Folomov Spam Review Message

Not sure if this is in the right section, but hey ho - nearest I could find!

I had a message from Folomov Flashlights - it says -

’Hello, Sunny from Folomov here.

You may have seen some popular Folomov products in BLF before, such as EDC-C4 flashlight and A4 charger.

All products are sold on now. We want to invite some flashlightholics to try Folomov flashlight
and write reviews on amazon. If you are interested in testing Folomov products, pls contact me freely.
Thank you.…

Sunny Xie’

So I replied I had never done a review before, but I would be happy to try. Then I get this quite unbelievable reply -

’Hi, glad to hear from you.

There are several steps to finish the review.
Step 1: Buy one EDC-C4 from our amazon store
Step 2: Tell me your comment on EDC-C4.
Step 3: Write a review for EDC-C4 on amazon with several photos
Step 4: I will refund you with full payment via Paypal immediately when the review is posted.

Is it ok for you?

Sunny Xie’

They actually expect me to buy a light I don’t even want, pay full price for it then hope they refund me, after checking the review - WTF? is this the norm for doing reviews?? surely you shouldn’t have to buy a light you had no intention of buying just to add an Amazon review for that company! Seems a bit fishy to me so I politely told her NO.

Just wanted to see if this was the norm and how many people they are doing this to?

That’s their usual style now.

I got a PM from them, too.

I don't do reviews, so I just ignored it.

I believe it’s against forum rules.

I just checked and I think you're right:

Please DO NOT send advertisements via the BLF private message system.

EDIT: I just PM'd Mr. Admin with a link to this thread.

I once got a message from a member (meanwhile banned), with something like that and replied! Later I perceived what that method was!
Recently, I got another similar message from another member for the review of led bars, and simply ignored!

I must admit though, that I have done a review in similar conditions of a flashlight, but I wanted the light so I didn’t mind that “buy - refund” (win-win) situation! The contact, however, was made by e-mail, not through PM here on the forum.

I was approached on Facebook, not here. Also, the contact was friendly but I was led to believe the review “had” to be a 5 star review… hmm… never answered so don’t know what else happened.

Well, what I think is this….
What if the light is genuinely rubbish, and I left a review stating so - what would be the chances of my full refund……? Nil I’d guess, which makes any review worthless, you’d be misleading everyone to get your money back - it’s basically blackmail dressed up as something else.
I’m obviously not saying this particular one is rubbish, it may be fantastic, but the fact remains how could you ever trust one of the reviews you read? it undermines the whole point of a review.
From what some of you have said it’s against forum rules anyway - quite right too.

Thanks , I did contact admin.

I received a similar message from the same individual, whereupon a 5 star rating review was demanded.
This is not ethical and it should not be considered normal.

I was also asked by another brand/manufacturer via PM to do a review for some lights. The actual communication was immediately continued via e-mail. So far, no 5* feedbacks demanded. I am awaiting further instructions as stock at their warehouse is yet to be replenished before they can send me the items. FWIW, communication until now was very friendly and reputable.

The only reviews to be trusted are those from known reviewers who are honestly critical of the flaws in a product. I don’t even want to look at a review posted on a manufacturer or retailer site, except perhaps for an explanation of how something operates or video evidence of what features it has.

I have seen enough to believe that many reviews (especially of new products) are posted by people who have not used the item in question, perhaps not even seen it. That goes beyond bias to pure fiction.

Thanks to everyone for letting me know. It is indeed a clear violation of the BLF Rules to send advertisements via PM. When this happens, please contact me so I can close the spammer’s account.

Sometimes manufacturers contact me about requesting reviewers, and I sometimes give them permission to contact a few users of their selection via PM. In this case, Folomov did not request permission, and they sent PMs to a TON of users.

And this is the kicker. Folomov is now banned and added to the Hall of Shame.

I got one of those PM’s as well. I told them to never contact me again. That said, I’ll never buy any of their products.

Well there goes any chance of me buying a Folomov product in the near future.
Puts me right off this does, actions like that SHOULD be counterproductive, too many people brush them off and carry on regardless.

According to that review [Review]Folomov EDC C4 (18650, 1200 Lumens, USB rechargeable/Powerbank feature) 3 stars will be too much.

I got the exact same pm. I told them thanks but no thanks.

These types of “sponsored reviews” are also against the amazon TOS and they can permanently ban you and the seller if they find out.

I’ve had them too.

Whenever I see a review that starts with; “light was provided for free by manufacturer or distributor for review” or something similar, I move on. I’ve never seen one that besides very minor nitpicks, didn’t end in a glowing review.

I’m not saying they don’t exist but I’ve never seen one. If a person buys it with his own money, they are naturally going to be more critical and the reviewer who gets them for free is going to want more free stuff.

Not saying any of you reviewers HERE are dishonest. :slight_smile:

I will probably disagree a little bit on this, speaking for myself!
In each light I get for free from a manufacturer or seller, I will certainly point the negatives in a public review!
Ex: Amutorch AX1! I love this branda and I got 1 AX1 for free from the manufacturer; there were some issues that were presented in the review, and the manufacturer was also contacted about those.
I guess that may have turned into a good thing as people who bought it meanwhile have “flawless” flashlights.

The sentence “light was provided for review” is nothing but a statement of honesty, in the way that someone is saying “I didn’t buy this light”! Only that!
Non-critical reviews (meaning: those that don’t show the goods, the bads and the “to improve” things) can also emerge from lights bought with own money. Are they better than the non-critical reviews of offered flashlights? I would say “NO”, cause they don’t show what is not so-good.

Just my opinion of course!