Blinded by AlumiTact X700 flashlights (2018)

Was a gift so im not really out any money but I’d sure be pissed if i bought one of these.


Love this flashlight. It is everything it says it is. This seems to be the last flashlight I will have to buy.

Quotes are from Amazon reviews.  How to contact this seller:

Website: X700
Company: Military Supply USA
1005 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 3
Minneapolis MN 55405
Phone: 888-666-0984
Email: info@militarysupplyusa.com

March 23, 2018: What’s changed since my post about this company in 2016?  They raised the prices.  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): CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  

  • Rejuvalex is running a free sample/autoship scam, so I’ve turned on the red light for them.  MS has the same address as Rejuvalex, so I assume they are the same company.
  • One thing I am hearing from people falling for the scam is that many of them never receive anything for their money, which isn’t too surprising,” writes The Outdoor Nerd.
  • They don’t accept PayPal; that doesn’t look good.

Ridiculous claims: -1.

  • We had to open up a second factory just to keep up with the massive amounts of orders coming in.”  Would that be in China?
  • … flash a blinding strobe light into the attacker’s eyes, leaving them ‘disoriented beyond belief.’
  • … designed primarily for military and police units …
  • 75% discount.

Suspicious location: -1.  Military Supply USA has moved since last I checked.  The address listed above is a real building.  But …hq

… there’s so much going on behind door #3.  Other users of this address are an exotic menagerie, featuring lawyers; so perhaps I should be more cautious than usual in what I write about this place? Several of these cohabitants look sketchy enough to charge MS a point for “Suspicious location,” and should reward further investigation:

  • David Schulman Law Office
  • DentalBrightPro (teeth whitening)
  • Stryke Design
  • Rejuvalex (advanced hair growth)
  • Blue Drone (order fulfillment)
  • Snyder Law Firm Ltd.
  • RE-Dwell (homebuilding)
  • DermaBellix (skin tag remover)
  • Borealis Philanthropy
  • RealCOO (real estate file management)
  • Elmcrest Property LLC (building operators)

Onerous terms: -1

  • For a refund, you have to return the flashlight within 30 days from your order — not from when you receive it.  See “Bad Service” below.  They charge a $10 restocking fee.
  • You can’t sue them, join a class action that’s suing them or join a group arbitration, unless you opt out of this clause within 30 days of ordering or using a flashlight.
  • They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll beam ads at you and spam, junkmail, robocall and text you at your expense.  You can opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.  You have to contact those companies to unsubscribe.
  • If you registered on a Do Not Call list, hahahaha!

Lying and deception: -1

  • You can pay for your order with PayPal.  Or can you?  It isn’t an option on the order form.  This means MS is in control of how much and how often you pay.
  • They came on Wednesday, and I am absolutely blown away by the quality of the light,” writes verified purchaser Brian Moriceon, who is not an actual person.  His photo is clip-art, for sale on 123rf.com.

Obfuscation: -1

  • A countdown timer suggests that you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • The web site shows pictures of two different X700 flashlights.  Which one will you get?
  • You have to drill down three pages to find out the price ($56).  Move your mouse pointer out of the page to get a coupon to save even more.
  • Careful with that order form; it’s pre-filled for a quantity of five flashlights.  It doesn’t show the total amount of the charge, only that they are $27 each and two of the five are “free.”  Will your charge be $81 or $135?  Based on what else I’ve seen on this web site, I’m guessing $135 at least.  The word “free” means nothing to scammers.  If you have experience here, please reply and let me know if I’m right.

Phony reviews: -1.  Shill FlashlightPedia writes “The X700 is designed and manufactured in the United States in Minneapolis under the highest US factory standards.”  This “review” has large graphical links to MS’s website.  The Outdoor Nerd reveals that these flashlights are actually made in China.

Crummy product: -1.  Rated 2.7 stars by 25 Amazon customers.  “Piece of junk, used 4 times on and off button breaks. Only 30 day warranty. Military USA supply wanted more money to resolve, never improve switch. They will not help you in anyway.”  From RipoffReport; “The light supplied by the flashlight was indeed superior to other flashlights in its class, as advertised, but its cheap, shoddy manufacture does not make up for that at the specified price charged.

