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e-Cigarette Scams Alert: Smoke Star (aka Lift Vapor)

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Another day means more e-cigarette scams to warn you about. Today it’s Lift Vapor doing business as Smoke Star. (We can only hope that our scam report on Lift Vapor caused them to change their name and perhaps one day they will just give up and get a respectable job somewhere.) Like all the others, Smoke Star (Lift Vapor) promises one thing and delivers another. Here are just some of the problems we have with this miserable company.Spinfuel Scam Alert - Smoke Star, aka Lift Vapor

The 14-Day Trial Period – This trial period begins the moment you place the order so that by the time you get your starter kit you’ll barely have time to try it before you’re stuck with it. When I received the email inviting me to take advantage of this truly amazing product I took a look at the website and began to sign up for the program (it’s the only way you’ll see the $4.95 shipping fee) and on the following page they show you the “normal” shipping cost to be $12.95, but because I signed up I was given an $8.00 shipping discount. I feel special.

… Which leads to…

The REAL price – After the 14-Day trial your credit card will be charged $109.67 plus Sales Tax (if you live in the state of Florida) for the product you already received (the starter kit) in addition to the shipping charge you paid when you ordered ($4.95). Apparently this franchisee lives in Miami.  Here is the actual address:  E-Cigarette -
1521 Alton RD #752
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Exclusive Smoke Star Starter Kit

  • 1 Advanced Smoke Star Atomizer
  • 1 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • 5 Tobacco Flavored Cartridges
  • 1 USB Charger
  • 1 Wall Charger
  • 1 Designer Display Box
  • 1 Soft-Touch Hard Plastic Travel Case
  • 1 Full Color Instruction Manual
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Remember what Tom said in his Guide To Vaping – Choosing the Right e-Cigarette; never buy a 1-battery starter kit, not at a mall kiosk, not online, not anywhere. And reading the description of the starter kit it seems to me to be a 3-piece e-cigarette and yet the photos show a 2-piece (battery + cartomizer) e-cigarette. I have no idea which one it is at this point.Spinfuel Scam Alert - Smoke Star, aka Lift Vapor

The Auto-Ship Program

Referring again to the well-hidden Terms and Conditions; “Then 30 days from your initial order of the Product (and every 30 days thereafter), you will be sent a new supply of the Product containing 2 packs of cartomizers, (A total of 10 cartomizers) and your credit card will be charged $69.62 (the Monthly Fee.). Please note that Florida residents must add sales tax”.

First, they tell you that your first order for the 10-cartomizers will be shipping to you 30 days after you ordered the starter kit. So, when you placed the order you spent $4.95, then 14 days after you placed the order you were charged $109.67 plus tax, and then 16-days after the trial period ends you are charged another $69.62 plus tax, then every 30 days after you will see the charge of $69.62 for another 10-cartomizers. In the first 30 days you’ll spend $195 for a single battery starter kit and 15-cartomizers.

Cartomizers

As a pack a day smoker you’ll go through 2 or 3 cartomizers a day, so on the off chance that you even like the cheap Chinese e-Liquid they inject into their cartomizers the $70 10-pack will last you no more than 5 days, no way in hell will 10 cartomizers last you 30 days.  Anyway, the cost of these cheap cartomizers is a whopping $6.96 cents EACH, or about 500% more than any reputable company would charge you for the same thing.

Returning Your Kit

Obviously there are many victims trying to return the product so Smoke Star (Lift Vapor) so they make it extremely difficult to do. They insist on having a valid RMA number or they will refuse delivery of your return. Fair enough, but trying to get a valid RMA is damn near impossible. We called the number several times and half the time the phone rang off the hook without answering, and the other half we got voicemail. It is pretty hard to get an RMA number when you can’t speak to anyone at the company.Spinfuel Scam Alert - Smoke Star, aka Lift Vapor

What You Can Do

First, you can avoid any 14-Day Trial e-Cigarette offer you receive. That’s the best way to avoid becoming another victim. If you’re looking for a good e-cigarette try reading some of our reviews or follow Tom’s “Guide To Vaping – Choosing the Right e-Cigarette”. But let’s assume for a moment that you didn’t see any of our Scam Alerts or Tom’s “Guide To” series, what can you do?

