Flogged by Flux HD Zoom phone lenses

They had not only charged me $49.95 instead of $29.95, but signed me up for a monthly fee for who knows what,” writes Rebecca about DealClub.Sale.

On May 4, 2017 let’s focus our Scam-O-Meters on this copycat scammer (Flux vs. Lux, I see what you did there).  Keep in mind that I’m not talking about illegal advertising; I’m talking about signs that a seller is a scammer (someone who takes your money by trickery or theft). I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined.

Ridiculous claims: -1

  • Tests on smartphones shown to outperform DSLRs!”  There are important differences between a phone and a real camera besides the lens.
  • According to People Magazine, Celebrities, Bloggers, and Professional Photographers already made a switch to the most powerful high resolution lens.”  It’s safe to say that People Magazine said no such thing.

Suspicious location: -1.  6549 Mission Gorge Rd #393, San Diego, CA 92120.  It’s a mailbox, shared with Electra Straightening Brush.po

Onerous terms: -1

  • They add a 10% charge to every order for “sales tax.”
  • They charge a 30% restocking fee for all refunds and warranty returns.
  • All sales are final.  I see no mention of any guarantee period.  (Guess you don’t have to worry about the restocking fee.)
  • Even if you never use the lens, you have to pay whatever they say.
  • If you reverse their charge on your credit card, they’ll sic the NSA on you.  (Like I believe that one.)
  • They don’t guarantee that the lens is fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.
  • You can’t sue them, or join a group arbitration action against them.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1.  The Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions include different statements about privacy.  I’ll try to combine them here.

  • They’ll use the information you give them, plus what they can suck out of your browser, to beam ads at you, spam you, junkmail, robocall and text you.  You can only partly opt out.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your information will be part of the deal.

davidLying and deception: -1

  • Christie from Dallas went to Africa last summer, and she had an epic trip. …”  Say, Christie, did you really spring for a safari and not bring along a real camera?
  • A scientific-looking, unattributed chart compares the lens to Nikon, etc.
  • The video boasts that it’s a 12x zoom lens.  But the text states that it’s an 18x zoom lens.  The Amazon look-alike is labeled 8x.
  • Lead Technologist David Artiola is fictional clip-art.

Obfuscation: -1.  Once you land on the order form, your browser back-button is disabled; so you can’t go back and reconsider the ridiculous claims.

Phony reviews: -1

  • Does the lightweight, portable, durable Flux HD Zoom kit actually work to produce powerful, professional pictures from your phone? Here’s our review.”  Keep in mind we’re reading the advertising on the scam site, not an independent review.
  • Further down, I see three fake reviews.  Clicking on their links takes me to the order form, not to information about the reviewers.

Crummy product: 0 

  • A three-star Amazon reviewer writes, “This is a good toy to play around with.”
  • Blogger Jim Doty is much more critical in his meticulous hands-on comparison of this type of phone lens to a DSLR camera.

Overpriced: -1.  DealClub wants $29.95 for this lens.  Amazon offers what sure looks like the same lens for $9, describing it as an 8x zoom lens.

75% discount: +1.  It’s 50%, so one technical point for DealClub.


Total score; -7

Unauthorized charges: CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT.   Rebecca writes, “I started to order, but … instead of finalizing it tried to sell me an upgrade which it did not explain or give a price for.”  She left the site without finalizing the order, but was charged anyway.  “They grab your credit card before you even authorize the transaction.”  I haven’t found other reports, but I think this one is reason enough to turn on the red light.  DealClub doesn’t accept PayPal.

Conclusion: Avoid.

reviewBonus outtake: Do they expect me to believe this is a prize-winning photo?  It’s blurry and crooked, and not very interesting.  It sure looks like it was photoshopped over the phone.

laugh

 

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37 thoughts on “Flogged by Flux HD Zoom phone lenses

  1. EMILY WHITMIRE

    Rebecca, I was scammed by them for the ELECTRA HAIRBRUSH. Almost identical story, right down to me not finalizing the order and it got placed anyway. Along with their $8.95 membership’ fee, they charged me a 30% sales tax and a shipping fee of $9.95. I did a little research and they are scamming people all over. Criminal!

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  2. Tina

    These people are definitely scammers. I received no invoice for the Flux DD Zoom lens. They also signed me up for a monthly membership which I didn’t authorize. They charged $79.95 dollars Canadian Funds to my credit card. I had to cancel my credit card and obtain a new one. After harassing them with threats of fraud they credited back $31.00 Canadian Funds but would not give me a full refunded. Three weeks later I received the lens but it doesn’t work. They won’t refund for a product on sale and they also charge a 30% restocking fee. My verdict is buyer beware.

