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JANUARY 31, 2009   

As seen on TV

You'd think we'd know better, yet the appeal of TV infomercials seems unstoppable. I've watched quite a few myself during those late-night moments when there are regular commercials on all the other channels. As I surf around I find myself sucked in by the enthusiastic hosts and their cheering audiences.

Lens Dr. adA few years ago I bought a paint roller with twin heads and a split paint tray that lets you roll on a two-color faux finish. Surprisingly it worked pretty much as shown. I painted two big rooms with it and felt like it was worth the $25.

More recently I was tempted by the Lens Doctor, a product that claims to fix scratches in eyeglasses. Since my glasses were badly scratched, a $15 repair kit seemed like a good deal compared to new glasses.

Fortunately I got a little suspicious before calling the number on my screen and never ordered a Lens Dr Scratch Repair Kit of my own. In case you ever hear the siren lure of this—or any other—infomercial, here are a couple of websites that may save you a few bucks and hours of frustration.

InfomercialRatings.com: 30 reviews rate Lens Dr 1.5 stars out of 5. Typical comment:

It does not work. It is a waste of your money and time. This product should be discontinued. It's a rip-off.

Infomercial Scams.com: 61 complaints, 2 defenses. Typical comment:

I followed the directions carefully and the Lens Dr. not only didn't fill in the minor scratches, but it formed a cloudy haze over the entire two lenses...ergo glasses are ruined! The product is a ripoff!

These websites look to be as useful for checking the infomercial claims as Snopes.com is for finding out about email scams. I expect to be visiting them frequently, probably late at night.

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