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

This comment was posted anonymously, as were all comments above.
Notice how glowing so many of the comments were. Why would someone seek out blogs discussing a product just to post positive absolutely glowing reviews?

Many, if not all of the above comments are false. This blog is one of the first hits on google. Managing this kind of business takes effort. Once enough people know the tactics, they will change name to avoid poor google reviews..

Lesson is, don't believe any of the above comments. Don't believe this one. All anonymous.

Submitted by Debra (not verified) on

I attended a seminar today, the products are fantastic...worth every penny...The salesman was not pushy at all...Very interesting day. Thankyou Wenatex.

Submitted by maria (not verified) on

Why do you want to go just for a free meal? If you don't want a bed, just throw the invite in the bin. Geez, are you that hard up for food? Sure they may do the hard sell but they also put in their time and money to throw these events on, so why would you want to go and see them if you are so suspicious?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I paid for a sheet three months ago and have never seen it

Submitted by KB (not verified) on

Not true. Wenatex do not take money without supplying the goods. Speak to customer service. Probably out of stock waiting on supplies from Europe. You will get your sheet. Just phone.... and yes I do work for them. This page is full of lies!

Submitted by Keith (not verified) on

Wenatex lies

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Maria (not verified) on Thu, 05/09/2013 - 12:55pm if the company don't want people to have a free meal and then leave before the sales pitch, then why offer a free meal?

Submitted by John Ashley (not verified) on

Adam, Thanks for posting your research on this company and the succinct advice. The replies also help with the insightfulness. I won't spend my time with them at all.

Submitted by justin bancks (not verified) on

I used to work for wenatex (delivery driver) 6 years ago in sydney and bought one because all the customers used to ask what are the beds like so i slept on it my wife didnt like it at first but now cant get her out of it took a couple of nights to get used to it like any new item but very comfortable guys not a scam its good quality beds which you can actually take the covers of and wash them dry them and zip them back on.i hace not worked for them since 2007 bed is still going great no problems.go and sus it out for yourselves.cheers juz

Submitted by Marianne Horvat (not verified) on

Agreed to attend 5th Nov. Hobart, but did not work out, cannot come, sorry.

Submitted by Rob (not verified) on

I'm already pretty good at sleeping but if, at some time in the future, I decide I need advice on the subject I'll consult one of my teenage children.
They are masters of sleep... would do it 20 hours a day if bodily functions would allow.
As for the free dinner... I'll pass on that one. Might have accepted if I lived in Canberra though.
Please enjoy yours Adam and stay strong during the hard sell.
Best regards.
Rob.

Submitted by Robert McKay (not verified) on

please cancel booking.
daughter ill.
Rob McKay.
Sorry.

Submitted by carolyn gosano (not verified) on

The bed you get delivered is like a rock not like the demo bed buyer beware they claim it takes 7 days to 30 days for you to get use bed xx

Submitted by Scammed (not verified) on

Battered Fish and chips for dinner with lots of iced water..
Talk more about the amount of research Wenatex has put into their suite of bedding products.
Anyone starving for a free chicken/fish & chips and interested in buying a bedding package for $10K, please register.

My invite to dinner came via email, that I apparently gave permission to someone out there in cyber world to had out freely to the world or rip off artists. I actually though it was some amway, timeshare, rip off.
Once I seen the words "FREE" & "SEMINAR" which the word seminar was only available after clicking to book for the event, I knew that it was a hard sell deal & to just ignore it.
My husband & I were invited to a "timeshare appartment" dinner many years ago. It was free lunch with your choice of gift being, a camera, a 2 night stay on the gold coast etc. We had never experienced this type of thing before but went along because we were curious about the timeshare. We sat through a seminar, were fed tea, coffee & two pack nice biscuits then the hard sell started. If you've never experienced it before it is like an assault, that is the only word I can describe it as. The also seperated us which is what got me on the defensive. I packed up my husband, demanded my camera & wanted to leave. We were ushered through a tiny back door & told that our camera will be waiting in the slot. We opened a tiny door which we couldn't get back through & there was our tiny toy plastic childs camera waiting for us, Then we left through the only door available which lead out to a side street so no one out the front could see us. We walked back around the front to complain about being shot out like a piece of shit but the doors were locked & no one would answer the door intercom. We both think it was hilarious and makes for a good story. BUT if you easily cave into the hard sell or get distressed at being verbally attacked in a passive aggressive way DO NOT ACCEPT A FREE DINNER. These days I have plenty of other things I would rather do than accept a seminar on selling stuff.