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  3. Geo Ri

    Comments on the Flux lens disappointment were legion. I copied the link to Facebook from this site to serve as a warning. Thanks for rhe info. Maybe it’ll save someone some pain.

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  4. Tony K.

    Anyone stupid enough to give their Credit Card Number AND pin code to an unknown company deserves to learn the hard way. No tax number or company name and (on their Facebook campain ) NO contact details whatsoever. Be advised that No bank will compensate for such fraud when you willingly give away your sensitive financial data to a total stranger.

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  5. Haggis

    I haven’t looked at all the ones on Amazon but the ones I did see were frauds too. It’s suspicious when a zoom lens lists the maximum but not the range. The ones I saw at Amazon advertised as 12x zoom were really fixed at 12x.

    Was the one you got even a zoom lens or was it simply a 12x fixed focal length lens?

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  6. Anonymous

    I had the same problem with them and of course, no answer from what they call “customer support” when I tried to cancel. So, only one thing to say: do not get scammed by this gang of thieves… (don’t click, don’t even watch)

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  7. Barbet

    I am not US citizen but try to understand. Considering all thise negativ commentaries what does US authorities to stop those scams? Doesn’t exist laws in the US to suite them all and drive them to jail? This way of doing business has to be not only denunced but punished.
    Sorry for my english (!)
    EB

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    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      I’m sure lots of people would agree with you, Barbet. I’m not a lawyer, so I can give you my opinions about your questions, but not definite answers.

      “What do US authorities do to stop the scams?” Keep in mind that in some ways the US is not a single country; it’s a federation of states. Most of the laws governing commerce are state laws. This makes it difficult for authorities of one state to charge a criminal in a different one. The US is also quite large compared to most other countries, spanning five time zones. This makes it expensive for authorities in one location to apprehend a criminal in another. Scammers know this; so they usually steal only $100 to $200 from a customer, and it may not be worthwhile for the police to go after them for that small theft. Of course when they steal that much from a thousand customers it adds up to lots of money. But a single customer will most likely shrug off the loss. So the authorities don’t often have an accuser who is willing to go to the expense and trouble of resolving the crime.

      “Don’t laws exist to sue them and drive them to jail?” US court actions are categorized as criminal or civil. In a criminal court action, the government accuses a suspect of breaking the law. If the government wins, the suspect may go to jail. In a civil court action, one citizen accuses another citizen of harming him, and demands compensation. If he wins the suit, the loser must repay him for the harm he caused, but would not go to jail. Scammers usually publish a Terms and Conditions document; among other things, it’s likely to say that by doing business with the scammer you agree that you cannot sue them. Those documents only allow arbitration, which is a negotiation that doesn’t involve a judge. They also usually don’t allow class action lawsuits or arbitrations. This means that the wronged customers can’t band together to recover their losses, but must each deal with their loss individually. Again, most victims won’t go to so much trouble over a hundred dollar loss.

      The Internet has become a way for thieves to steal a small amount from a lot of people, from a long distance, often without revealing who they are. Here and now, the best realistic thing you can do is to learn to protect yourself. The simplest protection is to avoid shopping online, or to shop only at a reputable, reliable site such as Amazon.

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  8. SMF

    I’ve kept harrassing their Facebook posts because the video that they use comes from a much more expensive superzoom camera, of which I have the Nikon P900. Often they use the same videos that convinced me to buy this camera. Bought a small zoom lens like this years ago, for about $15, and it works, just not as advertised.

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  9. Frank, Central Florida

    Thanks for the heads up! As I was reading your blog I was reminded of the Gladiator Flashlight I WAS going to buy & backed out of the screen just as someone in your article did & the SAME exact thing happened to me! They went ahead & charged my card & shipped the order (WITH RUSH SHIPPING EXTRA) an added the upgraded package & signed me up for some club membership I didn’t want! Well, they made the mistake by answering their phone! I lit into them an after dropping my lawyer’s name an a few choice words I got a refund. Wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I got most of my money back & got to keep their flashlight package none the less. Surprisingly the flashlight works great! Lol

    I greatly appreciate the heads up & keep up the great work!

    Frank……
    Central Florida

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  10. Myles

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been using? I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

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  11. Jahn Paul

    I recently bought the Flux HD Zoom and it does not zoom like there videos. Not very happy and I paid the same price as everyone else. Violated. Not very happy.

