Wenatex: How I was invited to a free dinner

UPDATE: My first hand experience of a Wenatex dinner/event.

I was at a friend's house a couple of nights ago when we were shown a letter that came through their door. It was an invitation to an obligation free dinner and seminar hosted by Wenatex for a couple of weeks from today. The invitation also included 2 x $50 gift certificates to be redeemed on the night.

After reading through the extensive documentation that accompanied the letter I uncovered a couple of key pieces of knowledge.

  1. The lack of information about exactly who Wenatex were and what they do was so obvious they may have well stamped it on the envelope.
  2. Basic details that seeming to check out were that the dinner was at the Hotel Kurrajong in Canberra and that it was most definitely free and without obligation.
  3. Something vague about sleep and sleep products.

As anybody who has heard of a 419 scam or indeed has ever received any​ form of marketing ever this instantly screamed out to me ​TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

Thinking that I'm extremely tech savvy (Come on I own my own domain!) and that I am a child of the Internet generation I decided to delve into the murky world of information gathering with a quick Google search. 

After finding their amateurish website and taking a good seven minutes clicking links I found next to no information about their products and absolutely no information about their prices. Personally, if I wanted to sell my wares, which are highly sought after, I would at least advertise them slightly better on my site than Wenatex.

The website was almost no better at giving me information than the aforementioned documentation accompanying the letter so I decided to look at 3rd party blogs and forums to see what others in my position had to say.

After reading posts from here, here, here and here the rest of the picture was fleshed out and I gained a more full understanding of who Wenatex are, what they do and what these seminars are,

By ensnaring people with a free meal at a nice establishment it Wenatex employees ​allegedly​ then enter into an exercise in hard selling. With beds and bed products costing thousands of dollars attendees are alledgedly​ pressured into buying the products with tactics such as "We are offering this <reduced but still damned expensive> price for one night only!" as well as a lot of implausible information about how sleeping on a bed of dried herbs or using a goat milk mattress benefits sleep. I've read they also show magnified images of bed bugs which I'm lead to believe Wenatex beds are immune to.

The psychological effect of these tactics leads people to believe that Wenatex beds are better for their general health and wellbeing. Take also into account that they're reduced for one night only incites the sale.

Since the meal is free and they state multiple times that it's all no obligation I feel there's no harm in taking advantage of their generosity and acquiring a free meal in the process. I'd like to believe I'm resilient enough to resist the hard sell; even if I'm not I doubt my bank account would acquiesce quite as easily.

My advice to anyone else who has received an invitation to a Wenatex event offering free meals, gifts and the like is to go to dinner but treat everything they say with a healthy degree of skepticism. Don't be taken in by any marketing ploy and trust your instincts when they unreservedly tell you herbs belong on food, not in blankets.

In summary:

  • Acquire free meal
  • Acquire free gift
  • Ignore hard sell
  • Leave happy

Comments

Submitted by Mark Jones (not verified) on

Or the other option, give the vouchers to a couple of homeless people.
At least then someone gets some benefit out of it ...

Submitted by Adam Malone on

Wow... That's a pretty good point. I'll have to remember to think more selflessly next time I get an invitation to such a thing. Thanks for commenting!

Submitted by Karen (not verified) on

I would be happy to give this to the homeless in my home town, but they wouldn't let them into the venue the way that they dress etc. Nice thought but no can do here:(

Submitted by Erna29 (not verified) on

I enjoyed reading your article and found it to be informative and to the point. Thank you for not rambling on and on just to fill the page. laibhiyb

Submitted by Denise (not verified) on

Thanks for the advice, my elderly neighbour received this invitation, so thought I would google search for him.... just as I expected!

Love your second suggested option; think I will give it to a homeless couple here in Toowoomba Qld.

Regards, Denise

Submitted by Peter (not verified) on

Micheal Wernicke of Wenatex touted himself as a "sleep expert" when on Ch 9 Today show. He shows up better on a google search as an entrepreneur. Big difference!
Their marketting methods ran into some problems in NZ where the consumer rules are quite stringent.
Caveat emptor.

Submitted by Robert (not verified) on

Suggest you go if you want a free meal, take the gift, don't stay for the "hard sell" and then say goodnight I have to leave now, prior commitment, thanks for your hospitality.

Or give the invites to a charity so they can ensure that the free meal is taken. Make sure the charity knows it is a sales show and gives them my first paragraph as an action to do after having eaten. If Wanatex says no gift you didn;\'t stay for our sales pitch, so what, still leave after the meal.