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on

I went along to one of these free dinners with a friend who had received the invite in May, 2007, in Melbourne. Dinner was just ok, but presentation was good and did not feel at all pressured.
I tested it out on the night and found it so comfortable and had no pain in areas of my back or hips because of the support. Found it better than the waveless water bed I currently had, but never really wanted, but that's another story.

I purchased the Queen size system on interest free terms and am extremely happy with it. Have recommended to others.
It never ceases to amaze me how people will spend many thousands of dollars on an expensive car that they may spend an hour or two a day in, but a bed where they should spend 10-12 hours a night... they skimp. All beds are not the same. Is it because they can't drive it around to their friends and show it off? However, something that effects them greatly, sleep, posture etc. is too expensive.

Don't judge everything a scam, go along try it out, my daughter and partner attended one recently and remarked that there was no hard sell.

Beautiful drying day today and I am about to wash my doona etc.

Submitted by Flo (not verified) on

Looking for a new bed. Sleep terribly, have a bad back, have had an operation. Got a call about the seminar. Went. Ate free dinner. Great fish and chips and even better coffee (Country Comfort Inn Belmont, WA) listened to the 'talk'. The host gave the spiel. I hopped on the bed. He told us the cost etc s soon as we asked... we had to leave at a certain time (which was the truth) No pressure. Didn't buy anything, took my free gift and left. I do like the bed, in fact if I won Lotto I'd have bought it, but I'd be silly to sign away $11,000 on the night without doing comparative research for other beds above $8k!!!

Submitted by suzie McMahon (not verified) on

Dear Adam

Thank you so so Much for your Blog and Review. I felt Sceptical when I I received the dear resident letter here in Cairns.. I moved here by myself from Canberra there years ago when my husband announced to me OVER THE Fone that he wanted a Divorce. .... All my family are in Canberra and we had built a house in Amaroo.
I note you did something something Medical ?? At ANU. That's 1 of my passions Health and all things medical. I've had many non Nursing jobs in the ACT... admin ie dept of defence in various modes on the temp register.. I am a RN. My last job was through a nursing Agency & it came out of the blue... I was asked if I was interested in 1 month's work in Halls Creek. Yes please ..it took 5 flights & 2 days to get there. Place was an Aboriginal health centre. I kept getting asked if I was interested in extending. I ended up working there for 3 months. This work came with NO Car. 1 day it was 46... hrs were great. Mond-Frid. Cld tell u all sorts of stories.. its close to the Tanamai desert.. like 3 french backpackers breaking down as they were driving from Broome.. with No Water !! on the Road..they made it to Halls Creek. WA

Look out for Tom. My boy he has a website amd works as the business for Peter Blackshaw. He Dj's also at 4 Clubs in Canberra & also also occasionally goes to Hyatt. His website his TjDj.
Thomas Hathaway. His IT Skills are all selt taught

I'm not working right at this very minute..look me up on Facebook suzie Hathaway, I will add you. I am going to go back to my maiden name..ite a slow process. With time and $$
Best regards
Suzie

Submitted by Emily (not verified) on

What a shame that the person who has written this blog is categorizing a highly reputable company with crooks without knowing anything about them!
I have had a Wenatex bed for about 6 years now and it is exactly the same as when I first bought it. The shape is still the same and I have not flipped or turned the mattress not even once! On top of that, I now no longer suffer from back pains from a car accident I was in or hay fever! Seriously people, give it a go for yourselves! The money isn't even that much and it will change your lives greatly!

Submitted by Luis-Wu (not verified) on

Yes, I was invited by a friend who was invited (last night in fact) ! The dinner was nice and as you say the pressure was on as the presentation went for 3.5 hrs including the things you spoke about Adam. Eventually found out about the one night only special. No good phoning them today. The 25% discount was off today !! As soon as i hear that my hackles go up ! There is no way I am going to be caught in that web ! Price of the double bed and bedding was approx $12000. I have to say that the quality of it all was excellent but the markup must be very high i think. Wont be buying one unless i win the Xlotto !

