Judge rules Q-Ray bracelets are bullshit. Orders company to refund money.

It always does my heart good to see purveyors of craptastic products get what’s coming to them. In this case it was the makers of that idiotic health bracelet known as the Q-Ray which I first wrote about in 2003. Seems U.S. District Judge Morton Denlow has ruled against QT Inc. of Mount Prospect, Illinois for selling a product with bogus medical claims:

The ruling supported a 3-year-old complaint by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and rejected the defense’s theory that if people believed they were helped by the product, why not advertise?

Before the ruling, the company’s attorney said half the buyers of the C-shaped bracelet with screwed-on caps on each end claimed to get relief from pain and more than half bought it for someone else, while one in four sought a refund. Among the wearers were professional athletes, the lawyer said.

“With the Q-Ray bracelet, if defendants had represented that the bracelet possessed no pain-relieving properties but was simply an interesting piece of wrist jewelry, there would be no placebo effect,” Denlow wrote in his ruling.

Widely advertised in televised infomercials and on the Web since 2000, the pain-relieving qualities of Q-Ray bracelets were more fiction than scientific fact, Denlow ruled. He cited a Mayo Clinic study that showed the placebo effect was at work. The placebo effect is where a treatment with no medical benefits makes patients feel better because they believe it will help.

According to the news items the judge has order the company to refund more than “100,000 buyers of the bracelets—priced up to $249.95—and forfeit profits of $22.6 million earned between 2000 and 2003.” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt! But maybe they can just put on a couple dozen of their own bracelets to help ease the pain.

Score one for rationality.

10 thoughts on “Judge rules Q-Ray bracelets are bullshit. Orders company to refund money.

  1. Im not sure I agree with this. I mean dont homeopaths advertise their products and services? What about astrologers, psychics, palmists, graphologists and polygraph operaters? Televangelists?
    Dont get me wrong, I agree its bullshit but what about free enterprise? Those people made an uncoerced descision to buy the stupid bracelet and they should accept the consequences of their choices.
    Just my $.02

  2. Les: … profits of $22.6 million …

    I just remembered this Urban Legend as a possible way out.  LOL
    When was the last time someone sued a xian church coz his prayers weren’t anwered?  wink

  3. I’d split the difference between JulianP’s comments and the judge. Bigger fine, no refunds. It’s not the job of the courts to protect people from their own stupidity. The company knowingly and with foresight misrepresented their product.

    Also, the numbers don’t add up. More than 100K buyers, $250 peak price, $22.6M profit? Particularly given advertising costs and what seems to be a 25% refund rate. “More than” 100K buyers would have to be a misleading understatement… as in Ford sold more than 150 trucks last year.

  4. Q-Ray bracelets need to be experienced the way I just did, to be fully appreciated.

    Go to their website and watch their TV commercial. Make sure your sound is OFF, so you are just watching the images.

    Really gives you an idea of the real value of the bracelets.

  5. JethricOne: Go to their website and watch their TV commercial.

    I did and there was nothing there.
    I guess I got the joke. wink

  6. I wore those fukin bracelets a whole 20 days and decided it was baloney. It actually itched my skin!

    Hell, they claim it’s hypoallergenic! Even on that score they LIED!

  7. Qray is back. Now hawking their crap via a Canadian website. Same bullshit meaningless explanation of how it channels your positive energy, backed by Terms & Conditions that say they are impossible to sue and their claims are unprovable. You only get a refund by returning purchase in original packaging with original invoice, but you do not get back your “shipping & handling”. Same old crap, different website.

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