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  • Topic: Power Balance Scam

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    • December 25, 2009 9:47:55 AM PST
    • Power Balance Scam

      Watchdog, you are spot on.

      The sad part is - the company must know it's a scam - but the people out promoting it are victims of the placebo effect - and when they test it on others they introduce that bias into the results.

      An australian network show had one of the people from the company try to duplicate the results using a blind test - he could not determine who had the real 'hologram' and who just had a credit card in their pocket.

      Does this mean the whole Power Balance bracelet is a scam? Depends how you look at it. If you believe in the results, you get the results. That's the placebo effect.

      But if I'm selling you something i know doesn't really work - hoping you have the placebo effect - does that make it the Power Balance Scam?

      Here's a link to the video where they completely debunk the holographic strength and balance test:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd0Gb9EgkHA

       

      Someone pitched me on the EFX Power Balance wristband the other night.

      I was totally unprepared for two things - how convinced these people were that there is such a thing as holograms that emit a 'frequency' attuned to the body, and the carnival style gimmicks used to convince lemmings that the technology works.

      There are many resources you can find on the internet debunking the effects of Applied Kinesiology. Basically, applied kinesiology is this total fraud science whereby people believe that their body responds to either items worn, items ingested, or items held. That somehow, the muscles react and are either weaker or strong depending on contact with these objects and the bodies 'electrical field."

      These same people would sneer and laugh if they saw say a evangelist lay his hands on someones head and then suddenly they had greater strength or flexibility, but the principle is exactly the same. Except with items like teh EFX USA scam and Power Balance wristband scam the person doing the test actually believes and thus helps bring about the placebo effect result that one normally sees when they do these kind of parlor tricks.

      Lifewave got hammered on sites like WorldWideScam for promoting these Hologram Stickers that supposedly provided all kinds of benefits ( even used for improved gas mileage ) but now these other companies like EFX are selling their Power Balance bracelets to people who in ages gone by would've lined up for snake oil.

      This friend tried to demonstrate the power of the Power Balance wristband on me. He asked me to pput my hands together and rotate as far as I could to the right. Then marked how far my hands would reach. Then he said, okay, now I'm going to put the wristband on you - I said, wait, let me do it one more time. This time, I stretched as far as I possibly could - an extra few inches - till it actually hurt. Then I said lets do it. He put the bracelet on me. I was able to turn just as far, no further.

      He did the same test to three other people. Each time, I encouraged the people to go as far as they possibly could - not just as far as was comfortable. Each time when they put on the bracelet, no further result.

      Then he did a test where he had me stand on one foot and tried to push down my arm. Again, he wanted to push down on my arm after I held the bracelet. I told him, no, just push down again without the bracelet. The second time, I held my arm and balance much longer. And the third time, even longer. I said, "Is that the result you were expecting with the EFX Power Balance Wristband? He said yes. I said, the bracelet doesn't do anything. You simply adjust and balance better then next times.

      It led me to also do research on the placebo effect for these items. What's sad is that the same crap we hear when people are pitching certain MLM products ( PRO ATHLETES ARE USING IT!!!) is being used to promote this totally worthless piece of plastic and a hologram sticker ( like you would find on your credit card ) for 60.00.  "Pro Hockey Players are using it". Really? Which ones. Apparently a couple of pro surfers gave testimonials. Honestly, the only pro surfers I ever knew where such gullible stoners I could've sold them green beans as magic beans and they'd have tried to grow a magic beanstalk. No offense to any intelligent pro surfers.

      Here's a link to a scambusting video, but instead of the EFX hologram scam its a 'crystal' that is supposed to have the same effect - and the guy just destroys the phony crystal healer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_MzP2MZaOo

      I then challenged the friend to do the same test, but without me encouraging the person to stretch as far as possible the first time, with a simple rubber wristband - essentially a "Live Strong" bracelet.

      The person turned six inches further the second time. The funny part, the rubber band wasn't even a Live Strong - it was a silicone band made for marking beer cans and wine glasses at parties ( all different colors ).

      But no matter how many times I pointed out the silliness of the claims, or the fact that it couldn't pass a double blind test, or the placebo effect, or the expectations on the tester of the net result, could not get a response indicating it might be a fraud.

      Emperor's New Clothes effect in play. Even when scammed, no one wants to admit it - they won't admit something like the EFX wristband scam sucked them in, because then they would seem like idiots.

      Reminds me of the Uri Geller key bending and Pyramid Power craziness of the 70s.

      Anyone actually using this EFX USA Power Balance bracelet that is willing to do a blind test?

       

    • December 25, 2009 9:52:09 AM PST
    • Power Balance Scam

      Lifewave was selling a similar product. Not sure if they are even still in business. I'm not a scientist but I've never heard of a 'hologram' having a frequency. Frequency of what?

      The human body has a neuroelectric field. No doubt. I've seen those cool kirlian photography videos when I was a kid. But my credit cards have holograms on them too, and when I have them in my pocket, I don't get a surge of super strength or extra flexibility.

      Total bullshit.

      EFX Power Balance bracelets are a total hoax.

       

    • May 16, 2010 1:11:42 PM PDT
    • Power Balance Scam

      EFX and Power Balance are the same company selling simliar BS products with either a hologram (a negative produced by exposing a high-resolution photographic plate, without camera or lens, near a subject illuminated by monochromatic, coherent radiation, as from a laser: when it is placed in a beam of coherent light a true three-dimensional image of the subject is formed.) or lithograph (the art or process of producing a picture, writing, or the like, on a flat, specially prepared stone, with some greasy or oily substance, and of taking ink impressions from this as in ordinary printing.)

