Website Review: Let’s hear it for QuietRelief.com

This Sunday, one of my favorite musical groups of all time will be performing at the Super Bowl halftime show. The Who, or remnants thereof, are scheduled to play a 12-minute gig bound to include their countless greatest hits. Leader Pete Townsend will windmill his way through the set, then hopefully smash his guitar to bits while the crowd roars its approval.

I can’t wait till they take the stage: “Ladies and gentlemen, The Who.”

“I said, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE WHO.”

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE WHO.”

Though the approval, and the introduction, might be roared, Pete likely won’t hear it. Decades of fronting one of the world’s greatest rock bands has rendered the poor man virtually deaf. He now wears a hearing aid, and probably most uses the legendary band’s name as the question he asks repeatedly when someone calls him on the phone.

“Who is this again? Who? Who?”

Like many his age, Pete could probably benefit from the product I recently saw advertised on late-night TV. Quietus is a homeopathic remedy dedicated to improving what it calls “ear health” by confronting a key cause of deafness — tinnitus. Characterized by a ringing or buzzing or humming tone that interferes with normal perception, the condition kills thousands every year. Okay, well maybe it doesn’t kill them, but it makes them very annoyed.

To learn more about tinnitus and the Quietus claim to alleviate it, I visited quietrelief.com for this week’s Website Review.

The home page features a rotating collection of sufferers, from the Rick Moranis look-alike clutching his noggin in agony, to the afflicted rock drummer, to everyday workers like machine operator Frank P., factory worker Nelda R. and construction worker Jerry E. They’re followed by the equally suffering doctor in his white lab coat, grinning into the camera while standing next to a giant caduceus that’s surrounded by the word “homeopathic,” a Greek work meaning “doesn’t work.”

The introduction describes the Quietus product as dual homeopathic medications designed to treat roaring, whizzing and hissing in the ear as well as feelings of fullness. People at risk are those working in industrial settings, airports, the military and carpentry (this might explain one of the “seven words of Christ” as He was being crucified, when He asked His followers “Where is my mother? And who’s frying bacon?”). A rising new risk group are people who don’t work at all but instead spend their days listening to “music from an iPod, heavy machinery and firearms.”

The introductory page also includes sound samples you can download to experience the agony of tinnitus for yourself. The ten-second segments include ear ringing sound, lower frequency roaring, high frequency humming, shriek buzzing and high frequency buzzing. These can be combined to create a hideous mix of whirring and droning that you can blend and sample, generating a sound to rival the best efforts of Justin Bieber and Ke$ha. Once you play these and try to turn them off, they continue on in your head, compelling you to buy the product.

Quietus offers a risk-free 30-day trial and 100% customer support from a lovely blonde wearing a headset and smiling earnestly as she contemplates a once-promising modeling career that has now descended into telemarketing poses. She’s followed by a small-type disclaimer warning that results described in the testimonials section are not typical and not the ordinary experience of users. “Each person’s experience with Quietus is different,” implying perhaps that though you may lose the buzzing in your ears, you could pick up interference in other sensory organs — maybe visions of serpents in your eyes or smells of rotting flesh in your nose. (Incidentally, the entire website never says how you consume these pills, so I’m making up that if you can stick them in your ears, you can also stick them up your nose and into your eyes.)

There’s a whole section that features success stories from users who offer what are frankly less-than-ringing endorsements of the product. Frank says it stopped the ringing in 40 days. Susan says “it tones down the ringing … I experience some quietness in my right ear now.” Terry notes that “my left ear is almost silent,” Lois said the ringing is “still there occasionally,” Stanley says it works about 70% of the time, while Guillermo gives it an 8 on a scale of one to ten. Perhaps somewhat off point but still worth hearing are Kenneth who claims “I’ve had all kinds of pills” and Ouida who notes “the ringing in my ears is not 100% but the ringing is 100%.”

