Sunday, 28 November 2010


The first rant of my week is about companies claiming their products do something when they quite clearly...DON’T! I dislike this immensely, to the point that I’m almost tempted, after writing this post, to send this to all the companies I am going to talk about.

How did the idea for this post come about, you might ask? A scented candle set me off. Yes, I bought a scented candle in a glass pot. One that claimed to “calm” me with its “beautiful woodland aroma”. Lovely, I muttered to myself in the supermarket. Just what I need. In the basket you go, you darling candle, you.

The candle found a home on my coffee table, and I lit it with high hopes. Quite excited, I might add. I love candles but haven't had any in the home for years because of having smaller kids around. Also, I was excited because I would be calm within five minutes, oh yes I would, and I'd been into town where people pissed me the hell off, so I needed calming. I left the room to put some meat into the crockpot and returned…to smell NO SMELL. I said to the candle, “What aroma, you lousy, non-smelling piece of shite!”

Why did the company claim the candle’s scent would calm me, when a) there was no effing scent, and b) I got myself into a fit of angst because their WAS no scent, so therefore, I was decidedly UN-BLOODY-CALM AND IN A WORSE STATE THAN BEFORE I LIT THE STUPID THING!

Take last week as another example of this consumer angst. The week before I’d purchased a snazzy breakfast cereal. Cheerios with “clusters”. The kids loved them, so of course, seeing as they were on special offer for £1 a box, I bought some more. Only to find THIS box had…NO BLOODY CLUSTERS! How rude? So I explained to my youngest that they are all made at the Cheerio factory and some poor worker may have been stressed that day and put the wrong bag in the wrong box.

Thinking in my head: You may have been stressed, love, but look what your stress has given me. STRESS!

By the end of the box, a few clusters appeared. About 10. Lovely. You know what? Cheerio, Cheerios, because I’m buggered if I’ll buy any of you again.

Now let’s discuss cleaning products. We’ve all seen the advertisements: Get your whites whiter than white! See those filthy socks? Wash them in THIS and they’ll be like new! See this crusty ketchup stain? See how the mess is ground in? Fear not! This solution will get it clean.

I have purposely placed ketchup on an old top, left it to dry and become GROUND in, then washed it. Nope, stain still there, almost yelling, "You fell for it! You believed the hype!" I have purposely slapped mud onto socks, left them to go dry, washed them in this miracle stuff and…nope, still dirty. What also gets me, is store products claiming to wash ALMOST better "than the leading brand". Well, if the leading brand doesn't get my shit clean, d'you think I'm going to be buying anything that gives a poorer performance?

Cillit Bang is another one. LIARS! I followed the instructions. It did NOT clean my hob as it claimed it would. My elbow grease, a scourer, and good old-fashioned washing-up liquid got it clean. Arseholes!

Oh, and speaking of ketchup… I bought some “hot” ketchup dipping sauce. Hmm, I thought, I fancy that. Something with a bit of hot bite will do me nicely. So I poured it onto my chicken burger, hoping to have a tasty accompaniment to my otherwise drab meal. Nope! Not even a whisper of heat. It’s ketchup with a slight “tang”. Vastly different to the tongue-burning, lip-swelling, lip-numbed experience I was expecting. When it says something is hot, I WANT HOT! I don’t go into the butcher’s, ask for a cut of beef, and expect to get pork, now do I? No, I wanted beef! I don’t enter the hairdressers, ask for a trim, and come out with half my hair gone!

Oh, wait. I have. That’s a given with the hairdressers I’ve visited. “Just a trim!” Whoopsie, she appears to have thought I said, “I like the bald look. Cut it all off and make me look one angry bitch for fun! Cut it all off and see if I get that look on my face where you know I want to punch your damn lights out!”

Today I also bought some bubble bath. “Stress Relax” and “Sleep Easy”. I tell you, they’d better bloody work, because after that candle fiasco, I’m well pissed off.

What companies naff you off with their claims? And have you ever written and complained? If so, what response did you get?


Kenzie Michaels said...

The only time I've written to a company was when the Gold Bond foot swabs disappeared from the shelves. As someone with persistent athlete's foot, these swabs were WONDERFUL! No cream, no spray...just one swap every day before I put on my socks and no itch.

And after a few months...can't find 'em anymore! I wrote to the company, who said they were no longer making them. I figured they decided they worked TOO WELL, so they pulled 'em. Grrr....

My main 'gripe' has been the disappearance of the refill packages of laundry detergent and fabric softener. Back in the mid-90's, they were hyped as 'recycling' and 'saving money'. Guess someone decided it wasn't cost-effective anymore to make cardboard refills, and everyone went back to the huge plastic containers. I have to search for the Downey refill; they hide it on the lowest shelf. And with all this talk about 'going green', you'd think they'd jump on the bandwagon again.

Okay; I'm off my soapbox now!

Faith said...

This happened years ago, but I wrote to the Lancolm makeup company because their new "guaranteed not to fade or wash off" sunless tanning lotion was a farce. I read the directions before putting it on my body, reread to be sure, followed them to a tee, waited 24 hours before taking a bath, and wonder of wonders, it washed off and left a weird orange-brown ring around my tub that WOULDN'T wash off!

