“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.
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.
- 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.
Lying 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.
- 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.
Bonus 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.