This attractive, low-key website poses as a legal alternative to movie, music and game pirating systems like BitTorrent. Customers say that it’s not what it appears. It’s so notorious that in Google it’s hard to find the real Brilliant Download link among all the warnings to stay away from it. Yet somehow it persists.
This is a fun way to see how a potential scam “measures up.” I explained it here.
Ridiculous claims: Actually, Brilliant Download claims very little. The scope of file access it does claim is already available to its members via Google for nothing; so those claims are, technically, true. 0
Post office box: Brilliant Download doesn’t even have a physical address. Their business hours are given in London time. Their web server is located in San Francisco, according to its IP address. Complainants suspect that the site is really Chinese. The scary part is that all of the above could be true. -1
Onerous terms: Broken English here and in other parts of the site should raise a red flag.
- We don’t guarantee our performance. We don’t even monitor it ourselves!
- We don’t guarantee that the files we index are safe to download.
- After you’ve been a member for 30 days, we won’t refund any money.
- “…You CAN NOT in ‘good faith’ believe that any copyrighted work that you believe is being infringed is not authorized to be displayed on our site.” Extra credit; diagram this sentence. -1
Lying and deception: On download speed, Brilliant Download says “Basically it depends only on the speed of your connection because downloads go directly from the highspeed servers to you.” The key word here is “The”; apparently this company has no servers. Elsewhere, Brilliant Download says they don’t host any files; they refer you to other websites to download files. -1
Obfuscation: In order to find out the monthly subscription price ($39.99), I had to give them personal information (not my own, naturally!) -1
Phony reviews: All online reviews of Brilliant Download that I’ve found are complaints and warnings to stay away from them … except for the testimonials on the Brilliant Download site. I particularly enjoyed this one:
thank you for haveing this siet for me to use becuz b4 i was only borowing my freinds movies and games and now i can haev my own withot trying to get them to give me thiers . so now i get all the latest movies and games and even music without problems here , this site is the BEST! keep doing what you are doing becuz it is working well.
John Sanders, Houston -1
Crummy product: One customer concluded:
It is very misleading and does not actually have free downloads as it advertises. Rather, it only redirects you to google to pay for downloads on other websites like you would have anyways.
Also, you have to download and install their software to use the service. Considering the company’s reputation, that seems risky. -1
Overpriced: From what I gather from the website and customer complaints, this “consulting service” provides nothing that you can’t get from Google for free. I see complaints that indexed e-books are really only reviews of the books. Authors have found their own work pirated thru the site. -1
Unauthorized charges: The order form, and Terms and Conditions, state that you can get a three-day trial for $3; after that you’re billed $39.99 a month until you cancel your membership. The $3 trial is a ruse to get your credit-card data. Customers have complained that monthly subscription charges go on no matter how hard they try to cancel, until they block their credit cards. -1
Just use Google, and forget these guys.