Author Archives: pablovilas13

About pablovilas13

I'm a retired systems analyst. I enjoy wilderness sports like hiking, XC skiing and kayaking. And I'm a letter-writer and story-teller. Born 1948, male, married with children.

Fuzzed by LuxuryXS.com’s QX9 HD Zoom phone lens

Charged My CREDIT CARD FOR THE GLASSES PLUS TAKING OF MONTHLY FEE OF 11.60 MUST HAVE INCLUDED AHIDDEN FEE. cannot contact by Phone or E mail.

The above is from a complaint in  Ripoff Report.  On February 12, 2018, let’s focus our Scam-O-Meters on LuxuryXS.com’s offering of a zoom lens for smart phones.  Contact information:

Web site: LuxuryXS.com
Company: Elite Savings Club
9187 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite 6 #584
San Diego, CA 92123, United States
Phone Support: 1-877-919-9511
Email Support: support@luxuryxs.com

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 (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored): I’m turning on the CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT red light.

  • In small print at the bottom of the order form I find; “This order includes a free 30-day pass to LuxuryXS Free Shipping Club.”  Clicking the “?” at the end of this statement reveals that after 30 days they’ll start billing you $9 every month until you manage to escape this “club.”
  • This little footnote also accidentally reveals a connection to Exclusivity Store, a known scammer that I’ve already written about.  Other carelessly-copied documents on this web site reveal connections to known scammers LUX HD450 and Elite Savings Club.
  • LuxuryXS.com doesn’t accept PayPal; that doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: -1.

  • Does the lightweight, portable, durable QX9 HD ZOOM kit actually work to produce powerful, professional pictures from your phone? Here’s our review. … It has our vote.”  Keep in mind that you’re reading advertising, not a review.
  • 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 wrote no such thing.
  • CARRYING AN ULTRA-COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT TELEPHOTO LENS WILL GIVE YOU THE POWER OF A $4000 DSLR IN YOUR POCKET.”  There are important differences between a phone and a real camera besides the lens, as I explain here.
  • … she could cherish every moment, and relive all of it with the awesome pictures she could get with the QX9 HD ZOOM.”  So, Christie, you expect me to believe that you sprang for a safari but didn’t bring a real camera?

Suspicious location: -1.  The above address is a UPS store mailbox, always popular with scammers.

Onerous terms: -1

  • They’ll charge you when they receive your order.  But they won’t “accept” your order until they ship it.
  • Your order implicitly subscribes you to a “free shipping club” for which they’ll bill you $9 a month forever.
  • They charge a 30% restocking fee for all refunds and replacements.
  • If you reverse their charge on your credit card, that’s “theft.”
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.  Fallback position; you have to go to San Diego CA to sue them.
  • They don’t guarantee that the lens is suitable for any use; nor that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll beam ads at you, spam, text and robocall you.  You can only partially opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your personal data is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1

  • David Artiola, lead technologist from Stuttgart, said this on the record: ‘We set our design goals to make these lenses the finest in the world, bar none.’”  I see that David even signed his testimonial.  That’s remarkable when you consider that David is not actually a person.  His picture is clip-art, on sale at Shutterstock.com.
  • Selling for 50% off their normal price!” boasts the top page.  But the order page reveals that to save this much money you have to buy four lenses.
  • The seller’s home page claims that you can pay for your order using PayPal.  But PayPal isn’t one of the choices on the order page.

Obfuscation: -1

  • You don’t get to see the terms of sale until you go to the order form.  They’re way too long; only a very determined reader will know what he’s getting into.  Despite their length, they don’t mention a guarantee period.
  • The terms don’t disclose the monthly shipping club subscription charge; that’s in a separate, hard-to-find document.
  • Careful with that order form; a quantity of three lenses is pre-selected.

Phony reviews: -1.  The web site features several unattributed prize-winning photos by “customers” that have also appeared in other phone lens scams.  TechAwareness.com suggests using the lens to “spy on girls.

