Did Video Professor Spend Too Much On Lawyers And Not Enough On Its Product?

from the try-my-product... dept

Video Professor, a company well-known in these pages for its penchant for suing both its critics and message boards that hosted its critics, not to speak of trying to suppress competition by misusing trademark law, has apparently hit hard times, a TV station in Denver is reporting:

A person with knowledge of the situation told the 9Wants to Know investigators that Video Professor’s approximately 50 employees were called to a meeting Monday and told they were being placed on unpaid furlough.

Phones at Video Professor’s corporate office and customer service center were answered Thursday by an automated message notifying callers the offices were closed for the day and to call back at a later time.

A call to Video Professor’s CEO and pitchman, John Scherer, drew a return call from a company spokesman who would not answer questions or elaborate beyond a one-sentence statement: “The company is going through a reorganization that involves some temporary furloughs.”

Of course, every time it filed one of these cases it just drew more attention to consumer complaints about its sales practices, and stimulated journalists to look into the company. Video Professor rarely found such attention flattering, even in his hometown media.

Is there a lesson here? Did Video Professor spend so much on legal fees that it couldn’t improve its product sufficiently to satisfy the market?

Filed Under: ,
Companies: video professor

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Did Video Professor Spend Too Much On Lawyers And Not Enough On Its Product?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Piss off consumers and many will stop buying, also with word of mouth these days stregthed by the internet, everyone finds out about shady practices. If only consumers would continue to have a spine and start NOT buying from other shady companies ….

and all other corporate money stealing execs and shareholders!

For the Corporation, by the people : against their will.

alanbleiweiss (profile) says:

Sometimes the lowest lifeforms really do die away

Peter P. is right. I don’t care if they ever come out with a new product or just repackage the existing one. They really should never be allowed to run a business ever again. Every last one of the people who managed the company, operated the customer support phone lines, needs to be permanently banned from ever working in any consumer facing business again for the rest of their lives, having all colluded in such insanely disgusting and deceptive business practices.

I know. I almost got burned by them, were it not for my willingness to do battle long enough and loud enough with a supervisor.

Had they had the courage back then to post the “here’s what this is really going to cost you” content in an easily found and seen location on their site, or mentioned it during the sales cycle, and had they charged some “Time-Life-Books” scale fee for their stuff, they might have had a semi-viable and even sustainable business model. Now, they just need to go away. Permanently.

Sandy Loitz says:

video professor thieves

I just want to say that I was talking to aol about a tech problem and at the end of my conversation they put me through to the video professor. I did not ask to talk to them. The guy said he would send me a video form free just s&h I told him I did not want anything that I would have to send back, he told no problem. I am now trying to get $189.95 that they took out of my account without authorization. I sent they stuff back that same day and I still have not received my refund. It sounds like I am not the only one with this problem. He is like the Bernie Maddoff of the poor people. How can people do this? I am very straped for income right now and this is just not acceptable. How can I get the money back? I have been trying for a month and a half. They just keep giving me an excuse. I cannot waite any longer. It is like they took my money and now I can’t get ahold of them. Please help if you can. thanks Sandy

Michael (profile) says:

Re: video professor thieves

Assuming you paid via a credit card, call your credit card company and tell them to issue a chargeback. Explain the situation to them (don’t lie – trust me) and they will apply a credit to your account and bill back video professor.

Credit card companies and banks have a great deal of liability if they do not help you in these processes and they tend to want to make customers happy (assuming they get their 20% interest).

If they do not assist, contact the attorney general in your state.

minijedimaster (profile) says:

Re: video professor thieves

Under the assumption the money was charged to you via your bank debit card, just call the bank and deny the charges. Tell them you did not authorize, sent the product back and they refuse to work with you. Your bank will reverse the charges and get your money back to you. Same goes for any credit card. Not sure if it was a direct withdrawal from your checking account if it works the same way but just call the bank and talk to them.

