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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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Annoyed by ExclusivityForYou.com

Catalog-style marketing operation ExclusivityForYou.com looks to be an above-board dealer.  Make that “somewhat.”

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.  I chose Scratch Fixer as a sample product to analyze.  I see nothing ridiculous here–just a few stretchers.  “Works best for small scratches with damaged clear coat” looks honest.  The description lists the items included in the offering and instructions for use.

mapSuspicious location: -1.  In their FAQ, EFY says that they ship out of a warehouse in Southeast Asia.  “No physical location” costs a point.  The website is hosted in Lansing, MI.

Onerous terms: -1.

  • Only unused items are acceptable for return.
  • Only regular-priced items can be returned for a refund — but everything I saw in the catalog was marked down from its original price.
  • You have to pay the shipping for items you return–to Southeast Asia?
  • They don’t guarantee that product quality will meet your expectations, nor that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: +1.  No evidence of this in the Privacy Policy.

Lying and deception: +1.  None found.

Obfuscation: -1.  

  • Countdown timer to make you think there’s no time for a careful decision.
  • Overlays claiming that people in random locations have just bought products.
  • Claims that inventory is low, urging you to hurry.

Phony reviews: -1

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: -1.  For example, Amazon offers auto body scratch fixers for $9 and up, vs. ESY’s $20.

75% discount: +1.  False.

Total score; -1

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.  EFY accepts PayPal.

Conclusion: These guys are sort of above-board.  But there’s no need to shop in Southeast Asia.

laughBonus outtakes:

  • The Return Policy states that the policy lasts 90 days.  But they’ll only accept items returned within 30 days of delivery?
  • They only replace items that are defective or damaged.  Why else would you want an item replaced?

Those funny blood-sucking scammers

Since almost becoming a victim of one, I’ve gotten very interested in web scammers.  These are people who put up websites whose secondary purpose is plugging dubious products, and whose main purpose is fraud and theft.

I started posting about web scams in my regular blog; the topic became so engrossing (to me, anyway) that it was a distraction from what I usually write about.  So I’m shifting web scamming to its own blog, and this is it!

Why?

Entertainment: The earnest fantasies that web scammers spin are hilarious.  And their devious machinations show lots of talent and effort, making me wonder why they don’t just get jobs.  Laughing at them throws sunlight on them, drying up their slimy schemes.

Someone has to do it: The Better Business Bureau is mired in the 20th century.  Credit card issuers eat reversed charges, having learned the futility of pursuing nomadic and offshore operations.  The feds have bigger fish to fry.  And Amazon has lulled consumers into supposing that all web stores are honest, reliable businesses.  A few bloggers are doing what they can to warn people.  And that may be the most we can realistically accomplish.

I hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from this blog.  Please reply with your experiences, corrections and ideas.

Call to action

  • If you have a blog or a web page, it would be a public service if you would include links to posts I’ve made.  Together we can “google-bomb” the scammers by positioning honest information higher in Google search results than their fake reviews.
  • Send me a link to your blog about scamming, and I’ll include it here.
  • If you bought something from a scammer and you don’t want it, give that purchase some purpose.  Send it to me!  I’ll review it (but I’m not promising to test stuff that’s too sketchy or scary) and write about it to warn others.

8/31/16 Update:  When I set up this blog, I copied over my posts about the LUX HD450 phone lens scam and removed the links to the scam site.  And I wrote additional posts without scam site links.  Since then I’ve noticed that the same posts with scam site links get 40 times the readership as posts without links.  I’m guessing that this reflects something Google is doing to prioritize search results.  To reach and warn more people, I’m going to add links to scam sites.  I’ll color them red; click at your peril!