Video Professor Sues Anonymous Critics

from the buy-my-product dept

If you watch enough TV, you've probably come across the commercials for "the video professor" who offers DVD videos teaching you how to do things like use your computer. The commercials involve an appeal from the CEO and founder of the company to "buy my product" and promote how you can get a trial for "free!" However, if you look around online, you find many, many complaints that the company ended up charging people money for the supposedly "free" products. What is actually happening is that when you sign up for the "free" trial, you're actually signing up for a subscription to receive other training videos periodically. The problem is that many people don't realize this -- and claim that they were mislead (in many ways, this is similar to the Amazon Prime mess that still hasn't been cleared up. Whether or not the company clearly explains to buyers what they're signing up for is open to debate.

However, with such widespread criticism for its practices online, it isn't surprising that the company is concerned. Of course, rather than addressing those criticisms, instead the company has decided to sue. Greg Beck writes in to point out that the company (which tells people to look for reviews online) has sued 100 anonymous critics of the company claiming trademark violations and defamation. Lots of companies seem to think negative reviews constitute a trademark violation, but a review is a perfectly legitimate use of a trademark. Defamation depends specifically on what the reviewers said, so it's difficult to judge that aspect of the lawsuits. However, to tell people to look for reviews online, and then go out and sue a bunch of folks who negatively reviewed your product seems like highly questionable activity.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    no, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    Amazon Prime is AWESOME. I can't even begin to imagine how much money I've saved in the last year alone by using their free two day shipping or $2-$4 overnight shipping. One of the best deals on the internet.

    The VIdeo Professor... however... is a fucking idiot.

     

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  2.  
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    Joel Coehoorn, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 8:31am

    I remember video professor from way back when Windows 95 came out. It seemed like the products were teaching extremely basic concepts, leading me to wonder that unless they've updated their topics considerably this whole thing is really moot; if you know how to look for reviews online, do you really need video professor?

     

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  3.  
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    The infamous Joe, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 8:52am

    Sharp, pointy stick.

    The point isn't that they teach things every 8 year old knows or that they downplay the fact that you sign up for a subscription and you receive random charges and random "MS Paint and you" CDs.. it's that the good Professor's action against negative criticism is, not to refute the claims, but instead to sue anonymous people who had a negative experience to relate to the general public about his product. I always get a red flag warning when I am bombarded with the word "free", and it never ceases to amaze me how many people actually believe that anything is still free these days.

    In any event, now a lot more people are going to have negative things to say about the Professor, as well as hear about the negative reviews.

    Maybe someone should sell a CD to him entitled "The Streisand Effect: Pros and Cons" to him. :)

    ..I, not being a lawyer, have to wonder if suing someone ever has a good outcome... maybe we should just do away with it altogether.

     

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  4.  
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    Matt, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Re: Sharp, pointy stick.

    ROFL!

    I swear I am going to make a CD like that and sell it to large corporations! That could be so much fun. I could use barbara streisand footage and maybe even have someone try to sue me for copyright or trademark violation in the process! This could be a lot of fun lol....definitely beyond youtube worthy...and of course, sell it in youtube but laugh as corporations buy a CD of it.

    ohhhh man, please, anyone want to help with this project find me via my blog usagemayvary.blogspot.com

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:05am

    Ha one summer I needed a job, my regular summer employer had hired somone else for my spot, and the local telemarketing place was hiring...Well i went with and decided I can do telemarketing.

    The product I was selling was the Video Professor. I can tell you that the fact that it was a subscription was never deliberately concealed; however the offer was presented in such a way that you could easily end up with a subscription that you didn't want.

    Eventually I went to my boss and told him that I wasn't totally comfortable with the way that the video professor offer was being presented to people. Well long story short, I was told that I didn't believe in the product (this was right after graduation from PSU with an MIS degree so I didn't believe in it), and I was moved to another section within the company. Then I quit two weeks later when I got a real job.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Video Professor seems to use the same approach as those companies offering your 'free credit report'. If you aren't careful you end up with a subscription for worthless credit report monitoring.

    As The infamous Joe correctly points out - Nothing is 'Free'

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:14am

    LOL, so they are suing Anonymous Critics of their product? Post the link so we can all join in on the fun!

     

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  8.  
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    Danny, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:17am

    Put up or shup up

    I feel about as sorry for this guy as I do for resturaunt owners who try to ban food critics and sue the ones that give them bad marks. Which is not sorry at all. Reviewing a product is not a violation of trademark because if it was then even the people that wrote good reviews would get sued too. Funny thing is we don't see that happening. And if I'm not mistaken isn't one of the main conditions of defamation proving that the offending party said things that they knew were false?

    So unless the people that reviewed the product did not unknowingly sign up for future products...

