iRenew Bracelet - Scientific Medical Breakthrough or Shameless Fraud?
Update from Ralph Bristol Morning News - BBB Middle Tennessee can be heard Fridays at 7:40am on the Ralph Bristol Nashville Morning News, WTN 99.7 (FM Radio)
The television ads say the iRenew bracelet works simply by wearing it, "there are no special gimmicks or procedures to follow. You put it on and start seeing and feeling the changes in as little as 10 minutes...Instant results..."
A Healthy Dose of Skepticism. After monitoring the medical claims for the iRenew bracelet, BBB Middle Tennessee ordered two iRenew bracelets and asked two consumer volunteers to wear the iRenew bracelets for six weeks and report back on their experience.
- More Energy
- Better Sleep
- Increase in Strength
- Greater Flexibility
- Enhanced Balance
Real Consumer Testers...Real Stories!
"I'm a nurse and I know the power of placebo," said BBB consumer tester Marla. " I wore the bracelet just as instructed and I kept a daily journal noting any improvement in my energy level or sleep patterns. Nothing, changed, not even when I performed the balance test as seen in the TV commercial."
Consumer tester # 2 Troy, a retiree, wanted to test the iRenew bracelet, hoping he would experience greater flexibility and strength on the golf course. "I can say my golf swing hasn't really improved and I haven't been able to hit the ball farther," but I did try the balance test with hands behind the back and that test worked."
Other consumers have told BBB that they felt the bracelets were useless, their TV commercials were misleading, the cost of shipping and handling was exorbitant and obtaining a refund proved to be extremely difficult.
One consumer in Portland, TN said she ordered the iRenew pendant for her aging dog after visiting the company's website and learning that ' iRenew not only improves the biofield of people but also can positively impact anything biological which includes the biofield of plants and animals as well.'
A 75-year old woman from Valley Springs, CALIF, said she and her husband took advantage of the two-for-one bracelet offer, believing the product might help him with dizziness and balance problems brought on by two strokes.
"It gave him hope," she said. "It sounded so convincing." They were charged more than $70 for two bracelets including $31 for shipping and handling. She said the bracelets weight no more than a few ounces each and she mailed them back for $3.10, including the cost of insurance, when her husband discovered wearing the iRenew did nothing to ease his symptoms.
Later, she said, she noticed two unauthorized charges from the company totaling another $140. "Somebody is making millions of dollars on people like us, who have health problems," she said.
The bracelet is distributed by Harvest Trading Group of Norwell, MA., a company that has marketed such 'as seen on TV' items as the One Touch Can Opener and the Pancake Puff mini-pancake maker. The BBB in Boston reports over 100 complaints against the company.
James P. Lewis, owner and president of Harvest Trading Group, told the BBB his company makes no guarantees about the benefit of the iRenew bracelets.
"It's like anything," Lewis said. "Some people take Advil and it works great; some people, it won't."
Lewis said that anyone who is not happy with the bracelet is entitled to a money-back guarantee, less shipping and handling costs. He said the bracelet has been "wildly popular," selling some 400,000 in the past three months. He expects sales to reach 1 million. He also said his company has received numerous testimonials from people helped by the bracelet.
"Obviously, with this kind of volume, you're going to have people upset. We expect more complaints and we expect to address them," he said. "There is nothing misleading about the company's commercials. The commercial shows a black rubber band, he said. "It doesn't show a diamond watch."
He said he does not know exactly how the product works, saying only that an electronic charge is somehow put into the bracelet. "But, there is a science behind it." He offered to put the BBB in contact with the product inventor to explain the technology. That person has not contacted the BBB by the time this release was issued.
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The BBB of Middle Tennessee, Inc. was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
Serving as the 'ethical gatepost' of our communities, BBB fosters and promotes ethical business practices and self-regulation standards that build consumer trust in the marketplace. BBB services include business reliability information, complaint resolution services and consumer and business educational information. In 2008 BBB Nashville handled over 4.0 million services requests via our web site www.nashville.bbb.org.
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