There’s apparently some unauthorised snake-oil sales going on in relation to the rather too profitable “rubber bands with holograms” industry.

Power balance bands: Not endorsed by Harry Potter as yet, but bound to be eventually.

Power balance bands: Not endorsed by Harry Potter as yet, but bound to be eventually.

This “article” (I use the term loosely because it uses zero journalistic investigation skills): “Fake power band scam” bleats about the loss of a $59.95 scam by the power band people and a cheaper sale by someone else.

Performance technology company Power Balance Australia has issued a warning to potential customers that a man has been selling counterfeit versions of their performance power bands at the Moruya markets.
..
Power Balance Australia NSW manager Ryan Brustolin says the fake bands are made in China and are of no more than ornamental value, despite being virtually identical to the real thing. They are usually bought on Ebay.

“They are very, very similar but they have no technology in them so they are worth nothing,” he said.

Is he talking about his own products or the fake ones? I’m confused.

The idea that you can magically change your metabolism via strapping on what is essentially a “live strong” band with a hologram sticker is insane. I go exercise to try and increase my endurance, strength etc and even then it takes actual effort. This snake oil company is selling a placebo bracelet.

Power Balance: finest placebo wares for the bargain price of $59.95

Power Balance: finest placebo wares for the bargain price of $59.95

The signs of a snake oil product

So let’s look at their claims (from their website):

What is Power Balance?

Power Balance is Performance Technology designed to work with your body’s natural energy field. Founded by athletes, Power Balance is a favorite among elite athletes for whom balance, strength and flexibility are important.

How Does the Hologram Work?

Power Balance is based on the idea of optimizing the body’s natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies. The hologram in Power Balance is designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body

Wow, I think I shall have to refer to any sticker now as “technology”. It’s not sticky tape: it’s a reel of technology! Those aren’t post-it notes, they’re yellow paper note technology! The makers of this shouldn’t be told to stick their product up their arses, they should instead technologify an orifice with the product.

How exactly does a bit of plastic “resonate and respond” in this most premium of snake oil bracelets? Do they mean “if you look at the holographic sticker from different angles it appears to be 3D”? Seriously? Does it have a drop of snake oil encased in the plastic somewhere?

The power band product has a number of characteristics of your standard snake oil product line:

  • Vague claims like “natural energy field” and “optimising the body’s natural energy flow”.
  • Expensive for what it appears to be: a rubber strap with a sticker
  • Links to “eastern philosophies” to explain how the magic sticker (also found on genuine DVDs from China)
  • Endorsements from laypeople, sportsmen/women but no actual scientific studies or verified results

So let me translate what “natural energy” means in a product such as this: it means “all in your head”. They’ve leapt up a level in quackery by claiming this piece of plastic with a sticker (erm.. sorry “technology”) is the reincarnation of a philosophy or some such garbage.
But hey, there are a lot of stupid people out there making these snake oil peddlers very rich. If you see anyone wearing one of these: I suggest you offer to sell them a nice block of land in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

Let’s try some science with some blind tests

Did some digging and found that Richard Saunders did a follow up on Today Tonight to show what a load of shit these things are:

Says everything really. Well, except that shining example of fine journalism Today Tonight didn’t run with the headline “Shocking power balance scam EXPOSED!”.

And a ratbags.com link on the matter of Power Balance Bracelets.

UPDATE: See the follow up post on how to spot a fake power balance bracelet.

UPDATE: See newer post about Power balance admitting they were deceptive. No longer able to make any of the claims in Australia. So before you start going on at me: power balance themselves say these things do nothing.

74 Responses to “Fake powerband scam? Power balance is Snake oil in bracelet form.”

  1. [...] like my previous post on the fake power balance bracelet scam is getting some google hits as worried consumers wonder whether they’ve been ripped off. So [...]

  2. on 26 Aug 2010 at 01:52Jesse Spencer

    Many people feel it’s in your head. It is easy to be a skeptic but after trying the product for a couple months now I have noticed a difference before and after I have wore the bracelet during my physical activities. If you don’t utilize the bracelet then I don’t think you will get anything out of it. I do sell the product at my place of business and have had numerous people purchase it and swear by it. Whether it is in your head or not, numerous people have bought it for their own personal reasons (balance, strength, flexibility, recovery, sleep, overall good health) and from my end only a slight few have not felt or noticed any difference when they have it and when they don’t. Does this prove that most people are just vulnerable and looking for the newest gimmick to get them through to the next day? My answer to this is that it shouldn’t matter. Whether it is in your head or not, there are people who gain something from this in a positive form one way or another. Are they being “ripped off”? This product causes no harm to anyone and I don’t need research to back up all the little details when I know how it works for me, and that’s all that matters.

    -Jesse Blue Spencer

  3. on 26 Aug 2010 at 07:52Nathan

    Jesse: have you tried a blind test where you don’t know that the bracelet is on? Have a look at the video and you’ll see why the product is NOT worth the $60. It has NO magical powers whatsoever and is thus false advertising.
    You can make the same claims about any object. I could put a box of matches in your pocket and the power balance bracelet and there’d be NO way you could tell the difference.

    It is like any other “snake oil”: wild claims, no science and only placebo affect.
    So yes, they are getting ripped off. $60 for a placebo that you could get the same impact from any item is ripping people off. Placebo products that make unfounded medical claims (increases strength, flexibility) HAVE to prove they do something themselves.

