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Scam Warning! I Was Robbed By Prado Electronic Cigarettes and I Am Not The Only One

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posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 03:03 PM
A couple of months ago I came across an ad on the internet for Prado E-cigarettes. As a long time tobacco smoker, and concerned about the health risks, I had been toying with the possibility of trying electronic cigs, which were advertised as being smoke-free and safer than regular cigarettes. They are also supposed to leave no odor in the air, on clothes, etc. They are touted as well as being less expensive overall than traditional cigarettes. There are a number of different brands of these, but it was my bad luck to choose Prado, probably because they had a good ad.

There was an offer for a special free trial. I accepted the offer and also ordered a carrying case and extra cartridges. The total cost was to be about 40 dollars. This was in early July. A short time later my card was debited for $39 and change. This did not alarm me, as I assumed my order had just been filled.

At the end of August -- more than a month later -- I received not one, but two "kits"(cigarette, charger, and cartridges) in addition to the carrying case and extra cartridges. On the same day they arrived Prado had debited $149+ from my account. I tried to contact Prado to protest the double order and also the cost (which I assumed was in part due to two packages) but discovered there was no telephone number included with the printed material in my package or on their internet website. The only way I was able to contact them was through a message board on their site. Needless to say, I received no response whatsoever to my complaint.

While searching for Prado on the net I discovered many, many sites filled with complaints just like mine. The customer had accepted a "free" offer and found that their cards had been charged for $149.99 on average. Those who succeeded in contacting Prado (which seems to be impossible now) were told they were paying for a "restocking" fee, shipping and handling, etc. etc. I looked on the two packages I received and they totaled $9.99 in postage for both of them. The unhappy customers were also told the "free" offer was only good for two weeks, starting the day they were ordered, and if the product was not returned in that amount of time they were charged full price. This was mentioned nowhere in the information I had read. Full price, however, was advertised to be $70 dollars per kit, not $149.

Fortunately, I keep pretty regular track of my bank account and was able to tell almost immediately when Prado debited my card. I have canceled my card and am being issued another one. I do not know how much Prado may have taken out altogether. In total, I lost about $190 to them before I realized they would probably just take more and more from my account. I guess I am lucky. Some people have been ripped off for more than that.

Since then I have been posting my story all over the web and have also joined a class action suit.

BTW: I tried the product and it doesn't taste too bad. It does, however, emit a smoky vapor which has a distinctive smell. So much for the claim that one may safely smoke these e-cigs anywhere, even in non-smoking environments. All in all, Prado may have been able to sell their product pretty well in a legitimate way, but since they are now widely known as a scam they will not last long.

Here are a few links to other Prado scam complaints. These are by no means all of them.

edit on 11-9-2010 by Sestias because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-9-2010 by Sestias because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 03:21 PM
reply to post by Sestias

I fell for a similar scam from Colon Cleanse 3000; they sent me a two week supply for only about $2.00 S&H. Great deal right?

The shipment arrived and it was a full bottle of 60 pills. It struck me as strange that there was no information on how to order more if I liked the product. Awhile later I got my credit card statement and saw that they had charged me $80.00. I called to complain. They put me on hold for excess of 40 minutes and when I finally got through, I was told that their deal was this:

You have 14 days from the day you made the order to return the unused portion of the product, otherwise they will charge you full price for the full bottle. Note that's 14 days from the day you ordered, not the day it arrived. Also, they put me on a list to recieve a new bottle, at full price every month.

Of course, they refused to refund my money. I told them to cancel my "subscription" to avoid further charges.

Then I went onto all of their websites and posted the scam warning everywhere I could under their customer comments section. I'm sure they got rid of all my comments by now even though they were 100% factual.

Next, I called my credit card company and reported the charge as an unauthorized charge. They said that if the company didn't disagree within about 6 months, the charge would stay off. The company never took any action to get their money back.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

I recognize Colon Cleanse from tv ads. Thanks for the warning.

I'm glad you ended up not having to pay anything for the scam. I am also glad you're posting your experience here.ATS is a good place for getting a message around.

