If you read the Sunday Times, you saw it. It's there again today and in papers all over the USA. A full page advert for an electric fireplace made by picturesque Amish people that's actually being given away free in pairs to lucky entrants. It looked like something out of an earlier time when you'd think people were gullible enough to believe all this hokum. Because it's a recession, does this mean we're dumb as well? So what's going on here?.....
Hey, this is a great pitch!
"These miracle fireplaces have what's being called the "Fireless Flame" technology that gives you the peaceful flicker of a real fire but without any flames, fumes, smells, ashes or mess. Everyone is getting them because they require no chimney and no vent. You just plug them in." (our emphasis)
Dig a little deeper and it seems that it's a weird combination of a few things:
1. An electric fireplace designed by an "engineering genius from the China coast" called the Heat Surge Roll-n-Glow electric fireplace
"The HEAT SURGE miracle heater is a work of engineering genius from the China coast, so advanced you simply plug it into any standard wall outlet. It uses about as much energy to run, as some coffee makers. Yet, it produces an amazing 5,110 BTU's."
2. Wood mantles made by the Amish who, ironically, don't use anything electric:
Real Amish Craftsmanship goes into each mantle The Amish take extraordinary pride in their innate craftsmanship ability. That's why each and every Roll-n-Glow mantle is specially crafted to last forever.
3. A sly pitch that offers to give you a heater for free if you buy an Amish mantle, but this is only viewable in the paper.
Dig a little deeper, you can find all sorts of people talking about this and the shadier it gets:
"This is extremely shady. Anything that uses electricity to produce heat consumes alot of electricity. Your coffee maker actually DOES consume alot of electricity even though it’s small."
>> Heat Surge fireplace - what’s up with that? - 532 comments.
"...So I used that figure, took the new firgure on my meter and found out that I (in 10 days) more than doubled my normal electric bill that I would have had FOR A WHOLE MONTH.
I was never so upset in my whole life. I called and told them and was told that it only uses 12cents per day. I told them they better look at their figures more closely. I do not want it and will return them."
>> Heat Surge Fireless Flame Fireplaces Complaint - 100+ comments
"This ad has run at least twice in our local paper as well. The "48 hour order deadline" and other hurry-up restrictions mentioned in the ad are obviously lies."
>> Amish Build Miracle Fireplace Using Steam-Powered Adobe Photoshop - 27 comments