    No harm? What about being down $60 for something that does nothing? You “don’t need research to back up all the little details”: really? I’ve got some other magic products to sell you in that case. They won’t be cheap, but aside from ripping you off: what would be the harm?
    Would you like it if medical products did this (and don’t get me wrong: powerbalance makes medical claims.. so should be banned until it proves them like other medicine)? How about food products that claim to have nourishment but are really just cardboard? Could society have achieved its current heights of medicine if drugs were allowed to be sold that did nothing more than water as power balance is doing?

    The other problem is that people start placing faith in such unfounded claims and we get people choosing homoeopathy instead of getting their kids vaccinated, quack treatments for cancer rather than listening to their doctor. People die from such things and people getting duped into magic bracelets is part of the problem. Sceptical viewpoint on dubious snake oil products is necessary to avoid this sort of problem.

  4. on 26 Aug 2010 at 07:53Nathan

    Oh, and it sounds like you don’t believe that it is actually all in your head. I challenge you to have several people test your claims of more strength where you don’t know if it is on there or not.

    It IS all in your head, scientifically proven.

  5. on 09 Sep 2010 at 21:01James

    Nathan – you are my hero! I was thinking of marketing glitter-covered unicorn stickers because they “could” harness special powers from benevolent creatures in a far off galaxy.

    I seriously feel sorry for all of the fools that argue with reason on this issue; I guess if I was duped into believing something so absolutely asinine, I might put up an argument to ward off the shame.

    Seriously people, wake up … you look and sound ridiculous. Everyone is laughing at your glorified Silly Bandz.

  6. on 10 Sep 2010 at 14:55Nathan

    James: unicorns kick the arse of Mylar holograms in my book. I mean where in mythology is the mighty mylar hologram held up as a revered item? That’s right: nowhere! But unicorns.. Well..

  7. on 15 Sep 2010 at 06:14STOPHOLOGRAMSCAM

    STOP HOLOGRAM SCAM!

    Why? Because the potential scam about holograms in bracelets, wristbands of chains, should now FINALLY come to an END!

    Support us, visit http://www.stophologramscam.com/en/

  8. on 23 Sep 2010 at 10:58steve

    Hi Nathan.I’m sick of this scam i work in the fitness industry my boss sells them, heaps of them i told him months ago that the tests are universal iv’e had them preformed on me years ago to sell me vatimins etc i did the a test with a twink bottle WOW it worked.even ended up doing a double blind test, my boss couldn’t tell which one was real and the guy tested got stronger and more fexible with both bands one was fake.it doesn’t mater how well you show the truth,people believe and sellers don’t care their money hungry p____s I used to do a big bench press by turning my cap around to the side the difference is I’m not claiming some shit story about malya holograms the really sad side to this is they will be for sale second hand on ebay etc for $5.00 next year and some people will have made lots of money.cheers

  9. on 05 Oct 2010 at 16:45martha

    thank goodness i’ve found ur site! i am unconvinced though people around me seems to swear by this stupid plastic wristband.

    It’s a matter of what you believe in the head and its nothing magical about the band,just scam!

    do come up with lots of evidence to convince people from being scammed by irresponsible manufacturers out there,who’re more concerned in getting more $$ than anything else.

  10. on 11 Oct 2010 at 21:06I11tom

    hang on…
    if this is a scam that convinces people mentally that they are stronger, more flexible etc , then isnt it doing its job.
    this is the placebo effect. which actually states that it makes you feel like you can do things and encourages your body
    Martha”It’s a matter of what you believe in the head and its nothing magical about the band,just scam” most of that is true, as far as i am concerned , it is doing its job just using the placebo effect

  11. on 11 Oct 2010 at 21:38Nathan

    I11tom: So what degree of lying about the powers of the placebo are acceptable then if the intent is to maximise a placebo affect?
    Can snake oil claim to cure cancer to invoke the powers of positive thinking? What is the flow on impact if they shun actual medical treatment in favour of the snake oil solution (which does happen).

    Same with exercise: going for a regular jog/swim/walk and eating healthier WILL improve your actual fitness. Strapping a rubber band on will not change anything other than your thought process. Perhaps instead of taking steps to genuinely improve their fitness: someone chooses the quick fix placebo that doesn’t really do anything.

    Also: why are scam products like powerbalance able to make medical claims that if a real drug/medicine were to make it would require science to back it up?

    That’s to speak nothing of the absurdity and physics/biology defying garbage they spout about energy fields/western philosophy and magical hologram stickers which is just nonsense and belongs in fantasy fiction novels rather than on a product blurb.
    It boils down to truth in advertising: any product probably could benefit from making outrageous claims to invoke the placebo effect. Cars could claim they have energy balancing seat covers that increase your strength/flexibility while driving.

    Placebo balance, erm.. power balance makes claims far beyond the physical characteristics of the product and as with other products: that’s not on. Lies are lies.http://nathan-lee.com/blog/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form

  12. on 14 Oct 2010 at 23:39Dave

    I had never heard of these until yesterday when a friend who sells them tried the test on me. It didn’t work! He said he had never seen anyone that it didn’t work on before. He tried several times but the bracelet did absolutely nothing for me. I just started researching it and found your site. Now I know it is all fake, but still wonder why it “works” on everyone else and not me. I’m glad it didn’t.