Submitted by Emily (not verified) on

Luis-Wu, you should go out and compare the prices of the beds that are sold in the shops (which is what I did before I bought my Wenatex) and they are not washable, full of toxins and certainly not supportive. This company has been around for many years and you have to understand that they have to offer some sort of incentive for people to buy on the night as a reward.

Submitted by Al (not verified) on

An evening chowing down on curried mac and cheese washed down with cordial, while listening to an in your face sales pitch. Go if you have no life, and money to burn.

Submitted by sylvia (not verified) on

Well I did just that when I got this in the mail today, googled the lack of info supplied by wenatex for myself, who, what, why are they inviting me to a "free dinner" for a better nights sleep? What makes a total stranger think my sleeping is in need of attention or that I need a free dinner and some (not declared) gift? This is so over the top in pushy marketing that it has all the hallmarks of a scam - lets suck em in, make em sign on the dotted line than hold them at ransom when they realise it's too good to be true. Remember there is NO FREE LUNCH. As for my time, time is money they don't pay for, for getting me there to listen to their BS. Bin it I did. Cheers

Submitted by Lorraine (not verified) on

Chris worked for WENATEX in NZ then ran away when it fell apart to live the dream in AUS.
The set up was that he earned 15% of what he sold.
It can't be that great a product as Chris claims to earn only 42k a year from WENATEX. Hardly enough to live on lol! Either that or Mr Clapp aka Crap is full of rubbish.
Mr Clap from Hervey Bay is well known in the sales industry working for hard sell companies that have gone under. Mr Clap was educated at Linwood College. A state high school in NZ. Mr Clap has no formal education beyond high school. Certainly not an executive or a sleep specialist.

Submitted by Clare (not verified) on

Thank you! I have just googled (like you did) & come across your blog which explains everything I wanted to know! Seeing my husband and I are both hopeless at saying thanks but no thanks and are easily guilted into buying stuff we don't need nor really afford from salespeople, I shall file it under R for recycle. Thank you

Submitted by Maureen (not verified) on

Hi, Googled Wenatex and found your blurb and the others who DIDN'T respond to the invite. Thank you one and all. Much appreciated. I have better things to do with my time, and like so many, we are becoming more and more savvy about these unsolicited rorts.

Submitted by cat (not verified) on

just wondering what the $50 FREE Gift is ???
is it worth the 3 or 4 hour wait?

They give you the gift's when you sit down for your meal. They ask you to fill in a gift voucher first. I guess this is to capture your info if you are a ring in. You could leave then I guess. But the meal was good. (Chicken Schnitzel, veg and chips with Gravy on the side) Had to buy a glass of wine, as they don't supply refreshments apart from tea/coffee and water. My "venue" was the Haven Motel in Glenelg SA. I had a good night, met some new people (The presenter introduced everyone to one-another), learned something about my posture, dust mite poo, silver thread, polar bear fur and that I should get a new mattress every five years, all pretty useful stuff. There was no hard sell that I could identify. A retired couple put their hands up for a new bed as far as I could tell, which occupied the presenter at the end which gave me the opportunity to adjourn to the bar with one of my new acquaintances. We both agreed that it was a worthwhile experience, but 6k for a new bed, mattress, doona and pillow was steep. (perhaps not, given I have today ordered a new bike for 5k, not sure I have my priorities right) And the voucher is useful. I used it to buy a puzzle for my nephew's birthday, including the postage.

Submitted by Jarrod (not verified) on

Anyone else notice this blog has been going for 2 years? It seems to have started with the author in Canberra and been to QLD, WA, NSW, you name it. I also noticed that mist of the great reviews came from a Daniel or Donna. If they're not employed by the company why have they been following this guys blog for 2 years? I lives in Germany for 3 years and speak fluent Deutsch, but yet have never heard of the brand while there. None of my German friends have heard of them either. If you spend $10,000 for a bed being sold at dinner you're a moron and deserve to lose your money. Go to a reputable business and buy a bed.. If someone gave you a sales pitch in your licql park and then asked for $10k would you give that to them also? Wake up people, these guys are predators only looking for a payday at your expense.

