First, this happened about one year ago. Apparently Bender Ball/ Essential Boost plays on the New Years' resolution phenomenon and only advertises heavily at this time of year.
The Bender Ball itself is a cheaply made, moderately effective exercise aid, but it is also cheaply priced, so I figured I got what I paid for and that is not the main complaint. Though I continue to warn others away from the product, I freely admit I should have known better.
Today I am writing mostly to warn others about the inexpensive 'add on' specials on the website, where 'if you order now' you can get an additional exercise video or other accessory. I did so, but to get the video I also had to agree to get a trial offer of a diet aid supplement called 'Essential Boost'. This is not a product I would ever use because I am overly sensitive to the ingredients in most of the ones I've tried. I only agreed to get it in order to get the additional tape, and figured it would be no problem to cancel well within the limits of the trial period.
The Bender site says on the main page that shipment 'usually' happens within 48 hours, but now I notice that on the shopping cart page 'two weeks' is standard delivery. After two weeks with no product in sight, I had to call and the person sheepishly informed me that they had 'probably' been out of stock. I directed him at that time to go ahead and cancel the diet supplement and was told it had been done.
Weeks later, within days of finally receiving the Bender Ball package, I received the 'second' shipment of the unwanted supplement. I called again and was told since I had agreed online to receive this, I would have to pay, including the return shipping. No one seemed to know anything about my prior cancellation. I spoke to a supervisor and shared very clearly that I thought his company was engaging in deceptive practices and I would be telling everyone I knew. Though he stuck to his guns about how I had entered into a legal contract with them, I think I impressed him slightly, as they agreed to refund the cost of the product, but not their inflated fee to ship it to me, nor my expense to ship it back, insured.
After that, Bender Ball ads were no longer appearing on TV. I figured they'd been revealed as the scam I strongly suspected them to be, and put out of business, so I never took time to make formal complaints like this.
I highly suspect that the delayed shipment of the actual Bender Ball combined with the quick shipment of the diet supplement is planned. Most people would rather pay the exorbitant $20 plus $6 shipping and just keep the unwanted Essential Boost, rather than go through the hassle and expense to return it as I did. It cost over $6 to send it back as by then I felt it necessary to have a delivery signature so they couldn't further scam me by saying it never arrived.
DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY AT YOUR OWN RISK!