Overpriced: -1.  MS prices one flashlight at $56.  Amazon carries the same flashlight for $35.  I see a remarkably similar 900-lumen flashlight on Amazon for $8.

Bad service: -1

  • From Better Business Bureau; “Flashlight purchased broke after 2 days on second time use. Want me to buy a separate warranty for 2/3 cost of flashlight. wont make good on product.
  • From PissedConsumer; “It took about 3 weeks to get the flashlights and then after about a couple weeks I decided I wanted to return them. So I called the company and they said….”it’s too late, you have 30 days from the day of your order”. Not the day you receive them, but the day of your order. Yet they take 3 weeks to get to you.
  • Another; “I returned it to the address indicated on the packing slip, the same day as received, AT MY EXPENSE. When after some time passed, and I hadn’t received full credit, I called Military Supply USA and was told that they didn’t receive it.  I checked the tracking number online which showed that they DID receive it.  I’m still waiting for $35.00 to be credited back to my account!
  • From RipoffReport: “Called customer service. Guy didn’t care and I think he gets called alot.

Total score; -10

Conclusion: Buy a flashlight at a hardware store.  And forget about blinding and hitting people with it.


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Impressed with Pest Repeller Ultimate AT

Not everybody who sells over the web is a scammer.

How to contact Good Life:

Website: ElectronicPestRepeller.com
Company: Good Life
887 Gilman Road
Medford OR. 97504 USA
Phone: 800-657-8214
Email: info@mobileoptiks.com

March 22, 2018: 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.

Ridiculous claims: +1.  None found.

Suspicious location: +1.  The address above is a real building.  Other businesses at this address look okay.

Onerous terms: +1.  None found.

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0.  I couldn’t find a Privacy Policy?

Lying and deception: +1.  None found.

Obfuscation: +1.  None found.

Phony reviews: -1.  Many testimonials, with no last names or photographs.

Crummy product: 0.  229 Amazon customers rated the product an average 2.9 stars.

Overpriced: +1.  Good Life is asking $50 for one unit.  Amazon offers one unit for a bit less, $40.

Bad service: +1.  I found no reports of this.

Total score; 6

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.  Good Life is rated A by the Better Business Bureau.  Good Life accepts PayPal.

Conclusion: This looks like a good company.  But first read this cautionary report.


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Head cut off by ProShot HDX phone lenses (2018)

As to the ProShot HDX I was sent, but am not sure I ordered as I never hit “send or submit” on their page, I wondered if you might have an email address …

The above is from Alan Brown.  How to contact ProShot:

Website: ProShot HDX
Company: MobileOptiks
303 Thomas Avenue North
Minneapolis MN 55416
Phone: 844-840-3940
Email: info@mobileoptiks.com

March 20, 2018: It doesn’t look like much has changed since I reviewed this outfit a year ago.  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.

Note: LUX HD450 used to sell the same lens.  They are now just a “reviewer” (advertiser) for MobileOptiks.

Ridiculous claims: -1.  In their charmingly unique English I read:

  • Instantly turns your “decent” pictures into professional quality high-definition works for art.
  • Made with a high performing internal construction.
  • Voted best mobile product — by whom?
  • 75% discount

Suspicious location: -1.  Looks like they moved from the building to the left (#225) since last year; but it’s still their return address.

hq

Other businesses located here, some of them dubious, include:

Onerous terms: -1

  • To get a refund, you have to return the lenses at your expense within 30 days from your order — not from the day you received it.
  • They’ll deduct a $10 restocking fee from your refund.
  • You get a lifetime replacement plan, but they’ll charge $10 to ship you replacement lenses.
  • They don’t guarantee that the lenses are 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 beam ads at you, spam, junkmail and robocall you.  And they’ll text you at your expense.  You can opt out.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.
  • If you registered on a Do Not Call list, hahahaha!

Lying and deception: +1.  MobileOptiks has withdrawn the images and statements I noted in this section last year.

Obfuscation: -1

  • A countdown timer on the second page suggests you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • You have to drill down three pages to find out the price ($56)
  • Careful with the Order Form; it’s pre-filled for a quantity of five sets of lenses.  Also, the small $10 expedited shipping option on the bottom edge of the form is pre-checked.

Phony reviews: -1.  “It helps you to shoot all the focal lengths,HealthGuideWebs.com assures us.  Good to know; I wouldn’t want any of them to get away.