     

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  9.  
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    Jim, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:26am

    Dvorak on Video Professor

    John C. Dvorak was discussing Video Professor on a TWiT podcast sometime this past year. According to him, the way this dude makes his money is not through the sale of the product or not necessarily from hooking suckers into subscriptions, but from the sale of mailing lists which is the real focus of their business plan. Notice they make no promise that your contact information won't be sold.

     

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  10.  
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    Neal, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:31am

    Disbar the attorneys

    You know, one thing that ALWAYS strikes me when I see lawsuits like this is that there are attorneys behind them. Sure, Joe Moron might not understand that there's no case here (or might not want to accept it), but there shouldn't be an attorney in the US that doesn't know better BEFORE they're even out of law school. I personally think that any attorney that fails to refuse such a case (or any other of their ilk) should be immediately face penalties from fines, suspension of their law license, to permanent disbarment.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    Aren't you guys afraid you'll get sued for this story?

     

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  12.  
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    Angry Amazon Customer, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:41am

    Amazon Prime

    Why have you charged my credit card $79? I demand an immediate refund!

    ;-)

     

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  13.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:48am

    Re#10, #4

    #10, I agree. That would be neat and help solve the sue happy problem America faces today.

    #4, maybe since you would use her footage, you could convince Streisand herself to sue you, only making it that much more popular and awesome! You CD/DVD would be proving itself right!

     

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  14.  
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    Sean, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:49am

    Re: Disbar the attorneys

    why give penilies when you can just sue them

     

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  15.  
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    CharlieHorse, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 9:50am

    Re: AC #11

    LOL!

    I agree ... So, in order to avoid possible legal repercussions, I will refrain from commenting on the complete absurdity of using frivolous lawsuits that waste everyone's time and money in pursuit of the ludicrous goal of stopping anonymous comments on the internet about your crappy product.

    there - see, I didn't make a statement. I stated very clearly that I wasn't making a statement.

    Besides - Neal brings up a good point - there needs to be some sort of serious pain felt by attorneys who engage in these sorts of asinine lawsuits. example: S-C-O. In cases like these, I feel that the lawyers (and/or law firms) themselves should be held liable along with the company they represent should they lose the case. That would probably go a long way towards making these ambulance chasers think twice before embarking on a case like this one.

     

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  16.  
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    Jimbo, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    Darn, I was thinking about ordering their "How to eBay" course...

     

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  17.  
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    Ragaboo, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    Can't even update the commercial

    My favorite part of the Video Professor commercials is that the discs all say Windows ME. Yeah, they're with the times all right...

     

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  18.  
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    Name, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 10:56am

    Re: Sharp, pointy stick.

    >Maybe someone should sell a CD to him entitled "The Streisand Effect: Pros and Cons" to him. :)

    LOL

     

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  19.  
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    Old Guy, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 10:57am

    I'll countersue

    And I don't even need a lawyer because... I have http://www2.cali.org/ So I can find out all about the law for FREE!!!!!

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 11:03am

    You are all gonna get sued for these comments! :P

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    I am suing all posters

    I am opening a suit to all posters who used a word with three letters that starts with T. I can't say it, it is highly offensive to me. Out of court settlements will be considered for th...a sum equal to one gabillion dollors ..ere dollars..yeah.. givit to me now..

    Respect my authoritah!!
    Hippies

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 11:53am

    Class action

    Just bring a class action on behalf of 100k anonymous customers. :-)

     

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  23.  
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    Geoge W., Sep 24th, 2007 @ 12:03pm

    Video Professor

    Video Professor is a flaming faggot and a pathetic loozer!! :)

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 12:13pm

    Video Professor

    Video Professor Blows Dead Horses!!

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 12:16pm

    The standard to win that kind of lawsuit is pretty high. I don't know who their attorneys are, just hope I don't hire one of them.

    OTOH, frivolous lawsuits do impose costs on the victim. Even though Video Professor will probably have to pay their legal costs, it will still eat up the victims' time, perhaps serving as a warning to others wanting to tell their stories.

     

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  26.  
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    Stephen Samuel, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: AC #11

    Actually, there is some hope that BSF (the lawyers) could be held liable for SCO"s legal shenanigans -- They took part of their payment in stock and an option to get a percentage if there was a buyout (presumably as a result of the suit).

    If the world is lucky, this could be taken as collusion.in a frivolous lawsuit. (IANAL, so I'm not sure as to exactly how this would be framed)

     

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  27.  
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    Layton, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: AC #11

    In Britain, the loser of the civil case has to pay all attorney fees. As you can imagine, they have alot less frivolous law suits. I would wholly agree with that policy being implemented here in the US.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Stephen Samuel, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 12:32pm

    slapp

    Hopefully some of the 'vicims' of live in states with anti-SLAPP rules (eg California). If they can get their case moved to such a state, then they can apply under the SLAPP laws to sanction these guys

    (( slapp = Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Partitpation ))

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    dadz, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 1:05pm

    Lawyers

    Not sure but there must be a way to determine who the sue happy lawyers are and post that info for all to use as they see fit...

