According to advertising claims found at the Weather Channel website, a company known as PCShowBuzz promises to deliver television programming directly to your computer without a recurring monthly bill for just $29.95. Indeed, PCShowBuzz claims as a “fact,” that if you make a “one-time payment” of $29.95, the one-time purchase price is “all you ever pay to use this product for life,” and that “this is not like monthly-subscription cable or pay-per-view TV (www.inklineglobal.com). The product, described as “powerful software,” was developed “after six years of engineering,…at a cost of $148,650,” according to the venders. If the cost of producing this software was $148,650, then PCShowBuzz must need at least 4,963 subscribers to at least break even on the cost, making this claim seem a little ludicrous.
So just what are you getting for $29.95? The website for ShowBuzz displays a lot of logos for such stations as CNN, CBS, ESPN, Comedy Central, Nickolodeon, and then some obscure channels such as Skypoker, The Research Channel, and The Pentagon Channel. Nowhere is it mentioned whether you can watch HBO, Cinemax, or Showtime. According to one disgruntled customer, ShowBuzz was nothing more than “online feeds of community TV (http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=11183)”. Other complaints from http://forums.cnet.com suggested that there was no audio portion to accompany the video portion of the programming. Still others described their experience with this product as a “group of URL’s with pre-recorded programming,” in which video quality was very poor. In trying to locate information on ShowBuzz, it seems that Inkline Global marketed a previous product known as TVolution for the same price as ShowBuzz. The name change by Inkline Global to PCShowBuzz must have been an effort to avoid the negative publicity that TVolution was getting, but there is no information to suggest that the TVolution product is any different from the PCShowBuzz product now being sold. Indeed, one complainant at the CNet website stated that “he believed the TVolution product was now being marketed under the name of PCShowBuzz,” and that his son had made an unauthorized purchase on his credit card to Inkline Global, and was having trouble getting a refund under the “60-day money back policy.”
In summary, PCShowBuzz has all the appearances of another credit card scam. There’s no customer service number available to talk to any representative of Inkline Global, if you have trouble with your service or want a refund. Everything is handled online and by credit card. Another complainant at the CNet forum indicated that he had agreed to pay $29.95 for the purchase of software and his credit card got charged “$39.90 for a product that proved defective.” In trying to get a refund, the company frustrated his efforts to the point that he had to dispute the charge on his credit card and get his money back that way. For a company that claims to have invested $148,650 in development costs and needing at least 5,000 customers to break even, it seems even more ludicrous that if a buyer experiences some skepticism and decides to decline purchasing the software, another squeeze page appears, offering the $19.95 product offering 1,000 channels for just $14.95 if the buyer makes up his mind to purchase by midnight that night. How can a company like Inkline Global claim their 1,000 channel line-up for $19.95 was “reduced from $169.95,” or their 1,500 channel line-up for $29.95 was “reduced from $379.95,” and stay in business? If you feel this deal is too good to pass up after all this, just remember that Inkline Global is based out of Singapore and it may be difficult, if not impossible, to get your money back if you’re not satisfied with their products.