The pitch: "Instantly triple your closet space."
April 2009. The Wonder Hanger is a plastic closet organizer designed to save space by holding up to five clothes hangers vertically. The TV ads and Wonder Hanger website claim that using Wonder Hangers will triple your closet space, yet leave clothes wrinkle-free.
Tests show, however, that the Wonder Hanger saves little or no space. A reporter at WICU in Erie, Pa., demonstrates how unorganized clothes that take up 20 inches on the closet rod take up the same amount of space after being hung on Wonder Hangers -- the clothes merely hang vertically instead of horizontally. Tests at two other TV stations also report minimal space savings, and all three reporters recommend against buying Wonder Hangers. We also found complaints on consumer websites that the Wonder Hangers are flimsy, stretching and bending under the weight of clothes.
We also found dozens of people complaining about transactions made on the Wonder Hanger website. Users report that the total amount charged to their credit cards isn't shown while ordering, and many complain that the shipping and handling fees add up to outrageous totals -- fees that aren't refunded if you return the order.
We found the most objective test of the Wonder Hanger at WICU. Video tests at KEPR in Pasco, Wash., and at KDIK in Idaho Falls, Idaho, also are valuable. More than 70 Wonder Hanger customers also review the device -- and the practices of the website selling it -- at InfomercialScams.com and at RipoffReport.com. A consultant on direct-response marketing, Jordan Fine, compares the Wonder Hanger with similar products at the SciMark blog.
1. WICU (Erie, Pa.)
Reporter Mark Soliday tests the Wonder Hanger in a crowded closet by first measuring the horizontal space a group of clothes takes up: 20 inches. After he loads the items onto Wonder Hangers, he measures the space again. The Wonder Hangers have saved a few inches on the closet rod itself, but down lower where the clothes are bunched, they occupy the same 20 inches. He concludes that the Wonder Hanger doesn't really save any space at all.
Review: Does It Work? Wonder Hanger, Mark Soliday, Mar. 10, 2009
2. KEPR (Pasco, Wash.)
Reporter Troy Barrett tests the Wonder Hanger in the wardrobe room of the TV station, starting with two racks crammed with suit jackets. He concludes that although the Wonder Hangers organize the jackets into groups, the space gained is minimal at best, and adds that the product isn't worth buying. Following the report, one of the news anchors says he bought the Wonder Hanger and agrees with Barrett's assessment, giving it a thumbs down.
Review: Will It Work -- Wonder Hanger, Troy Barrett, Mar. 12, 2009
3. KDIK (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
In this video review, a viewer, Sarah Schwabe, tests the Wonder Hangers in her personal closet. She notes that the hangers have to be assembled, but gamely proceeds to use the whole set of eight. To her disappointment, however, they don't save much space. She gives the Wonder Hanger a rating of 2.5 on a five-point scale, saying she wouldn't purchase them. Her husband gives them an even lower rating, she says.
Review: Does It Really Work? Wonder Hanger, Tommy Noel, Mar. 19, 2009
More than 75 buyers post complaints here about the Wonder Hanger, mostly about outrageous shipping costs, doubled orders and bills of up to $100. (Reviewers here note that as you place an order, the site doesn't show you the total that will be charged to your credit card.) The cost of shipping isn't refunded if you return an order, leaving quite a few buyers indignant. Other complaints focus on the quality of the hangers, saying they stretch and bend, letting clothing fall to the floor -- definitely not holding 20 pounds as claimed.
Review: Wonder Hanger Complaints, Contributors to InfomercialScams.com
A customer reports that after ordering Wonder Hangers from the website her credit card was charged $264.15. When she called to correct the error, she was told the order had already been shipped but wouldn't arrive for four to six weeks. Another user complains that the company does not refund shipping and handling charges for purchases made on their website, charges that totaled more than the cost of the Wonder Hanger itself.
Review: Untitled, Contributors to RipoffReport.com, Mar. 10, 2009
6. SciMark blog
This review is actually of a similar product, the Hook 'n Hang, but mentions the Wonder Hanger and puts it in context. Noting that none of these storage products seem to do very well in the long run, writer Jordan Fine (who is also a direct-marketing consultant) says that the Wonder Hanger isn't very durable, but that for all these space-saving hangers, weight is the main problem. "Although these products have the slots for multiple garments, that doesn't mean they (or your closet bar) can support the weight," he writes.
Review: New This Week: Purse Partner, Hook 'n Hang, Jordan Fine, Dec. 11, 2008