Tag Archives: HD360x

Zonked by HD360x Zoom+ phone lens

This slippery outfit deserves a second look.  And while doing that we will meet triplets!  So on 4/22/17 let’s point our Scam-O-Meters at HD360x.

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

  • Transform Your Phone Into A Professional Quality Camera!  The flim-flam starts early.
  • The fully universal clip technology allows you to use the lens on any smartphone.”  How about an iPhone 7 Plus?  (Twin lenses.)
  • The wonderful pictures you’ll take with this lens will make you a social-media hot commodity.”
  • Same quality pictures as you could take with a DSLR camera.  There are many important differences between a phone and a real camera besides the lens.
  • 75% discount.  Read; “WE ARE SCAMMERS.”

Post Office box: -1.  HD360x twists and turns to avoid giving its location.  It’s not listed in “Contact us.”  But I found it in the return policy: 2105 Foothill Blvd Suite B123, La Verne,CA 91750.hd hq

Onerous terms: -1

  • They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true.
  • Although they advertise a satisfaction guarantee, they don’t warrant that product quality will meet your expectations.
  • The Terms of Service are governed by the law of Alberta, Canada, despite the California return address.  What’s your plan to sue them?

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0.  The privacy terms are mild compared to others.

  • They will use the information you give them to spam you.  You can opt out.

Lying and deception: -1.  Would you give your credit card to a liar?

  • Lead Technologist Cory Brown from Stuttgart looks just like the ones who work for LUX HD450 and Inferno Lighters.  Strange place, Stuttgart.lead techs
  • The usual forged photography magazine cover.covers
  • Scientific-looking, unattributed chart comparing the Zoom+ to industry standards like Nikon.

Obfuscation: -1

  • You have to drill down three pages to find out the price ($56).
  • Countdown timer on the second page, to make you think you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • While you’re looking at the third page, overlays keep popping up that claim lenses have just been purchased by people in random locations.

Phony reviews: -1.  The HD360x web page is set up to look like a review by “Matt Perez” 43 minutes ago, entitled “Gadget Catalog.”

Crummy product: -1.  

  • The Better Business Bureau rates HD360x “F” due to problems with product and service.
  • Ripoff Report carries a complaint; “it doesnt work and cant find a phone number to contact to send back product.
  • The clip attachment system is kludgy and can distort your picture, as I’ve tested.
  • I found two complaints by people who discovered that they couldn’t hold their phones steadily enough to get good telescopic shots.  This is why serious photographers use a tripod.
  • What looks like the same lens is offered by Amazon, to eight mixed reviews.  With that small a number, fakes could predominate.  One customer writes, “Very disappointed with this product. Poor image quality. The clip sucks. Don’t waste your money.

Overpriced: -1.  The Amazon look-alike is $18 vs. $56 from HD360x.   Best Buy has one for $12.

Unauthorized charges: -1  

  • Alina Lopez Marin posted on Facebook that she was billed twice for $56.
  • A reply to my earlier post about HD360x; “These ppl just charged me AGAIN…..n i didn’t buy anything. Bastards. I got sucked in big time. The lenses r crap.

Final score: -9

This crummy product sold by scammers has nothing to recommend it.  You could get a good phone lens for about $100.  But for that money, you could get a compact camera.

laughBonus outtake:  The advertised 30-day money back guarantee is half as long as the 60-day guarantee described in the Terms of Service.

Related: Don’t Get Ripped Off, part 3

 


Thanks to the creator of Facebook page HD360x Ripoff Advice for information about this scam.

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To victims of the LUX HD450 phone lens scam

 

danger-theftAre you a victim of LUX HD450?  If so, I am truly sorry.

I’ve received hundreds of replies and comments about my posts like this one covering LUX HD450 phone lenses.  My posts warn people that the lenses are crummy, and that the company steals from buyers’ credit card accounts.  Still, among the replies are several that have mistaken me for the LUX HD450 company.  Here is how I’ve been answering them.

I am just a blogger and reviewer; I have no connection to the lens company. I only posted some articles about them. So I can’t do anything about your order. Sorry!

How to contact LUX HD450:
Lux HD450
2658 Del Mar Heights Rd #368
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA
Phone: 1-844-220-5101
International Returns Address:
PO Box 7574
Milton Keynes, MK119GQ, UK
Email: support@luxhd450.com
France: soutien@luxhd450.fr
Germany: kundendienst@luxhd450.de

My advice is:

  1. You can try calling the company.  But beware; they may try to trick you into waiting until you can’t get your money back from your credit card issuer.  They may tell you promises and lies, such as fake shipment tracking numbers.  
  2. Refuse to accept any packages you receive from the company, and return them unopened.
  3. Call your credit card issuer’s fraud department, and request that their charges be reversed and your card blocked. Request a new credit card.
  4. You’ll have to move any scheduled or automatic payments that you’ve set up on your old card over to the new card yourself.