Submitted by Lilian Roberts (not verified) on

My daughter and i recently attended a Wenatex Seminar which was only two and a half hours long (not the exagerated 4 hours stated above ) the presenter was very knowlegable and NO high pressure sales pitch, in face I found it very enlightening as did the other guests, we all interacted and no question seems to disturb the presenter, dinner was ok, nothing to rave about, but was supplied by the venue, $50 dollars worth of gifts were presented up front. But the bed - OMG it is so comfortable, I am a diabetic and suffered with terrible cramps during the night, all caused by my illness, i also used to find it difficult both getting to sleep and staying asleep due to pain in my back, but with all sincerity my Wenatex bed has changed my life, no more cramps, and sleep is blissful . My daughter suffered with Vertigo, shoulder injury following an accident, bursitis in her hip and headaches caused through snoring, she also purchased a bed at the seminar, the vertigo and headaches have gone and she can now sleep on her side without pain, she has more energy because she now sleeps 7 to 8 hours each night. Sure listen to the negatives, but also do yourself a favor, if you get an invite - go try it for yourself, then make up your mind. I love my bed, and i am so grateful that someone has taken the time to research our sleeping habits and done something about it. Thank you Wenatex.

Submitted by david (not verified) on

be warned, do not buy these products, the pillows sink under the weight of your head and you wake up constantly because nothing is under your head only the pillowcase, the filling is piled up high above and around your head and restricts your breathing, wenetex doesnt want to know because this problem isnt covered under their WARRANTY. and there quilts are not warm, my daughters need extra blankets now, whereas they didnt when they had quilts brought from BIG W etc, but WENETEX says have you got a window open ??? yeah right in the middle of a Orange winter, we get below zero here, contact me and I will give you more details happily, cheers david

Submitted by Brian (not verified) on

Wow Im glad I didnt purchase anything now! I asked wether the quilts would deal with our minus 8 deg winters at our seminiar and the consultant was non commital which concerned me.

Submitted by Brian (not verified) on

I recently attended one of these seminars. The meal was very good but their was very little to drink which was annoying. Working with manchester I was interested in their products and generally they look of a high quality but they are way over priced( got to pay for the commision and meals somehow). How does $300 for a pillow sound?? The whole range actually looks like a great idea and if it was more realistically priced it probably would have bought some. They pushed hard for a sale at the end but I didnt feel intimidated which is a credit to them and the consultant.

Submitted by Rob (not verified) on

It may interest your readers to know that Wenatex Australia went into voluntary administration 17th October 2014.

Submitted by Rob (not verified) on

Wenatex Australia went into voluntary administration mid October2014

Submitted by Rob (not verified) on

1 week after going into receivership as Wenatex Australia Pty Ltd,
the same directors and senior management then set up Wenatex Pty Ltd.

A number of suppliers lost money and all staff lost entitlements...

Submitted by kwols (not verified) on

approximately every three months we receive an invitation to a wenatex event. After the first invitation we received a phone call as well - demanding to know if we were going and why not. After that phone call there was no way I was going to accept any invitation..... After reading this blog and the associated comments I have come to a conclusion.... I was right! I can get similar beds (really they sell beds...- until this blog I had no idea!) down the street at a similar price (special reduced price on the night... really!!) If that is the case - why can't they be honest and pay the rent like any other business and sell these really good beds and mattresses with people coming in to check them out! Do we really need a free meal to decide whether or not we want special beds..... me thinks not!!!

Submitted by Ian Lindner (not verified) on

Company now in the hands of receivers in Australia. Unable to get deposit Back

Submitted by Toni (not verified) on

Well quite a skeptical view point, however probably on the mark.
I agree with the opinion that their website should be informative and transparent rather than uninformative and secretive. I too have received their invite with the offer mentioned, but I truly don't think I'd be bothered putting myself thru the ordeal just to receive a free meal.

Thanks for sharing your insights and opinions :)

Cheers Toni

Submitted by Jessie Neagle (not verified) on

Thanks for telling me. I keep getting these in my letterbox at Avalon Victoria. I am not good at saying 'No,' even to a free feed, so won't be accepting.

