Tag Archives: laser

Tagged by Tacticult Phantom P1 green laser

Tacticult looks like an okay outfit.  Is it?

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: 0.  “Aircraft aluminum” (the stuff beer cans are made of).  But that’s it for ridiculous; so I’ll give them a pass.

Suspicious location: -1.  Buried in the Terms of Service I found PO BOX 16466 Saint Paul MN, a mailbox (obviously).

Onerous terms: -1

  • You have just 7 days from the day you receive it to return the laser if you don’t like it.
  • You have 30 days to return it if it’s defective.  They charge a 20% restocking fee.
  • They don’t guarantee that anything they say is true.

Ads, spam, robocalls: +1.  They only send marketing emails if you opt in; and you can opt out.

Lying and deception: -1.  A 30-day “100% satisfaction guarantee” is advertised.  But the Terms describe a 7-day satisfaction guarantee.  The 30-day guarantee is a “free from defects” warranty.  They charge a 20% restocking fee; what, then, does 100% mean?

Obfuscation: -1

  • Countdown timer to make you think you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • “Spin the wheel” game to get a coupon that you can only use for the next 10 minutes; more pressure to decide quickly.

Phony reviews: +1.  None found.

Crummy product:  0.  I found no information — sorry!

Overpriced: 0.  I couldn’t find any similar products.  Most small lasers seem to be either presentation pointers or gunsights.  Here’s a $18 laser pointer on Amazon that you can also use to tease your cat.

75% discount: +1.  False.


Total score; -1

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

Conclusion: Almost OK.  The guarantee terms are harsh, and different than advertised.

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Lacerated by Ultrabeam lasers

…then i discovered that lasers are dangerous and cannot be used for the purposes they state,” writes Nick, a guy in Puerto Rico who likes tactical stuff.

… I used them intermittently at the wall, but i hurted my eyes and i still has spots in my vision.  ..Could you investigate the sites?”  Sure, I’ll do a request!  On April 30, 2017 let’s focus the clean white light of the Scam-O-Meter on the company that’s selling Ultrabeam, Official Tactical Kit.  (What’s official about it?)

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.  OTK describes the device as a “Maximum legal wattage survival laser.”  How would it help you to survive?  They give three examples.  Igniting match-heads and popping balloons we can dispense with.  “Can be seen for over two miles” is the third example.  That might possibly be a little helpful.  But we’ll revisit this statement in “Lying and Deception” below.

Suspicious location: -1.  9265 S. Highland Drive #901401, Sandy, UT 84093.  It’s a Post Office box.po

Onerous terms: -1.

  • To return a product for a refund, you have to send it unopened to OTK within 10 days of the day you ordered it — not the day you received it.
  • They charge a $35 restocking fee — nearly the price of the laser.
  • They don’t guarantee that their products are fit for any use; nor that anything they say is true.
  • You can’t sue them or join a class action that’s suing them.

Ads, spam, robocalls: 0.  The Privacy Policy is too vague to tell whether you would be subject to aggressive advertising.

Lying and deception: -1.

  • OTK describes the device as a “Maximum legal wattage survival laser.”  But there is no legal limit on laser wattage, other than for presentation laser pointers.  OTK neglects to say what the laser’s wattage actually is.
  • OTK claims that the beam is visible for over two miles.  The Symthic forum has a post reporting the results of laser detectability range tests.  At best, lasers are detectable at a range of 50 meters (about 0.03 miles).
  • The order form is pre-filled for a quantity of three lasers ($110).

Obfuscation: -1.

  • Important links and information are camouflaged at the bottom of the web page.camo1camo2* Only one case and one pair of safety glasses will be provided for free. If you purchase multiple units they will be shipped in one case and with one pair of free safety glasses, unless you opt for aluminum cases on the next page.

PRIVACY STATEMENT | TERMS OF SERVICE | CONTACT US

  • A countdown timer suggests that you don’t have time to make a careful decision.
  • The Terms and Conditions are padded with extensive, useless text about third-party legal services to make them harder to read.

Phony reviews: +1.  None found.

Crummy product: 0.  I could find no unbiased information about the laser.

Overpriced: 0.  One laser with no battery is $59 when I add in the shipping.  I couldn’t find a similar laser elsewhere.

75% discount: 0.  It’s 70%, so I’ll give them a pass.