Submitted by Robert (not verified) on

There ain't no such thing as "a free lunch", so sayeth the old proverb. Another proverb, beware of strangers offering gifts. Plenty of old sayings/proverbs could be quoted as applying.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

totally agree!

Submitted by MIKE (not verified) on

ONLY Coments R:
I've been to "Event" Every Year, Last 6yrs. Still No Sale.
Free Gift I don't Remember, Meals Good but Not Impressed With Product.

MIKE

Submitted by Natalie Fennell (not verified) on

Thanks my suspicions confirmed!

Submitted by rafaella (not verified) on

Hey,
I just received the wenatex invitation, got 4 dinner vouchers and 2 gift certificates. The dinner is in 2 weeks. Would be interested in reading what you have to say about this. I obviously have no interest in buying a bed, as I just bought one that I'm happy with, but thinking of giving away the two vouchers to friends...I don't mind having a free dinner but wanted to know for sure if dinner is worth going to?

Will wait for your update! :)

thanks!

Submitted by glyniss (not verified) on

fish and chips on a freezing night and the airconditoner was bung. not host's fault, blame lies with the restaurant but it was embarassing and not a good sale's pitch. the voucher was choice of pencil sharpener, wool (or dog) wash or aching muscle balm.
what do you want for nothing if you can bear some hours listening to the speal. it's enough to send you to sleep without the whizz bang miracle bed

Submitted by Derbyiter (not verified) on

Hey, do they supply or pay 4 drinks ? I will enjoy a good drop !

Submitted by Steve (not verified) on

the meal was good, but the seminar was boring as, well you know, the gifts were supposed to be for each person that attended but in reality was per couple and part of the gift was a $30 gift certificate to be spent on wenatex products.

Submitted by Sheryl presley (not verified) on

Ive also just been invited bring along 3 friends , I would apreciate meal and lesrn more but I know im not sleeping and I know why,
Thanku

Submitted by Matthew (not verified) on

Yes, tell us what the food was like! Thanks in advance for your diligent fieldwork. Might be worth a RiotACT post.
I was just worried that I might be converted to Scientology or something. Overpriced bedding I can deal with.

I did a small write up of my experiences which may be found here. The food was unassuming and definitely not worth the time I wasted there.

Feel free to cross post either to RiotACT

Submitted by Rick (not verified) on

Loved the dinner
I love to argue so I go to all these free sales seminars collect the gifts and tell them I think there product is crap
They want to waste my time and I'm happy to waste theirs win/ win situation .

Submitted by frilly (not verified) on

I did look them up & found they had a problem of not allowing a woman to cancel although she was with in the 3 day period of Cooling Off. That law applies here in Australia also.
I received my invitation vis email so they are not always sending nice letters it seems?
I did wonder about going with a couple of my family for the meal if it was a good eatery but as it turned out to be one I would not normally go to myself. I decided not worth maybe going out in the cold.
It is fairly obvious the are after something when they say they want to demonstrate a good nights' sleep. How can they possibly do that whilst eating dinner LOL?

Submitted by Eden (not verified) on

Just like to comment that I attended a free dinner in Perth 3 weeks ago, I took along 3 of my friends, at the country comfort inn in Belmont. Food was great as was the coffee, sales guy wasn't too hard on his sales pitch. There was another couple there also.
The beds are quite expensive but I'm still contemplating going back for another dinner and possibly buying the bed as I'm in need of a new one.
Although I'm still trying to get my head around how expensive they are. But in saying that I've tried to compare electric beds in Harvey Norman with are worse mattress and no bedding and it is the same price,
If your after a free dinner and don't mind listening to a sales spiel then there is no harm done. Although I'm guessing if I buy a bed I'm probably paying for most of those dinners lol.

Submitted by Daniel Polzin (not verified) on

I did buy one 5 years ago and have been very happy with it. Same sort of price as other premium beds out there. Some people may be sceptical or just can't afford quality.

Submitted by Hilda (not verified) on

I have a Wenatex bed, doona and pillows which I bought separately and yes they are expensive BUT I have never regretted it/ My friends also bought them and say they have the best sleep ever.
(And I AM definitely not employed by the company). I used to have aching legs and could not cope with a wool doona. Had no problems whatsoever since buying these.

Submitted by Keith (not verified) on

If a bed is great you shouldnt need to offer free meals or gilts so people willl buy it. Are you with me on this guys.