  13. on 15 Oct 2010 at 00:08Nathan

    Dave: all you have to do is to repeat the test when they don’t know if it’s the real one or some other object.. They’ll fail then because their brain isn’t trying subconsciously to make it so.. Placebos only work on people who believe they’re doing something.
    Anyhow, nice work on throwing a bit of confusion back at ‘em.. Maybe they’ll hit up power balance for a refund because it is “broken” :P

  14. on 15 Oct 2010 at 18:57Anne

    The placebo effect is well documented and very strong. Personally, paying $60 for something that is proven to have a strong effect and no side effects (I’m talking about the placebo effect, not the hologram wotsit) doesn’t sound terrible to me. I’m not endorsing it – but I do agree with those who say what’s the harm?

    Every day people without the education or common sense to know better make poor decisions, such as gambling, buying cigarettes, alcohol, junk food which hurt not only their hip pockets but their health and quite significantly. At least this poor decision has no ramifications other than what is probably for most an affordable amount to lose and may have some benefits, even if those are from the power of their own mind. For the placebo effect to work, one must have something to believe in. For many that’s probably worth $60.

  15. on 18 Oct 2010 at 06:46Tommy

    Have any of you actually TRIED the test? It seems like a lot of hate for the product, but none of you have actually done anything to prove it wrong, other than state your retarded opinions that nobody cares about….seriously, quit crying. At least it’s an interesting topic to discuss at party. Anyway, I did it last night for the first time. I had absolutely no clue what these things were until my buddy was suddenly making me hold my arms out to the side while he tried to push me over. I must say, I was baffled. I am still quite skeptical, but I also acknowledge the fact that it could possibly have some kind of effect on the body (though it seems so bizarre). I never, NEVER get duped by stuff like this in my life, but I gotta say that it really seemed real. I want to try the test with my eyes closed and not know whether it is near me or not. Who knows?

  16. on 19 Oct 2010 at 18:52Denis

    I was a complete sceptic (still not entirely convinced) and when my buddy made me do the tests I was determined to prove this is all snake oil. I did the body swivel test, repeated it to see if I’d get any further because I’d loosened up (I didn’t), then tried it again with the bracelet and was all prepared to laugh at my buddy. But I was able to twist my body significantly further – there was a marked difference. I repeat, I was a total sceptic and went into it wanting to prove it’s b*llsh*t, so I dunno if the placebo effect could still be at play here.

  17. on 21 Oct 2010 at 01:50Daniel

    I took the power balance tests while i was at the mall. At first glance i did somewhat notice a difference, whether it was a placebo effect or the person running the tests was controlling the outcome, it did feel like it changed me in a way. I’m a tennis player so of course when a new product comes out that claims will give you perfect balance i will look into it. However i do not think this bracelet does what it claims to do. The blind tests speak for themselves. Me and a friend decided to make a bogus claim and tried selling a “Power Balance Spoon” on craigslist, it’s mostly a spoof but it would be highly entertaining if someone decides to contacts us in order to buy it.

    Link to the Power Balance Spoon: http://fortmyers.craigslist.org/chl/hab/2010206863.html

  18. on 01 Nov 2010 at 10:59Wow

    Really, if the product is able to able to produce the Placebo effect then its doing its job, the mere fact that they sell it for 60$ makes it worth something, and people believe that it may just work. Personally, when at football practice I have had more clarity of thought and just more of an edge. And the funny thing is, I forget that its on, until i go home and recall my practice, and see how it may have affected me. I believe this product, whether its a sticker or some “Magical Unicorn Technology”, is worth the 30$ to those who have the kind of money to make them just a little better.

  19. on 06 Nov 2010 at 12:25Aaron

    Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years and is very difficult to prove scientifically yet millions of people use it. Is it really hard to beleive that they have been able to put these remodies into a band you can wear on your wrist? If the band only works on a placebo affect then doesn’t that mean it works? If the band helps peoples self asteem and makes them feel more positive then I think $60 is a small price to pay when people spend thousand of dollars on councelling ang psychiatry to get the same result. When the band is reffered to as increasing strength, it is not going to make you into superman because it works on core strength. People have been studying yoga and tai chi for thousands of years to help increase their core strength, why can’t people use a band on their wrist to beleive in to increase their core strength. As a user of the band I play alot of sport (mainly ice hockey) and I find that my centre of gravity is improved giving me better balance and control of my stance. If I feel the effects then I say it works. I have tested the band on other people and most but not all have felt an increase in balance. I am no expert on this but I will pose one theory. I feel that if a person has good core strength and balance then they may not feel the effects as dramatically as some who has poor core strength and balance. Why do people have to shoot these types of products down because they do not beleive in them. If the bands help one person because of science or placebo effect then that person is better of in my eyes. To many people rant on just to have a say (probably upset that they did not think of it themselves).

  20. on 09 Nov 2010 at 00:26vin

    My brother did the tests on me. I had never heard of these things before and he didn’t tell me what they were supposed to do. He just said “let me show you something”. I was like “Ok?” So he goes though these tests with me (remember he never said anything about what they were supposed to do). He says to stretch like this and like that, to try and keep from falling over when he put weight on my out-stretched arm. When it was all said and done, I had found that I was able to control my balance better and stretch farther. How can this be a placebo if I didn’t know what it was supposed to do? I come at everything like this as a complete skeptic, so believe me when I say there is something about these things.

  21. on 10 Nov 2010 at 17:50cc

    i think it works and i also think it looks pretty stylish… however, i wouldn’t buy it for $60! that’s why i got mine on amazon.com for $5.. i think that’s a more reasonable price for the band.

  22. on 13 Nov 2010 at 05:52akstephens

    The “tests” used by the very charismatic salesmen of scams such as the power balance bracelet are called applied kinesiology, which uses basic physics to fool people into thinking a particular product is improving their strength, flexibility and balance. I had someone at a fair once try to sell me shoe inserts using the same technique. Boy were they frustrated to find out I was hip to their scheme.