Crummy product: 0.  83 Amazon customers rated this remarkably similar lens an average 3.8 stars.    “Do not waste your money on this. Not even close to the video and photos shown. Mine can’t even focus on anything and some parts came broken. Won’t even bother to return the product. Luckily it’s not that expensive. Well cheap product with cheap quality.”  “I was so exited to get my lens in the mail. It looks just as advertised. I love that it’s so simple to use and the clip helps keep it in place while I take pictures or videos. My pictures come out very well. I am very pleased.

Overpriced: -1.  LuxuryXS.com wants $60 for one lens, claiming that this is a 25% discount.  Amazon offers a remarkably similar phone zoom lens for $11.

Bad service: -1

  • Luis Orduz wrote to me, “luxurys.club collected US$60.17, using the name of (Lead Technologist) David Artiola.  They only informed me that I made the purchase, but they have not manifested nothing about the delivery.”  (“Cobro luxurys.club, US 60.17, usando el nombre de David Artiola, solamente me informaron que hice la compra, pero no han manifestado nada sobre la entrega.“).
  • I sent a technical question about the lens to LuxuryXS.com.  Three days later I received an auto reply; “Thank you for contacting XSDeluxe Free Shipping Club customer service email support.  We were unable to locate an account with the information you provided…

Total score; -9

Conclusion: Run!

Bloopers:

  • With QX9 HD ZOOM , you will be able to zoom in 18x and focus on what your smartphone can’t.
  • Why these guys don’t have real jobs; 293 – 44 = 249.  249 / 293 = 85%, not the 45% discount advertised.
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Bent by Instaflex Advanced joint pills

Give me my money back I never order nothing I just wanted to try the free trial and you take my money from my account suppose I just pay mailing 4.99

So writes a customer on Supplement Critique. who’s been entrapped in Instaflex’s “auto-ship” service of mailing and billing for more pills every month.

Instaflex Company sells two lines of pills for joint pain; Instaflex and Instaflex Advanced.  Instaflex contains glucosamine; Instaflex Advanced contains other ingredients instead.  This post is about Instaflex Advanced.  Contact information:

Web site: Instaflex
2323 South 3600 West
West Valley City, UT 84119
1-800-436-0920
Email: support@Instaflex.com

 

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 (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.

Unauthorized charges (not scored): Customers who don’t read the terms probably consider the auto-ship charges unauthorized.  Instaflex doesn’t accept PayPal, which would give a customer control over the amount and number of payments.  So I’m putting up the CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT.

Ridiculous claims: 0.  Nothing outright ridiculous, but I see a lot of stretchers here.

Suspicious location: -1.  The address listed above is Xipix, a third-party fulfillment company.hqThis address is also used by several other enterprises, some of them dubious-looking, including:

Onerous terms: 0.  Terms are mild compared to those of some sellers.  However;

  • They don’t guarantee that the product is fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them, or join a group arbitration.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1.  

  • They’ll spam you and robocall you.  You can opt out.
  • They’ll share your data with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their company, your data is part of the deal.

Lying and deception: -1.

  • Target the root cause of joint discomfort!  Feel the difference starting in 7 days.”  Terms small print reveals; “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
  • Does Instaflex Advanced meet FDA requirements?  Instaflex Advanced is encapsulated under strict FDA guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices.”  This is talking about how they fill the capsules, not what they put in them.  Terms small print reveals; “… materials or supplements distributed or sold by http://www.Instaflex.com have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • All transactions are secure and encrypted. Credit card information is never stored.”  Terms small print reveals; “… you acknowledge and agree that Direct Digital will not obtain additional authorization from you for each future installment of the $69.99 automatic shipment program that will be charged to the payment card you provided initially.

totalObfuscation: -1.  The site gives the impression that you can get a sample by paying just the $5 shipping.  But ordering the sample automatically enrolls you in their auto-ship program, which costs $75 a month, unless you cancel your order within 18 days.

testimonial-marshaPhony reviews: -1.  “It worked for them, and it can work for you.”  On-site endorser Marsha T.’s photo also appears under various names on several other vendors’ web sites.  It’s clip-art, available for download on FreeImages.com.

Crummy product: 0.  Not sure.  494 Amazon customers gave it a rating of 3.7 stars.  “Great service and product was as described.”  “Didn’t work at all! Tried it for three months! Great ad campaign, but not so much.