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 1:24pm

    Try my product...

    Subject to be spoken in George Bush tone and accent.

    They make their money from the "Shipping and Handling" charges. It doesn't cost anywhere near that much to mail a CD-ROM. They just overcharge and take the difference.

     

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  31.  
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    jp, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    Wow! Clever move!

    Now people will start to buy those excellent products. A company that feels the necessity to do this really must be doing it right.
    Genius!

    I alone have told about two dozen people about that amazing company and their wonderful products. Please do the same and help spread the word about what a wonderful company this is.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 2:55pm

    You'll all be receiving papers shortly.

     

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  33.  
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    Avatar28, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 4:41pm

    Yes, SLAPP them back

    Hopefully Stephen is right. A few anti-slapp countersuits would probably teach them a nice lesson. Then again, maybe this is research for their new video, The Video Professor's Guide to SLAPP lawsuits.

     

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  34.  
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    where's the common sense?, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 5:48pm

    Video Professor

    What am I missing? How is it trademark infringement to provide a testamonial of your own experiences with a company, good or bad? If I am not trying to profit from their name either way, how can it be trademark infringement? To me, if a judge even agrees to hear this case, let alone decide in the favor of the Video Prof, then it is really an infringement on our freedom of speech.

    This is a much more scary thing than whether or not I was a savvy or naive buyer.

     

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  35.  
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    ndt, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 6:09pm

    "misled"

    It's spelled "misled".

    Also, he says "try my product", not "buy my product", the implication being that you can try it with no obligation.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 12:01am

    sounds like the girls gone wild scam

     

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  37.  
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    Jessie Lee, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 12:05am

    The Video Professor

    FUCK THE VIDEO PROFESSOR!!!!! WHAT AN ASHOLE. I'm gping to make it a REAL point to tell my firends to tell their friends about this money hongerer...

     

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  38.  
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    Allen Harkleroad, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 12:28am

    Video Professor Sucks

    A good many years ago (about 8yrs) before my wife and I met and got married, Video Professor pulled the monthly charge on my wife. After I came into the picture I took care of it for her, of course she lost most of the money Video Professor had been charging her, but the credit card charges stopped. If it is on your credit card dispute it, you didn't knowingly give them permission to charge your card, despite what they think, dispute it and tell the Card Company you want ALL of the money back that they took. If Video Professor gets enough charge backs their card processor may drop them, if nothing else the chargebacks will get very expensive (Chargebacks costs a lot more than what was actually charged, in some cases a lot more). It is a losing proposition for Video Professor to take the litigation route, that and they will end up becoming the 'joke' of the Internet.

    I personally think Video Professor is nothing more than scammers selling junk.

     

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  39.  
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    Phil, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 4:48am

    Re:

    That's it, you're getting sued! ;)

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 6:10am

    you suck '-)

     

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  41.  
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    Charles, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 7:23am

    Video Professor Lack-Luster. (100% SHAT)

    I have seen a CD of this series... and its definately not for everyone. Come to think of it.... I don't think I would recommend this product to ANYONE. Not even the most computer il-idiot people it targets. The Video Professor training is dry and quite awful. But more to the point their business practices are retarded. That is where they get their SHAT raiting from. Taking advantage of people that are already on the computer slow side... ~_~.

    Opps did I say something bad about the Video Professor? Damn... add me to the list of Defendants.

     

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  42.  
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    radfaraf, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 9:17am

    Video professor would occasionally give 'free' medical software with some of their CDs and then send people to our company for technical support. However, these CDs were not published by either our company or Video professor so it was very frustrating explaining this to the callers who usually were computer noobs.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 4:28pm

    is this where I sign up for the FREE lessons on how to use Amazon?

     

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  44.  
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    Peggy, Sep 29th, 2007 @ 7:57am

    Re: Disbar the attorneys

    I wholeheartedly agree!

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Dan Wilson, Sep 29th, 2007 @ 1:52pm

    Video Professor's Litigation!

    This issue is important to consumers! This is a draconian attack on the very foundation of the First Amendment Speech. An entity or a person with 'deep' pockets believes he can suppress Free Speech through financial intimidation is no different than a foreign junta or a dictatorial regime arresting their opponents for their expression of free speech through military or police action.


    Can you imagine where this would lead? Let's warp this ahead in time and say that Video Professor is successful in his suit against the defendants in this case. According to your article, he promises to take this all the way up to the Supreme Court. Would this not have a chilling effect on every negative review of a product, movie, politician, corporate business practice, restaurant, movie etc.? Could not this open the legal floodgates for anyone who has received a negative review claiming the same cause for libel and defamation? I would lead you to another similar celebrated case being fought against a book review at various places on the web.

    http://richarddawkins.net/article,1546,PZ-Myers-sued-for-a-negative-review-in-a-blog-post,Bo ing-Boing or

    Here

    http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/20/writer-sued-for-a-ne.html.