Cancel your credit card immediately – The easiest, most effective way to deal with these types of e-Cigarette scams is to cancel the credit/debit card you used to sign up with. Once they fail to charge your credit card they will leave you alone, cancel your auto-ship program and move on.

If canceling your credit card is not an option (though I don’t know why that would be. Banks can deliver new credit/debit cards in 2 or 3 days now), your next best bet would be to keep trying to reach the company by phone or email (1-877-647-3625 and info@ecigcustomerservice.com) until you get that elusive RMA. When you ship the product back to them don’t leave anything out, and always send it back via 2-Day USPS Priority and track the delivery.

There is nothing to be ashamed of by falling for one of these e-cigarette scams. They say there is a fool born every minute but what they forget to tell you if that there is a con artist born every minute as well. But it doesn’t have to be a nightmare to get out from underneath something like this. Cancelling your credit card is the fastest way with the least amount of frustration, but no matter how you choose to deal with it, just know that you’re not the only one.

Help Others – And because you’re not the only one, not even the first one or the last one, what you should do after you get out of your situation with one of these e-cigarette scams is to help others avoid the same mistake. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Pass the URL to any of our scam alerts to friends and other smokers who might be looking to switch.

Make sure you inform anyone who will listen, even is they don’t smoke they surely know someone who does, and get the word out any way you can. Ask your friends to warn others, post it on your Facebook page or anywhere else you frequent on the Internet.

Shame the company – I know, this has little chance to succeed, but you never know. All of these companies are franchises, they all use the same website template, the same payment processing systems, and the same Terms and Conditions. Email each of them, call all of them, write letters to the editor of your local town, try to shame the employees and the owners and let them know that what they are doing is morally wrong and will do nothing for them other than earn them bad karma.

There are 43 million Americans still smoking cigarettes. Every day thousands of smokers try an electronic cigarette. No one knows this better than the people behind Smoke Star, Lift Vapor, Regal, Prada, Saphire, XO and all the rest. They know it’s a numbers game and no matter how often Spinfuel posts a Scam Alert, no matter how many people pick up the phone or ship the product back there will be others right behind them ready with their credit card in hand, looking to save a bunch of money by trying this 14-Day trial.  How these company owners or employees sleep at night is beyond my comprehension, but I’ll sleep a little easier knowing that we’ve exposed another one. If even one person avoids one of these e-cigarette scams then it was worth the time to post this alert. In the end it’s all about the karma.

Smoke Star – Just Another e-Cigarette Scam

Julia Barnes

Team Spinfuel is a group of passionate vapers that bring you honest, in-depth reviews and commentary on products, services, and the legal and political ramifications on vaping and ecigarettes. Julia Hartely-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Tony Brittan, Nick Bessette and Keira Hartley-Barnes make up the editorial team (video and written) , along with John Manzione, our Publisher, and talented contributors like Mark Benson. Email any of the writers at admin AT spinfuel.com, or just ask for their email address.

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21 Comments

  1. I think its amazing that no one reads the terms and condition…. I bet if these companies said “Free Trial” and then notified them at the end of the checkout the basic terms and conditions, I dont think people would be complaining so much, because they know what they will be getting themselves into. I do agree that if someone is going to charge $110, that they need to give them the best-of-the-best… at least two batteries.

    But for those who are “surprised” to get charged after a “free trial”… well… a trial is a trial. Nothing is “free” in this world.

    Reply
  2. I am very cautious with internet purchases and disregard pop-ups and too-good-to-be-true offers. I was notified by UPS that a package I ordered would be delivered tomorrow. A short survey popped up that appeared to be connected to the delivery confirmation thus I thought the survey would be safe coming through UPS. I should have realized when the “Free Offers” appeared after the survey that this was a scam. My daughter uses e-cigs so thought I’d take advantage. The terms & conditions are well hidden on their website and nowhere does it state this is a 14-day trial. I will pass this info along to UPS so they could possibly take action against the survey thing. I feel awful that I fell for this and will do all I can to “pass the word”. Thanks for doing what you do to make us aware.
    Also, I emailed the company within 5 minutes of ordering telling them to cancel the order and asked for confirmation of cancellation. I’m not expecting a response until after they ship of course. But I have everything in writing and will contact my credit card company to reject and charges.

    Reply
  3. I just received my order today.
    (Should of looked this article up before signing up) :(
    Did not read the Terms & Conditions until i placed the order….
    If i knew it was going to cost $109.67 after 14days, I would have not signed up.