Submitted by Ian Lindner (not verified) on

Paid $1270 deposit months later had not received products so we cancelled order. Gone into receivership offered products to cover deposit from Wenatex oversea's. received 2 pillows & Bed covers. Cant see the value here. Had ordered large order & many unreturned phone calls later Company into receivership how long before these type of people are bought to task by the authorities. now they are using other peoples money to start another rip of. Beware People.

Submitted by Vicki (not verified) on

Hi! we went to one of these seminars! last night, at our local club, Chris was very infomative, the meal was as to the best of the clubs, meal ability! for the price, was nice, we all must remember! the meal was FREE! and after all you get what you Pay for! and we all know what we are going there for! Information! Thank you for our invite!

Submitted by Rita (not verified) on

I read your story with interest... And you are entitled to your thoughts and opinion. However may i say I totally disagree with you....... The research that goes on. for this product is the best..... the Wenatex Mattresses is Europe's best seller. I own several Wenatex Mattresses for 10 years ..they are like new no sagging also i can wash them they are anti allergy no dearer than Tampura and they have bad reports as well so its all personal taste... Yes sometimes we have to use dinners or what ever to get people to come along to see something new and this is done with a lot of new to market things. I am just about to update my bed to an electronic Wenatex Bed one so i can sit in bed and watch TV. In Germany Wenatex is well known and respected and you know German Technology has always been tops. Look at Miele products they invite you to cooking Demos and sell their expensive Products I have a Miele Washing machine for 30 years and never ever had it repaired. So you pay for what you get. Long live Wenatex because I love love love this very comfortable bed and donas ... their materials just don't wear out after washing it for ten years Like new ... I am not getting paid for this story as I have nothing to do with Wenatex just a very happy customer and so are all my friends.... and yes something could always be done better in presentation but they are doing great all over the world.

Submitted by Catherine (not verified) on

I too received a Wenatex invitation to "no obligation" dinner - and I share all the thoughts/findings of the original article. I am still not sure I'll even bother with the free dinner, but I will certainly be coming away herbs
free

Submitted by Rita (not verified) on

Oh yes being business minded ..... So wake up critics .... its with all things imported...income tax and tax on tax ... wages ... transport from Europe ( free dinners ) office space .....office equipment factory space cars... petrol .... super.... insurance .... invitations.. and so many many more overheads and all must be paid.....
I could be the maker of the best products .. but if the sales people don't promote the product made....whether its a car... furniture ...beds.... electronic ...apple phones or food the whole world would be stuffed because its the sales people that keep the economy going.. You can make anything or invent anything .... but if you don't sell it ???? the whole world would collapse hence TV advertising ... seminars...... etc or an invitation to see the Best Bed. Yes my occupation was in Sales Retired now but I am the most important person in the world because i sell things and make the economy work. There my thoughts for the day...

Submitted by Philip Veerman (not verified) on

I went to one of these seminars in Canberra 2 days ago. It is the third one I have attended in about 5 years. For the second one for some reason of a venue mix up, the presenter did not attend. So the hotel gave us all (about 5) the free meal anyway and would have charged it to Wenetex. So I had a nice evening meeting 4 people I don't know. In all 3 events the meal was nice. The description of the company and its history product was comprehensive (obviously I don't know how true it is) and just trying the lying on the bed it is very nice. I wish I had one. But so expensive. Is everything said true? Does it really matter if my current bed has bugs? There was nothing on the night that could be suggestive of hard sell. Of course there was the price list only at the end and substantial "discount" offered to commit on the day. But so many companies use that tactic. I don't know why. To me it means their normal price is overly inflated as why would anyone buy other than with the discount and free meal. That is a disincentive as there is no way I could decide on such an expensive item without time to think even if I could afford it.

Submitted by Betty (not verified) on

I bought a Wenatex system close to ten years ago it is still doing the job it was bought for, people will spend copious amounts of money on cars new bits for their computers, smokes, alcohol and not worry or whinge but for your health or comfort so many people will not spend the money. I had to have a new pillow every 6-8 months because of neck damage and 10 years on Iam still using the same pillow, before the wenatex mattress I had an expensive mattress but hard trouble getting to sleep due to damage done to my body through work on a wenatex mattress I sleep with no pain.

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