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Misleading "Best Reviews" on Amazon


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#1 BTombaugh

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:58 AM

I noticed this morning that if you search for "two-way radios" on Amazon, in addition to the product listing, Amazon is also displaying an article from "BestReviews.com" that is recommending several Part 90/97 radios from ArcShell, BaoFeng, and LSeng along with a couple of GMRS radios from Midland and Motorola. The worst recommendation they make is for the BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF), rather than the GMRS-V1.

 

They fail to mention that the Part 90/97 radios require that the frequencies be programmed for each channel. They fail to mention that these radios are capable of using licensed frequencies that are assigned to business and emergency services organizations. They imply that you only need a license if you are using the GMRS radios, inferring that the other radios do not require a license!

 

While I realize that it's only "tilting at windmills" I did submit a contact from to BestReviews.com to tell them that they are (likely unintentionally) encouraging consumers to break the law by using commercial radios without a license. I also "reported the profile" through Amazon, although the report process doesn't ask for any details. Not sure if they will contact me for details or not.

 

I'm sure that others will agree that these kinds of uninformed recommendations are part of the problem with the marketing of "cheap Chinese radios" to the general public.

 

The question is what can be done about it? While there doesn't seem to be a good way to refute the recommendations in the article through Amazon, maybe if enough others would read the "review" and reply using their contact form we could get them to fix their article.

 

Amazon should have the responsibility for clearly identifying that these amateur and business radios require the appropriate FCC license to be operated legally. They are NOT general consumer products.


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#2 berkinet

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:26 AM

" Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

  Courage to change the things I can,
  And wisdom to know the difference."

 

Pick one.


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#3 Radioguy7268

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 11:40 AM

Quite honestly - this is the FCC's job, and they should be the ones enforcing the rules & cracking down on mass-marketers with misleading advertising.

 

The FCC doesn't care, because if they did, they would have actually issued fines to some of the more blatant examples. When the FCC doesn't care, it kind of makes it pointless. What will you do? Threaten them with a non-existing enforcement action?


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#4 Elkhunter521

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 01:35 PM

The FCC has incredible budget issues........

Wait, I will NOT stand up for a fed agency.
Hmmmm, nevermind.
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Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#5 WRAF213

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:59 PM

Amazon is indeed responsible for the misleading descriptions, they would not be allowed to market the uncertified devices to Americans. Should the FCC do anything about it, I'd bet that Amazon would (successfully) try to shift the blame to the sellers, who would then claim they are outside the FCC's jurisdiction; the cycle would continue. The whole situation is a mess, and licensed GMRS and Part 90 (both Public Safety and Industrial/Business pools) users are receiving significant interference from users fully unaware that their radios aren't actually FRS radios. The sellers are desperate for sales and most will say anything to secure a sale. Keep digging around Amazon's site and you will find many sellers saying their radios are legal out-of-the-box and a handful of reviewers upset that they aren't.

The FCC already fined one distributor a while back for selling UV-5Rs with an incomplete type certification. The internet was naïvely rejoicing, "The FCC made Baofengs illegal!" Yet this barely scratched the surface of the problems with illegal marketing.

Over here, there's more activity on the BF-888S channels than on FRS channels, and a handful of commercial users on amateur simplex channels complete with profanity. Reports go nowhere. Users claim the sellers said the radios were legal, and tone squelch on the default channels makes the users unable to determine they are causing or receiving interference. Where is the Commission when you need them?
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#6 Elkhunter521

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 03:07 PM

I just had an ad pop up on Google for
(2) Bf-888s for 19$ and change. Face it, 10$ apiece is a hard price to beat if you just want to talk a mile or so. (2 watt radios)
  • Downs likes this
Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#7 Downs

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:11 PM

I just had an ad pop up on Google for
(2) Bf-888s for 19$ and change. Face it, 10$ apiece is a hard price to beat if you just want to talk a mile or so. (2 watt radios)

Ive got a small pile of those. For the price its hard to beat.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

A pile of "cheap Chinese radios", BF888s, UV5Rs, UV82s, KGUV8Ds, BFF8HP, UV50X2, and a few "good" radios, Yeasu FT310 (airband/nav), Yeasu FT90R (no longer in mobile service used as a base radio)


#8 marcspaz

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 05:03 PM

I have two BF-F8HP.  Those show up in GMRS search results on Amazon, too, but they are advertised as amateur radios on the product page itself.  It may be a paid advertising service being provided.  Kind of like when you search for a dishwasher, but specifically, only Cascade detergent products are included in the results.

 

 

The BF-F8HP's have great range for only 8 watts.  While standing in my driveway, I can reach a VHF repeater about 20 miles away as the crow flies, and a UHF repeater about 22 miles away.  My biggest complaint is, both radios have static come in over the receive, even if me and the other station are 100 yards away.  But they were $60 instead of $10, so I was hoping for better audio quality.  But, for messing around in the mountains, I'd rather break a $60 HT than a $300 HT.



#9 Corey

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:33 AM

I don't know where the FCC is on enforcement but here in Racine Wisconsin the WI DOJ has been knocking on doors looking for the people that have been connecting radios to the statewide P25 trunking system known as WISCOM. I know 2 ex law enforcement offices that both got visits yesterday. With the visits came lots of questions about one person... All I have to say is play stupid games win stupid prizes, FCC won't investigate so here comes the DOJ. When caught these guys will wish it was the FCC because the DOJ will issue you and anal probing the likes of an alien abduction....


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Just My $.02

 

Corey

 

Midwest GMRS

https://mwgmrs.com


#10 WRAF213

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 11:16 AM

I don't know where the FCC is on enforcement but here in Racine Wisconsin the WI DOJ has been knocking on doors looking for the people that have been connecting radios to the statewide P25 trunking system known as WISCOM. I know 2 ex law enforcement offices that both got visits yesterday. With the visits came lots of questions about one person... All I have to say is play stupid games win stupid prizes, FCC won't investigate so here comes the DOJ. When caught these guys will wish it was the FCC because the DOJ will issue you and anal probing the likes of an alien abduction....

 

That situation is different from what's going on here. WISCOM is a Wisconsin State asset, and the Wisconsin DOJ is protecting their state's system. The legal subscriber radios and the system key for the trunked system (while trivial to generate, such a key would probably not authenticate on the system) are most likely property of Wisconsin. I'm allowed to own Baofengs, but I'm not allowed to join trunked systems on stolen or cracked hardware/software.






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