A Story of Redemption? – A New Commentary by John Manzione
Please make sure you read the entire commentary to read the truth about Lift Vapor, JohnPaul Golino and Justin Triglia.
On April 7th of this year Spinfuel published a SCAM ALERT for Lift Vapor. Our scam alert article screen-captured a 3:30 video of their website where you can plainly see their marketing tactics were identical to several other “cookie-cutter” scam sites that hide enormous charges for a single battery starter kit through a phony $4.95 trial periods that wind up costing the customer $120, for auto-shipment charges that would make the devil himself ashamed, and many other “There’s a sucker born every minute” business practices used by people who have decided that there is a “killing” to be made in electronic cigarettes.
Yesterday afternoon we received a letter from the owners of Lift Vapor (JohnPaul Golino and Justin Triglia) explaining, or threatening, we’re not sure, that their company was not guilty of any of the charges we made in our commentary/Scam Alert. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard from an e-cigarette company that had a hard time with something we’ve written, but for some reason this letter seemed different.
The envelope was filled out with our address and their address in pencil. It was hard to read but legible enough that the post office didn’t have a problem getting it delivered. The content of the letter denied the accusations and requested that we remove the review. There was no defense presented, no one addressed the issues we wrote about. So, what was going on?
Curious about what we had written I went back to the original review, I read it, watched the video, and saw that we had gotten it exactly right the first time. So what was the problem? Then I clicked the link we provided in the review, a link that used to go to Lift Vapor. The URL, http://liftcigs.com is no longer a working URL. Interesting.
So I Googled the name Lift Vapor and came up with liftvapor.com. I clicked the link and was taken to a website that used the very same logo, the very same starter kit design, but everything else has changed.
A New Lift Vapor?
Oh it was definitely the same company; there was no doubt about that. And even though the starter kit package looked identical to the rip-off starter kits from the old LiftVapor there wasn’t a single-battery starter kit on the site. There was no “trial” period, no auto-shipment program, and no more ‘Chinese e-liquid’ in the prefilled cartomizers.
The “New” Lift Vapor was selling a 2-battery starter kit that included the following: ($99)
- – Package dimensions – 5″x3.75″x2.25″
- – Package Contents
- – 1 Qty – Charger Kit – comes with wall unit adaptor and USB charger
- – 2 Qty – E-cig batteries – 1 Long black & short white batteries (male threaded)
- – 1 Qty – Refillable blank cartridges – 5 pack female threaded cartomizers
- – 1 Qty – Cartridge/cartomizer filled with 1.8 Menthol or tobacco
- – 1 Qty – 5ml vial of e-liquid. Choose from 27 flavors & 4 different nicotine strength levels
Still about $40 too expensive, sure, but at least they weren’t hiding it anymore. Looking deeper into the “new” website I learned that additional batteries, in white or black, were being sold for $11.95. A good price for a rechargeable battery. However, they do seem to indicate that their batteries are “regulated”, which I find difficult to believe. A 5-pack of “blank” 1ML cartomizers is just $4.95, in white or black.
Now here’s where the biggest difference comes into play. Lift Vapor now offers 100% USA sourced and mixed e-Liquids in 30 flavors. (or so they say)
Remembering that the LiftVapor we wrote about was selling 10 Cartomizers for $65, per month, ($6.50 PER cartomizer folks) the NEW LiftVapor was selling 5-packs of prefilled menthol or tobacco cartomizers for $12.95 and blank ones for $4.95.
Even more shocking was the pricing for the 30 flavors of American made and American sourced e-Liquid. Take a look at the pricing for their bottles of USA e-Liquids (they claim the e-Liquid are made by themselves on their own premises). They do not list the prices on the product page, instead you have to make your choices as to size and nicotine level and add it to your cart, and on checkout you see the prices.
(Note* because they are still working on their new website, the shopping cart does not work with Safari on a Mac, but does when using Firefox)
Current Prices (July 18th, 2013)
– 5ML – $3.25
– 15ML -$7.45
– 30ML – $13.99
– 50ML – $24.99
The e-Liquids are shipped in opaque bottles with dripper tips, and in a variety of nicotine strengths, including 1.1%, 1.8%, 2.4% and of course, non-nicotine.
