Canada home page:

 

First off, YouTube Canada get’s a teensy weensy little Canadian flag up in the top right corner of the screen? C’mon, where’s the love? Where’s the Canadianized version of the YouTube logo? You know, the one where the red box behind “Tube” is a maple leaf. We don’t even get YouTube.ca. It just redirects to ca. youtube.com. Next is the blog. Here’s my favorite bit:

In developing territory-specific YouTube sites, we wanted to bring YouTube to you, in your language..

Your language? I’ll be the translation was a bitch…all those extra U’s in words. At least YouTube did a nice promotional video for us. You can see how the highlighted above with the fancy title bar and the great name: “YouTube Canada, Eh?”. Yeah, we say Eh. At least it sounds like a letter of the alphabet and not the unintelligible American grunt of “huh?”. Funny stuff YouTube. You sure nailed it. How well you’re endearing yourself to the Canucks. Let’s watch the video… Are you freakin kidding me? I had to look at my calendar to make sure this wasn’t a horribly ill conceived April Fools joke. Nope. It’s November 6. You really think some total tool with the personality and screen presence of piece of drywall (sheetrock for you Americans) wandering filming Canada flags is engaging? Oh look he’s trying to make the flags flap by blowing…hahahahha…pffft. The best part of this is the complete and utter slap to the face of Canadians when this retard says “you disappointed me again Canada, but not YouTube Canada…”. What? You launch a service in my country and then tell me I’ve disappointed you? What kinda message is that? What exactly is disappointing you? The fact our dollar is worth more than yours? The fact that EVERYBODY would rather have a Canadian flag on their backpack than an American flag when traveling abroad? At least you got the logo right at the end of the video.Welcome to Canada YouTube. Now take Tony and Take Off Eh!!

Crazy In Home Depot

I bought one of the Aliph Jawbone blue tooth headsets a little while ago. It is totally badass. Now I’m one of those losers that walks around with a piece of technology hangin on his ear. Honestly tho I only wear it when I’m talking on it. At all other times it resides in my coat pocket. Sure I’m a dork but I’m not a total tard. A couple evenings ago I was in Home Depot getting some light bulbs and other domestic type stuff and I happened to be talking to a very good friend of mine while I was shopping. At the end of my 4 mile hike around Home Depot I decided to dod the self check out thing. I’ve never done it before and the voice in my ear goaded me into trying it out. So I did. It is less intuitive than I hoped and so I was commenting on that as part of our conversation. I provided a very editorialized step by step and critique of the process. It was actually pretty fun. It turns out tho that there is a worker there that moniters the whole area and is ready to help out. Here’s the good part. He was standing to my right well within earshot. I wear the Jawbone on my left ear… yep… you guessed it. When I looked his way he was clearly sizing me up and trying to determine if I was high, drunk or if I had a 14 IQ. Either way he was clearly not headed over to help me. He looked rather scared actually. There are not a lot of headset users here on my tiny technologically backward island so it’s not something we’re used to seeing and accepting. I’m at the point now where I love having it on cuz people just get so confused. Am I talking them? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m never going to see these people again what do I care? I’ll take the humor.