    Would this not suppress every critic out there or limit their comments in a fog of possible litigation?

    The bottom line is this. Can a person or a corporate entity who has unlimited financial and legal resources be able to use the judicial system to suppress the Free Speech of outspoken critics who he KNOWS does not have access to those same resources? Litigation in the court system is expensive.

    A lawyer can bury the other side in paperwork with legal tactics and strategies using depositions, interrogatories, subpoenas, delays, appeals etc. There is no way that the average consumer has the economic resources to legally fight such a strategy and they knows this. So in effect, they are able silence their critics by De Facto litigation. However, the chilling aftermath of all this is a suppression of the basic First Amendment Rights.


    In the W. R.Grace & Co in the Woburn case and in Libby, Montana, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/grace03.shtml. Didn't Jan Schlichtmann's Law Firm end up in bankruptcy?

    These cases do not merit the free speech dicussion above but only shows how corporations and individuals can use the legal system to advance or protect their business practices from consumers.

     

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  46.  
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    vpsucks, Sep 30th, 2007 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Sharp, pointy stick.

    Careful VP might sue you!

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2007 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Put up or shup up

    What Ever happened to freedom of speech?

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Max Powers, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 7:57pm

    Video Professor Lawsuit

    Any company that has hundreds to thousands of complaints about them must be doing something wrong. I'm waiting to see the outcome of this case but will continue to warn consumers of Video Professor and other companies that market their products in misleading ways.

    Thanks to the Internet and sites like this and mine that continue to expose these crooks to warn and inform consumers.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Oct 18th, 2007 @ 10:00am

    I'm one of the guys being sued

    YOU HAVE BEEN SUED BY VIDEO PROFESSOR.

    THIS IS A NOTICE FROM INFOMERICIALSCAMS.COM ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS.

    Why am I getting this notice?

    You are getting this notice because you are one of 100 people (known as 'John Does') who are being sued by Video Professor in connection with an anonymous posting that you made on the infomercialscams.com website. The case is known as Video Professor v. John Doe 1-100, Civil Action No. 07-cv-01726-WYD-CBS, and is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (Denver).

    Will my identity be revealed?

    Video Professor is asking the court to order infomercialscams.com to reveal identifying information about you, including the name and email address that you provided when you registered to post. This information may also include the 'IP number' that you used when posting; this number can be used to identify your Internet Service Provider which may have further identifying information about you. Infomercialscams.com may be forced to reveal such identifying information that it has, unless a motion is filed on your behalf in federal court to block such disclosure. The rest of this message provides you with information about the reasons that Video Professor has given for demanding this information, and what you can do to respond to Video Professor's demand.

    What is Video Professor claiming?

    Video Professor claims that the 100 John Does, including you, are engaged in false advertising in violation of federal law and defamation in violation of Colorado law, and also alleges several other claims under Colorado law.

    What specific statements is Video Professor's lawsuit about?

    In response to a demand by our attorneys, citing your First Amendment right to anonymous free speech, Video Professor has specified the following message from you that was posted on the infomercialscams.com web site on 8/10/2007 allegedly contain false and defamatory statements. The underlined words are the specific statements that Video Professor claims are false:

    Video Professor has provided the attached affidavit from one of its officials, Bettye Harrison, as well as a chart that reveals the following basis for its claim that the underlined words are false:

    VPI does not make unauthorized charges to customer credit card accounts. This is specifically verifyable because VPI records and archives each and every one of its telephone purchase transactions. If the identity of the poster is provided, the recording will reflect that the charges were authorized by this customer or that no such transaction ever occurred.
    2. Video Professor provides a telephone number in each package shipped. When calling Video Professor Customer Service, the customer is also advised of the option of e-mailing their request or faxing their request.


    What do I need to do to stop my identity from being revealed? Do I need my own lawyer?

    If you want to prevent the disclosure of your identifying information, you may wish to obtain your own attorney to file a motion to block disclosure on your behalf. That motion can be filed in federal court EITHER in Nevada OR in Colorado (your attorney will decide). So long as you or your attorney notifies us by October 31 that a motion to quash has been filed on your behalf, we will object to disclosure until that motion has been decided.

    If I can't get my own lawyer, will your lawyers help me?

    Our lawyers are reviewing the materials supplied by Video Professor to decide whether, in their opinion, Video Professor has shown enough evidence to be able to learn your identity. If they conclude that Video Professor has NOT shown enough, they will file papers making that argument with the Court unless Video Professor improves its showing.

    However, you should not count on our lawyers filing on your behalf, or on their succeeding in such an argument. The only way to be certain that a motion to block disclosure is filed on your behalf, assuming that such a motion is justified, is to get your own lawyer to file it for you.