Crummy product: -1.  I’ve tested these lenses; they’re toy quality.

Overpriced: -1.  MobileOptix wants $56 for a set of lenses.  Amazon offers a remarkably similar set for $12.

Bad service: +1.  I found no reports of this.  My test email was answered in less than a day.

Total score; -6

Unauthorized charges: I have one report of an order that MobileOptiks filled even tho the “customer” didn’t click Submit.  MobileOptiks does not accept PayPal; this doesn’t look good.

Conclusion: Instead, take a beginning photography class.  You’ll have a lot more fun with your phone just the way it is.

img_2569

Taken with an unmodified iPhone 6.


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How the Scam-O-Meter scores web offers (2018)

Here’s a detailed explanation of my Scam-O-Meter web offer scoring system as of March 20, 2018, including some minor revisions. If this all seems too complicated, just shop on Amazon!

Rather than condemning all sellers who generate any complaints as scammers, I assign each seller a score that lies somewhere between “honest” and “criminal.”  If a seller is just overwhelmed or a bit careless, that doesn’t make him a bad person; still, you may want to think twice before dealing with an unreliable business.

A scammer is someone who steals your money by trickery or theft.  A product is not a scam.  Altho it’s common for scammers to hype mediocre products, I’ve seen scams that involve good products sold in an evil way.  So only one element of this scoring system is about the quality of the product.

Scored attributes

In the following list of scam-site attributes, -1 means true (bad), +1 means false (good), and 0 means undetermined.  These scores total to between -10 (deep mistrust) and +10 (highly trusted).  I show a site’s total score by the position of the needle on the Scam-O-Meter scale.

scamometer -7r

In this example, the seller has a total score of -7 and is a credit-card risk.

Ridiculous claims: Extreme stuff that common sense tells you can’t be true — that, to be honest, you want to believe.  If the product is going to revolutionize your whole life at hardly any cost or risk, that’s ridiculous.

Suspicious location: Scammers are shy about revealing their location.  What triggers a negative score here:

  • Post Office / UPS mailbox
  • Same address as a known scammer
  • Vacant lot, abandoned building, etc.
  • No resolvable physical addressfalcon

Onerous terms: Evil lurks in some Terms and Conditions documents.  If the T&C is too hard to read, that’s “Obfuscation;” see below.

  • Unreasonable obstacles to returning a defective or unsatisfactory product for a refund.
  • Terms that undermine or contradict advertised terms (or reasonable customer expectations).
  • Terms that diminish your legal rights.

Ads, spam, robocalls: Aggressive advertising; sharing your data with other companies.

Lying and deception: Revised: If I find that a seller lies about anything, including making up testimonials, that costs them a point.  I don’t care whether what they lie about is important; I don’t trust liars.  (I overlook severe ignorance here, but laugh at it elsewhere.).

covers

Obfuscation: A website that’s designed to confuse you, make you decide in a hurry, or hide important information.

Phony reviews: 

  • Testimonials.  Revised: If I see more than three on-site testimonials, that’s suspicious.  Social media identities are sometimes stolen and used to create this sort of fake content.  I have no practical way to check them.  So, more than three testimonials will cost the seller a point whether or not the writers are actual persons.
  • If I find that testimonial writers are made-up persons, that falls under “Lying And Deception” above.  So, a long list of fake testimonials will cost the seller two points.
  • Reviews by shills; masquerading as impartial advice, these are just a complicated form of advertising.  Any “review” with a prominent graphical link to the seller’s web page is a shill.

Crummy product: It’s typical for scammers to exaggerate a mediocre product’s quality.  But keep in mind that a good product is no assurance that the offer is not a scam.

Overpriced: I don’t insist on the cheapest price.  But a price that’s over two times the going rate on Amazon gets a -1 from me.

Bad service: The seller ignores emails and doesn’t answer their phone.  So, their assurances of fast customer service and easy refunds are empty.