Honesty IS The Best Policy?
This is what they say under each e-Liquid flavor product page:
- – No Steeping Needed
- – 100% Ready to ‘Vape’
- – No ‘Hot Spots’
- – Consistent, Smooth Experience
- – 70% PG/30% VG Recipe
- – Available in 5ml, 15ml, 30ml, and 50 ml vial sizes
- – 1 ml E-liquid equals approximately 7 cigarettes
– A 30 ml vial of E-liquid equals approximately 1 carton of cigarettes
This is what caught my eye; “1ML e-Liquid equals approximately 7 cigarettes”. This from a company that once claimed a .7ML cartomizer lasted up to 2-packs of cigarettes! They are right about a 1ML cartomizer filled with e-Liquid does indeed last about 7 cigarettes for the average smoker.
Custom Vapor Section
According to LiftVapor, in the very near future they are going to attempt a “custom vapor” section where their customers can select whatever flavorings they want, in whatever ratio they want, along with their own custom PG/VG desires. A great idea if you can pull it off, but something like this, if successful, would be labor intensive like you wouldn’t believe.
Social Media – Facebook
Lift Vapor also have a Facebook page
And they make timely updates on what’s going on with the company, and admitting mistakes, taking responsibility for them, and making it right.
There was a problem with some of the starter kits leaving the warehouse from May 7 to May 17. All the cartomizers that were sent were blank cartos. What did they do? They are sending every customer that was affected by the error a free 5-pack of prefilled cartomizers, and they told their customers to keep the blank ones for future use. Good PR.
They also announced in a June 21 Facebook post that they had stopped their auto-shipment program completely.
What are we to make of all this?
After looking for anything out of the ordinary, for signs of the old “scam alert” Lift Vapor, and not finding anything on that particular website, (liftvapor.com) I understood why we got the letter from them. Our Scam Alert got to them, or their customers, or both. We were doing damage to LiftVapor.
But something didn’t smell right. So I began going through all the links on Google, and low and behold, Lift Vapor almost fooled me. They hadn’t changed their ways, at all.
Lift Vapor at LiftEcigs.com
I told you when I clicked on the old link in the Scam Alert article http://liftcigs.com the URL led nowhere. It went dead. But, by adding a single letter to the domain name, LIFTECIGS.COM you come to very same Scam Alert website we wrote about in April.
What I didn’t understand is why they didn’t contact us when they made this seemingly huge change into a legitimate e-cigarette seller. Why didn’t they reach out and tell us they’ve changed their way, that they’ve seen the light, that they would appreciate it if we could look into the new website and help get the word out?
Because nothing has changed.
There is one LiftVapor that appears to be using good business practices, liftvapor.com, and another LiftVapor that is still running the same scam… only worse at liftecigs.com. The “new” price for that single battery starter kit is now $148 and you have only 10 Days in the trial period that begins the moment you hit the Submit button, not 14 Days. However, they did do away with their auto-shipment program at their Scam Alert web address.
Bottom Lining It
Sadly, while LiftVapor appears to be running a legit operation at liftvapor.com there is a dark side to the same company at liftecigs.com. We’re not really surprised by this, but we are disappointed.
I wanted to believe that Lift Vapor had seen the light, that they realized all that Bad Karma was taking its toll, and instead it appears as though the only thing that has happened was that they had opened a “front” operation where everything looks okay, but behind the scenes they were still running the scam. They learned nothing.
So, we’ve updated the URL in our SCAM ALERT to reflect the new URL. We also want to make it clear that if JohnPaul Golino or Justin Triglia, the owners, who work out of a warehouse located at 60 Belamose Avenue in Rocky Hill CT (800-887-0175) that if they wish to go on record and explain there are two Lift Vapor websites, and explain their ownership in Saphire, Smoke Star, and other e-cigarette “brands” we’d love to interview them and give them the opportunity to come clean about everything.
The worst thing about all this? If LiftVapor, the company we see at liftvapor.com were the only e-cigarette company these two men were involved in we wouldn’t have a problem with them.
When you do business like this, with a “light” side and a “dark” side, it taints all of them.