I have yet to see a web scam score a perfect -10 on the Scam-O-meter scale. Will 1TAC’s TC1200 flashlight offering be the one?
Let’s find out! It’s August 26, 2016.
Ridiculous claims: Well, we’re not going to hit -10 this time. I see a couple of stretchers here, but–unlike Shadowhawk Flashlights–nothing ridiculous. There’s no talk of how you can use this light to protect your family from the coming zombie apocalypse. Nearly all the text on this website is about the light. +1
Post Office box:
- Corporate: 814 S. Westgate Suite 105 Los Angeles, CA 90049. A small office or apartment building, vacant in January 2016 if Google’s image date is correct (I’ve seen some wrong ones).
- Returns: 880 E Wigwam Parkway, #120, Henderson, NV 89014. Here I see “Rakuten.com Shopping;” see the Unauthorized Charges section below. Reluctantly, I’ll stick to the program, and let 1TAC have a +1
Onerous terms: The Terms and Conditions boil down to this:
- You can’t sue us, or join a class action that’s suing us.
- We’ll take your money now; but we won’t “accept” your order until we ship it.
- Refunds are available up to 30 days from the date of your order—not the date you receive our product. And shipping takes two to four weeks. See Lying and Deception below.
- To get a refund, you must return the product unopened and unused; see Obfuscation below.
- If you reverse our charge on your credit card, that’s theft.
- We don’t guarantee that our products are fit for any use; nor that they meet our own specifications.
- We don’t guarantee that anything we say is true. -1
- We’ll use the information you give us and that we suck out of your browser to beam ads at you.
- We’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
- If we sell our company, your personal data is part of the deal.
- You can opt out by email or letter. -1
Lying and deception:
- 1TAC loudly advertises its 30-day money-back guarantee, but buries the fact that they count from the date of your order in their T&Cs. The T&Cs also specify a delivery time of two to four weeks. That leaves you, say, two days to get your unopened, unused product in the mail and claim a refund.
- They claim that their flashlights are waterproof to the IP65 standard. But IP65 is not a waterproof level of protection. The “6” means the product is dustproof. The “5” means that the product can withstand squirting by jets of water–not immersion. Re: the video of boiled and frozen flashlights, see Onerous Terms above. -1
Obfuscation: It sure looks like 1TAC does not want you to see the important links at the bottom of the web page:
Also, the refund requirement of returning an unopened, unused product that I mentioned above isn’t in the Online Purchases / Return Policies section of the T&C. It’s at the very end of the T&C, in another Return Policy. Definitely -1.
Phony reviews: Vague, enthusiastic reviews by “independent” parties that involve a lot of hype, no product testing, and include a link to the online store aren’t credible. These review sites get a share of the sales resulting from clicks on that link, and an automatic score of -1 from me. 1TAC works with lots of them.
For example, Sports Gear Central makes the self-defense pitch that 1TAC shies away from. They describe the TC1200 as military, rugged, super-bright and wildly popular. And they provide not just one, but five links to the 1TAC site. -1
Crummy product: Despite lots of reviews, I haven’t yet found an unbiased review. Amazon doesn’t carry 1TAC products. And 1TAC is unknown to CNET. 0
Overpriced: Amazon is full of 1200-lumen flashlights. Here’s one for $8.99. 85% of Amazon’s reviewers gave it five stars. -1
Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this problem. However, 1TAC’s return address is a building signed “Racuten.com Shopping.” According to SiteJabber, Rakuten is a disreputable Japanese online store with a record of alleged credit-card fraud. 0