Inside Source says:

The reason you people are billed is because Video Professor preyed on you like weak sheep. You agreed to what ever terms and conditions online by checking a box and not reading. You agreed to terms and conditions over the phone with an agent if you spoke with someone.
Video Professor practices are all about finding the weak and slaughtering them.
Is this right? No.
Suggestion: make sure to listen and read

Tbone says:

Re: Re:

Listen…..you may think you understand this. Traditionally you were actually correct. Things changed and as 3rd party offers included VP these people were told lies to get them to try. To understand all this you need to really truly understand the ins and out of these types of businesses and their affiliates. Person calls AOL for tech support they get/help or not they get redirected to someone mainly speaking monotone from gross repetition offers free free has a 2-5 no guideline etc etc. Not many of them cared about this but hey it was “free” and the person was nice etc. That my friend, is a crime.
Obama preyed on weak sheep ok, John Scherer committed crimes against people. Oh well ya he didn’t do this! You get 3,4, 10 people down the line to do your dirty work for you. Please don’t defend and blame the consumer for this. This is a crime and consumers, American citizens need to be protected from this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Peopleclaim to the rescue

Not exactly. There was no hiding and the offices were quite large with many employees in Colorado. I took customer service technical support calls for them. Years later, it was complaint after complaint after complaint. Funny too we were graded on these calls as if they were normal customer service calls.
Truthfully, there was a time when a 72 hour refund was as simple as a call to the office. Then also, I remember a time where the person (ya the 1 person) in charge of refunds went on vacation! I got to the point where I just had to tell people after you speak with them 2 or 3 days in a row!

Tbone says:


Yes, as a former employee I saw this coming years ago before I quit. The changes implemented spelled out one thing only…..desperation. This company’s poor ethics go to the bone- to the core! From top to bottom they were a scam. Once offering a good necessary “product” (lol), it became useless to anyone with half a below average IQ. This “product” was shoved down peoples throats and misrepresented mainly on upsells from other company’s. What a joke this man is, and yes the fact that BBB backed him further proves what has been proven long ago; if you pay them they will list you. Same as local “dip” Tom Martino. You think you get a good reputable company when it is only there because they paid. Sad but true fact. He is also a joke for his attempts to sue people. I mean if you suck you suck and if you lie you need to be put out of business for good! He is just a low scale ghetto version of the model poster child for bad business in this country. Put him and others like him out of business and behind bars and protect the general public from scams like this. “Try my product” Wow do I lol when I see him on TV. Granted, it has been a long time; a very very long time thank god.

Sally says:

Video Professor Scam

I signed up for their scam honestly wanting to try the product.I was in the process of moving so my mail was being held. When I picked it up and reviewed it and decided I didn’t want to keep it on day 30 of the trial (of course my account had already been charged 3 weeks earlier. I called the umber I had been given for refunds. I was given a REF return number and returned ALL the merchandise on 2-18-10. Surprise-no refund arrived. I called again on 4-12-10 was told I had been approved for refund and was given another “reference number”.If I got no response within 15 days I was to call back. Guess what? Called back inn 15 days and was told by recording they were going through a “Reorganization but that I could email them. Emailed them and response was I would hear back from them within 4 days-YAH RIGHT! Went in to my bank and requested refund. I was refunded by my bank and refund was REFUSED by video Professor as-dispute exceeded allowable time frame. So guys what now? I am on social security and cannot afford $389.00. I will follow this to the end-help?

Laedeekat (profile) says:

Turned The Tables

When I ordered mine; Video Professor were in their ‘early stages.’ I called to cancel and was told I needed to return all but one of the cd’s (yes, it was that long ago) that was shipped to me. There was something about that representative’s tone that bothered me. Oh, I shipped the cd’s; however I also canceled that credit card. In essence, no further charges could be charged to my card. It’s really sad that so many companies ‘set out’ to rip honest people off. I think if consumers felt they didn’t need/want the lessons, they wouldn’t have ordered them. I know there are scam artist out there who prey on people; it’s just so freazn irritating to read all of these horror stories.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...