Overpriced: -1

  • Instaflex wants $70 excluding shipping for a bottle of 30 pills — one month’s supply.  (A sample bottle contains 14 pills.)  They say you take one a day.  That works out to $2.33 per pill for 30 pills.
  • Amazon is selling 30-pill bottles of Instaflex Advanced for $47 — that’s $1.56 per pill, and no auto-ship hassle.
  • Amazon also carries  Herbal Secrets Boswellia Serrata extract (the first ingredient in Instaflex Advanced); they’ve priced it at $12 for a bottle of 120 pills.  That works out to $0.10 a pill.

Bad service: 0.  This isn’t clear.  From ConsumerHealthShop.com; “I tried the trial that this company offered 3 month ago they I did not want anymore but they keep sending it charging my bank account and there is now way to cancel the product. how can I contact them to cancel this?”  However, when I sent Instaflex a test email they replied in five hours.

Total score; -6

Conclusion: Avoid.

laugh

Blooper: Who produces Instaflex Advanced?  Instaflex Advanced was developed in Massachusetts and Utah to be safe, effective, and non-habit-forming.”  Um, but who produces Instaflex?


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Squished by Invisible Body Shaper

 

Now here’s a vendor who preys on women’s insecurity and desire to be attractive and loved.  I’m not going to be nice to them.

Let’s take a look at what else the people who sell ClearSight driving glasses are up to.  In this episode, what our grandparents called “girdles.”  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 (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.  Contact information:

get money backWeb Site: Invisible Body Shaper
10450 North Airport Road
Hayden, ID. 83835
Phone: 415 329 0341
Email: support@invisibleshaper.com

Ridiculous claims: -1

  • Extremely soft and comfortable.”  Okay, I’m a guy.  But when I travel I have to wear support socks to prevent blood clots.  Imagining that constant smashing over my whole body, I don’t believe it would be extremely soft and comfortable.
  • So many celebs love it says it all.”  Name ten.

Suspicious location: -1.  The address above is a real building.  But it’s also used by many other enterprises, some of them dubious, as I’ve listed here.hq

Onerous terms: 0.  Terms are mild compared to those of some sellers.  However, they don’t guarantee that their product is fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: +1.  You can opt in to receive emailed advertising, and opt out.

Lying and deception: -1.  Made from Modal, an eco-friendly material.”  I found that Modal is a close relative of rayon.  Wikipedia; “A recent ocean survey found that rayon contributed to 56.9% of the total fibers found in deep ocean areas, the rest being polyester, polyamides, acetate and acrylic.

Obfuscation: -1

  • Overlays keep popping up to tell me about people in random locations who are buying invisible body shapers.  I’d better hurry, before they’re all gone!
  • When I move my cursor outside the order form page, a big coupon overlays it.  This has a countdown timer; time’s a-wastin’.

sales7Phony reviews: -1.  This photo named sales7.jpg used in an on-site endorsement by “Amy M.” is also being used by several other online girdle vendors.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: 0.  Amazon lists body shaper garments ranging in price from $3 to $26.  Invisible Body Shaper is asking $35 for one pair.  That seems rather high, but not outrageous.

Bad service: +1.  I found no complaints.

Total score; -3

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.  Invisible Body Shaper doesn’t accept Pay Pal.

Conclusion: Don’t get into this.


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Toyed with by Ultrabeam Lasers (2018)

January 15, 2018; What has changed since I wrote about this outfit last year?  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 (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.  Ultrabeam doesn’t provide any contact information.

Web site: Official Tactical Kit

Reviewer JenniferRein84 offers this contact information:

Official Survival Kit
1780 w 9000 so suite 111
West Jordan 84088
Phone: 844-381-6663

I’m not sure whether she’s talking about the same “Ultrabeam” seller.  When I reviewed the product last year the company was located in New York.

Ridiculous claims: -1

  • Navy Seal tested survival laser
  • Light matches” — or you could strike them on something
  • Blind an attacker;” possibly, if he cooperates
  • 75% discount, a percentage that scammers quite like to claim

Suspicious location: -1.  The web site doesn’t disclose Ultrabeam’s location.  So I present the Carmen Sandiego “Where In The World?” award.  Last year they were located in New York City (If it’s the same outfit?).

