I try to pride myself for never jumping on bandwagons. I always study the facts, research the opposition, and blindly follow no one. Well, most of the time. Today, one of my questionable choices was found to be a clear bad choice. I fell sucker to the Power Balance bracelet bandwagon and today the fraudulent company looks forward to possible bankruptcy after today’s settlement ruling.
Power Balance is a California-based company co-owed by brothers Josh and Troy Rodarmel. The company produced silicone jewelery that featured a polyester film hologram that was said to “enhance the body’s natural energy” and promote balance. The entire design was supposed to mimic Eastern philosophies. The bracelets cost about $30 and the other pieces were more expensive.
The popularity of the company boomed. From pro athletes like Shaquille O’Neal to celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Power Balance bracelets were being spotted everywhere. Despite the popularity, the effectiveness was often questioned until finally a federal lawsuit was filed in January 2011. Disappointed customers claimed that the products contained none of the properties it claimed. The suit caused the brothers to release a statement retracting their previous claims of their product.
“In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologise and offer a full refund.”
Even with the refund offer, it’s reported that today the courts ruled on a $57 million settlement total. It’s further reported and speculated that the company will have to shut its doors and declare bankruptcy.
Even though I learned months ago that the bracelet I wore was doing no more than collecting sweat around my wrist, today’s news makes me feel all the more sheepish. I should have checked the facts, always check the facts!