Total score; -4.

Unauthorized charges: I found no reports of this.

Conclusion: Steer clear.  The terms are oppressive, and camouflaging information doesn’t make for trust.  The laser seems to have no purpose.  Implicit, of course, is the notion that you could use it as a weapon.  And Nick’s experience supports this idea.  I’m not going to score OTK for something they didn’t say.

laugh

Bonus outtake:bo

 

Cat-nipped by Ultrabeam Lasers

Only mildly scammy compared to some sites I’ve covered, but still a dubious choice on January 21, 2017, Ultrabeam Lasers (red links are evil) deserves their own post.  And this is it!

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 7.57.53 PM.png

Ridiculous claims: -1

  • 70% discount, very close to the magic scammer-detecting discount.  And on Page 2 it changes to 75%, sounding the alarm.
  • scamometer-ultrabeamWhether you find yourself in a natural disaster or just alone in a strange place, this laser is worth the peace of mind it will bring.”  What does this sentence mean?
  • A great addition to your emergency survival kit if you get lost or stranded.”  Okay, it would make your kit heavier, so it wouldn’t blow away.  But wait, it’s “(A) light or a means to generate a fire or signal a rescue team.”  How about matches in a bottle, and yelling?  No batteries required.
  • It comes with the maximum legal wattage making it the world’s strongest laser.”  Actually, US law sets no limit on laser power; it merely prohibits advertising lasers of more than 5mw  as “laser pointers.”  Ultrabeam doesn’t disclose their laser’s wattage.  I found similar-looking lasers that claim between 200mw and 2000mw; see “Overpriced” below.
  • Can burn an eyeball, light a match or pop a balloon in seconds.  There’s cheaper, faster ways to light matches and pop balloons.  As for eyeballs, no mugger is going to stand there while you attempt laser surgery on his eyeball.
  • Starting a fire is hard if “The wood is damn, it is windy or it is raining.”  Hahaha!

Post Office box: 0.  Both addresses are office buildings, instead of the typical UPS store.  But how odd that the addressee is “NightHawkGear,” not “UltraBeam.”  And odder still, “Fetch Deals, Inc.” is handling their mail.  I’m scoring this one “Undetermined.”

  • Corporate Address: Fetch Deals, Inc., Attn: NightHawkGear.com, 228 Park Ave S # 29051, New York, NY 10003-1502
  • Returns Address: Fetch Deals, Inc. Attn: NightHawkGear.com, 31 East 32nd Street, 1202, New York, NY 10003

Fetch-Cash.com and Cal-EZ Vitamins also enjoy the use of this address.

Onerous terms: -1

  • If your product arrived broken, they’ll accept a return for a refund within 30 days of your receiving the product.
  • You have to return the product unopened and unused, or be charged a 20% restocking fee.  So, how do you tell if it’s broken?
  • They don’t guarantee that their products are suitable for any use; nor that anything they say is true.
  • You can’t sue them, or join a class action that’s suing them.  Fallback position; you have to go to New York to sue them.

Ads, spam, robocalls: -1

  • They’ll use all the information you give them, plus all they can suck out of your browser, to beam ads at you, spam you and robocall you.
  • They’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
  • You can unsubscribe by clicking “Unsubscribe” in an email or by writing a letter.

Lying and deception: +1. None found.  Some stretchers, tho.

Obfuscation: -1

  • Who are these people?  UltraBeam, FalconV2, NightHawkGear, or Fetch Deals Inc.?  Apparently they aren’t Falcon Flashlights; that outfit is based in Oregon.  The TOS is headed NightHawk, Fetch Deals and NightHawkGear.com.
  • You have to drill through three pages to find out the price ($49).
  • The first page has a picture of a countdown timer to make you think you’ve got to hurry; but the timer isn’t animated.

Phony reviews: -1.  Vague, wildly enthusiastic reviews by people you never heard of.  The reviews have prominent buttons that take you to the vendor’s order form.  These reviewers get a cut of every sale made thru their link; so they’re really just advertising.  I rather enjoyed the review by The Tactical Pros, who write “The moment it was released into the market, its sales soared and they keep running out of stock because these military grade ones are hard to find.”  WellnessSaying.com enthuses, “Since it is useful in lighting matches so you can keep it when you have plans to enjoy the night in the forest.”  Or you could just strike the match?  None of these shills knows how powerful the laser is, either.

