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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 allegedly 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.
- Acquire free meal
- Acquire free gift
- Ignore hard sell
- Leave happy