    Check out the link for a good video showing how applied kinesiology works.

  23. on 27 Nov 2010 at 01:18nvr2old

    AGREE COMPLETELY…I AM A PHYSICIAN AND THESE PRODUCTS SHOULD BE BANNED ENTIRELY FOR MAKING FALSE MEDICAL CLAIMS…WANT TO BUY A PLASTIC WRISTBAND WHOSE PROFITS AT LEAST ATTEMPT TO DO SOME GOOD THEN LOOK AT LIVESTRONG OR OTHERS LIKE IT…AT LEAST YOU’LL FEEL BETTER KNOWING YOU TRIED TO CONTRIBUTE TO A WORTHY CAUSE INSTEAD OF FILLING SOME ” UNEHTICAL ENTREPENEURS” BANK ACCOUNT

  24. on 27 Nov 2010 at 14:16Leon

    To all,
    I have found in my humbled opinion, if we are going to banned these type of products because their false medical claims, then we should banned must of our medications and Physician as well. Not base on assumptions, must of our prescriptions does actually less than these bracelet, and also add another side effects that can harm our body even more, like: Penicillin, insulin, lipitor, chemotherapy only to name some. Moreover what could be more unethical than a doctor that take an Oh on helping others and failed them by rendered extra expensive unnecessary treatment with no return of investment.

    To all please remember, Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.) the father of modern medicine cote:
    “Let thy Food by our Medicine”

  25. on 30 Nov 2010 at 17:52Aumdainae

    I guess the magnetic bracelets wore out their powers and we are on to Newer Age technology. Cheaper production = Bigger profits.

  26. on 02 Dec 2010 at 12:34Noneya

    I was a total skeptic and today at the mall I wanted to try the bracelet to see if it really worked. I thought it was all in my head and when I did the test, I was amazed. I have pretty good balance on my own and I’m pretty strong as well. I had my eyes closed so I had no idea when the bracelet was around me and when it wasn’t. She did a number of tests and when the bracelet was within 2″ of my body, the results were astounding. It’s NOT a scam. It works and I bought a few of them

  27. on 02 Dec 2010 at 14:44bullsheister not

    I, too, tried the tests and they worked. Explain scientifically why my big fat body is more flexible with it than without. You cant you talk psycho-babble bullshit when this thing works. And the doctor overhead, you are a pure hypocrite, selling your medicines and remedies which cause more harm than good (read the side effects) and make mis diagnosis of problems people have to make a buck. I still say treating cancer is bull crap and that those who are treated dont live longer than those who aren’t. Being a physician don’t make you the final word, especially when I don’t trust doctors at all. Cancer and illness is a money making business that is running this country. Right up to the fact that the government sees how much money it makes and is now getting involved in the lucrative business. I tried it, it worked. Bottom line…

  28. on 02 Dec 2010 at 14:48bullsheister not

    Also, do your research on the FDA that wants to control everything you do, eat, medications you take, etc. They are a money making business too and they are making tons of it. How many of you know that the FDA has put a moritorium on new medicines? There are no new medicines being created or developed so any money donated to medical science for the research or development of new treatments is throwing it away. All they’re doing in these days and times is finding new uses for all the medications we currently have. New, no. Scam, yes. Go to the doctor and see if his rememdies work and how much he charges you whether they work or not. He’s gonna get his. Ask your insurance companies how much they spend every year on doctors…

  29. on 02 Dec 2010 at 16:48Nathan

    bullsheister not:
    You’re saying stretching works, not powerbalance.

    Try this test: get a post it note and put it as high up the wall as you can in one reach, keeping feet on the ground. Then get another one and do the same: funnily enough you’ll get it higher than the first time.
    Exact same thing with twisting around.. Notice that they’ll never get you to do the test with the power balance FIRST. What you’re doing really is simply doing a stretch. You know, as in the action that stretches your tendons/muscles out before/after exercise? Difference is this time you’re paying attention to your reach and giving credit to a rubber band with a sticker.

    Here’s an exercise: Try doing the stretch test from cold with the powerbalance in your hand. Wait a few seconds, drop the power balance and then see if you get any further.. WOW, I just proved that you are MORE flexible without powerbalance.. Want to blow your mind: get someone to hand you a mobile phone and see if you can stretch further: WOW – a mobile phone in your hand makes you a little bit more flexible than with nothing and power balance is worse than both “nothing” and a mobile phone. Of course the biggest difference is first up, but should still work.

    Now, onto your ridiculous stance on medicines: “cause more harm than good (read the side effects)”. You do realise that the list of POSSIBLE side effects for medicine is the aggregate total of all possible outcomes, even those which are incredibly unlikely. Also: you’ve grown up in a golden age of vaccinations and anti-biotics.. Talk to people who remember polio/iron lungs etc and you wouldn’t be saying polio vaccines do more harm than good. Or amputees saved by antibiotics. I’d say talk to the people who didn’t have anti-biotics and got a bad infection but they’d be long dead, but tour the poorer nations who can’t afford such things and you’ll see the consequences of poor medical care (relying on witch doctor remedies, “natural” stuff etc).
    I’m not from the USA, so unless you’re suggesting that your conspiracy theory extends to the TGA (theraputic Goods Administration) in Australia as well as all the various european ones.. and if so: how’s that aluminium hat going on keeping out the mind reading devices and other conspiracy theories.

