PowerFreedom has been scamming Internet consumers for a few years. And it isn’t alone. Power Freedom is similar to a number of other scams, such as Power4Patriots, Green DIY Energy, Green Powered Home, Earth4Energy, Stirling Power, String Motor and another called Power4Home. They are all sophisticated rip-off artists whose primary objective to is to fool you into giving them your credit card number and email address.
Yes, the cost of electricity can be unfuriating — we get it. It is an essential, but increasingly expensive, commodity in our modern world. Electric utilities and their regulators have not served the public well so we are all tempted to find ways to reduce our electric bills while still being able to use this valuable commodity to power our homes and lives. We’ve even authored a guide about how to reduce your electric bill. It is this frustrating scenario that unscrupulous marketers, like the alleged David Bradley and his conspiracy theories.
Power Freedom uses the same tactic as most all of the other faux-power scammers. The first thing they have to do is to tap into your distrust of power companies with something like: “Power Companies Hate This!” Then they claim to have a secret they’re willing to share with you, and it’s one that a powerful entity doesn’t want you to have. Second, the word ‘this’ in a headline or email subject pulls people in. When you see that word, your mind immediately wants to know what the ‘this’ is.
Usually, “this” turns out to be a video full of lies, half-truths, and distortions
The PowerFreedom pitch features a “David Bradley” character who talks about all the ‘thieves, crooks, and liars’ who were stealing from me and my family every month when I pay my electricity bill. And he promised to give me a way to beat them ‘in the next 7 minutes.’ Makes you think the video’s going to be only 7 minutes long, doesn’t it? It turns out that the 7-minute video stretches out past 45 minutes by the time it finally stops. Some of the scam tip-offs include:
- They use a lot of emotionally charged terms (shocking, family, freedom, drastic…)
- They built up a nice conspiracy of the world against you, with Mr. Bradley as the only one who can save you…if you buy his manuals and video.
- They’ve drastically slashed the prices to a quarter of what they should be charging you for all this information.
- If you do a search about the company, you’ll find lots of fake review or “scam” sites that simply direct you to the main sales site or offer some officious pablum talking about how the product is highly rated or recommended.
Here’s the deal: “Mr. Bradley” and his marketers are selling manuals and videos to help you build your own solar energy system and wind turbine. He also mentioned something that I’m pretty sure is a power factor correction device. I’m guessing you’ll have to build that, too, but don’t bother; it won’t help. So, for ONLY $47, you can buy his information for stuff that you probably can’t build, and if you do, it almost certainly won’t work as advertised. They offer to allow you to see the info for “free” — for 14 days. But beware!
In the case of PowerFreedom, this Clickbank marketer offers information about how to build your own solar panel, and then throws in a few more “e-books” that provide information about do-it-yourself wind turbines, solar hot water, water purification and survival plants all for the “discounted” price of $47. Here’s the dirty secret: this is largely useless information that could be easily found on the Internet for free. And there’s one more dirty secret: this marketer is paying other marketers $35 of that $47 to steer you to their website. The only way they can afford that is to make their money on upsells. And, like many scammers, they are using Clickbank to sell their ebook so don’t assume you’ll get a refund. “Rock solid guarantee”…..don’t bet on it. The scammers bet on the fact that most consumers won’t seek refunds until after the 60-day period expires. In fact, they count on it. The PowerFreedom scammers promote this fact to “affiliate” websites that hawk the PowerFreedom scam:
In other words, these marketers are willing to pay up to 75% commission for any referrals they generate. So these “affiliate marketers” create create fake review sites which effectively thwart any customer who is looking for real reviews. It is also a tactic to obscure any customers who have posted complaints or alerts about fraudulent claims. This affiliate marketing trick makes it very difficult for consumers to detect this and other such scams, As one persevering blogger has noted, scam artists rely upon these fraudulent reviewers to be using tags like: “does it work?”, “is it a scam?” or “verified review” to suck unsuspecting consumers into this fraud. The scammers assume that you’ll either forget to seek your refund within 14 days and/or that they’ll be able to sell you other useless information or services.
