Sunburned by Atomic Beam USA tactical flashlights

This is a cheaply built product, that has been aggressively marketed,” writes Joe on BrightReviews. “Based upon my experience, I would suggest buyers to beware!”

Let’s turn the harsh light of the Scam-O-Meter on TeleBrands’ Atomic Beam USA flashlight.  (They also sell lanterns, headlamps, battery chargers and many other products.). There may be nothing illegal or wrong with the following business practices. But they suggest that the seller is not to be trusted. I’m using my Scam-O-Meter scoring system; -1 means true, +1 means false, and 0 means undetermined.

Ridiculous claims: -1.  Forty times as powerful as an ordinary flashlight.  It’s safe to assume that by “ordinary” they mean an incandescent bulb flashlight from a museum.

Suspicious location: +1.  At 79 Two Bridges Road, Fairfield, NJ 07004 I see a very nice facility.hq

Onerous terms: 0.  The terms are better than those offered by many sellers, so I’ll cut them a little slack.  However,

  • To get a refund, you must return the light within 30 days of receiving it.  It must be in “like new” condition, in its original packaging, including all the stuff that came with it.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.
  • Once they process your payment, they won’t cancel your order.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll use the information you give them to beam ads at you.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your information is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1

  • TeleBrands measures the power of their flashlight in Lux, claiming up to 5,000 lux.  All other flashlight sellers measure their products’ power in Lumens.  This makes comparing flashlights quite inconvenient.  
  • Lux is also a deceptive measure, because by itself it’s incomplete.  While Lumens is a measure of the light produced by the source, Lux is a measure of the light the source casts on a given surface area at a specified distance from the source and a specified angle relative to it.  Without the values of these variables, Lux means nothing.
  • Careful; the order forms are pre-filled for a quantity of two products.

Obfuscation: +1. None found.

Phony reviews: +1.  None found.

Crummy product: 0.  As far as I can tell, it’s a typical low-end tactical flashlight.  Wired rates it “Very good, but not quite great.”  Freakin’ Reviews writes, “While there is nothing particularly wrong with Atomic Beam, there isn’t much unique about it to make this a superior choice than other tac lights which cost the same or less.

Overpriced: -1.  TeleBrands is asking $20 for one flashlight, including AAA batteries.  Freakin’ Reviews notes that this was formerly advertised as a 1200-lumen flashlight.  Amazon sells Atomic Beam USA for $18, but offers what looks like the same 1200-lumen flashlight for $9.

75% discount: +1.  False.


Total score; 0

Unauthorized charges: The combination of bad service and billing irregularities leads me to rate this company as a CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT despite their relatively high Scam-O-Meter score.

  • The Better Business Bureau rates TeleBrands D+ with many negative reviews and complaints.
  • PissedConsumer has numerous complaints.  Here’s one; “I ordered a “get up and go cane” from Telebrands.They called to tell me it shipped.  Then they told me they added costume jewelry- earrings to the shipment at no additional charge. Then they told me that they included a necklace and would bill me an additional $39.99. I refused the entire box… including the cane.
  • RipoffReport likewise has lots of complaints, such asBecause he wanted to keep my business, he offered to take $10 off the order which he stated was $47.97 and would sell it to me for $37.97 – which is the original amount on my printed invoice!

Conclusion: Avoid.  Despite the unusual web presentation, the products are nothing special.  Too many people have had trouble with these guys.

 

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3 thoughts on “Sunburned by Atomic Beam USA tactical flashlights

  1. netrolller3d

    $18 or $20 sounds about the right price for a flashlight like this, as long as it comes with a genuine Cree XM-L2 LED of a good brightness bin (U1 or higher). On reviews of the Atomic Beam I’ve seen, it did look like an XM-L2, though the bin is hard to tell.

    The $9 clone on Amazon supposedly has a “Special powerful genuine ultra bright xm-l t6 Cree super-silicon carbide single die LED chip”, which would be Cree XM-L (earlier generation than XM-L2), brightness bin T6, so it’s low-quality even if it’s a genuine Cree – and my gut instinct tells me it’s probably a Chinese “Lattice Bright” clone. (At least they didn’t spell it “XML-T6”, the surefire sign of a fake LED.)

    Unfortunately the crappy memoryless 5-mode driver (same as in the Shadowhawk) makes the Atomic Beam a dud, despite the apparently good LED.

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  2. dvuajhjl@gmail.com

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