    Treating cancer is crap? Oh really, I’m sure the people who have made a recovery will be glad to know that the cancer treatment placebo (which you seem to find ok with powerbalance) worked anyhow and seems to magically work in double blind scientific tests (some sort of “super placebo”?).

    I can see how someone from the USA without proper public healthcare can be distrustful of the medical industry: but that’s just because you fools think it should be primarily a money making/rich people only type service rather than (as in Europe/Australia/Canada etc) a matter of basic human right to healthcare/treatment/freedom from pain. Want it to change: stop voting for scumbag republicans and people who place money above wellbeing of citizens.

    Anyhow, if you are so confident it works, I’ve got $1000 that says it doesn’t in any sort of proper test. You win: keep the cash/donate it to charity/whatever, I win: I take your cash and give it to a charity.. So all I’m doing is risking my cash for no benefit, that’s how sure I am.

  30. on 02 Dec 2010 at 16:50Nathan

    Noneya: It is a scam, check out
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRIRRL1Vz50
    or

  31. on 03 Dec 2010 at 13:15bullsheister not

    Nathan, I am saying that I did the test and the powerband worked. I did several of the tests and did better with the powerband than without. I wasn’t sold till I made the guy doing the test close his eyes while he was giving it. I dropped the band and as I fell, he opened his eyes stunned wondering what happened and when he saw the powerband had been dropped he realized why I fell. No money to lose from me.

  32. on 03 Dec 2010 at 14:07Nathan

    You are not doing proper tests if you know that you have the thing. Look up “double blind test” for why it is important that no one involved in the test knows it..
    I’m sure you did several tests, they would have done the twist stretch one, the outstretched arm one, the cup your hand thing.. It’s a scam mate, and you fell for it. Power balance has admitted it is telling fibs right after winning a shonky award from Choice for being such a scam product.. The TGA (Australia’s therapeutic goods administration body) has banned it from making claims about the sort of improvements you talk of here:
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/power-balance-gets-a-wrist-slap-20101120-181z2.html
    From the article:
    >”The complaints panel found Power Balance should not have published an advertisement for the wristbands on its website ”which unlawfully made claims … about the body’s ‘electric balance’ and improving ‘synaptic response’, brain function, muscle response, stamina, oxygen uptake, recovery, flexibility and ‘gravitational balance’ ”.
    >The panel said Power Balance ”provided no evidence to support any of the claims … and no indication that such evidence exists”.
    >In response, Power Balance acknowledged it had breached the code. ”Since the time of the complaint, the relevant claims had been removed from the website,” the company said.”

    But if you’re convinced it works: $1000 bucks from me says it doesn’t perform any better than a(nother) placebo. E.g. at TAM recently they were giving away or selling “Placebo bands”. Cost to manufacture = <$2 and they give any small profit to charity.. I reckon they work just as well as powerbalance and cost nothing in comparison.
    I’d really urge you to approach such wild claims and dubious products with more skepticism as they ARE a scam (power balance admits it made false claims and has no evidence to back up anything.. clinging to a 30 day money back guarantee as the sole reason it isn’t a scam).

    For this particular product you just lose a bunch of cash and look silly wearing one.. For other products (e.g. homoeopathic treatments, quack cancer “cures” etc ) which people do not investigate properly or fall for scam merchant tricks : they can end up suffering the consequences.

  33. on 04 Dec 2010 at 09:50Carlos Loayzab

    I bought this product today…this beautiful girl approached me in the mall and told me if I suffer from any problems…I was just there to buy a new Ipod and leave..I was not interested in anything else. I always ignore all these “sales people” who will tell you anything to sell you something. I was a salesman for 5 years so I know. I’ll be honest I really just decided to do this dumb test cause she was a pretty girl. guilty as charge. I told her listen, I am a personal trainer and now nothing can improve your strength, flexibility, and stamina but exercise. I decided to be silly and make a sure deal so I could prove this dumb product useless and get something out of it.

    I told her “ok but if I pass this test, then you have to give me your number” She agreed and said “oh I ‘m pretty sure you’ll feel a difference, so I have nothing to worry about it”. When she made me do the silly pose and was about to push down on my arm, I told her no no not you…I know you guys have a unique angle to disbalance me easier, so I picked a random person passing by and asked her to do it for me. He did…and holy crap..I failed so bad..I mean it wasn’t even close. I tried so hard to keep my balance when I didn’t have that bracelet, I really wanted that number but I failed and I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t end up buying it in the end cause I spent all my money on my ipod touch and I’m not saying it works or not, but personally I def felt a difference..there’s my story..I hope that helps

  34. on 04 Dec 2010 at 09:52Carlos Loayzab

    I meant I wanted to buy this product today..sorry

  35. on 11 Dec 2010 at 10:14Nathan

    Just removed some spam from another scam company selling holograms (in addition to all the powerbalance spam.. but this one got through): Company is called 8ight and makes some claims about the number 8 having magic powers, particularly if burnt onto a rubber band apparently.. Or hologram-ified or some such rubbish. Didn’t quite explain how the same ability couldn’t be achieved by writing the letter 8 on a rubber band.. but hey..

  36. on 15 Dec 2010 at 08:04Fatman

    I am a Canadian Chiropractor, and I do not sale nor endorse any products in my office. I always have patients coming to me showing products that will enhance health. Hard for some to believe as a Chiro that I am skeptical by nature and always question claims made by any product or treatment procedure. I never discourage those patients but I never allow myself to be involved in these things.
    One issue I have is about the testing, lets be clear here, the tests are at best functional testing (and a crude various) not Applied Kinesiology (AK). AK is a diagnostic tool that was developed in the Chiropractic profession and utilizes a very refined and specific form of muscle testing. Appropriate muscle testing is the ability to isolate the muscle and be able to interpret the response. It takes years to master the skill (not some one selling a product in the mall). So to those (especially Richard Saunders) do not describe the test as AK.

