Clawed by Shadowhawk Flashlights

A product by itself is not a scam.

A scam is the combination of a product (that may or may not be good) and a crooked seller. You may find the same product offered by a reputable retailer such as Amazon.  Buy it there to avoid getting your credit card slimed.  Of course, the product will be no different.

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Final score; -7

Now let’s talk about Shadowhawk Flashlights using the Scam-O-Meter score-card, and see what kind of deal the X800 tactical flashlight is if you buy it from them. The website I’m looking at is entitled “Practical Survival Guide,” and in smaller letters, “Advertisement.” I’m providing a red link, which means click it at your peril.  If you do, try clicking your browser’s back button. On my Safari browser, Shadowhawk has disabled this button. It’s like “Don’t go!  We don’t have your money yet!”  The only escape is to close the tab.  This expose by Mark Wing is also disturbing.

Ridiculous claims: Shadowhawk Flashlights says that, due to the rise in terrorism, all the smart people who are afraid of guns are buying tactical flashlights. “We had to open up a second factory just to keep up with the massive amounts of orders coming in.”  (Like a business with two factories would operate out of a mailbox.)  If this light were to shine into your eyes, “You wouldn’t be able to see a thing, and would most likely lose your sense of balance.”  This is just the kind of light that’s used by uniformed rescue services and the police.  The box the light comes in is even shaped like a handgun case.  You might not even need the light; you could frighten away an attacker just by showing him the box!

A disclaimer in small print at the bottom of the page disavows everything they’ve said. -1

Post Office box: Shadowhawk gives two addresses. Neither is what I’d call a “bricks and mortar” flashlight store. -1

  • Corporate address: 7582 Las Vegas Blvd. S #115-405, Las Vegas, NV 89123.
  • Returns address: 7875 Highlands Village Place, Suite B102 #401, San Diego, CA 92129.

Onerous terms: The Terms and Conditions are a blizzard of text, though mild compared to several I’ve seen.

  • You can’t sue them, or join a class action that’s suing them.
  • They’ll take your money now; but they won’t “accept” your order until they ship it.
  • A refund is available up to 30 days after you receive the merchandise.
  • Reversing their charge on your credit card is theft.
  • They don’t guarantee that their products are suitable for any use; nor that anything they say is true.

The T&C seems directed more at possible imitators of Shadowhawk than at its customers.  0

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-8-20-50-pmInvasion of privacy: Shadowhawk’s Privacy Policy basically says:

  • They’ll use the personal information you give them and that they suck out of your browser to beam ads at you.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your personal information will be part of the deal.
  • You can opt out by sending them an email. -1

9/20/16 update: A reader reports that Shadowhawk will telephone you and try to pressure you into buying more stuff.

Lying and deception: Not responding to its customers makes Shadowhawk’s T&Cs and published business hours into empty gestures.  One customer posted,

Is this a scam or should I just wait a few week before contacting my credit card company. I tried emailing 5 times and tried calling and never get a repose nor do they answer their phone.  -1

Obfuscation: You have to click through two web pages to find out the price (from $56 for one flashlight to $29 for five). An animated countdown timer discourages comparison shopping. -1

Phony reviews: Shadowhawk’s own website masquerades as a review, and gets extra credit for broken English.

Upon receiving 4 Shadowhawk tactical flashlights, we could already tell by it’s packaging that these was a serious lights. They came in protective cases similar to a handgun. The light itself is small and sleek, with various zoom settings and the coveted “strobe mode” and “SOS” that every one loves.

I see lots of fake reviews on other sites like “Assistive Tech” and “Tactical Practical.”  They’re vague, wildly enthusiastic, say nothing about hands-on product testing, and have links to Shadowhawk’s online store that enable payola to flow the other way.   That’s an automatic -1

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The Better Business Bureau rates Shadowhawk “F” as of 1/18/17.

Crummy product: I see two “Shadowhawk X800” flashlights sold by Shadowhawk on Amazon. Strangely, they look different from the X800 on Shadowhawk’s website, and from each other.

  • This one with a case for $56 earned one-star reviews from 56% of Amazon’s 156 reviewers.  “I will keep the flashlights for my grand children to play with because the light is so poor it will not harm their eyes.”
  • Another with accessories for $53.89 got one star from 80% of 10 reviewers; “Shoddy … a sham … not nearly as bright as they say it is.”

With multiple products bearing the same brand name and model number, it’s hard to be sure what’s going on here.  But the online consensus is pretty bad.  -1

Overpriced: Amazon has lots of flashlights that claim to be 800 lumens for $9.99 and up.  Are those “tactical” zooming and blinking features worth an extra $30 or $40?  It doesn’t matter.  Here’s an 800-lumen flashlight that does both for $8.99.  It won five stars in 76% of 311 reviews. -1

Unauthorized charges: I found no complaints about this. +1

Bottom line

Even if you like the X800, it looks like shopping on Amazon has much to recommend it.

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13 thoughts on “Clawed by Shadowhawk Flashlights

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  7. Shadowhawkcansuckmy

    They’re awful. My mother in law has been brainwashed over the years by Fox news. She owns several guns now because she thinks black men (I’m half black btw) will break into her home at night and falls for stupid scams like this. She ordered a single flashlight online and within minutes someone called her from Shadowhawk, with a deal to buy 5 and if she acted right away, they’d throw in some rechargeable batteries because the regular batteries would die fast. Ugh.

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    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      That high-pressure follow-up is a move I haven’t seen before. And how heartless to prey on her fears. The FTC has established a three-day “Buyer’s remorse” period during which you can cancel a purchase. Unfortunately it doesn’t apply to online sales (which may explain why all these turkeys are online instead of beating on our doors.)

      Shadowhawk’s Terms and Conditions state that you can get a refund up to 30 days after receiving the merchandise. Advise her to refuse and return any packages she receives and apply for the refund. (She might need a Return Authorization Number; check the T&Cs.) It might be well to do this by registered mail with signature of the receiver required, so you have proof that she asked for a refund before the 30 days was up and that they received the request.

      If she doesn’t get the refund, she may call Shadowhawk; but be warned that at this point the scammer may try to delay her with promises and double-talk until it’s too late to reverse the credit charge. It’s better to quit talking to Shadowhawk at this point, call the issuer of her credit card, ask for their Fraud Dept., and ask them to reverse the charges. Also ask that her credit card be blocked and a new card issued, so the scammers can’t steal again. She’ll need to move any scheduled or automatic payments from her old card to the new one. This is painful, as I know from personal experience; but it’s the fastest, surest way to free yourself of a credit thief. Suggest that she stick to Amazon in the future.

      It sounds like you may have a challenge getting your mother-in-law to accept advice. Good luck!

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