I'll be at the bank on Monday disputing my charges but I may just be stuck with some of it. Wish me luck.

edit on 11-9-2010 by Sestias because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 04:40 PM
The link below goes to Prado's "Terms and Conditions" page which explains their billing policy and offers an aledged phone number to get to customer service.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by Sanity Lost

Thanks for the link. I spoke with a customer service rep. a couple of months ago because I already had questions about the way Prado was operating and he gave me the run-around. I should have wised up then, although I doubt if he would have canceled my order even if I specifically asked.

Still, I will try the phone number you have posted and hope I will get some real service.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 05:29 PM
reply to post by Sestias

Best of luck comming out ahead with this. Afterall, fighting back gets things done most of the time.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 07:59 PM
I didn't have any billing problems, but I too tried e-cigarettes for the same reasons as OP. Using them was great, except the smell/taste of the vapor reminded me of watered down, stale beer. I also soon discovered that there was no nicotine in the "juice" of the cartridges. For that I think I was ripped off. This was the "Firelight" brand. I also bought a bottle of refill liquid for the cartridges, but that didn't seem to have any nicotine in it whatsoever. Of course, the company says they are nicotine cartridges, but you can hit off them like crazy and you'll get nothing. Hard to fool a smoker. Of course I have no way of proving there's no nicotine in the stuff unless I utilize an expensive lab somewhere.

Because of the nicotine thing, I quite using them after a few weeks. They just didn't satisfy me. If anyone knows of a brand that isn't fake and actually has nicotine in the liquid I'd like to try them.

edit on 9/11/10 by Rockerchic4God because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 09:20 PM
reply to post by Rockerchic4God

Prado's cartridges are supposed to be in four strengths: High, medium and low nicotine, and none at all. The ones they sent me are not marked so I can't tell which are which. Probably they have none and then add yet another extra charge for the ones with nicotine. I don't intend to find out.

I certainly wouldn't recommend Prado, and now I'm beginning to be suspicious of all the e-cigarettes, but you might do some research and actually find a maker that has nicotine in their cartridges.

posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 05:15 AM
The e-cig business is really in its baby steps yet, and it is easy to get ripped of by an inferior quality product even if the company does not scam you.

It really takes some time to get into those e-cigs to know what to order to get exactly what you want, but once you do get it, it is pure bliss.

If you are from EU i recommend to buy from a company called liberty flights. They only sell the best products available and you cannot go wrong.

If you are in USA i cannot recommend a company, but the brand joye is ok. Not the best, not the cheapest, but only good products they do manufacture.

About the "smoke", there is HUGE difference in the juices you get. My first juices were premixed chinese ones manufactured by dekang. They were kinda ok, but some of the flavours had a really weird sidetaste, not as bad as tobacco though. You definately could get used to it and start like it with some practice (who likes tobacco smoke the first time they try it

The second order i made was a Do It Yourself mixing kit with only the basic ingredients you mix together yourself. Base liquid containing nicotine + flavourants. With a bit of training i have managed to make liquids that are simply DELICIOUS, like inhaling water vapour with the taste of your choice. How would eucalyptus-menthol, tutti-frutti, moccha-caramel or chocolate-banana sound to you? yummy

posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 09:10 AM
Anything on those TV ads I hardly trust. I will wait till Walgreens gets them in stock and buy it from them. They have a section called 'as seen on TV' for those types of items. Never trust infomercials at all.

posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 11:33 AM

A couple of months ago I came across an ad on the internet for Prado E-cigarettes

As I finished reading this thread, I scrolled back up to the top and noticed the big Prado ad across the top of the page.

I have never and will never buy anything off a tv commercial or any of those that say, " Try it for X months free of charge". They will always get you somehow. If you are interested in e-cigs there are plenty of reputable online stores. I can recommend a few if you like.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by above

Thanks for the advice. I'll just proceed more cautiously next time. It seems to me e-cigs are still probably a good product. I'd also like to look into making my own blend as you have done.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by virraszto

What? A Prado ad on ATS? Not good. I'll contact the site owners.

Yes, I would appreciate your input on some brands of e-cigs that are honest and of high quality.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by Sestias

You can also just go in and buy them at most smoke shops. I got mine for 60 bucks with carts and the carts are cheap.

posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 09:34 PM
reply to post by Sestias

These guys have a little spot set up in our mall selling them. Pretty sure its the same brand as well I will check it out tomorrow.

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