    Our lawyers are willing to consider representing individual posters on our web site. Their names and contact information are listed below. The Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco is also willing to consider such representation. You may call EFF's intake coordinator, Eva Galperin, at 415-436-9333, extension 111. Another resource to consult is the web site http://www.subpoenadefense.org/legal.htm. The American Civil Liberties Union is willing to provide information about opposing subpoenas to identify anonymous Internet speakers. For information, contact Christina Juhasz-Wood at cjuhasz-wood@aclu.org or 212 549-2640.

    Who are our lawyers?
    The lawyers representing infomercialscams.com are:
    Paul Alan Levy
    Deepak Gupta
    Public Citizen Litigation Group
    1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 588-1000
    FAX: 202-588-7795
    litigation@citizen.org


    Who are Video Professor's lawyers?
    The main lawyer representing Video Professor is:
    Gregory H. Smith, Esquire
    Fairfield and Woods, P.C.
    Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2400
    1700 Lincoln St.
    Denver, Colorado 80203-4524
    303-894-4459
    FAX: 303-830-1033
    ghsmith@fwlaw.com
    The entire complaint filed by Video Professor, and the entire chart of allegedly defamatory posts from infomercialscams.com, can be accessed at http://www.infomercialscams.com/vptable.htm

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Louis Cross, Oct 23rd, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Video Professor Litigation

    I just read an article on Google about a law firm in California that is going after Video Professor. They are even offering to represent the people who are being sued. Pretty interesting. Check out www.vplitigation.com. I didn't keep the url for the article, but if you use Google news you can find it I tihnk.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Louis Cross, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 12:46pm

    Video Professor Litigation

    So The Video Professor (the late-night infomerical "Try my product" dude, sued various bloggers and websites that were critical of their products and more importantly business practices.

    Its nuts. Its unamerican. It also is apparently a lousy lawsuit.

    The nonprofit law firm Public Citizen sent them this letter, and posted on their website. http://www.citizen.org/documents/videoprofletter.pdf
    It is killer.

    Separately, I sawan article that ran on google news about a law firm going after Video Professor http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20071023006 473&newsLang=en

    I guess they are filing a class action and offered to represent the people VP is going after for free. Check out www.vplitigation.com Pretty interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Dont Wanna Give My NameYou Might Sue Me, Nov 1st, 2007 @ 10:07pm

    Video Professor's

    Video Professor is acting like these 100 individuals are going to bankrupt them. I sure haven't see where their commercial has been pulled off the air. The fact is these people had negative experiences with the product/company AND the representatives they had to deal with. Maybe this is another way for them to make more money. I don't know.
    What if one of those 100 people is on disability meaning NO INCOME - they can't "hire" an attorney to help them against a corporation who has unlimited financial reserves and a lawyer on retainer for every negative word said about them.
    Personally I hope VP is told they need to just suck it up.
    Besides, I always thought a little criticism was good for a business - It lets them know where things are working or not so they can improve.
    What's the point of having the Freedom of Speech if any corporation or company who gets their feelings hurt can demand the persnal information of an individual who wants to be anonymous just so they can sue them over a little negative feed back about their product?
    Isn't that how it was with Hitler and others like him who couldn't handle criticism? Oh wait, they just had you killed. This is the day and age of suing anybody for whatever turns you on.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Sue Me. I Dare You., Nov 14th, 2007 @ 4:02am

    Some people like the video professor are just so greedy they want to make even more money off suing their customers. it definitely doesn't help sell their product if they say "if you don't like our product, we'll sue you!"

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    BBB, Dec 11th, 2007 @ 10:29pm

    America is the land of sue

    Video Professor is worried that the users on infomercialscams.com are their competitor trying to mislead customers with negative comments. If any of the users should turn out to be true, VP is financially set for life. With this in mind, who could not afford to lose. Even if VP lose the case and lost some money, it has done two or more thing free. 1) free advertising thru publicity, whether bad or good. 2) discover its core failure. 3) discover what customer wants and hate.

    Ultimately, everyone's gonna hate VP whether they win or not. If they win the case, they probably won't care if sale decline. Actually, sale could depend on whether if the change their business practice and hidden fee (speaking of hidden fee, do not buy Red Excerciser with its $14.99 Free Trail thru your TV).

    Why VP decide to sue could be 1) They're good image is turning into Lindsay Lohan because of the Internet. 2) Customers are declining. 3) They're not making any money like they use to because of the free information on the Internet. 4) read first paragraph. 5) IT'S EASIER TO MAKE MONEY SUING PEOPLE THAN SELLING CD. 6) THE COST OF FIGHTING THIS LAWSUIT OVERWEIGHT THE COST OF PRODUCTION AND ADVERTISING TO MAKE THE CD.