Also, note that the authors are largely unknown. If the website fails to feature the credentials of the author and/or if a Google search turns up nothing about this person, you can bet this is a marketer driven product. Most of these sites feature unknown “experts” who are largely fictional creations by the scammers. For example, the David Bradley, who is an electrician alleged to have concocted the PowerFreedom cannot be found on the Internet. What you will find is many people in the PV business warning you that Bradley is actually the figment of some fraudulent marketer’s imagination.
Plans that offer instructions on how to build a solar panel, a wind generator, or power factor correction units are largely a scam because they are more costly than buying pre-assembled energy systems and, unless you know what you are doing, they are far more likely to result in an electrocution or a fire. When you are dealing with electrical components, you need to be careful. Besides, you can purchase the parts, but the silicon solar cells are most of the cost of the panel. You can wire up your own cells and mount them in a frame, but there is no way you are going to get anything for $150 that will be of much use. You would be lucky to put together a 10W system that could power a compact florescent bulb for about 6 hours a day. It is akin to building a car out of parts that you buy at a junkyard — it can be done but why would you go to the expense and time?
The bottom line on his solar panel claim is that it’s just not possible. No one can make their own solar cells at home. It requires laboratory ‘clean rooms’ and equipment more expensive than any homeowner trying to cut their electric bills can afford. It requires a deep understanding of semiconductors and electrical circuits that homeowners don’t possess. And wiring up already-made cells won’t be anywhere near cost-effective, or within the skill level of most of the people that this website is targeting. Mr. Bradley also tells you that you can build a “high-power wind generator.” How high exactly? “Up to 450 Watts.” He doesn’t tell you that a 450 W wind turbine is actually tiny as wind turbines go. He also doesn’t tell you that wind turbines aren’t really suitable for most homes because they’re noisy and will send vibrations into your home if attached to the house.
Here’s another lie: At one point, he said claims that solar panels produce just as much electricity on a bright winter day as they do during the height of summer. Although the lower temperatures of winter can make photovoltaics more efficient, the incident solar radiation (insolation) is lower because the sunlight has to travel further through the atmosphere, and there are few daylight hours.
If you want the kind of information that Power Freedom is pitching, you can find FREE do-it-yourself information at these sites:
- Here is a page called “Make a Solar Cell in your Kitchen“.
- Here is a link to an old book called “How to build a solar cell that really works” by Walter Noon.
- Here is another one called “Make a Working Solar Cell” by Randall Carl Dunkin Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center, West Union, OH.
- Check out this article titled Power Factor: Dissipating the Myths published by David Stonier-Gibson of SPLat Controls
- Renewable Energy – The Grätzel Cell
- Building the Grätzel Solar Cell
- Homebrew Wind Power
A HANDS-ON GUIDE TO HARNESSING THE WIND
Dan Bartmann & Dan Fink
Foreword by Mick Sagrillo
Our recommendation: you don’t have to spend $47 to get information about how to lose weight. And beware ANY Net-based sales pitch that has uncredentialed, slick video presentations with no independent reviews. It may not be a scam, but it is probably a rip-off because it is overpriced for what it is offering. In this case, there’s lots of good diet information in the marketplace offered at a fraction of the cost of most weight loss schemes. Save your hard-earned money.
One additional warning: once you give them your money, you’ll be tagged as “meat”. Once they know that you’ll fall for this pitch, the same marketers will be coming back to you over and over and over for other such pitches. So understand that if you pay these marketers anything….let alone $49…..they’ll continue to hound you with more slick schemes designed to prey on your fears and concerns. They’ll keep trying to “upsell” you until you stop wanting to open any of your emails! Our advice: don’t open your door or wallet to them. If you are looking for ways to reduce your energy costs, we recommend reading our brief energy savings guide or checking out Smarter House for ideas about how to cut your electric bills a smart way.