09 January 2008

Q-Ray Ionized Nut Kick

Here's a happy story for those of you who like to see woo peddlers get kicked in the proverbial nuts: Q-Ray makers ordered to pay $16M in refunds to consumers (For those of you unfamiliar with the product, the damn thing is a just a metal bracelet with a gap and two little knobby things on each end.)

A US court has upheld a 2006 ruling that says the makers of the Q-Ray "Ionized" Bracelet (of latenight infomercial fame) have to surrender $16 million in profits, to be paid out to duped consumers for false advertising, as well as refunding up to $87 million to elligible customers seeking refunds. The best thing about the ruling was this statement from judge Frank Easterbrook:
Defendants might as well have said: Beneficent creatures from the 17th dimension use this bracelet as a beacon to locate people who need pain relief and whisk them off to their home world every night to provide help in ways unknown to our science.
How awesome is that comment?

From the beginning of the company in 1996 until the original 2006 court decision, Q-Ray has used terms like "ionized," "natural pain relief," "enhancing the flow of bio-energy" via "Q-Rays," and featured testimonials of how the product has enhanced the lives of their owners. Since that decision, the company has toned-down the claims a bit. On the US website, you'll no longer see any claims about it doing anything. On the Canadian website, though, you'll still see claims about "Balancing your bio-energy" and even the statement
Like acupuncture, yoga and tai-chi, the Q-Ray Bracelet is based on traditional Oriental medicine. The exclusive process that goes into every Q-Ray is designed to balance the negative and positive energy forces in your body to achieve a state of “Chi,” where you will feel and perform at your best.
Just in case you were wondering, according to CBC's Marketplace program, based on electron microscopy, in no way can the bracelet be considered "ionized." It's just a plain metal bracelet.

The Q-Ray Bracelet: $65-$300 Piece of Scrap
(From randi.org)

Now, the cost of Q-Ray bracelets ranges from $65 to $300, with an average one around $200. How many idiots (or frantically desperate people) are there in the world that they could sell (87000000/200 =) 435000 of the stupid things? It's depressing, really. The sad thing about the ruling is that the duped consumers get their money back - no doubt to spend on some other quackery. So many better things can be done with the $16 million profits and up to $87 million in refunds. Like giving it to me ;-)

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At January 09, 2008 3:01 p.m., Blogger CHADMAC said...

"Beneficent creatures from the 17th dimension...."

Wow... Pure genius I say!! That judge is awesome.

It's nice to see that Marketplace investigated these people too. I seem to recall them doing decent work in such investigations.

At January 12, 2008 12:17 a.m., Blogger sacred slut said...

Defendants might as well have said: Beneficent creatures from the 17th dimension use this bracelet as a beacon to locate people who need pain relief and whisk them off to their home world every night to provide help in ways unknown to our science

Yeah? How do you know they don't? Huh?


At January 13, 2008 12:40 p.m., Blogger MICKY said...

An American, a Scot and a Canuk were in a terrible car accident. They were all brought to the same emergency room, but all three of them died before they arrived. Just as they were about to put the toe tag on the American, he stirred and opened his eyes. Astonished, the doctors and nurses present asked him what happened.

"Well," said the American, "I remember the crash, and then there was a beautiful light, and then the Canadian and the Scot and I were standing at the gates of heaven. St. Peter approached us and said that we were all too young to die, and that for a donation of $100, we could return to the earth."

He continued, " So of course, I pulled out my wallet and gave him the $100, and the next thing I knew I was back here."

"That's amazing!" said one of the doctors, "But what happened to the other two?"

"Last I saw them," replied the American, "the Scot was haggling over the price and the Canadian was waiting for the government to pay for his."


At January 13, 2008 10:37 p.m., Blogger langmann said...

Amazing how much pseudoscience people will believe in.

@ Micky - that is an interesting joke, and does stereotype the typical Canadian. I find it a strange joke coming from a professed Christian, however. For one if someone got to heaven why would he want to come back to this crap-hole compared to heaven? Secondly the allusion to money, donation, and St. Peter in return for being "reborn" is interestingly odious.

However we'll never see you again I am sure.

At February 15, 2008 12:56 a.m., Blogger Necator said...



My bane! I saw someone not two days ago wearing one! Agahst! May we up-grade from mere nut-kickery to nut stompery?!

What sort of ions are they by the way? chloride? potassium?

Dear Mickey - from which crank-infested universe did you tesseract?

At March 18, 2008 9:38 p.m., Blogger GDad said...

When I see these bracelets on people at work, I immediately become suspicious of their analytical and critical thinking abilities.

At March 20, 2008 5:48 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

My QRay bracelet is very flexible...Really like it..!


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