Unscored attribute

Unauthorized charges:  If I find that a seller is stealing from credit card accounts, then their score no longer matters, because I just don’t trust them.  I show this result with a red stop-light labelled “CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT” on the Scam-O-Meter.  Unauthorized charges include:

  • Charging a higher price than advertised
  • Charging more than once for the same item
  • An unannounced automatic subscription to an auto-ship service (typical follow-up to a “free trial”)
  • A hidden monthly membership fee for a newsletter or “discount club”
  • Failure to use HTTPS (encrypted) protocol to protect your credit-card data from snoopers
  • If the seller’s address is the same as that of a known scammer who’s stealing from credit card accounts, I consider him the same person and turn on the red light.
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Jinxed by Stansberry’s investment book “American Jubilee”

“… they send a very benign email (“a reminder from Stansberry”) that if you don’t open that ONE DAY, and cancel, you are charged for another year of something you never signed up for in the first place.


You have absolutely no risk when giving our work a try.

How to contact this seller:

Web site: Stansberry Research
1125 N. Charles St., 
Baltimore, Maryland 21201 USA
1-888-261-2693
info@stansberrycustomerservice.com

March 14, 2018: The first quotation above is from a reader response in InvestorJunkie.com.  The second is from the Stansberry order form page.  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): CREDIT CARD RISK ALERT!  Stansberry fully lives up to the credit-card-sucking reputations of its Agora siblings.

  • From Ripoff Report: “Stansberry research ‘free book offer’ is a total scam. He offers you a free book, but you pay shipping and handeling of $5, then he automatically enrolls you in some $99 monthly service contract that is never mentioned in the free book offer.
  • From Pissed Consumer: “STANSBERRY IS A RIPOFF, NOT ONLY IS THE NEWSLETTER WORTHLESS. BUT THEY CONTINUED TO CHARGE ME EVEN AFTER I HAD CANCELLED. THEY REFUSE TO RETURN MY MONEY, BUT OFFERED TO GIVE ME STANSBERRY CREDIT!!! NO THANKS.
  • Stansberry doesn’t accept PayPal or debit cards, a bad sign.

Ridiculous claims: -1.  The government is about to wipe out all debts across the board.  Really, this is not going to happen.

Suspicious location: -1.  The above location is a real office building.  But …Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 10.26.40 PM

  • Notice that Google has flagged this building “Money Map Press,” an outfit that I reviewed two years ago.  “Judging from consumer complaints, the real business of Money Morning and its Money Map Press siblings is scaring people into panic investments, with a sideline in credit-card fraud.
  • Reviewer InvestorJunkie.com discloses that Stansberry is owned by Agora.  Agora’s fingerprints are also on Seal Torch 2000 flashlights and tactical pens, via their subsidiary Laissez Faire Books.

Onerous terms: 0.  Plowing thru the Disclosure’s mountain of boasting, typos and obvious financial advice, I found these nuggets of important information:

  • Investing is risky; you could lose money, and they won’t be liable for your loss.
  • They claim not to be investment advisors.  Their publications are merely for information and education.
  • You can return the book for a refund up to 30 days from an unspecified event (your order or delivery of the book?). An unspecified fee is deducted from the refund.
  • Some offers only include a right to receive Stansberry products in lieu of a refund.  Is this one of them?

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0.  They’ll spam you and send you junk mail; you can unsubscribe.

Lying and deception: -1. … the terms of the offer are always clearly described on the order form.”  But this offer’s order form doesn’t tell you:

  • What event starts the 30-day guarantee period countdown?
  • Whether a refund would be in cash or just store credit?
  • Whether a fee would be deducted from a refund, and how much that fee is?

The Order Summary displays the $19 charge prominently, and buries the $149 subscription charge in small print.

Obfuscation: -1.  Headlines promise information that a blizzard of text fails to deliver.  Facebook-advertised lead page “The Crux” screams “Expert Says: ‘Look who’s going bankrupt next in America.’”  So I read the article that’s way too long, but I never do find out who’s going bankrupt next in America.  I only find out how very right Mr. Stansberry was about other events he predicted.

Then, at the bottom I read “You can access his full analysis, free of charge, on his company’s website, right here…”  But this link is to a second article that still doesn’t tell who’s going bankrupt.  Changing the subject, it blares “Mark My Words; This Political Event Will Be Unlike Anything We’ve Seen In 50 Years.”  Wading thru text that’s waaaaaay too long and with more charts than Ross Perot, I determine that the political event is cancellation of everybody’s debts across the board (“Jubilee”), because the Bible and no gold standard.