Wrote to the company, included the receipt and box in a big envelope and surprisingly, I got a check for $25 about six weeks later.

As for scented candles, I love 'em too. However, I've noticed the cheapie or discontinued ones that Dollar General gets always out smell the expensive ones. So I pay $1.50 for an average size candle instead of $8 or more for the same size of a big name company. The house is always full of Hazelnut, cinnamon and apples, ocean breezes or whatever other aroma tickles my fancy.

{ppst! keep me out of the Dollar General candle aisle! It's an addiction!}

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Most things never work like companies claim it will. I've come to the conclusion they're all liars. lol. That way I'm not disappointed.

And you are right about the Dollar Store candles, Faith. They usually do have a stronger fragrance.

Sarah Masters said...

Hi Kenzie!

Yes, you're right. I hadn't even noticed those kinds of things had disappeared. GRR!

Oh, those swabs sound just what my husband needs. I'll keep my eye out in case they have a similar thing over here.


Sarah Masters said...

Same here, Faith. I was out shopping today and had to force myself not to buy any candles. I got another two on Saturday. Betty Crocker's cherry pie and apple pie.

My house did NOT smell like PIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!



Sarah Masters said...

Good thinking, Lisa. In future, when I see a company's claim, I'll think, "Bollocks!" and tell myself it won't work. That way, if it ever does, I'll be pleasantly surprised!


Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

That's what I do. lol. Works every time, and I'm not disappointed. But I never believe a commercial. hah.

Sue Roebuck said...

This made my day, it is so funny - especially about the candle and the clusters.
My grouse is about the numerous cosmetics that promise you wrinkle-free within weeks. If I'm an example then I can guarantee - the wrinkles get worse!

Sarah Masters said...

I won't either now, Lisa!


Sarah Masters said...

Hi Sue!

I've heard many people complain about that. Also hair dyes that get rid of all grey, and they don't.

I'm just sitting here thinking we're all being fed a bunch of bollocks!


Shiela Stewart said...

Sarah, you hit the nail on the head with this post. One thing you forgot to mention though was that crappy Slap Chop thats advertised on TV. What a POS that is. Vince frikin lied. It does not make my life easier and I Do Not Like his Nuts!!

Sarah Masters said...

Hi Shiela!

I'm laughing even though I have no bloody idea what you're talking about! We don't have that here, so I haven't seen the commercial, and I dread to think which nuts you mean...


Shiela Stewart said...

Sorry Sarah. Slap Chop is a small device that is supposed to make life easier buy chopping your vegies in a quick easy motion. Well the fucker does not work as it claims, if anything, it makes things worse. It doesn't chop,
the food sticks to the blades. And don't get me started on the damn Graddy.

Here is a link to the infomercial. I got one of these last Christmas and haven;t stopped cursing at it.

Shiela Stewart said...

I just found this and had to share. It is hillarious.

Becca Dale said...

Great post and funny to boot, which is a bonus. What kills me are the infomercials designed to dupe the inexperienced and the vulnerable. Seriously people, rubbing a bit of sandpaper over your legs will not remove all unwanted body hair, shaking a weight will not eliminate underarm flab - it will still wave every time you do, putting a clip on your bra straps only makes them bunch and pucker, and if you show up at a football game in a blankie with sleeves, especially if you are a guy, you will not be both warm and cool. You might, however, become the butt of every joke imaginable and may even receive an entirely different kind of snuggie.
Another problem with calming candles is the scent, if there is one, can be nauseating rather than relaxing.
How did we become such suckers? I agree we need to look at every ad as a lie and buy with caution.

Anthology Authors said...

I rarely believe commercials. (g) They are just trying to sell you crap. And it is crap. For instance, when we were cleaning the carpet in our bedroom, Charlie wanted to use some commercial cleaner. Not me. All those chemicals in the air. Thanks, we have enough. So, I Googled online carpet stain removers and discovered that people used to use white vinegar distilled in water. You spray the carpet and dab at the stain, and voila! The stain disappears. White vinegar is also good as a fabric softener. Just as you love baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), I love white vinegar. It cleans better than Chlorox if you mix it with oregano oil, getting both viruses and bacteria without being toxic to the environment. Amazing, eh?

Oh, and I've just thought of two things that didn't work as promised: Nair and this wash out hair dye.

Not one hair from my legs washed off when I used Nair. (I think I was 14 or 15 at the time.) And that wash out hair dye? Um, if you are blond, don't do black. I had gray-green hair for two weeks.

Tess MacKall said...


OH GOD..."In the basket you go, you darling candle, you."

This is a riot. I'm tellin' ya, I can't recall anything right off, but products do this to me all the time. And you know the other day we discussed this candle thing. My pumpkin spice candle never had any scent. And Jess brought home some cinnamon stuff to put in this little pot that heats up--forget what you call it, sighhh, but there is NO smell. None. Now granted I have a horrible chest infection and maybe my smeller isn't working. But everyone else says it has no smell too.

