Caveat Emptor.

Square

That’s the Latin term for “let the buyer beware”.

We live in a society which bombards us with products and services that make grand promises but fail to deliver. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to specifically focus on the health and wellness industry. This sector rakes in billions of dollars each year from books, equipment, supplements, programs and so on.

A few years ago I replied to a job posting for a health counsellor. The ad seemed promising and I felt optimistic about the possibility of being involved in something that has importance to me. So I decided to call and find out more about this new and exciting opportunity. It wasn’t long before I had an appointment for an interview. The office was located in a plaza, on the second floor, and it was close to where I live.  Upon my my arrival I was greeted by the lady whom I spoke with on the phone. In addition, there were two other people waiting patiently to be considered for the position as well. Here we were in a rundown, makeshift office which didn’t feel very warm or inviting. Rather than speak to each one of us separately and privately, the woman conducting the interview decided to talk to us collectively.

She went on to explain a bit about the business and the role of the counsellor. We would be responsible to meet with a group of people in order to educate and support them on their weight loss journey. This all sounded great until we reached the subject of compensation and it was then she started showing us bottles of supplements. We were told the pills are specially formulated to turn the body into a fat burning machine.

Hold up! This is where everything came to an immediate dead stop for me.

I couldn’t bear to listen to her for a moment longer so I interjected because something had to be said. I told her that you don’t need this product to successfully lose and maintain your weight. She gave me an awkward smile and quickly scooted me on my way before the others changed their minds too. I was more than happy to leave with my dignity and morals in tact because there was no way I was going to lie to people. The potential to make a lot of money was there alright but at the cost of harming others. No thanks! This is where my fear of being punished from the powers that be which played an important role in my decision.

When I got home that night I decided to do some research and look up this company, Herbal Magic, on the net. Sure enough it is regarded as a publicized money-making scam which takes advantage of people’s vulnerabilities. How terribly sad and what’s worse is that this happens on a daily basis all around us. These companies operate legally under unlawful ethics and there is very little anyone can do about it except steer clear. I was reading about the experiences of the sellers and buyers of these supplements and there was no good to be found. The people who were endorsing these products felt shitty for doing so. The people who were suckered into this web of deceit lost lots of money and their confidence to trust.

As I was writing this post I decided to check the net for any recent updates on the status of this company and found this article http://globalnews.ca/news/2153754/herbal-magic-closes-stores-across-the-country/. As it turns out clients were asked to pay in advance and now with the closure of many locations due to bankruptcy they are left out in the cold. The company is now dubbed Herbal Tragic.

A lot of celebrities are paid big bucks to be advocates of all types of weight management products as well.

There was an interesting story on The Fifth Estate about the sketchy claims that are made by the companies that produce vitamins and supplements. The truth is that we really don’t know what goes into them yet they hit the shelves for consumption. You can find out more by visiting http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2015-2016/vitamins-and-supplements-magic-pills.

What a travesty!

Fortunately for us, we also live in a society where information is readily available at a click of a button. It appears to be in our best interest to do some homework before opening our hearts and wallets to the liars, cheats and snakes of the world.