Scene Two: The tape or CD arrived and it contained worthless information that anyone could discover on the Internet or at the library. Getting his money back was a problem. Technically, he did not make a purchase and the company only billed for shipping and handling, a service that arrived as promised.
Scene Three: The financial maven was tempted to dispute the inflated shipping charges. (It probably cost less than $1.50 to ship via the Post Office media rate.) But faced with the time obstacle of spending well over an hour (or more) to fight a $6 fee, our family friend opted to just write off the expense. He estimates that the bogus company must make a fortune on similar freebies.
I was reminded of his experience today, while listening to a radio. The Pitch: How to make money selling iPods, Plasma TVs via eBay. A Complete How-to! No risk! Free!! There was no mention of the shipping fees: But I can guess that S&H is high enough for the vendor to make a tidy profit on high volume sales, but low enough that ripped off consumers will just eat the loss.