  37. on 15 Dec 2010 at 15:51someone

    I dislocated my shoulder and i just got it out of the sling and a buddy of mine told me to do the felxability test in my arm. He never told me what it was or what it did but it made my arm not hurt as much and it had about 1 foot more flexability then with out it. And i did the test with fake bands with my eyes closed and the only time i had more flexability was with the real powerbalance. I did notice a energy rush it seamed like for about 3 days then it kind have wears off and seen no efect after a few days. I have one now but only wear it when my shoulder is really hurting and it seams to help for a day or so then nothing.

  38. on 18 Dec 2010 at 13:01Utter fraud

    The Power Balance band and all others like it are utterly fraudulent.
    Having said that, it someone os so retarded as to believe that the laws of gravity and physics are somehow altered simply by a rubber band, then they fully deserve to have their wallet lightened by $60.
    I would sell this snake oil too, but my conscience doesn’t let me rob people

  39. on 18 Dec 2010 at 13:09Utter fraud

    To those people who claim benefits: what you are experiencing is the placebo effect where feelings of non-specific general well-being happen because the person concerned simply believes it is so.
    I could put a box of matches in your pocket and it would have the same effect.
    If you have already bought one, and you insist that they work, then, most likely, there is cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias happening (look these up if you don’t know what these are).
    People who know and appreciate real science laugh heartily at those who actually buy this snake oil.
    Then again, it falls to real scientists to protect the general public against fraudsters like Power Balance.
    Some of us actually have a conscience.

  40. on 22 Dec 2010 at 11:17someone

    How do you explain it when u dont tell people what it does and it works and in my case it made my arm feel better when i started to move it again from being dislocated. Im not lying or trying to encourage any one to buy one cuz it only worked for about a week or so and then i felt no effects anymore.

  41. on 22 Dec 2010 at 22:35THE BEST

    Hey I’ve tryed the power band I actually got 1 for free..and honestly its garbage it works because people think its suppose to work..I work at a kiosk and the sales men use to tell me it was a scam..so there you go!

  42. [...] may have read my earlier two posts on Power balance: the first on Fake powerband scam? Power balance is Snake oil in bracelet form and the second on How to spot a fake power balance bracelet. Powerbalance [...]

  43. on 23 Dec 2010 at 23:11Nathan

    Hey everyone who had a go at me, reckon you should apologise like Powerbalance have for selling a scam product?

    http://nathan-lee.com/blog/2010/12/23/power-balance-admits-misleading-and-deceptive-conduct/

    Still happy to have the $5000 challenge..
    So let’s see who thinks powerbalance is a scam:
    * Nathan Lee
    * Anyone with half a brain
    * Power balance itself

    So join the crowd, it’s ok.. They’re offering to buy them back in Australia. I’d say that’s a win for Australia just quietly if Australia is the only place in the world to call these scam merchants out for being a scam.

  44. on 24 Dec 2010 at 02:54Firm Believer

    I was a skeptic, but after purchasing one from Amazon I am now a convert for the following reasons:

    * The band was delivered to my door by Bristol Palin. And she was wearing a bikini. In frikken December.
    * I lost 30 pounds of weight the instant I put the band on my arm.
    * On my drive to work the next morning I discovered that my car was hovering 10 feet in the air, thus allowing me to avoid sitting in traffic.
    * The other day I accidentally tore the band. Not only did the band self-repair, but *another* band appeared out of thin air next to it, and I also automatically received a refund on my credit card for the full purchase price.

    I can’t wait to see what other improvements this band will bring to my life.

    To all those doubters out there – just try it – you’ll be amazed.

  45. on 24 Dec 2010 at 12:36Steve

    I would urge all people who bought Power Balance products in Australia to NOT take up the (enforced) offer of a refund by Power Balance Australia.

    This is important, because if you return your rubber bands the rest of us then will find it harder to tell the idiots from ordinary folk…

  46. on 26 Dec 2010 at 11:47John

    Ok….so…..???

    I agree that these are fake, but expected some kind of research or expert opinion on the matter. Guess not.

  47. on 30 Dec 2010 at 08:17Dave Mazz

    What I found that was amazing was that so-many people swear that the Power Balance bracelets actually “helped” them. If it’s “mind over matter”, that’s not saying too much for the abilities of the average user’s mind. In a way it reminds me of the old joke concerning the test of a new wonder drug.

    “Gentlemen” the researcher reported, “I have to tell you that in our tests, the placebo had much better results than our new drug!!”

    “Great” said the CEO “We’ll start marketing the placebo!!….”

  48. on 02 Jan 2011 at 14:43a wise man

    THE PLACEBO EFFECT IS TO OVERATED IF YOU HAD AN UNCUREABLE SICKNESS LIKE CANCER AND A DOCTER GAVE YOU A CUP OF SOUP AND SAID YOU WOULD CURED WOULD YOU BE CURED. THE ANSWER IS NO JUST THINK ABOUT IT THE POWER BALENCE IS THE SAME STORY

  49. on 03 Jan 2011 at 21:51Anon

    I’m looking at this and it seems quite similar to a new product that has been released in Chilliwack, British Columbia called Edge Advantage. It looks 100% EXACTLY like those bracelets.