    Took 5days to get here (which means I have 9days to return)

    Ad states on the site you receive the following:

    Stainless atomizer with lithium ion rechargeable battery
    7 flavored nicotine cartridge
    Wall charger
    USB charger
    Hard plastic carrying case
    Designer display box
    instruction manual
    Life time warranty

    But This is not True.

    What you really receive is the following:

    Stainless atomizer with lithium ion rechargeable battery
    instruction manual
    Designer display box
    Hard plastic carrying case
    5 Refill cartomizers
    USB charger

    So no Wall Charger and 2 Cartomizers Missing.

    Then i noticed in Terms & Conditions it states the following.

    “”We will immediately send you a Starter Kit which includes one extended battery, one atomizer, usb charger, one pack of cartomizers and an instruction manual “”

    (False Advertisement)

    Thought about still trying one out and see if i actually like it, But in the Terms & Conditions it states The “starter kit” Must be returned with a RMA. So I’m just going to send everything back.

    Will be giving them a call first thing tomorrow morning. If i fail to get a hold of them and receive my RMA I will be getting a hold of my bank.

    $5 Down the drain to have it shipped.
    But there is no way I’m paying $109.67 for this.

    Reply
    • Good morning Robert. You would do well to check out 777ecigs.com or halocigs.com to order a proper e-cigarette starter kit that contains TWO batteries and all the other items, with much better eLiquid in the prefilled cartomizers. Both kits are less than half the cost of this ripoff scam company. 777 and Halo use only the finest materials and eliquids, Halo’s eLiquid is also made by Halo and in the US as well. No hidden charges, no BS and great customer service. And the batteries are 10 times better than all these ripoff brands. Good luck, and let us know if you decide to use one of the brands we recommend. – Tom

      Reply
      • Thanks for the info Tom.
        And Josh is correct, they are going by the name No Flame
        But to follow up from last night.
        Got ahold of customer service before heading into work.
        Told him I was unhappy about the false advertisement “missing wall charger, and the 2 extra cartomizers” and I would like the RMA to send it back. He gave me the run around saying he could ship out the charger, this and that. I just told him I just wanted to send it back and then he purposely held down a button and all I heard was a tone. Called back and spoke with a different person, addressed the same issue to him and he also gave me the run around. Told him the same thing and he told me instead of shipping it back, I could just keep the starter kit for a 1 time fee of $25. So I agreed to this to just get it over with. Was charged the $25 And received an email confirming the cancellation of the account and 1 time charge of $25.

        Hopefully that’s the end of it, But to be on the safe side I also called my bank and am having a new card sent out.

        Reply
        • Well,that’s the fastest way to deal with it I suppose. These companies are finally starting to fail, more and more people are getting wise to the scams. Hopefully they will all fold up soon. – Tom

          Reply
          • I CALLED LIFTVAPOR TO GET AN RMA AND THEY WOULDNT DO IT, AS WELL AS NO SHIP TO RETURN ADDRESS AND ARE ALSO REFUSING TO GIVE ME A CREDIT.
            DO YOU HAVE THEIR RETURN SHIP TO ADDRESS? I NEED IT PRETTY QUICKLY.
            THANKS, ALINA

          • You should be able to find it on their website. But more important, contact your bank and tell them you did not authorize those charges. Give them our website address and let them know there are thousands of people being taken like this. They will listen. – Best of luck! – Julia

  4. I returned liftevapors’ so called free trial merchandise with the RMA number on the outside package like they instructed me to do. This was July 6th(according to their records) they received the returned product(unused). I have called at least 4 times to 888-994-5438, spoke to a real person and given the run around each time. They keep telling me my money is on the way. I sent them an email Friday, haven’t heard anything back, so I’ve decided to post your fraud alert warning about them everyday on Facebook. I’ll see if that gets their attention. Maybe if enough people post them as a scam on Facebook, twitter, linkedin…..it would help. My credit union already told me I could report it as a fraudulent charge on my debit card and they’ll refund my money in my account in 2-3 days. In turn the credit union will go after them for the money and they have the resources to do it. Thank God I have that insurance on my checking acct. They want to keep their product and keep my money too, NOT!!!!