Onerous terms: 0.  The terms of service aren’t disclosed.

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0.  The privacy policy isn’t disclosed.

Lying and deception: +1.  None found; just some stretchers.

Obfuscation: -1.  How powerful is the laser?  “Blind an attacker,” “Max legal wattage,” and “Survival laser” imply that you could use this laser as a weapon.  What the law says is that it’s legal to own a laser of any power.  It’s illegal for the manufacturer to call a laser more powerful than 5 mV a “laser pointer.”  Since Ultrabeam doesn’t call this device a pointer, “max legal wattage” doesn’t mean anything.  Shill Nation Life lists its power as 100 mV.  So, best not used as a pointer, if at all.

Phony reviews: -1.  Shill Nation Life reviews this laser, using the seller’s images and providing copious links to … something.  Each time I clicked on one it tried to install something on my computer.  Doesn’t look good.  Tactical Pros sings, “Ever since I bought the Ultrabeam Survival Laser, I feel like I am ready for any survival situation and I know that when the time comes protecting and taking care my family will be very easy.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: -1.  Ultrabeam prices one laser at $54.  Amazon offers a similar laser for $18.  I found a similar “match-burning” laser on Alibaba for as little as $3.90 for 50 units.

Bad service: 0.  Unknown.

Total score; -4

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.  Ultrabeam accepts Pay-Pal.

What changed since last year:  They’re now hiding their location.  And they raised their price for one laser from $49 to $54.

Conclusion: I doubt that a small laser would help you survive.  But it might be fun to tease your cat and show off to your buddies.  Buy one on Amazon.


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The 10 funniest web-scammer bloopers of 2017

#10

HDZoon360 claims that the photo above was taken during a safari in Kenya.  But Cecil The Lion lived in Zimbabwe.

#9

1TAC Flashlights shill  Save Of Scam Activity advises: “TC1200 information 1Tac very rare became only at this time, but we will do our best to provide the specifications and qualifications of this perceived military too flashlight technology, which has just been made available to the public. It is said that the spotlight LED digital concentrations produce extremely bright, light and radiation that should not be used in a game, or as a light.

#8

GadgetsCatalog‘s virtual baseball scenario has the image upside-down from the player’s point of view.

#7

From IntelligenceRX‘s shill, GenuixTrial.com: “If you are willing to use this supplement, visit online and check the offers or deals on its official website.  Hurry up and get its bottle, until the stock lasts.  Go for it right now.“

#6

NutritionForest.com was so embarrassed by their squalid building that they “borrowed” somebody else’s to display on their web site.

hq

#5

Fill In The Blank dept.: Battle Flashlights:

  • It is already selling out all over The USA and Europe and has now landed in!
  • … this “military grade” flashlight has become very popular among both men and women from .
  • Remember:(Our shipping network reaches every corner of with no exceptions!).

#4

Gladiator Flashlights:

#3

Perfecta Straightening Brush:

#2

HD360x becomes another client of the laughing bearded man, what’s-his-name:lead techs

#1

Ultrabeam Lasers:bo

Honorable mentions:

  • Tesla-Energy.org: “If you believe any information available on this site will carry potential a single result because the read or acquired, it will not.
  • JackedMuscleExtremeAdvice.com: “It simply provides me the self-confidence and also self-esteem, because of a person with extra slim weak body has to bear taunt from their follows.
  • TV Frog: “How can TVFrog sell at nearly half the price of its competitors? Honestly, it can’t.

 

Shocked by ClearView HDTV antenna

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 (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.  Contact information:

Web site: ClearView HDTV antenna
10450 N Airport Rd. Hayden, ID 83835  USA
phone: 1 (415) 422-9366
email: support@clearviewantenna.com

Ridiculous claims: -1.  Developed by a NASA scientist using military technology …”  Perhaps he defected to China?  I see several window antennas in AliBaba.

hqSuspicious location: -1.  The address above is a real building.  But according to Ripoff Report it’s also used by known scammer ClearSight Glasses.

Onerous terms: 0.  The terms are modest compared to those of some sellers.  However, they don’t guarantee that the antenna’s quality will meet your expectations; nor that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: +1.  You can opt into receiving advertising, and opt out.

