Over a hundred outraged customers have replied to my posts about LUX HD450‘s crummy lenses and credit-card thievery. (Red links are to scam sites that I don’t recommend.)
Yet the scam goes on; in fact, I gather from my blog-hit stats that more people than ever are researching LUX HD450.
2658 Del Mar Heights Rd #368
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA
International Returns Address:
PO Box 7574
Milton Keynes, MK119GQ, UK
On October 5, 2016, let’s take a fresh look at the situation.
Ridiculous claims: Like some other web scammers I’ve been tracking, LUX HD450 seems to have shuffled the hard-sell end of the business over to tame review sites like nationlife.net. They’ve put up the same web page that LUX HD450 was using last May. It makes some wild claims:
- Famous people are switching to these lenses. Name ten.
- Buying these lenses will make you famous instantly. Not!
- They’ll turn any smart-phone into a DSLR-like camera. This is true in a twisted way; professional cameras do have interchangeable lenses. But if clamping lenses on your phone could make it into a professional camera, people wouldn’t buy prime rib — they’d just buy hamburger and steak sauce. It just doesn’t work that way.
- A special coating gives great pictures even indoors in low light. But filters work by blocking part of the light; less light isn’t going to help your indoor shots.
- 75% discount; a scammer red flag.
- A scientific-looking, unattributed chart shows LUX HD450 lenses outperforming photography mainstays Nikon, Zeiss, Leica and Canon.
Because LUX HD450 authored these shills’ claims, I’m dinging them a point. -1
Post Office box: True. -1
Corporate headquarters: 2658 Del Mar Heights Rd #368, Del Mar, CA 92014
Onerous terms: Behind a thicket of legalese, I found these zingers:
- You can’t sue them, or join a class action that’s suing them.
- They’ll take your money now; but they won’t “accept” your order until they ship it.
- You can ask for a refund at any time. But you’ll only get one if you ask within 30 days of your order (not 30 days after receiving it).
- Even if you never used the lenses, they may not give you all your money back.
- If you reverse their charge on your credit card, they’ll use a record of your Internet activity to prosecute you for theft. Do they think they’re the NSA? Several customers have told me that, out of desperation, they’ve gotten their money back through their credit-card issuer.
- They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true, including whether their lenses meet their own specs (which they don’t).
- They don’t guarantee that their lenses are fit for any use. But they are; they’re a great conversation piece when you talk to your friends about scammers. -1
Ads, spam, robocalls:
- They’ll use all the data you give them and that they can suck out of your browser to beam ads at you.
- 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. -1
Lying and deception: Let’s start with the forged Digital SLR Photography magazine cover.
- Next, Lead Technologist Simon Greig from Stuttgart; he’s just clip-art.
- The sample photographs were taken with other cameras or were faked in Photoshop, as documented by Jim Doty.
- Careful with that order form; it’s pre-filled for five sets of lenses. And many people have told me that they received five sets even though they specifically ordered one.
Does this sort of self-promotional lying matter? That depends. Would you trust a liar with your credit card? -1
Obfuscation: Which lenses, exactly, are for sale here? NationLife.net and LUX HD450 web pages show black- and silver-barreled lenses on clamps, on sliding clips, and without a connecting device.
- The top left picture shows the lenses and clamp that I received. Notice that the macro and wide-angle lenses are screwed together. This is how they’re delivered. Because there are no instructions, many people complain that they only received two lenses.
Also, the Terms and Conditions document is even more stuffed with purposeless text than usual. It’s quite an effort to sift out the terms that matter. -1
Phony reviews: Vague, wildly enthusiastic reviews from websites you never heard of before, with image-links to the scam site but no mention of hands-on testing, are just advertising. The NationLife.com “review” has over a dozen links to LUX HD450. I see other phony reviews by:
- Infinite Power Solutions
- Assistive Tech
- The Healthy Order
- LUX HD450lens.con (yes, they’ve reviewed themselves)
- Sports Gear Central (copied from the above web page)
… and many more. -1
Crummy product: I’ve tested the lenses, and this is true. I can take better pictures with my unaltered iPhone 6. Many people have confirmed my opinion. Luana Daniels writes:
Sadly, I did not do my research before ordering the lenses. The lenses did not work at all with my phone. I had ordered five sets to use as gifts for family also, and when I asked to return and get a refund I was told it was past the 30 days since the order was placed, even though it has been less than 30 days since receipt. Horrible customer service!! -1
Overpriced: True. -1
- LUX HD450; $56
- Amazon (same lenses, branded “Universal”); $7
Unauthorized charges: I’ve received many reports of unexpected charges and failure to refund money. Mark Davidson writes:
Total scam. Don’t hand over your credit card details. My $29 order was gouged for $195 on my credit card. -1
Scam-O-Meter score: -10
- Magic lenses, or even a “good camera,” won’t make you a good photographer. But with a little effort and guidance, you can learn to take nice pictures that people will admire, even with just your phone.
- If you still want to try phone lenses, Amazon has a wide selection. Pay attention to the customer reviews.
- If you’re already a victim of LUX HD450, see this post for advice.