Crummy product: 0.  I couldn’t find an honest review.  If you have one of these lasers and don’t want it, send it to me and I’ll test the $hi7 out of it.

Overpriced: -0. Without knowing the $49 Ultrabeam laser’s power, it’s hard to comparison shop.  Amazon doesn’t carry Ultrabeam.  What I found:

Unauthorized charges: +1.   I found no reports of this.

Total Score: -3

There are worse actors out there.  But the laser-power mystery, harsh returns policy and spamming would make me look for a straighter deal.burned-link

Death by laughter; Shadowhawk tactical laser

Sexy and slightly dangerous, small lasers join electric lighters in that odd class of web scams; good products sold in an evil way.

Overpriced

I’m picking on Shadowhawk again because I so detest their veterans charity scam, Operation Hero Relief.  But on 7/18/16 the identical laser was being sold on several sites:

  • Shadowhawk military tactical laser MAX MV; $69
  • Ultrabeam survival laser; $54 (no battery)
  • Nighthawk tactical laser; $70 ($56 + $14 for a battery)
  • Galleon / Camplife tactical laser pointer (out of stock)
  • Amazon / Camplife tactical laser pointer ($25, out of stock)
  • eBay ($6.59 and up)

(I’m only providing links for the “good guys;” you can google the others if you’d like.)  I’m showing the single-unit prices here.

What’s a fair price?  For once, Amazon let me down.  So I shopped for a similar laser from a reputable vendor, and came up with LaserPointerPro’s “Green laser pointer pen” for $12.99.  Like the Shadowhawk, the LaserPointerPro is a 5 mw 532 nm laser, the maximum power the US government allows for laser pointers.  It can make star patterns on your ceiling.  You can torment your cat with it.  And in several ways it’s actually better than the Shadowhawk:

  • Uses two standard AAA batteries
  • Has a pocket clip
  • Costs 1/5 as much
  • Isn’t sold by a scammer

Ridiculous claims

The value of your purchase is what you think it is.  And scammers are always happy to help you think.

Weapons-grade laser  8DDDD

  • Secondary scammer NationLife boasts “Attach to your pistol or rifle to maintain a perfect aim.”  But they don’t provide a way to attach it.
  • “Blinds invaders!” Shadowhawk assures us of this “self-defense” laser.  My guess is the invader either wouldn’t notice it, or would collapse in laughter, wipe the tears out of his eyes, and take your laser too.  Wikipedia says, “Studies have found that even low-power laser beams of not more than 5 mW can cause permanent retinal damage if gazed at for several seconds; however, the eye’s blink reflex makes this highly unlikely.”
  • NationLife says, “Nowadays it is very important to carry a Tactical Laser due to natural disasters, and terrorism.”  You never know when you might need to give a PowerPoint talk during an earthquake, or take down a hijacker by setting his carefully-positioned match on fire.
  • Galleon screams “Super strong, burns everything!”  If this were true, it might be a disadvantage.

Other silly claims  8DDDD

  • Nighthawk boasts, “We have the most powerful and brightest laser available in the world and still within legal US regulations.”  This is true in a twisted way; the feds have set a 5 mw limit for laser pointers (not laser weapons).  But it’s a good line to use on your friends.
  • Shadowhawk touts “Aircraft aluminum.”  This is the same metal that beer cans are made of.
  • NationLife points out the laser’s utility for teasing cats, pointing out stars and entertaining children.  How strange to read true stuff on such a web site.

Chicanery

Ultrabeam has found a new way to make their Terms and Conditions even more obscure; the Stealth Display:

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.26.03 PM

A second layer of obfuscation is that nearly all the Terms document is about legal services(?), not lasers.  This flak conceals the worst terms I’ve ever seen:

  • You can only return an item within 10 days of your order date (not the date you received it)
  • You can only return an unopened item
  • We charge a $35 per item restocking fee (over half the cost of the laser)

Oddly, Ultrabeam’s privacy policy is pretty good.

Bottom line

Steer clear of Shadowhawk and their slimy ilk.

Those weapons claims … ROTFLMAO!  But if you’re looking for a presentation pointer, cat-teaser or kid-pleaser, the LaserPointerPro is good.  Also there’s eBay.