For the last few days I’ve seen #psychiclive and #psychicwayne hashtags floating around Twitter but didn’t take much notice of them until last night when curiosity got the better of me and I tuned into TV3 to see what everyone was talking about. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here was Psychic Wayne “talking directly to” me, telling me to call in. I “had to dial now”. I was apparently watching because I couldn’t sleep due to issues in my life that only he could help with. I wondered who actually called in and believed his tripe. Then the phone rang and I actually became worried.
A young woman called in, who was unemployed and looking for work asking about her future and sounded dejected. Psychic Wayne (how his name is printed everywhere) of course said that she had been submitting applications, which most unemployed people seeking work do. Then he refined that to submitting two applications, she hesitated and stated she had heard back from two. Content with this he continued saying that she would get the job and be hugely successful at it. “Oh Jesus…” she said the relief clear in her voice. “Oh Jesus” she repeated, “I hope so”. He restates her success and then moves on to trying to get others to call in by say he has changed her life tonight and he can do the same for anyone else who calls in. Of course talking to a psychic is a privilege that demands a premium, €2.44/min to be exact with an maximum call time of 24.6 minutes costing €60.
I was horrified. Here was a man preying on some very vulnerable people struggling with hardship in their life who are desperately seeking hope, and charging then €2.44/min to do so. I wondered how TV3 thought it was ok to broadcast this, starting a few days ago. I also wondered how many people were calling in, see there is the main presenter, Psychic Wayne last night, and then many other psychics that viewers can call privately, who specialised in certain psychic areas. Calls were about 3 minutes apart to Wayne himself and during those minutes he’d say that tonight was busy and that some of the other psychics were free right now but would soon be taken again. To me their photos looked like stock photos online and after several more minutes I decided to take a screenshot and reverse image search one of the psychics. Guess what? It’s not often, but I was right! You can see Pyschic Pat here.
— Alan Rice (@alanmrice) June 24, 2012
Psychic Pat was in fact a bought stock photo! I quickly tweeted about this and from that I was pointed to the boards.ie thread about the show where I posted the same photos. Things certainly took off from there and some wonderful people there started finding pretty much all the psychics listed on their website from various places around the internet including, from what I gather, a personal Flickr photo. It really raises the question who are you talking to? And in some cases from what I’ve read you only get through to a hold message.
Not only are these “psychics” giving out random pieces of information based on any detail they get from a caller they are exploiting some really vulnerable people who are desperately seeking hope for their current situation. In the brief time I watched last night there was even a call about a missing son for Christ’s sake!
How on earth can TV3 let this deplorable scam be aired and stand over this? It must be stopped from broadcasting and the money (€60 in some cases) returned to the callers.
I plan on contacting TV3, BAI and ASAI this week in the hope of getting this crap removed.
To TV3 I will be suggesting programming about mental health issues, relationship and budgeting advice, CV and interview coaching, etc. You know, something that is actually useful and will help all the callers I seen last night progress in their situations.
EDIT: Some of the calls which exploit people (thanks to Spookwoman for the videos):
List of “psychics” and online photos links