As a follow-up to last week’s post about the ads I keep hearing for some real estate investing scam, I thought I’d bring you another can’t-miss-if-you-like-burning-money opportunity: The frozen yogurt robot franchise.
If you still have any money after investing in “the PERFECT market for my real estate investing plan!” (and every market is the PERFECT market), you’ll love this get-rich-quick scheme. Right after the real estate ads ends, the station I listen to rolls right into another “investment opportunity.” This one has two different ads that work out the same way. In one, a couple goes to the mall and runs into some friends of theirs, who are “just checking up on our frozen yogurt robot.” It AUTOMATICALLY serves customers (who are clearly just lining up to shell out their money), and the owners just collect the cash. It’s so awesome! And if you call now you can get in on one of the best locations!
The second version of the ad is even worse. A guy goes to the golf course and runs into a friend. “Hey, how come you’re always playing golf? I thought you ran a business?” he asks his buddy.
Golf Buddy responds by saying that he DOES own a business, he has a frozen yogurt robot and he only spends two hours a week on maintenance, so the rest of the time he can play golf while the robot rakes in the cash for him!
Now, if you’ve ever met a small business owner, you know that’s the biggest line of bullshit ever. One of my favorite Shark Tank quotes: “Entrepreneurs are the only people who work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” I attempt to eke out a living selling stuff online. A lot of my friends are small business owners. None of them work two hours a week and spend the rest of the time playing golf. The only people who do that are born rich (and sometimes become president). If you think there is any investment opportunity out there that will allow you to start your own business, work two hours a week, and get rich, you’re delusional.
Aside from the fact that this falls solidly into the “If it SOUNDS too good to be true…” category, both ads ends with a pitch to visit a website and invest in YOUR frozen yogurt robot franchise NOW because “all the best locations are going fast!” Strangely this ad has been playing for a couple months, and apparently all the best locations are not already gone! Shocker.
Forgetting all that for a moment, anyone who has watched as much scifi as I have knows that a robot serving frozen yogurt in a mall is a disaster waiting to happen. If you’re going to invest in one of those despite all the holes I’ve poked in the ads, be sure to get yourself some liability insurance for when that thing goes all cylon and decides it doesn’t take orders from lowly humans any more.
I can see it now: First, it starts getting customers’ orders wrong. Profitability drops. Then, it starts spraying yogurt all over the mall, covering customers. You get hit with lawsuits. People sue for damage to their dry clean only clothes. Stores sue for damage to merchandise. People sue because their children are traumatized and need expensive therapy for their frozen yogurt phobias. Video of your frozen yogurt robot running amok and spraying yogurt indiscriminately at unsuspecting victims who just want to buy a damn desert goes viral.
And if all that still sounds good to you, well….I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll make you a great deal on.
W. T. Fallon is the author of Fail to the Chief, a political satire in which the presidential election is carried out via reality show, which is almost as bizarre and far-fetched as our current reality.