I know from personal experience that changing credit cards is a huge nuisance. But I think this is the quickest, surest way to free yourself from a credit thief.  Some readers have also forced LUX HD450 to refund their money by complaining to the state attorney general or the Better Business Bureau.  The FTC has posted advice on how to report online fraud.

If you still want this type of lens, you can safely buy similar ones on Amazon. You’ll see a variety of products there; pay attention to the customer reviews, most of which are honest.

Here are some more detailed suggestions for getting your money back.

fireweed

I took this photo with an iPhone 6.

Now, a bit of straight talk about taking better pictures.  Putting different lenses on any camera can be fun. Keep in mind, tho, that you can’t make your phone into a better camera by clipping a lens to it.  A photographer could explain why, and probably tell you more than you wanted to know.  Put simply, that would be like making hamburger into prime rib by putting steak sauce on it.  The sauce may make the hamburger more fun to eat, but it’s still hamburger.

Photography is an art.  With a little effort and guidance, you can learn to do it well enough to enjoy yourself and create nice pictures that people will admire–even with just your phone.  As you learn more, a better camera can become a great tool.  But a better camera won’t by itself make you a better photographer.

Several other web scammers are following in LUX HD450’s path.  The above advice also applies to customers of HD360x and HDFX360.

Phone lens scammer HD360x sure looks familiar

HD360x is a lot like LUX HD450; ugly. (Thanks to D. Stoddard for the tip.)  Same web pages; same crummy lenses.

Whether it shares other evil traits like credit-card fraud remains to be seen.  screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-50-55-pmIts base in Canada may make legal recourse for US citizens difficult.  Let’s see what this operation is up to on September 7, 2016.

Ridiculous claims:  

  • Buying these lenses will make you famous online.  “Many Instagram Famous Celebrities have finally shared their secrets about how they have gained over a MILLION FOLLOWERS in a very short time-frame. … Most of them used to take pictures simply with their phone, but they weren’t gaining any followers until they started using the HD360X for instant high quality pictures. Now, they have created their own empire with one simple device!
  • They outperform lenses by Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and Canon, according to an unattributed scientific-looking chart.  I’ve tested the lenses; this claim is so false!  -1

HD360xPost Office box: The scam site doesn’t offer a physical address of any kind.  Their Privacy Statement divulges the Canadian address of their Privacy Compliance Officer: 1415 33 St N, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 5H2, Canada.  Here I see a mini-storage warehouse.  -1

Onerous terms: 

  • Believe anything we say at your own risk.
  • We don’t guarantee that our products are fit for any use.
  • Any returns are subject to our return policy.  (I couldn’t find the Return Policy on the website.)  -1

scamometer HD360xAds, spam, robocalls: HD360x has a good Privacy Policy, if you’re willing to trust them to stick to it.  Because they’re based in Canada, spammed US citizens aren’t likely to have any recourse.

  • Information collected during a transaction is only used to complete the transaction.
  • If we want your information for marketing, we’ll ask for it.  You can opt in or opt out at any time.  +1

Lying and deception:  

  • The web page masquerades as a review of the vendor; but its domain is HD360x.com.
  • It has the byline “Matt Perez.”  I found no Matt Perez who has anything to do with photography or journalism.
  • A different lens is shown in the sidebar than on the main part of the page.
  • “We set our design goals to make these lenses the finest in the world, bar none.”   So says the fictitious Simon Greig, HD360x’s Lead Technologist (and LUX HD450’s, too?).  -1

Obfuscation:  

  • Most of the Terms and Conditions document is not about clip-on phone lenses; you’ll have to read it pretty hard to pick out what little meat is there.
  • You have to drill down through three web pages to see the price list.
  • An animated timer suggests that you don’t have time to comparison-shop.  -1

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 11.07.26 PMPhony reviews: I see the usual suspects; Assistive Tech, Infinite Power Solutions, etc.  This type of scam is a cooperative enterprise among many “companies.”  Any vague, wildly enthusiastic review by someone you never heard of before with a button linking you to the seller is getting paid.  -1

Crummy product: I’ve tested these lenses; “crummy” is about right.  -1

Overpriced: HD360x offers a single set of lenses for $56, and quantity discounts down to $27.50 for 20 sets.  Amazon has a wide selection of clip-on phone lens sets, including what looks like the identical product under another brand for $5.99.  -1

Unauthorized charges: Once they’ve got your credit-card data, they turn unresponsive.  A typical complaint:

… the customer “service” is unfriendly, they refuse to cancel orders (within the first minute after it was placed!), they do not acknowledge emails, refused shipments, or returns. I am still waiting for a refund from April (it is August as I write this). -1

Final Scam-O-meter score: -8

Even if you still want the lenses, you’ll avoid a lot of trouble and grief by steering clear of these guys.

If you’re a victim

I am very sorry to learn it. Here’s the best advice I’ve been able to come up with for victims of phone lens scams.

Other reviews

Highya