Tuesday, 23 November 2010

£365 excluding VAT

I have poor eyesight. Not only do I have double vision but I have always been very short-sighted. (Though not in the sense of having no fore-sight, I hope.) I recently got a couple more pairs of glasses and in the process discovered that he DHSS kindly gave me £10 off the cost because of my 'disabilty'. The fact that am 'Blind' has, in the process, somehow been made known to the commercial world – presumably either by the optician (naughty) or the DHSS (naughtier still). I know this because I just received a letter with the envelope labelled 'Articles for the Blind'. Fortunately I am not over-sensitive or I might have been a bit upset by this.

The reason for telling you all this is to share with you the contents of the letter. It was an advertisement for the eMAG 43 produced by Optima – 'the low vision experts'. The cost is 365 excluding VAT and with it you get a free Naturalight lamp and (or if you read the smaller print OR!) something that looks like a pair of stereoscopic glasses and simply says 'see Tv'. The eMAG 43 is powerful, lightweight and compact, has a large display and remains so unobtrusive it can easily slip into a pocket or handbag. You can use it flat or fold out the convenient handle. It has just four simple buttons:- on/off; five colour modes; magnification; and snapshot.

By now, hopefully, you will have had exactly the same the reaction as did both Jo and I when we read this. Fine, but "What is it???" We looked again at the advert sheet; we looked again at the order form. There is nothing on it that tells you!

I could be really cruel and end this posting here but I shall be kind and share with you what we discovered when we fed eMAG43 into Google. There are pages about oil field technology and air hockey – neither of which seem particularly relevant. Eventually I found a You-Tube video from an optician (in German which is not exactly my strong point). It seems that Optima are hoping I will send them a cheque for £365 (excluding VAT) for a magnifying glass. I think not – try some other sucker. I may be blind but I can still see through a scam!


  1. It's encouraging that a magnifying glass has a magnification mode but what in heaven's name is a snapshot mode. I thought that is what cameras are for.

  2. Dear me, they really must be out of their greedy minds!
    When I read the name "eMag", a magnifier was the first thing I thought of.
    I am German, so let me translate the advert for you:
    "In spite of your limitations, be stylish and safe in your everyday life.
    The quick help on the go - anytime, anywhere."
    Could be fun to reply to that letter, actually; asking them where they got the info from that you are "blind" and also asking them if they themselves would be prepared to fork out 365 quid for a magnifier...

  3. Perhaps I could have had use for one the other day... See my blog post today. (At that price, though, I'm doubtful...)


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