Power band Scam

Was just in a sports shop about 10 minutes ago … and guess what? There sitting next to the till, was a rack full of Power bands. Yes indeed, a piece of plastic with a hologram on it can be yours for just £30

This will apparently make your sports performance magically improve. Well, OK, its not quite that blatant, they wrap it up in a fancy box plastered with meaningless techno-babble, which boils down to a claim that it will magically improve your performance.

If this was really true, then everybody should wear one to improve their performance when, driving, flying, working etc… it would transform the world, but of course its complete bollocks.

Now, what is truly interesting is that there has been lots of bad press about this. for example, the BBC story here. In fact even the Power balance folks themselves have been forced to retract their silly claims, see their press release here, that reads …

Power Balance LLC (“Power Balance”) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to resolve a recent advertising-related class action lawsuit, Batungbacal v. Power Balance LLC et al., which was filed in a federal district court in California on January 4, 2011. Under the terms of the agreement, Power Balance will provide full refunds, plus an amount for shipping and handling, to dissatisfied customers who join the class. Power Balance will also make select changes to product claims and the ways in which it advertises and markets its products in order to better define the scope of its marketing claims.

Yet, even with all this knowledge in the public domain, I was surprised to learn that the sports shop has been selling lots of these. The assistant behind the till was (quite rightly) skeptical, yet observed that if that’s what folks wish to buy, then best of luck to them. I can only conclude that it must be some form of tax for stupidity.

If you truly are a believer in this plastic magical god, then you might like to check out all the details gathered by the Australian Skeptics here, but perhaps you might prefer to simply watch the video below where Richard Saunders from the Australian Skeptics Society puts their ‘performance tests’ to the test and shows how the supposed improvement in performance was actually down to the power of suggestion.

5 thoughts on “Power band Scam”

  1. Four or so years ago friend of mine “got” one of these from his doctor, he didn’t admit that he had spent money on it. Over a pint of beer me and my other friend pretty much tried to convince to him as peacefully as we could that “no, you dumb ass, hologram isn’t going to make your balance better, this is bullshit”. He didn’t wear it the next day and we never had to talk about it again. :)

  2. The whole trick is physics. The “conman” pushes straight down on the centre of gravity on the “wearer” of the “powerband” and on a slight angle to those who are not wearing it shifting the person off balance. It is nothing short of fraud and deception.

  3. Modem day “snake oil” merchants.

    The device is based on frequency; maybe they can integrate those holograms in cell phones that would be handy.

  4. Very noticeable during tests of arm pushing the first push on the potential client, the seller has both hands on the upper and lower arm while pushing. The second time with the bracelet, the seller is only pushing down on the upper arm thereby disproving the bracelet has any power over the balance test. It’s much easier to stand as long as the forearm isn’t being pushed down.

  5. It should be patently obvious to all but the most dull witted among us that there is no credible mechanism by which these could ever give the performance improvement they claim, yet there they sit, ready for sale.

    It proves that no only are there suckers born every minute, but a good (if not necessarily ethical) marketer can make about anything fly, including pigs.


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