Auto Cool is a small fan device that's supposed to keep the inside of your car cool when it's been sitting out in the sun. With shipping and handling it cost me $23.
The lightweight plastic device attaches to your car window and the sun powers a fan on the inside. Unfortunately, because of what the company explained was a big backlog, it didn't arrive until well after the hot weather here was gone.
Just watching the infomercial makes it clear why people would be curious: "Sunlight captured by the solar panel powers a powerful micro-ventilation system, pulling the stifling heat out- and keeping the inside cool!" the ad exclaims.
I didn't want to order with my credit card online, so I decided to order by phone. I called the 800 number provided on the web site. The entire process was automated with interactive voice response. No human.
And in what is becoming a growing trend, it kept me on the phone for 11 minutes trying to sell me a whole string of other products before I could finalize my order! It's known in the industry as "up-selling."
Unlike any other time I've ordered a product, by phone, online or otherwise, this time I got no confirmation, no total cost, no estimate of how long it would take my order to arrive.
I ordered on July 24th. I waited through all of August, and half of September. Nearly eight weeks. The box turned up on the September 15 -- far too cool to test Auto Cool in Seattle.
But I found a web site with input from a lot of people who did put it to the test: http://www.infomercialratings.com/product/auto_cool_reviews
In case you're planning a trip where the sun is still shining and hot- the consumers who weighed in give Auto Cool the most consistently worst reviews of any product I've tested. Based on their experiences, Auto Cool is an auto-flop.