Writing about technology for over twenty years and scams several times in my career as a writer, I thought that I could not be duped by an Internet scam. I remember interviewing people who said if something sounded too good to be true, then it can't be true. But, I really wanted to believe that a product could stop oil leaks.
While surfing the Internet for solutions to an oil leak on my 1996 Geo Prizm, on the Car Talk website, I saw an ad for a product called Dura-Seal. I clicked on the ad to show a lot of information with a 100% a satisfaction guarantee. When I searched "Dura-Seal oil leak repair does it work?" The results showed no problems, at the time...
There was a report in the Corvette forum from someone who said that the product worked. There were all kinds of testimonials from other websites, listed.
I called and spoke to the technical support line to someone named Chris who told me was a mechanic and he used the product in several high-end BMW cars as well as a very expensive boat engine. His confidence in the product won me over. He said that he was hired by the company because he was mechanic and when he tried the product he was amazed. He appeared to truly believe in the product. I asked who made the product and he said "ABX Corporation," making it seem that it was a big company.
"Do I need to change the oil first?" I asked.
He said, "No. It should work fine."
Due to his confidence and after looking at the links to all the reviews, including one that stated that a second product was shipped to the customer free of charge without shipping charges, I ordered the product.
I followed directions, carefully. I put the Dura-Seal in the engine oil. I ran the car for 20 minutes, timed it exactly and also took video of the whole process (see video below).
I called Chris again to say that the oil was low and he suggested that I add a half a quart of oil. I was a believer.
The clue, Chris, the tech guy returned my call when I did not leave a message. I realize now that he was probably using his cell phone, because generally landlines don't have that feature. The sound of the voice was more like on cell phone, than a landline, it had a kind of distance in the tone. The tech line of a corporation was being run on a cell phone.
There was something else I should have done which I did later. Look up the domain on Whois
Registrant Info: (FAST-14714282)
Auto Body Express Corp.
57 Ivy Log Road
Blairsville, Georgia 30512
When I put the address into a Google search it shows that Chris's property is up for sale by ReMax Realty in Georgia. If I looked that up I would not have bought the product in the first place.
My friend who is car buff after seeing the Dura-Seal website sent me an email that said "Good luck."
I was not lucky at all. I admit I was duped.
Daily, after the application I placed cardboard under the car and it continued to leak. I was expecting that the oil leak would stop after 150 miles, when a placed new cardboard under the car. The directions say drive 150 miles. Heck, I drove it at total of 25o miles and guess what?
I still have an oil leak.
So, I called the company. A lady on the customer service line told me I was eligible for a free replacement that would cost $8.99 shipping and an additional $7.00 handling fee. I told her I'd report the company to the FTC, she said "Go ahead."
Then came the downfall of the charming, Chris.
When I called Chris, I recognized his voice immediately, he did not recognize me. I told him that I saw the ads that said 100% Satisfaction and the website meta tag that said "Guaranteed."
That's when it got dirty.
I told him, "I've documented everything on video and I'm going to post it on YouTube."
He said, "Uh-Ohh."
Things spiraled down from then on. He said that outside reviews were not valid and because they said that he sent another treatment for free, he didn't have to.
I asked him, "Are you an attorney?"
He said, "No" with a nasty arrogant growling hiss of self confidence.
He also said that he has been successful in having things taken down from YouTube and the Internet before. He offered to not charge the handling fee, but I would still have to pay for shipping again for the Dura-Seal Oil Stop Leak that did not work.
The product is called "Stop leak."
"I don't like being threatened," he said.
I pressed him some more. I told him I'd try it again if he sent it for free.
"And then what?" he asked.
"If it works, fine," I said.
He hung up his cell phone. If there was chance that the product would have worked, then he probably would have sent another one.
In this entire article, I am telling the absolute truth about my experience with Dura-Seal Oil Stop leak 4 Cylinder. I believe in telling the truth. I don't want anyone else to lose $61.96 like I did.
If he asks YouTube to remove the video, this article will stand as a testament to the truth.
I rated Dura-Seal Oil Stop Leak one-half star for Chris' great acting ability and the quality of the website that made it seem like a legitimate product.
The oil leaks were not stopped, however, hopefully, I can stop others from falling for this scam.
Product description that is not true for me.
"Stops oil leaks in all 4 Cylinder engines. Just add to engine oil. Starts working immediately, full seal within 150 miles of normal driving. Makes old gaskets, seals and rear main seals expand back to original thickness. This is a "Pro-Grade" sealer for serious oil leaks!"
FTC Complaint #49859162.
Another thing, I should have done was search the Trademark database, there is no Trademark for an stop-oil-leak product called "Dura-Seal." There is paint/coating product with the name "Dura-Seal." He is fraudulently using a trademarked name for another use.