Lumosity Bait-and-Switch Marketing Sucks claims to offer a variety of games, puzzles and activities to help users sharpen their mental skills and maintain them as they age. It claims to have a ton of neuroscience behind it. It may well have.

It’s also got some sneaky, underhanded marketing behind it.

lumositylogoThere is no way to find out anything about Lumosity’s offering or its pricing without: (a) yielding some personal information and signing up for a “free” account; and (b) initiating the first set of exercises they allegedly customize just for you. Right. Only after you’re partially complete with the very first set of exercises do you find out that the rest of the exercises in that collection are locked. To unlock them — in other words to get any value out of the service at all — you must agree to pay a subscription fee. And the fees aren’t cheap, either.

No wonder these guys can afford to advertise all over the place. I’ve seen or heard their ads on NPR and Pandora just in the last two days. They’re undoubtedly raking in a lot of money from seniors who are concerned they are losing mental faculty, desperate for a way to prevent that, and then get suckered into playing two or three exercises that may give them some hope only to have the rug yanked out from  under their “free” account.

This is unconscionable.

Stay away from Lumosity. Only by depriving them of customers can we force them to deal fairly with the public.


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