I‘ve seen lots of flashlight scams. But this one (on 11/19/16) is different; they’re red!
And that makes all the difference.
- Blazeray (red links are evil) claims “You’d have the ability to disorient any would be attacker with the push of a button.“
- LED flashlights are used by the military and first-responders. It’s ridiculous that Blazeray thinks this is information.
- “20,000 sold this month.” Not only is there no way to check this figure, but based on the web page’s coding I seriously doubt it. Looking at the source code, I see that this statement is a literal–it’s not dynamically generated to reflect the current month’s actual sales. Maybe they edit the page once a month with an updated figure? I don’t think so.
- “People run over them to prove how reliable they are.” Ridiculous, unless you’re buying it to do this stunt. -1
Post Office box: True. Nothing illegal about this in itself, but it’s typical of web scammers to have no physical facility in the US. -1
- Corporate address: 101 Marketside Avenue, Suite 404-190 Ponte Vedra, FL 32081
Onerous terms: I had to sift thru gobs of legalbabble to extract the following:
- 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
- You can get a refund for any reason at any time. But you “may” have to return your flashlight unused; and you “may” have to ask for the refund within 30 days of receiving the product.
- Shipping is free. But even if you never use the flashlight you’re returning, you must still pay “associated charges.” What charges? Section C says that other payment terms “may” implicitly be part of the T&Cs.
- They don’t guarantee that their products are suitable for any use; nor that anything they say is true. -1
Ads, spam, robocalls:
- They’ll use all the information you give them, and everything they can suck out of your browser, to beam ads at you. You can opt out by email.
- They’ll share your information with other companies that will do the same.
- If they sell their company, your information is part of the deal. -1
Lying and deception: Relatively mild. 0
- The illustration of a man lighting up a church conveniently doesn’t show the light he’s using. Shadowhawk, AlumiTact and Falcon use the identical illustration in their scam sites.
- The claimed 80% discount is a red flag.
- Warning; on the order form (third screen), The choice of 5 flashlights for $145 is pre-checked.
- Screen #2 plays a typical video with loud music. It shows a countdown timer to make you think you don’t have time to comparison-shop.
- You have to wade thru three screens to find out the price ($56).
- The first screen says the regular price is $150; the third screen says it’s $145. For the 80% discount to come out right, it has to be $145.
Phony reviews: Lots of vague, wildly enthusiastic reviews from sources you never heard of before, with button and image links to the Blazeray order form. -1
Crummy product: Amazon carries Blazeray flashlights, but as of 11/19/16 they have no customer reviews. There are, of course, plenty of glowing reviews from the usual for-hire review sites; see above. I dug deeper and found:
- In Ripoff Report, one customer writes,
These flashlights being sold on the internet are 100% ripoffs! Crap construction and poor quality all around! Company, I notice, keeps changing their name and the name of the flashlights! Ads are total lies as well! I was lucky and got my money back, but had to pay return shipping. I threaten to sue and use my credit card to get my money back!
Do not get fooled by this scam and buy a better flashlight at any store…I got one for a lot less at Costco!
- From a Reddit posting:
It’s a scam don’t buy them. We ordered five and they were all broken. It’s almost like they took a bat to each of them before shipping them.
Here too a connection to known scammer Shadowhawk Flashlights is suspected. The scam site sure looks familiar. -1
Overpriced: Amazon wants the same single-unit price for a red Blazeray light; $56. But Amazon also offers lots of 800-lumen lights that aren’t red for less, including this one that looks similar for $9. -1
Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this. +1
Total Scam-O-Meter score: -7
If you order this light without shopping a little harder first, you may end up seeing red.