    Conspiracy theory: $6.99 to send a CD in a paper envelope only cost $1.39, this practice is very similar to sellers found on Ebay. Of course, VP could say $6.99 covers handling, labor cost, material, and all. But no one in their business mind would charge only $7 to breakeven. Since it only cost around $1.39 to ship, .05 cent for the paper envelope, .30 cent for the CD, and .10 cents for the printing. VP should profit $5 for anyone that accepts the free trail. So if 10,000 people try the free trail, VP already make $50,000 on shipping. Not to mention the information it could sell from these suckers. It also says it 8 million people had already tried. How many actually satisfy or stay with the program? It probably a inflated figure like AOL subscriber. Hey you know, this is not a bad idea for VP to try AOL's aggressive method of sending everyone in America a free CD and claim on its accounting as a sale.

    How I love America, if you don't make money, you sue them. I have a feeling VP is going to lose this case, make a bad name for itself and eventually go into bankruptcy as if it isn't there already. Who knows.

    Ohh, and if VP boy scouts are reading this...tell your boss to make a CD entitled: How to Sue. It's time he move from his Window and graphic learning CD to something like, How to create a websie like MySpace and How to money charging high fee and using free trail. I might be interested in buying these CD's so I can learn to scam.

    Just my two cents.

    Disclaimer: All materials, contents, texts, languages expressed here are for entertainment purposes. It does not represent the view or opinion of techdirt.com, or its members. Techdirt.com will not disclose any IP to any money hungry company that threathen lawsuit against the freedom of speech. Company that violate this will know the power of free speech and Internet. Have a nice day and try to turn negative comments into a positive view.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Scary is all I can say. A big company tracking down people to sue them. Wow!

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Scary is all I can say. A big company tracking down people to sue them. Wow!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 3:32pm

    Update: according to Infomercialscams.com, the lawsuit has been dropped. I wonder why *sarcasm* :p

    This is another pathetic attempt by another failing business that try to rip people off by using the business model implied consent. Anyone business that use this model should be avoided.

    Negative comments are meant to revive the business model and customer relationship. I hope Video Professor and other businesses that try to sue John Doe and Jane learn a valuable lesson here. If there's more negative comments than positive, it must mean a) your product/service sucks b) your payment method is too aggressive c) your customer service is terrible and/or d) people are not sastified with the result. Instead of wasting your time on the Internet for these negative comments that can scare your business and try to get rip of them by suing them, improve the product or service so that there's more positive comments on the internet.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Calvin, Feb 18th, 2008 @ 5:10am

    Video Professor Problems

    If the Company has individuals complaining about it's billing practices, shouldn't the Company first address the complaints. It appears that the Video Professor Company instead is suing to shut them up....in essence something similar to a "Slam Suit". I am going to wait on purchasing any Video Professor products until I see how all of this plays out. I do not like Corporate bullying, however I will wait just in fairness. However, if the individuals are wrong.....then their wrong and may to pay of the hip to satisfy the Professor.

    Just my 2 cents worth!

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Mac, Feb 20th, 2008 @ 6:48pm

    Video Professor's Business Practices

    Video Professor has a great product, but is in need of real marketing. The product sells like hotcakes through Ebay and Amazon on the second hand market, yet they still find it necessary to advertise using infomercials, manipulating the publics mode of payment, spinning the blame for that manipulation on the very Consumers that could take them public. The Company is 20+ years old but still follow David Letterman on late night TV! They should use their litigation fund to pay for real advertising and marketing infrastructure....not law suits.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    sammy moulton, May 28th, 2008 @ 6:12pm

    I was prepared to purchase the windows program from video professor until I read the article on them suing people for rating their product as deflamatory. If you cant rate a product as to the content you see then I will not purchase the product from the company because evidently the company does not care about its customers only the money they can make either by selling a product or by suing the public that purchases the product and gives their own opinion of it.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    George, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 9:20pm

    Video Professor yelled at me

    This is a funny story of sorts, not intended to trash the program itself.

    I called Video Professor to return the disk and get an RMA number.
    The rep Kelly was making various offers to get me to keep it,including sending me three more programs to let the one I have bill.
    She was being nice and making small talk as is her job and I casually said something like "Gee, if you send me three maybe I can sell them on Ebay and make a profit" He had me repeat myself as if she didn't understand and then started yelling at me "That is illegal!!!" I advised her selling my own stuff was not illegal. She put me on hold, probably to get a supervisor to yell at me. When she came back I told her to just give me the damn RAM and we would part friends. I accused her of screaming at me and she claimed she was "only doing her job" and that only VP could sell their wares. I told her that since she was obviously representing the legal dept at Video Professor she should go to Ebay and look a at the 200 + people who are indeed selling their product...
    Lesson learned. Don't make small talk with Video Professor reps

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Mr. Bill, Aug 16th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    Video Professor Bummer

    Thanks Tech Dirt.
    I was about to buy into this free deal and you headed me off at the Scam Pass. I am surprised at myself because this is definitely not my first rodeo
    Mega gratitude's.
    MR Bill

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    FuzzyBallz, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Video Professor

    Dude, that's harsh!!! But I like it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Dave Harman, Nov 2nd, 2008 @ 5:54am

    Video Professor Scam

    What is this John Scherer a professor of? "Professor" is a professional title and should not be used by some grifter making a living by conning people into buying something they don't want. There are a lot of highly educated people out there who have worked very, very hard to reach the status of Professor and this Sherer jerk is cheapening it by his questionable behavior and bogus promises. What university is he connected with, if any?