  50. on 04 Jan 2011 at 17:53Hannalee

    Thank goodness I haven’t bought one. I have a friend who claims he has been sleeping like a log for the first time in a year since wearing this. Now my question is – do I “enlighten” him – would be a shame if he would go back to experiencing insomnia because I burst his bubble!

  51. on 05 Jan 2011 at 05:44Koowan

    Wow. It never ceases to amaze me how gullible and easily scammed human beings can be. Nathan, I really appreciate your comments in this post, especially those that point out the inherent con-job of the “tests” that convince people to buy this junk.

    I’m especially bothered by the high number of people here who believe it should be ok to sell a product that makes fraudulent claims if the buyer simply believes the product works. They seem to be forgetting that their perception that the product works is NOT because of “the placebo effect” — it is because they have been actively conned by the methods used in the sales pitch. Magicians rely on the same ability to fool people, but at least they do it for entertainment and do not pretend there is anything “real” about the magic they perform. The promoters of this product, on the other hand, are stealing from the public by fooling them into believing it improves their health when, in fact, their perception of improved health comes from the methods used to scam them, not from the actual product.

    Con artists are con artists no matter what they are trying to sell. It’s just incredibly sad that so many people who have been fooled and scammed by con artists aggressively defend the scam because they can’t even see that they have been conned!

    Amazing.

  52. on 06 Jan 2011 at 06:44PBCA

    A class action was filed yesterday in Southern California against Power Balance… alleging unfair trade practices and false advertising (go see http://www.powerbalanceclassaction.com).

  53. on 07 Jan 2011 at 00:35Greg

    My name is Greg Blankinship, and I am a lawyer investigating potential false advertising claims in connection with the Power Bracelet. If you purchased a Power Bracelet and would like to discuss your legal options, please contact me:

    gblankinship@mdpcelaw.com
    Meiselman, Denlea, Packman, Carton & Eberz, P.C.
    1311 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains, NY 06831
    914-517-5000
    Attorney Advertising

  54. on 07 Jan 2011 at 02:41Marcia

    OMG Now we got the lawyers in ….! how typical, snake oil salesmen indeed.

    I just bought 1 for not a lot of money and as a health practitioner understand a little bit about the electromagnetic nature of the human body. I would expect anything of a magnetic nature to alter patterns of EM fields so am testing it over a month as I exercise, sleep etc to see if there is any difference. As with everything, don’t knock it until you have tried it. Lots of you are the same people who will willingly accept drugs, swine flu injections etc into your systems yearly because they are recommen ded by the medical fraternity and big pharma companies, despite the documented research of their dangers to health (and by the way, don’t ask me to waste my time proving it; google it; just like you did to find this site.

    Ignorance is NOT a virtue …. not is blind faith and belief …

    Marcia

  55. on 07 Jan 2011 at 02:43Ed

    Marcia I agree with most of your points. Why not drop by with your findings in a months time.

  56. on 07 Jan 2011 at 07:51Zentropist

    It only goes to show how the power of Belief can triumph over rational, critical thinking. A simple rubber trinket stamped out in a 3rd world sweatshop, no matter how “mystical” or “energetically charged” it may claim to be, will not magically transform the wearer and grant abilities which weren’t present to begin with. Proper mindset can and does give an edge in athletic competition and other human endeavors, but if you don’t have the underlying fundamentals, you won’t gain superhuman or preternatural abilities…

    http://zentropist.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/what-power-balance-bracelets-teach-us-about-belief/

  57. on 11 Jan 2011 at 00:14Marz

    Lets face one thing. It’s placebo effect is endless. If you chose to believe that the item assists in something, wheather meta-physical (like a reminder to live healthily, or have a better relationship with your God, or learning to be more patient, to learn be on time, confidence levels) or Physical ( run faster, have better balance and inner strength, play better beach volleyball.), at the end of the day the subconcious mind is a very powerful thing.
    We can achieve anything in life if positively reminded. The POWERBALANCE bracelette is just but one tool a person can use to achieve these things.
    If I personally get more value from the bracelette than what it claims to be possible for, what stops any person, athlete or otherwise, to benefit from it in their own personal way. (Placebo or otherwise.)
    So if you have a POWERBALANCE bracelette, and claim that it does nothing for you, try using it in another way. I mean you bought it, it’s comfortable to wear, and looks nice too. You may just as well make use of it in a way that no one else have ever thought of. Think outside the box people!

    As for the false advertising that it actually releases energy of some kind, can be debated and pursued.

  58. on 13 Jan 2011 at 19:15steve

    Hi Nathan It seems the world is finally waking up to this joke Australia is first at the post it also appears that spain and italy has fined power balance.

  59. on 14 Jan 2011 at 06:23steve

    Marz, Do you work for power balance? This is ABOUT LYING to people,its about being deceitful using old universal neuromuscular TRICKS. It all started in a fair ground. It actually DID with, I must admit, a very cunningly structured marketing plan to make millions, from people like you. Please wake up Marz and all other believers.

  60. on 18 Jan 2011 at 12:20Power Balance Bracelets

    I’m looking at this and it seems quite similar to a new product that has been released in Chilliwack, British Columbia called Edge Advantage. It looks 100% EXACTLY like those bracelets.

  61. on 11 Feb 2011 at 11:16one smart cookie(who is 13)

    Well in the video .. they show the person running the blind tests pulling down on the person.. And well any time someone pulls on you bracelet or not you will fall over. For a test, the person running tese tests should have had the volenteer do the tree (yoga) pose with out the bracelet then with the bracelet on. The tree pose makes you balence on one leg which could determine weater or not the bracelet works or not.