      Both are just a PICTURE. Oh WOW!!  No wonder it works so well!!!!  NOT!!  Power Balance was band for the State of California for fraud, so magically EFX came on the scene. and yes they are owned by the same person.

    • July 26, 2010 9:54:37 AM PDT
    • Power Balance Scam

      Your long-winded, cliche ridden OPINION is just that. Actually, it seems that you are good at your soap box thing- maybe too good?  You really sound like a depression-era grandma that just has to attack anything that does not involve doctors- or God.

      First, I do not sell these, I am a soccer coach and player.

      We had a non-involved college athlete test several high school athletes and their parents in several different scenarios, and repeated these in several ways, including blind tests and placebos.  Not scientific method, just real world. All showed obvious improvement in balance and flexibility, with no definable strength changes. It was much more difficult to move them "off their feet'. Based on that, we believe in them. Increased balance and flexibility is, in athletes, a very important route to better performance by using less energy. In my case, I stretched measurably farther with much less pain.  I  touched the floor with both hands, a 4" increase. I am 54 years old.  If someone told me that these make me instantly stronger, that would not be true, but try and push me off my feet and you will have to work harder at it than before. If a live strong bracelet does that same thing, is it part of a hoax also? Or did it do something? You admit to seeing the changes, therefore they did happen.

      Skeptics with the ability to type... and forums to display their drama.

    • January 6, 2011 7:59:49 AM PST
    • Power Balance Scam

      It only goes to show how the power of Belief can triumph over rational, critical thinking. A simple rubber trinket stamped out in a 3rd world sweatshop, no matter how "mystical" or "energetically charged" it may claim to be, will not magically transform the wearer and grant abilities which weren't present to begin with. Proper mindset can and does give an edge in athletic competition and other human endeavors, but if you don't have the underlying fundamentals, you won't gain superhuman or preternatural abilities...

      http://zentropist.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/what-power-balance-bracelets-teach-us-about-belief/

    • January 5, 2011 12:03:18 AM PST
    • Power Balance Scam

      News Flash for all the Power Balance Scam Defenders and Magical Performance Enhancement Wizards:

      Power Balance has admitted there is NO SCIENCE behind their claims. ( Translation: All mumbo jumbo, trickery and placebo effect. And a very lucrative one at that ). ( Translation in case you aren't fluent in Australian - IT'S JUST A BRACELET )

      In Australia, Power Balance distributors were ordered to drop "FALSE AND MISLEADING" claims that the wearers wuld experience an increase in strength, power and flexibility.

      The company was fined for false advertising.

      The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ( The equivelent of the Federal Trade Commission ) found that Power Balance’s claims were unfounded, and forced the company to issue a statement in which it admits that there is no evidence to support what they say.

      Power Balance wrote: "We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims." The company also agreed to give refunds to customers who believe they were cheated.

      Power Balance also published this complete statement: ""In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologise and offer a full refund." 

      In December, Italy's Antitrust Authority fined Power Balance 300,000 euro for not having proof of the claims made.

      If Power Balance could demonstrate that their product had any effect on althletic performance, I'm sure they would have fought this. Cheers to Australia and Italy for being more pro-active than the regulatory commissions in the US. So many of these phoney hologram / resonance / energy field bracelets have sprung up that you can find knock-offs of knock-offs at mall kiosks now.

      Australia also ordered the company to do all of the following:

      1. Publishing, at its own expense, corrective advertisments
      2. Ceasing to claim that the products
        • will improve the user's balance, strength and flexibility; or
        • are 'designed to work with the body's natural energy field';
        • nor, in conjunction with the Products, make claims that 'Power Balance is Performance Technology' or use the phrase "Performance Technology"
      3. Ceasing to manufacture or import products contaning the words "Performance Technology"
      4. Blacking out the words "Performance Technology" on its packaging
      5. Replacing its promotional and marketing material
      6. Offering full refunds, plus postage
    • November 22, 2011 12:16:13 PM PST
    • Power Balance Scam

      And, as expected, Epic Fail by Power Balance.

      Last year Australian regulators found the the claims of improved flexibility and balance and strength increases were misleading, and Power Balance had to publicly admit that there were no scientific evidence to support their claims, and agreed to refund customers in Australia.

      A US lawsuit soon followed, and Power Balance was sued by customers alleging the company falsely claimed it's bracelets improved athletic performance. After the company was sued it was reported that the their revenues dropped through the floor.  In September Power Balance agreed to settle the lawsuit in Federal court. Under the reported terms of the settlement, anyone who purchased a wristband would be eligible for a refund of $30 plus a $5 shipping fee, for an estimated liability of up to $57 million dollars according to some sources.

      Power Balance filed for bankruptcy protection in Santa Ana California last friday. The company benefited by reaching a settlement before going to trial, which would have exposed the company to all sorts of discovery to provide proof of the holographic bracelets benefits, which of course they can't, so a settlement agreement followed by a quick bankruptcy is a great way to dodge the 'truth' bullet and still try to bamboozle the remaining true believers into selling and using the product.

      Power Balance tweeted yesterday, "Power Balance is not going out of business. See our new performance mouth gear launching this week".

      One humorous twitter reply summed it up with: "Does your new mouthguard have holograms that you fraudulently declare will improve sporting performance?"

      I stand by my previous posts that this holographic quackery is pure hoax, and if Power Balance survives they will only do so by rewording their marketing and presentation material so that it no longer claims any performance, but only implies it using ambigious *wink* *wink* language that will be less actionable by legal authorities.

       

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