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    1. pablovilas13 Post author

      Call the card issuer and ask for the fraud department. Ask them to reverse the Flux charges and block the card to prevent future thefts. Ask them for a new card with a different number. You’ll need to switch any scheduled/automatic payments you want to keep from the old card to the new one yourself; contact the recipient of each payment to do this.

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      1. pablovilas13 Post author

        Your bank is capable of reversing the charges. Whether they will do so depends on their policies and their judgement of the value of your continued business with them. If you received the product, they’re less likely to reverse the charge. And once they’ve forwarded your money to the seller they may not be able to reverse the charge without eating it. So act fast to maximize your chance of salvaging your money.

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      2. Neil Young

        They are going to reverse the charges and investigate further.
        Just the inconvenience of having to cancel the card.

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  12. Philip

    Ordered lens ($29.95 USD) No delivery charge. Added some other “enhancement ” for $9.95 USD. Within minutes my visa was debited with about $47 USD by “Bargain Out” and then a further $9.95 USD by “Bargain Barn”. I have blocked my card and reported to fraud dept and will arrange a new card. Don’t touch these scammers.

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  13. Neil Young

    Sadly it looks like I’m to join the long list of people feeling scammed. I bought the Flux HD Zoom – Upgrade1 Premium Lens from Bargain club through their Facebook advertising. Thought I would get delivery after a shipping note was sent. All that I got was an automated generic response that someone will follow up within 12 / 24 /48 hrs, or I should call a number on their helpline. This has been the same response over the course of 5 mails, without any human connection to advise me on the whereabouts of my delivery.
    Thought, if I add my name to this list, karma will eventually catch up. Not about the money, its about the principle.

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  14. Neil Young

    Just had to cancel my credit cards. I noticed a lot more than I agreed to pay came off. Will leave it to the bank to reclaim if its at all possible.

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  15. Anonymous

    Bought same lens with same price on the website called BargainClub.Sale. Looks like a sister shop to this. I called them to cancel the membership and received a confirmation email. I said I would like to cancel the order and they only agree to refund 16 dollars. Cannot believe how stupid I was.

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  16. Kay

    Thanks for all the feedbacks and I’m sorry for all that has been affected. Before I purchase anything I usually go over all the negative reviews and I try to call the company off hand pretending my product is broken as to hear their response this way I see them before they see me. It’s horrible that we have to put out our hard earned money to nasty non account for nothing idiots but even if the law don’t get them trust me… their time is coming. I pray you all are ok and I will look forward to the day you guys hear of their downfall and hey, you never know… they might be ordered to initiate a refund to everyone scammed. Have a blessed day.

    Liked by 1 person

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  17. Anonymous

    Gosh, look like I am another one of those foolish consumers! I wish I read this post before purchasing! I’m not from US and it was promised no shipping charges but I was still charged shipping and sales tax! It’s only that i received the lens and found that it’s not as claim that I started checking. And you find these similar lenses on Lazada etc for so much less. Gee, stupid of me.

    Took your advice, call my bank and have my card blocked in case of future charges from these people. The bank will be issuing me a new card.

    Buyers, beware. When something is too good to be true, they usually are!

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  18. Dan

    Yes, I too fell for the hype and ordered this piece of junk as well. I tried it, found that it doesn’t zoom at all. Seems to be fixed at about 8X, twisting the knob only takes it in and out of focus. I did call their customer support, could barely understand the person I spoke to. I told her the thing doesn’t work, she said to read the directions. Well, of course there were no directions included. She then told me that they would send me a replacement. Still waiting on that. I don’t even want a replacement. The product is a piece of garbage. I have to check my credit card statement to see if they screwed me like they seem to be screwing everyone else. My mistake was trusting an ad that appeared on FB.

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  19. Susan P

    Also a victim. Still being charged a monthly membership fee, $29.95 along with a Foreign Transaction Fee listed as a separate charge. I did not agree to/or signup for any club membership (Bargin Club) with recurring monthly membership fees and Foreign Transaction Fee charges. Eventhough there was no further use or purchases made from this site since the initial purchases that got me trapped in this cyber theft ring like so many others. I have tried to contact Bargain Club to dispute and cancel these unauthorized transactions without resolution, since I’ve just found a charge on my credit card by “Siren Store” for a subscription fee to a bargain shopping club. I’ve never heard of this site or agreed to anything that rips me off like this. This is completely criminal.

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