    Reply
  5. I also got suckered in by this company. I woke up this morning to find $109.67 charged to my account. I called and got the run around the first time. Called back and was told it would be refunded. After reading this, I will definitely go to my bank to see what can be done since it still says “in process”.
    By the way, they changed names. It is now “No Playing Electronic Cigarettes”, but they still have the same address.

    Reply
  6. I too got caught up in this terrible SCAM. However, I found this site before I was charged more than $9.95. I cancelled my card and explained to my bank the situation and I do hope that will be the end of this.
    I must say, I absolutly love the product and it’s a shame that the company cannot be trusted. I would have gladly ordered and paid for more cartridges.
    Thank you for this page! And I’m so thankful I did not get in debt with this scam.

    Reply
    • This eMagazine is full of legit e-cigarette companies. halocigs.com 777ecigs.com are just two cig-a-like companies that we review on a steady basis, whenever they come out with products. Great quality, great tasting e-Liquids, and fair pricing. And no schemes. Check them out. Every company that advertises with us has been vetted. Even Blu Cigs now offers a decent e-cigarette. Not as good as Halo or 777, but decent enough. And none of them charge outrageous prices, or hide things from their customers. Take a look around Spinfuel, it’s full of great companies. – Tom

      Reply
  7. matilda ann laythe

    This is terrible to do to people. I live on SSA and I was made to believe there was no other charge for the order now they say I am not able to return the product after it was canceled within the 30 day period to return it. I got my account charged even though I had cancelled the acct and the bank let it go through knowing I had closed the account. What is wrong with this it is not right I was not sent any paperwork with the free kit and was made to believe it was paid for until I was charged another 99.96. All the money I had so my bank acct was over drawn and I was forced to borrow money to pay my Light bill that was due. I told them I wanted my money back and ask for an email confirming this and I was never sent anything. These people need to be put out of business. and my money refunded. The product was even sent to me with no product in the cartriages. THIS IS FALSE ADVERTISMENT.

    Reply
    • You should visit your bank in person and explain that the Terms and Conditions are hidden from view and very difficult to see. Print out the page from the website for bring a laptop or something with you. Once they see it they will reverse the charges. Hell, if you still have the crappy ecigarettes bring them with you and show them what $100 buys. You are correct, this isn’t right and it is why Spinfuel is attempting to get the message out as far and wide as we can.

      If everyone person that reads any of these Scam Alerts we post would spread the link around it would spread like wildfire and it would help others avoid these horrible scams. So sorry to hear about your situation, I know what’s it like to be accidentally overdrawn and then watch an avalanche of bounced checks come tumbling down. At my bank it’s $75 charge for every bounced check. When it happened to me it was a real nightmare. I’ll send some positive thoughts your way. Good luck! – Tom

      Reply
  8. This is a good warning to those not yet familiar with the vaping industry and are just out looking for a cigarette “replacement”. The worst part of this is that these rip-off companies are just blatantly taking advantage of folks who are desperately looking for smoking alternatives. Unfortunately, Julia’s question about “Is there nothing that can be done…?” is probably a resounding “no!” outside of the vaping community itself, as there would appear to be little governmental approval of electronic cigarettes in the first place. For the most part it is “Let the buyer beware!”.

    Reply
  9. Thanks for the information !! I got suckerd by this “vaporlift” company. I thought it was to good to be true and it was. I tried calling and got the run around trying to return it so i called my bank to reverse charges and get paperwork but now i will call to get a new card too. THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!

    Reply
  10. I have never even thought about scams like this when it comes to e-cigs. That is crazy! Thank you so much for bringing such a despicable company such as this one to our attention. Another great reason to keep up on my reading here at Spinfuel.

    Reply
  11. Thank you very much for this article.
    I have a friend who was researching something very much like this, and I was trying to explain this to her. She is stubborn.
    I just sent her a link for this. I pray she listens and doesn’t become another victim.
    Shame on these people!!
    You guys alway have such great articles, Thank you for looking out for us :)

    Reply
  12. I don’t know if you’ve looked at this one yet or not. It seems to be one of a group of horrible, over-priced e-cig companies that have been acquired by Vapor Corp. This particular one seems to be devoteod to the kind of scam you’ve outlined above. At least it lookds a LOT like one of them

    http://www.ezsmoker.com/Default.asp?bhcp=1

    Reply

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