    On top of everything else, he is definitely antagonizing people by flashing his phony credentials all over the television landscape at disgustingly frequent intervals. If nothing else, he should be run out of business just for being a Jackass. Too bad there's no law against it.

    Dave Harman

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Certification, Mar 4th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Have they stopped suing yet ?

    Have they stopped suing yet ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    Wow this was a very good site and also this site is very useful to us. If we use this site then it was give daily updated emails of Techdirt's, so it is a nice site dude....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Tired of the run around, Jun 18th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    try to get a refund from them

    I ordered learning ebay from Video Professor. I was suppose to be FREE. On my next credit car statement I had 4 charges from them. I call the customer service department that day. I returned the product to them. That was 2 months ago. I'm still fighting with them. I would never buy anything from them or tell tell anyone else too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Dick - 14887184, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:54pm

    Video Professor complaint

    Closest thing to a fraudulent scam operation that I have ever seen. Called for the "freebie" in Jan. '09. Rec'd complete package, then 10 days later received a second complete package. Called for return authorization and returned products. Their receipt was signed for but no refund has been issued or received . Sent a letter to Colorado Attorney General and Secretary of State advising of a scam business operating in Colorado. What a shyster operation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Allen, Jul 12th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    returning video Professor learn e bay

    I received my learn e bay...i started to read when i opened the pkg...Good thing...if i had put it aside i might have had a serious problem....I do not even understan all their rules...i understand enough that i might be sent other CD'S and if so ...i was never advised of that...and if i do not call them in time to return it i will be billed 189.00 and that is a lot. I am not even going to see what it looks like in my computer...i am afraid to fill in the registration... i am afraid to have to check the i agree in order to get it open...That is the point i removed it from my computer and i am going to call them for a return authorization.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Allen, Jul 12th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    returning video Professor learn e bay

    I received my learn e bay...i started to read when i opened the pkg...Good thing...if i had put it aside i might have had a serious problem....I do not even understan all their rules...i understand enough that i might be sent other CD'S and if so ...i was never advised of that...and if i do not call them in time to return it i will be billed 189.00 and that is a lot. I am not even going to see what it looks like in my computer...i am afraid to fill in the registration... i am afraid to have to check the i agree in order to get it open...That is the point i removed it from my computer and i am going to call them for a return authorization.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Karen Stateler, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Class action

    Right On! I have recently had dealings with VP (I did not
    state any specific name!). I am in the middle of "negotiations". I am from Florida, the masters of the
    class action lawsuit (i.e. Phillip Morris, etc.)

    If my "negotiations" go as others have gone, I will seriously consider class action. I'll keep ya'll posted.
    I took on one of the largest insurance companies without a
    lawsuit and won!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Karen Stateler, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Video Professor's

    Right On! I have recently had dealings with VP (I did not
    state any specific name!). I am in the middle of "negotiations". I am from Florida, the masters of the
    class action lawsuit (i.e. Phillip Morris, etc.)

    If my "negotiations" go as others have gone, I will seriously consider class action. I'll keep ya'll posted.
    I took on one of the largest insurance companies without a
    lawsuit and won!

    P.S. I AM disabled and they cleaned out my bank account
    for food, etc. for the rest of the month. (4 weeks!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Karen StatelerK, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 2:05pm

    VP

    If you want to know how to "win without a lawsuit", contact me at KStateler@tampabay.rr.com!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Karen Stateler, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 11:40pm

    john scherer helps American Troops

    How many American troops and the families have been helped to act on misleading ads that take their money through misleading infomercuials and affiliates using "hidden" links. offered to John Scherer's Affiliates. How many american troops themselves and their families, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters & brothers have found themselves being mislead in order to send monies. I bet there are many!!

    How many military families have had monies taken from them under false pretenses, false advertising and through hidden affiliate links, which John Scherer promotes. VP practices
    have probably taken advantage of these struggling families.

    I HAVE NO DOUBT THIS HAS HAPPENED OVER AND OVER.