Phony reviews: -1.  On-site testimonials don’t give full names or photographs, so I can’t check them; but they sure look fake.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: 0.  “The American Jubilee” book and a handful of other stuff is $19.  Unless you cancel within 30 days, they’ll bill you $149 for a one-year newsletter subscription.  Total cost per monthly newsletter issue; $14.

For comparison, the Wall Street Journal charges $37 a month ($444 a year) for an online subscription, minus some introductory discounts.  Remember that this paper is published six days a week, not monthly.  Total cost per issue; $1.42.

Bad service:  -1.  Stansberry’s “Disclosures” document says “If we cannot meet your expectations, you should always have the opportunity to call us on the phone, tell us how we’ve failed you, and get your money back.”  But I’ve found many complaints that they don’t respond to calls and email.  When people do get thru to them, they only pretend to cancel subscriptions.

  • Ripoff Report; “After I had cancelled several times, kept being billed on credit card.  Finally I disputed charge to credit card company and acct is supposedly cancelled. This is just not a good company and their recommendations are no better than betting on NFL games.
  • Pissed Consumer; “I called them and they kept me waiting for half an hour on the phone. Finally they claimed to have cancelled my subscription on telephone but continued to charge my credit card for a full year!
  • Amazingly, the Better Business Bureau rates Scansberry A+ despite 117 complaints and 17 negative reviews.

Total score; -6

Conclusion: Don’t.  If you’re currently trying to cancel a subscription, have your bank reverse the charge and block your credit card, as I explain here.

Related: OpportunityChecker.com; “StansberryResearch.com Reviews; Legit or Scam?

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Jammed by Roadside Hero flashlight (emergency tool)

Earthquakes, hurricanes or even tornados can often strike anywhere and without warning. But with the Stealth Angel Roadside HERO by your side, you’ll have the confidence that comes with knowing you’re ready for anything.

Contact information:

Stealth Angel / Invative Inc.
7080 Hollywood Blvd. #1100
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Email Address: info@StealthAngelSurvival.com
Telephone: 877-210-7911

February 26, 2018: 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.

Ridiculous claims: 0.  The quote at the top of this post borders the ridiculous.  What about tsunamis?  Okay, I see further down they’ve got those covered, too!

Suspicious location: -1.  The above address is a “virtual address” hosted by DaVinci Virtual Office Solutions.  So it’s a cut above the typical UPS mailbox, but it’s still not a dedicated company facility.  

Stealth Angel/Invative shares this “co-working space” with several other businesses that may or may not have anything to do with them, including:

  • Premier Party Strippers
  • Blackout-X (vaping supplies)
  • Dark Angel (tactical survival kit)
  • Green Gorilla (CBD)

Onerous terms: 0.  Terms are much milder than those of some sellers.  However,30 days

  • To return a flashlight, you have to send it within 30 days … of what?  I’m guessing 30 days from the date of your order.  If so, subtract their shipping time to your location to find out how long you have to decide whether to keep the light after you get it.  “We cannot guarantee when an order will arrive.
  • They don’t guarantee that the light 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.
  • They’ll share your personal data with other companies that will do the same.
  • If they sell their business, your personal data is part of the deal.
  • They ignore “Do not track” browser settings.

Lying and deception: +1. None found.

Obfuscation: -1.  Terms Of Service are extremely long for a flashlight.  And they’re partly in hard-to-read upper case.

testimonial guyPhony reviews: -1.  “Doesn’t get any stronger.  This thing is insanely bright, but it’s durable, lightweight and compact enough.”  I couldn’t track the photo accompanying “Martin K.”‘s testimonial down to a specific clip-art service.  However, it appears in many other web sites under a variety of names.

Crummy product: 0.  Unknown.

Overpriced: 0.  Stealth Angel is asking $50 for one light.  Amazon offers a similar solar-powered light for $20, but you can’t charge your phone from it.

Bad service: -1.  I sent Stealth Angel a technical question about the flashlight seven days ago; I didn’t receive a reply.

Total score; -4

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.  The Better Business Bureau rates Stealth Angel “A-” with mixed reviews and five complaints, most of them resolved.  Stealth Angel accepts PayPal.

Conclusion: A cool gadget to show off to your buddies, but expensive; and it comes with spam.

Blooper: 

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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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