Smoked by Seal Torch 2000

scamometer seal torchWe are really talking about two products here; a typical low-end tactical flashlight, and a subscription to a newsletter.  The deal is, you accept the free flashlight and end up with the expensive subscription.  It’s March 15, 2017 as I review the seal torch 2000 website.  (Red links are evil; do not click.).  This is the second offer I’ve reviewed from Laissez-Faire Books; they also handle a “tactical pen” that’s endorsed by a “former CIA officer.”

Keep in mind that I’m not talking about illegal or wrong behavior; I’m talking about signs that a seller is a scammer.  I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  None found … Just a view stretchers.

Post Office box: +1.  Laissez Faire Books | 808 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21202. No, this is a real building.pens address

Onerous terms: -1.

  • Your flashlight order automatically triggers a newsletter subscription.
  • Unless you cancel your subscription within seven days, they’ll charge you $40 a month for the newsletter, and they will not give it back.
  • I found no indication of when the seven day countdown begins; when you place your order, or when you receive your first newsletter?  Seven days is barely enough time for something to arrive by physical mail.
  • Accuracy of the information on the website “Cannot be guaranteed.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1.

  • You don’t get to see the second page, which explains about the subscription, until you enter your email address. Even if you decide not to buy anything, they can spam you anyway.
  • They’ll use the information you give them plus what they can suck out of your browser to beam ads at you and spam you.
  • You can try to opt out.  But one person complained that “I cannot get off of the list. I even contacted the spam department at my job. Each email I mark ‘junk’ with Outlook and they still come into my regular inbox. There is NO unsubscribe option in their email, you have to physically write snail mail to them to remove you.

Lying and deception: -1.  A man in a combat outfit steps out of the woods and rests his weapon to promote a “night optical observation” device.

  • After implying that it’s night vision goggles, he reveals that it’s just a flashlight.  But it’s free!  
  • Oh, but to get it you also have to acccept a subscription which you must then struggle to cancel.  Does it help that he’s been on TV?
  • Different parts of the website show different flashlights. Which one is really for sale?

Obfuscation: -1.

  • They don’t tell you about the subscription until you get to the second page.  Then they try to sweeten the deal by throwing in another flashlight, reports, videos, etc.
  • The second page displays a countdown timer to make you think you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • The terms of sale are divided among four documents instead of the usual two.  The Terms and Conditions document is really just a privacy statement. The Privacy Policy is a second, different privacy statement.  The Guarantee Certificate is in fact a guarantee. The Billing Terms is the important document.  It isn’t just about the $4.95 shipping charge; here is where the subscription comes in.

Phony reviews: 0.  The website is festooned with five star reviews. However, it also admits that the real names of its customers have been “redacted.”  I couldn’t find any other reviews of the flashlight, nor of “Spy & Survival Briefing.”

Crummy product: 0.

  • The flashlight resembles typical tactical lights that you’re supposed to be able to blind and hit people with.  I couldn’t find any other information about the seal torch 2000.
  • There’s no way to know what the newsletter, reports, videos, etc. are like..

Overpriced: -1

  • Flashlight; looks like you get what you pay for..
  • Newsletter; at $40 a month, it looks overpriced to me.  You could instead subscribe to American Survivalist Guide for $37 a year (12 issues).

Unauthorized charges: 0.

  • The Better Business Bureau gives a B rating to Agora Financial (Laissez-Faire Books’ parent company) with 50 complaints and eight negative reviews.  The reviews and complaints cover financial services, book purchases and other activities.  Most complaints concerned advertising and service.
  • Reviewopedia has several complaints related to the monthly subscription renewal process. These guys aren’t very good at answering their phones. It isn’t clear to me whether the problem goes beyond this to actual theft.

Final score; -3

I find it a bit slimy for Cade Courtley to trade on his veteran credibility to hawk a deal like this.

 

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14 thoughts on “Smoked by Seal Torch 2000

  1. C.

    Hey, really good read. Glad I found this website – I was going to buy it but realized the dumb scammer-esque things like the “GET IT NOW BEFORE YOUR 15 MINUTES ARE UP”.

    Thank you to the author(s) of this. 🙂

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  2. * Mr, ACEMAN - ♤ *

    Smoked by Seal Torch 2000, thank you for the warning. I was about to pay the shipping for the FREE flashlight. Of course I was skeptical, so I googled Seal Torch 2000 and came across your article with the word Smoked on the heading. You’ve done a great service for others who would’ve gotten sucked in paying for a magazine subscription and having a hard time opting out.

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  3. Elane

    omg… I didn’t read here first and for the last hour have been trying to cancel this thing ONCE I saw the 40.00A MONTH… MY GOD IT IS 40.00 A MONTH… you would think I would Learn a lesson. I just go hit with 119.00 by my heritage which was a rip because I started a 30 day free trial but because I had a free trial on a sister company that has expired they immediately hit Me for the 119.00..I HAVE SUCKER ON MY Fore head… take my phone away please.. HELP.. HOW DO I STOP THE 40.00. I HAVE 6 DAYS…

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    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      This is going to hurt more than removing a tick, but it’s the only sure cure. You’ve got to have your credit card issuer block your credit card and get a new one. Details are here. Remember that a scammer is a crook posing as a legitimate business; don’t trust anything they say.

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  4. DEAN DARDZINSKI

    Fortunately I have been programmed to search for the fine print on everything I buy online. They have tried to get me with the free trail subscription autopay monthly suckerpunch before. Now when I order I immediately cancel any further subscriptions. Do this and you will not have these headaches. The flashlight is definitely>>>>you get what you pay for<<<<<<<upon receipt it did not work out of the box. Currently waiting for a replacement. It will be good enough for a secondary tackle-box light.
    THANKS TO YOU FOR WARNING OTHERS OUT THERE ABOUT THE TRAP DOOR OF FREE TRIAL SUBSCRIPTIONS. There are a lot of them out there these days. Great job.

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  5. Natisha

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. All the best

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  6. Lauren Maddison

    Great advice. Glad I did quick search first. I have great respect for our veterans, so I agree that it’s pretty sad for someone who served as as Navy SEAL to be hawking what is arguably a piece of junk that in turn scams people into subscriptions they can’t cancel.

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  7. Sheila Lawrence

    Glad I checked first! Got the ad on my phone, but the shipping in my ad had gone up to 9,95! Oh but if you ordered 3, it was free shipping for $27! or 5 for 45 with free shipping! So glad I looked here first!

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  8. John P

    If a product needs that much marketing, your caution flag should be illuminated brighter than the “Seal Torch 2000.” 😮 The description and specifications of any item sells itself.
    Likely, just a college kid trying to pay off those student loans from an over-priced education.

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