    How many residents of Naperville, IL would want to see the good name of their community besmurched with this guy advertising to being related to town founders. They must be rolling over in their graves. As a former resident of both Naperville, IL and St. Charles, Il. I think it necessary to inform the powers that be, that this man is using the names of these towns to promote himself while keeping hidden the hundreds of serious complaints against him all over the internet. He is sullying the good names of the towns he claims to be from. Napervilles crooked son?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Abiby, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    Re: The Video Professor

    Also contact the BBB, who gives him an A!
    This is absurd given the thousands if disatisfied people on the web alone. Keep on telling your friends and I will continue to dig up dirt on this guy. And there is plenty to find. Can you believe the BBB gives this guy an A?
    Maybe we should blacklist any company who deals with him or any cable station that allows him to mislead American people whose First Amendment rights he tried to take away. Should such a man even be allowed anyway near our troops.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    power (profile), Jul 18th, 2009 @ 7:57am

    video prof

    Nothing but a scam .I called all phone numbers to cancel and I was told I had no accounts but I was billed anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    power (profile), Jul 18th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Just another scam

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 11:37pm

    Agree with Karen

    I agree with Karen and have been taken for a ride as well from the good ole Prof, I read and understood the fineprint but the fineprint also was misleading, when I ordered the lesson I ordered, I understood it to mean I had 10 days to try the free trial, that is 10 days from the time I received the lesson. But that wasn't the case, I found that the 10 days started from the day it shipped, not counting it took 7 of those days to get the lesson to me, I had the lesson 3 days before they billed me for the next lesson, and when I called them for the return for refund, that is when the real nightmare began, first they told me the company policy is I have to wait up to 21 days to get my refund, after 23 days, no refund, and when I called again, they now said the company policy is up to 21 business days until I get my refund, at 23 business days, still no refund, and when I called, now the story is the poilcy is between 21 to 30 busness days before I see a refund, I now wonder what the excuse will be at the 30 day mark?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 29th, 2009 @ 11:46pm

    Re: VP

    Your Email doesn't work, tried to Email you to learn how to beat the VP without lawyer, and Email doesn't work, you can Email me At: vulcan219@att.net

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Chuck, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Don't buy no more tv ads crap

    I brought this product called the video professor. The reason is because I wanted to do my book business on ebay. Luckily I saw their trick. It is not free because you have to pay seven bucks for shipping and after 30 days you will be sent another set for 190 dollars. Luckily didn't get it yet but when I do it is going back. If you want to bring yours back too so as long you did not open it then here is their number(1800-519-4110). Tell them your reason why you want to bring it back and they will give you a reference number so you have proof that you brought the product and you are bringing it back. Be careful not to let them say that you can't get the shipping money back because you can get it back since you brought it with you money and it has not been over 30 days. Also don't let them trick you into saying: "it is free why are you sending it back?" It is not but give them an accuse. My best advise is to ignore every tv,radio, and computer ad you see. Don't be fooled. Also don't have to take my word for it, I would throw tv, and computers out the window because you have to admit, tv and computers are hazardous to our health and our money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Video Professor Sucks

    Video professor is the worst company to spend your money. They say that the trial is only 6 dollars and then charge you 200 dollars. The biggest rip off ever. Their service is terrible. I've gotten hung up on 5 times today trying to find out when they were going to give me my 200 dollars for the product I sent back two months ago. Don't waste your money, just go to Walmart and buy a better way to learn excel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Tony Rigley, Sep 15th, 2009 @ 7:41am

    Video Professor

    Let the buyer beware. I went on line to see if I could get the Video Professor FREE tutorial on Ebay. Something MANY PEOPLE DON'T DO is read the user agreement and the terms of contract. The biggest reason people don't is because it is full of legal mumbo-jumbo, and the darn thing is just way longer than the book "War and Peace". (ok, a bit of an exageration, but you get the point).

    The real point is this - read it anyway! (the user agreement and the terms of contract). When I did, I saw imediately there were hidden charges, which they DO disclose IF you take the time to read.

    So that's why I say let the buyer beware.

    Long story short, I'm not doing business with Video Professor because of what I read and what I've heard (since after reading the VP User Agreement and the Terms of Contract).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Addresses & Phone Numbers
    Attorney General
    1525 Sherman St.
    5th floor
    Denver, CO 80203
    (303)866-4500 (303)866-4500
    Fax: (303)866-5691

    * Consumer Complaint Line - in Denver and Out of State - 303-866-5189 303-866-5189

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Jeannie, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Video Professor Sucks

    They robbed me out of my SS Disablity check..they suck major and lie and lie until you want to send them a nice little box...maybe they will "get it" waiting waiting for it..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    B. MITCHELL MILTON, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:00pm

    VIDEO PROFESSFORS

    THEY RIPPED ME OFF FOR 189.00 TIMES 2 I ASKED TO STOP MY ORDER WITHIN THE TIME PERIOD GIVEN ME. They refused, what can be done concerning this misleading rip off artists?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Jody, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

    Video professor

    My complaint with them is that we right away sent everything back as instructed to get a refund. I even sent everything certified mail... do you think we EVER got our refund? NOPE! That's bad business. We left messages, called, and eventually they must have changed their number. But, I've recently started to persue it again.

    We'll see...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Video profasshole, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 2:29am

    This "Video Professor" jerkoff must be lawsuit-happy SHEESH. Golly gee I wonder if I'll be sued for not writing his name correctly...ooh....I'm scared of you.... ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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