Submitted by Nathan (not verified) on

I went with my wife to one if these free dinners a couple of years ago. The food was ok the product was great but expensive. But we did buy a package costing us over $5000. The only difference is the company was called magniflex. After months of us waiting and being messed around we asked for our money back. After a month of being messed around with that we went to consumer affairs. They told us that they were building a case against the company on behalf of over 20 Melbourne based people who has received no goods or refund at all. The case went to court and we still never received any money even after the company and its directors were convicted of fraud. Be very cautious with these sort of companies. Consumer affairs said it wasn't the first time they'd done this but had preciously used another name. My suspicion is they're at it again. I also just recieved an invite to another event and thought I'd google them to see what I could find on them. Like one o the other post says its funny they have such a great product and don't have an online store. Be aware people. Don't get sucked in like we did.

Submitted by Daniel Polzin (not verified) on

Sorry mate but they are NOT the same company. Wenatex have been around for many years.

Submitted by Sheryl presley (not verified) on

Thanku nathan are they in business or not
Shezz

Submitted by Rita (not verified) on

Definitely not same company Wenate
x is a European company around for 20 years before coming to Australia

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

It says been in Europe for 50 years

Submitted by Eden (not verified) on

Well I went back for another seminar this time in Morley and have bought my sleep system. It is due to arrive tomorrow. I'll keep u posted as to how I feel after sleeping on my new bed. So excited and can't wait.

Submitted by Tony (not verified) on

I attended a wenatex demo/sales dinner nearly 7 years ago here in Perth. The salesman was low key, the meal was great and I was happy to sit for the sales demo for the free meal. There were about 10 or 12 people there, and 3 or 4 did leave after the meal and before the demo which I personally thought was pretty rude, but, the sales rep was fine with it. He said after they had left that he was sorry they had left, but he hoped they had enjoyed their meal. He continued on talking about wenatex and their product. We ended up buying a package, and 7 years later, we still love our mattress and pillows. I am a bus driver and my wife worksin an office and we get no benefit from supporting them. I must comment on the above message about a similar company called magniflex, never heard of them, and I agree they sound shonky, but I do not believe they are the same company.
Cheers

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

as an insomniac i wont bother thanks for the heads up on these crooks

Submitted by Chris (not verified) on

Just got my invite for dinner on 26 August 2013 at Agni Indian.

I will not be there and find I sleep extra well by keeping away from these scams.

Reminds me of that book.. The Departing Russian, by Izzy Nickenoff

Submitted by RT (not verified) on

Some years ago we bought a wenatex queen sleep system. So comfortable, not expensive as we bought it paying installments without interest.
Next week look forward to a Queen matters, manual bed, summer doona, two pillows and fitted sheet.
Many of my patients have found the sleep system helpful in experiencing a night''s restful sleep.
we choose our level of comfort discomfort and the company has a ten day cooling off period.
I hear they offer money back guarantee if after ? years of use, bed and matteris the customer is not convinced.
Seems contradictor to the negatives in the forum...
be well...

Submitted by Keith (not verified) on

Some years ago you brought one not expensive. Yet everyone says they are expensive. Y give free meals gifts if your product is good. Do you see other manufacturers giving these things. At say harvey norman. :?? scam scam scam. High pressure sales. Free stuff to make u feel u hav to buy. Give me a break do you work for these scam artists.?

Submitted by RJ (not verified) on

A free gift and word of mouth will beat any multi tens of thousands dollars advertising. Not sure if I should go or not. Definitely won't be buying a bed though

Submitted by Gazza (not verified) on

lol surely you are not that ignorant of the different business models!

Retail model: things bought cheap, markup 80-200% to pay for wages, interest on cost of purchase until stuff sells, rent of building, electricity etc for the 3-18 months it takes to clear all that was purchased in a number of 40' containers. eg harvey norman

Franchise model: reduce huge operating costs like retail, section off the 'sales force' to be franchisee's, with lower costs, share benefits with franchisee's as profit for them often around 20% less than retail. eg Jims mowing.

Word of mouth model: Have very small operating costs compared to retail as is mostly a warehouse and smaller number of operating staff. Sales people work on small base (or no base) plus commission. Generally 40% savings compared to retail model. Get new clients by marketing 'free dinner' and please listen to our presentation. eg Wenatex
(imagine without the 40% saving vs retail, their $5000 bed would be $8333!!) I'm quite happy to have a free meal if it saves me $3333 compared to going to something like Mr Snooze)

Network Marketing: Probably lowest of operating costs 40-60%. Combine franchisee & word of mouth models so that 'franchisee's get a share in the profits from word of mouth advertising. Again.. please come to our seminar. eg usana

All do well in their own rights... only need to do your own UNEMOTIVE research, be honest with yourself and call a spade a spade.

You can always ADD emotion to an arguement to make it like you are right or show yourself in a good light. In reality people see you doing that and give no credability to what you said.