A profile of the customer care department details how you can yank the pills out of your skull at any time and return them for a money-back guarantee. First, you must obtain return authorization, then pack up your tablets with the original packing slip and authorization number, then insure and ship it in a traceable form. “Orders paid by credit card cannot be refunded by check nor can phone check, check, or money order payments be refunded to a credit card.” If all that sounds too complicated, you can simply phone a customer representative but all you’ll likely hear from them is a loud screech, probably in a South Asian accent.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the website is the story of how it was “discovered by a rock drummer.” A man identified only as “Brad – Creator, Drummer” spent 18 long years suffering from jingling, jangling and clanging that sapped his energy and kept him awake at nights. “I couldn’t take it, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t concentrate. I heard it constantly, I couldn’t hide from it, it wouldn’t go away. It drove me nuts.” Like any proper rock musician, he experimented with different drugs in search of relief from the noises in his head. Gingko biloba, zinc and magnesium didn’t work, even when he smoked them from a bong. Finally he discovered the “active, all-natural, homeopathic ingredients of my new product Quietus … the same select herbs FDA compliant as Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the US.” What?

“Huh, huh,” he chortles at the end of the embedded video clip. “It’s awes–.” Then the audio goes dead.

Finally, we learn some hard facts about the reality of tinnitus. “Tinnitus is real. The symptoms are real.” It’s a phantom noise originating from within the ear instead of from the environment, and cause headaches and dizziness. There are three strains of tinnitus: tonnal tinnitus is most common, producing the constant ringing; pulsatile tinnitus sounds more like a beating heart; and objective tinnitus is an extremely rare condition where “sound is heard not only by the individual with tinnitus but also by others near the individual.” You know you’ve got some bad ringing in your ears when you’re also driving coworkers and relatives crazy with the noise. (A friend at work is always emitting strange rackets but they seem to be coming from areas behind and way below the ears.)

The makers of Quietus recognize that prevention is always the best medicine, so they wind up their discussion of the subject with advice for those yet to be afflicted. Always respect your ears, they advise, and wear protective hearing equipment when you’re around radios, driers and lawnmowers. Keep earplugs handy but never put anything in your ears, not LifeSavers, not quarters, not baked goods and definitely not pointy objects like pens or sticks or Ty Pennington. Avoid jet airplanes, artillery fire and lounge-grade rock bands, especially Brad’s.

Quietrelief.com is an informative website that appropriately offers a fraudulent cure for a made-up medical condition. What’s always worked for me when I don’t want to hear something is covering my ears with my hands and chanting “la-la-la-la,” though I can see how this might not be an effective treatment in certain professional situations, like going for a job interview or giving the weather report on TV. Maybe Quietus would at least be worth a try after all.

"I don't want to hear another word about tinnitus!"

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6 Responses to “Website Review: Let’s hear it for QuietRelief.com”

  1. S Fox Says:

    I need a miracle cure for echoitis, since when I speak no-one listens, and the only thing I hear is the sound of my own words smashing into the nearest wall and dying as their remnants bounce back.

  2. Kory Tosado Says:

    Greetings and many thanks for a intriguing article. I appreciate what you said.

  3. Mike Says:

    I ordered Quietus and it didn’t work. I gave it the full 30 days and nothing. WHen I first ordered it, the salesperson said it would start to work within 2-10 days. When I called at the end of the 30 days, the guy I spoke to said it wasn’t working because I hadn’t been using it long enough. Pretty sure it’s a sham.

  4. Rod Says:

    I was about to order Quietus until I read your review. Thanks for taking the time to write this article.

  5. Day Says:

    “Quietrelief.com is an informative website that appropriately offers a fraudulent cure for a made-up medical condition” if that is indeed the case and tinitus is made- up, then please sir tell me what this ringing is in my ears that gets me to contemplate living on a daily basis.. ?

  6. John Henderson Says:

    I to found the same result!! After a month or more, the ring got louder and the pitch higher. Seems I’m going to have to deal with the noise.

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