Now here is some real information that is more in line with my thinking.
The first point there is that phosphates are useful in making buffer solutions because they exist in multiple forms, phosphoric acid, monosodium phosphate, disodium phosphates that can be mixed to dial in a particular pH.
Second, not everyone starts with the same water and phosphate buffers won't do the same job on all water at the same dose.
Third and most important, amino acids in the wort often will overwhelm anything you do with buffers or your initial water or sparge water rendering the whole pH balancing rather useless for most water sources that aren't unusually hard. So the pH buffer technically works, but for most folks is practically useless. I tend to agree that it was a waste of money. I'm going to try a batch with and without and see if there is any difference in the wort pH.