Submitted by Donna (not verified) on

I have just received invite & vouchers from this crew.... & yes I'm going as I'm on a pension & could do with a free feed & some company! I am dropping off the other voucher at the Salvo's for someone else in need of a feed :) Bare in mind people the bed & bedding is most likely worth less than half the price it is sold for..... they have to pay for the dinners/speaker/travel/accommodation/advertising/staff etc etc etc... somehow! not your usual overheads....! do yourself a favour buy from a company you know & trust! & don't complain when your bed doesn't arrive or you don't get your money back! all the warning signs are there!

Submitted by daniel (not verified) on

yes its all good to say buy from a company you can trust. But when a manufacturer sells directly to the public and cuts the middle man its a different story. you are forgetting that a store has three price ranges. The national retailler has a floor price , the store has a floor price (the one it wont go below to secure its profit) and the sales rep has a listed price and his best price. all in all 3 sets of profits and thats from the one chain, add the manufacturers profit and now your talking. Also to keep in mind, these beds are orthopaedic as in complying to a medical standard not "slumberpedic" as sum brands claim, a fancy word for nothing. Keep in mind most beds conform to furniture standards of build quality not medical standards for health. No i dont work for the company, but alot of people on here are ignorant of the fact that they will blow a lot of money on a leather couch or big plasma tv but when your body is resting / spending 8hrs a day (if that) sleeping you are kidding yourself as to whats important. we spend more time worrying about creature comforts in a new car than we do about getting the best night sleep possible so our body can recover.

Submitted by Dee (not verified) on

Just a question, did anyone who is posting try one of these beds? I tried one this evening and one day I will be sleeping on one. Are you all just talking out your bottoms or is it because you don't know what comfortable feels like?

Submitted by Keith (not verified) on

If wenatex beds were the best of the best. then we would of heard of them Why arent they in the local retailer. ive asked but they never heard of them. . At least you can try them and compare them at local retailers. who buy in such bulk they can under cut most shark free meal no hope wantabees who think the only important thing is profit.Harvey norman look at return sales. . And where will wenatex be in 10yrs. least I know where my local retailer will be.

Submitted by Rita (not verified) on

Dear oh dear Wennatex has been aroundfor20 years and more in Europe but not in Australia. Harvey Norman would charge another 100 % on the cost ... than they cant sell them and yes a lot of people have heard of them and they do need demonstrating to explain the difference and the benefit .. your statement in not logical as harvey Norman sell lots of different good Wenatex specialize in Beds only. I have my bed for 10 years and
its still like new I love it..... Mate give it a chance no hard sell just a demo Beds sell them selves...

Submitted by Karisma (not verified) on

I was talking to a friend a few minutes ago. She said that her next purchase would be a Wenatex mattress. She had tried one at a friend's & had the best night's sleep. She also had another friend who had one too & loved it. I am ready for a new bed so I am going to chase one up. I want an invite to lunch or dinner to see the demo.

Submitted by Deb Fairhurst (not verified) on

We went to one of these dinners in Gosnells, Western Australia and we weren't going to buy a bed, just have the free meal and get on outta there. I have wanted a new mattress for quite some time, but wasn't interested in getting one right now.

My husband tried out the bed, as he broke his back about 15 years ago and suffers constantly from pain as he refuses to medicate himself for it. He got off the bed and then quietly said to me "I couldn't feel pain in my back, at all".

That was enough for me. No hard sell required!

We have had our mattress for three months and hubby has woken up pain free since the day we received the mattress. I also suffer from night sweats due to menopause, yet I've been sleeping comfortably for the last few months and I haven't woken up drenched in sweat.

Sure, it's expensive, but my husband waking up with no back pain in the mornings has made the mattress priceless, and the mattress is designed to last up to 20 years and I've paid a lot more for cars etc that don't last that long.

It's a shame that you wrote such a damning article about something that has benefitted people, and I can only hope that people find out the benefits for themselves, rather than take this article as gospel.

Submitted by Donna (not verified) on

Everyone is entitled to an opinion..... I don't think this article was not meant to be taken as "Gospel" it's just peoples opinions!
I don't see it as damning either way! Most people have the ability to make up their own mind!
I do see it as a great product now after seeing it for myself (those Germans do know their stuff)... but a little overpriced!

Submitted by Daniel Polzin (not verified) on

Everything german made is overpriced but it does last.

Submitted by Debra (not verified) on

Sure we all like free meals, gifts whatever...but give this company a go. I have heard the products are very good quality and although they are expensive they are made to last. If you don't like the products, don't buy them. If you have no intention of at least listening to the sales pitch, stay home....cheap ar_e losers!

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