  62. on 11 Feb 2011 at 11:18one smart cookie(who is 13)

    And with the natural energy field it means the natural flow
    of energy that runs throughout the body

  63. on 11 Feb 2011 at 11:19one smart cookie(who is 13)

    And even if there is a scam , if someone does not know that,
    and it boosts their confidence, that is a MAJOR plus!!

  64. on 11 Feb 2011 at 15:47Nathan

    “one smart cookie” – So natural energy field is blood?

  65. on 15 Feb 2011 at 15:00kenneth

    …people who these bands are a scam are worth less and annoy the crap outta me if u don’t wanna buy one and don’t wanna give me two min to show ur ignorante a$$ how it works then don’t waste my time tell me “o they don’t work there a scam” if u wernt ao cheap mabe u could afford a real one… I hate ignorant people….. they work and they work good.. I sold over 6000 of these bands.. and mabe .02 percent come back with problems

  66. on 15 Feb 2011 at 15:04kenneth

    Any body who dosent believe in these bands are worthless anyway… ur just mad cuz u can’t afford one…

  67. on 25 Feb 2011 at 12:00Marco Lam

    The tests used to test the powerbands are the same ones on scamschool!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are complete and total BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoever made those pices of crap have to be sued.

  68. on 03 Mar 2011 at 06:11wassup

    ahahahahahahhaaaaaa…. so freakin’ sad but so human!

    every decade or so some snake-oil bs is masterly marketed and sold to millions. the more you charge and the more the suckers will rationalize their choice and try to get you in too. psychology 101: consistency/commitment is built in our genetic code and, while it served us well as a species, it can also make some do/accept the weirdest most unreasonable things.

    all this bracelet is making you is just a little dummer! in this age of information, that is a crime. just read up and research a little before blindly giving your trust.

  69. on 25 Mar 2011 at 01:22Mike C.

    Wow! That Nathan really is a 1st class sucker! I guess he has to justify the money he threw out on a cheap rubber band with a hologram. So the plecebo effect is in full force with him. LOL at Nathan! I remember the first time I started see them on TV here in the USA. Only its called “iRenew”. They still advertise them. You are a real sucker to buy one. They show the “before and after” effect video side by side in the commercial. You can see how the people are being pulled on two different ways. “Before” he pulls down and away from behind. “After” he just pulls straight down. What a SCAM!

  70. on 25 Mar 2011 at 04:18Mike C.

    Correction: I meant Jesse is the 1st class sucker, NOT Nathan. I scrolled down so far I mixed up the names. Sorry Nathan.

  71. on 23 Apr 2011 at 18:14ARO

    Hi All,
    I don’t believe in this PB scam too but tried some things else that this PB had supposed to be mimicking because I do not wish to loose much of my$ like the rest of the fools. I did get some improvement.
    My sincere comment regarding this PB thing.
    1. In a week, I felt a little needles and pin in my palm. Like something is vibrating it. It got lesser by a month. By then, I have bought and wearing one of the PB. oops!!!. But I need to confirm.
    2. I do feel more healthy and energetic. Just don’t know how long it will last.
    3. I do not feel tired easily now.Muscle strain gone within 2 days after strenuous exercise.
    Well, placebo or not,I am not taking this off!!!.
    I was trying to find answer on how this could happen just by wearing this bracelet because I want to recommend to my skeptic friends until I stumble on this page.
    My recommendation. Use one PB bracelet for a week and go bowling yourself. Do it again after 1 or 2 weeks. Try to deliver the bowling ball as accurately as you can. Don’t worry about the score just try to place the ball to your target accurately. You need to auto balance your body to deliver accurately.Compare to your own capability before and after.
    I am 48 and I was surprised. You go judge it yourself.
    –OUT–Gone bowlin’..

  72. on 25 Oct 2011 at 13:07Jamie

    I came across an online deal that left me able to get the bracelet for free, so I “purchased” one and received it today. I have horrible pain in my back, knees and hands all the time and within seconds of putting this bracelet on, it was pretty much non existent. Just a little bit ago, I decided to stretch to see if it hurt my legs and back and when I bent over, I could touch the floor without bending my knees! That hasn’t happened in at least 10 years! Being able to do that is definitely NOT in my head and am an advocate for these bracelets. Like I said, I got mine for free and the actual price was around $35 not $60, but I would gladly pay the cost for being virtually pain free! Just my two cents on the whole thing. Thanks for listening.

  73. on 21 Dec 2011 at 05:45Dylan Dayle

    this doesnt help at all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. on 13 May 2012 at 15:56Ali

    Unfortunately, I fell for this scam even after very thorough thinking at the shop. Luckily, I kept the box and receipt so I can get a refund and if not availble, an exchange. The salesman did the tests on me several times and I got fooled buy them even though I sensed some kind of scam. I actually though it was very expensive but still bought it. When I was only in the car on my way back home, I looked this up but struggled to find websites which stated this is a scam but thanks to this website, I got all the information and valid arguments that proved this is a scam. The salesman said that there was a similar product which was a scam, and I believe he was talking about this, that the government took away from the market after finding out it was a scam but fooled me in believing that this one is real and said it is made by the best company or whatever called “eight”. It cost me 175 UAE dirhams (I am from Dubai) which is about US$48. The guy even told me that the UAE national football team wear this band. I feel weak after being fooled by this silly scam.

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