Lying and deception: -1.  Up to 50 mile range …”  ChannelMaster’s antenna selection guide lists the range of a “FLATenna” as 35 miles.

Obfuscation: -1.  When I move my mouse out of the page, a coupon with a countdown timer appears.  Better hurry!

reviewerPhony reviews: -1.  The on-site endorsement by “Angela Kelly” uses a photo that’s for sale on deposit photos.com.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: -1.  ClearView is asking $40 for one antenna.  Amazon carries a similar antenna for $10, listing its range as 35 miles.  You can buy 100 window antennae on AliBaba for as little as $2 each.

Bad service: 0.  I found some complaints of this.

Total score; -5

Unauthorized charges: The Better Business Bureau rates ClearView HDTV Antenna “F” with six complaints, tho most of them were resolved.  ClearView doesn’t accept PayPal.

Conclusion: Avoid.


Related: Best HD Antenna review

Run over by iDrive cloud backup service

For all this capability and value, IDrive is a PCMag Editors’ Choice for feature-packed online backup, an honor it shares with SOS Online and Acronis True Image.


I’m done ****ing around with your broken software and have since switched to Backblaze, which has been operating flawlessly. Unlike iDrive, no files are skipped, it’s unobtrusive, the backup size is correctly calculated, it always runs when it’s scheduled, and I never have to delete/reinstall it.

December 4, 2017: The first quote is from PC Magazine.  The second is from iDrive’s user forum.  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 (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined. I penalize the seller for statements made by shills.  Contact information:

IDrive Inc.
26115, Mureau Road, Suite A,
Calabasas, CA 91302
Web site: iDrive

Ridiculous claims: +1.  None found.

Suspicious location: +1.  The address above is a respectable-looking office building.  I see no use of this address by suspicious businesses.  iDrive is a division of Pro Softnet Corporation.hq

Onerous terms: -1

  • You have to cancel before the next month or year of your service starts to avoid being charged for it.
  • After it’s been open for 15 days, you can’t cancel your account online.  You have to ask Support to do it for you.  (See below for how to cancel it online.)
  • If you get a new number for your credit card account, they’ll find out about it and keep on charging you.
  • They disclaim all warranties and liability for damage, for example due to loss of data.
  • You can’t join a class action that’s suing them; you can’t join a group arbitration.

Ads, spam, robocalls: +1.  They’ll email you advertising.  You can opt out.

Lying and deception: -1.  There seems to be no fixed price for this service.  They emailed me an offer for 75% off the first year to upgrade to a paid account.  But the link in the email led to a web page offering 25% or 50% off.  When I contacted support they said if I deleted my free account I could get a 90% off offer to sign up again.

Obfuscation: +1.  None found.

Phony reviews: 0.  This review in Cloudwards has a graphical link to iDrive’s signup page.  The review itself is informative, but the sponsorship makes me wonder how objective it is.

Crummy product: 0.  I’ve only found a couple of complaints about software defects; so I hesitate to draw a conclusion.  From PissedConsumer; “I discovered that many of the file dates for the backed up files to NOT match the dates on the source drive.  Many files dates on the back up were later than the actual file date.

Overpriced: +1.  Despite the confusion they’ve created over pricing, their regular prices are in the same range as other services.

Bad service: -1.  I’ve sent several technical questions to iDrive’s support group.  Most got only an auto-reply.  PissedConsumer.com has similar complaints.

Total score; 2

Unauthorized charges: CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  The Better Business Bureau rates iDrive “A+”.  However, they have several complaints about the difficulty of cancelling accounts and iDrive’s practice of billing changed credit card numbers.  “Got a replacement credit card and didn’t update my billing info, because their product didn’t work and they wouldn’t cancel my account. Well somehow they figured out how to get my new billing information and charged me for another year.”  “I am very concerned that iDrive was able to charge my checking account without having my current Visa bank card information.

Conclusion: Consider other cloud backup services.  Your first priority should be a good backup to your own storage media.


How to cancel your account on the web

  1.  In the top left corner of the iDrive web page, click Profile.

2.  Click Cancel my account.  If you don’t see this link, you can’t cancel it online; contact Support.  It worked for me; mine was a free trial account.