And you know what? The little pot is still on and everyone keeps adding the cinnamon herb mixture anyway? Why? I guess we keep hoping that it'll energize or something. Who knows?

And Sarah? Stop dirtying up things just to test them. That's a bit much girl. LOL Just sayin'. Oh God..girl you kill me.

Faith said...


OMG, the comments here are a riot too!

Sarah, I cracked up when Shiela mentioned the nuts. We have that commersial in the States too and when I first saw it I looked at the hubby when Vince made the nuts comment and said, "Is it just me or is that the perviest thing you've heard on a commercial in a while?" He cracked up at me, but he agreed.

Shiela, you're a hoot, hon. The fu**cker comment about the Slap Chop had me howling again.

And Sarah, I'll have to find you a coupla small candles at Dollar General.

Marci, nearly everything advertised on infomercials ends up in our Dollar General in our neck of the woods. That way people can try the product for $5 or $10 instead of $20 or higher.

trinity said...

Okay wasn't going to say anything till I remembered this toy I got for my son a few years ago. Can't remember which one it was, but it advertised about it doing something and my son begged for it for Christmas! Well mom stood in line on Black Friday to buy such toy that is at 330 in the morning! Anyway on Christmas day we put it all together and he went outside to play with it. Came back in within an hour and the stupid thing wouldn't shoot as it had claimed. So it sat in my son's closet for a year before I just threw it out. Talking about being pissed! Here was a little boy wanting that special toy and the damn thing didn't work like they claimed. Now do you think I could have taken it back? Nope it was on sale he had used it. So no returns. From that day on never did a black friday or buy things on clearance with a guarantee I can get my money back.

Dee Julian said...

Sarah, I feel your pain, and I've come to the same conclusion as Lisa....all companies lie to some extent and claim this sort of advertising is 'good marketing skills'. Sorry, but no, it's plain old dishonesty.

And that brings me to the TV commercials. Since when did it become okay for a mother to lie to her teenage daughter about borrowing her blouse, the one that looks waaay too young for the mother in the first place?? I'm talking about the ad where the mother got a stain on the blouse then stuffed it in the hamper. When teh daughter asks point blank if the mother had seen her beloved blouse, the shameless hussie thinks back to what she did (and we get a visual of her and her two partying friends laughing it up as the stain happens)and then what does she do? She LIES and basically says "No." Then she goes back and washes the blouse with this magic guilt-free stain remover and afterwards stashes it back in the daughter's room. This is soooo wrong. I mean, how's this poor kid suppose to learn the difference between right and wrong?

There are plenty more commercials that bother me, but I'll save them for another rant. :)

C. Zampa said...

Oh my gosh! I'm sorry for your consumer angst, but I have not laughed so hard in a long, long time!

The candle! I can see you sitting, patiently waiting for 'calm' to take over.

And the clusters! Ten of them! Oh, my gosh, how real-life is that! I know that feeling SO well, the short-changed in the advertisement claims department.

What a hilarious post! I enjoyed it SO!

Sarah Masters said...

Oh, I'm with you, Shiela. No, the blades always seem blunt on those things.


Sarah Masters said...

Hi Becca!

I think years ago maybe they DID tell the truth, or, as kids we saw it as the truth, believed that WOW, Barbie WAS the best chick EVAHHHH!

So as an adult we maybe think the same?

Hmm, maybe I'm going to deep here.


Sarah Masters said...

Yep, Marci, wash out hair dye is so shite!

I agree on the vinegar. Talking of vinegar... You know those dark patches we get--or maybe it's just me--on our faces cos of the summer? Pigmentation blotches? White cider vinegar held on the mark for ten mins a day reduces the darkness.


Sarah Masters said...

LOL Tess. I can't help myself. I have to test their claims out.

Yep, you'll keep adding that shit to the pot. Mad. I keep lighting my candles and sniffing. All I can smell is wax!


Sarah Masters said...

Faith, I've saved Shiela's link to the nuts thing to watch tomorrow. If I put it on now, family members are bound to wonder wtf I'm doing!


Sarah Masters said...

Awww, Trinity, that's just a total bummer. Poor kid. Ever noticed these days at the bottom of the commercials they say shit like: Does not actually shoot... or Not actual toy.

HATE THAT, because the children have seen the advert already and assume it works that way.


Sarah Masters said...

Oh, I say, Dee. That's bad, I agree. LOLLED though, at guilt-free stain remover.


Sarah Masters said...

LOL CZ. Glad you got a laugh. It means my angst was worth it. I have a tale for tomorrow about how the bubble bath worked...among other things.


Debbie Gould said...

*Quietly slides Sarah a snifter of Brandie and gets the hell out of dodge.*

Sarah Masters said...



Cassie Exline said...

powjqOh I hate it when the candles don't smell. Tis the season for candles with all the doors and windows closed. Give me the scent of vanilla or apples. hmmmm

Sarah Masters said...

Hi Cassie!

I love vanilla smells too. Yum!