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April 2013’s Top 20 Posts

April 2013 has not been a fully happy period in our industry, at least on the accidents front.  Unfortunately I have to report that a lot of the top 20 posts that were read in 193 countries all over the world were stories I reported where injury or death to our stage hand brothers and sisters.  At least their names will never be forgotten, at least by me.  Ever.  In order to go where we’re going, we have to remember how we got here.  It’s not all negative, but get ready to relive some disaster in our business.

The most read post in April of 2013 from JimOnLight.com:

A Rigger Dies after a 100 Foot Fall at AT&T Center in San AntonioRIGGERS-NOT-SKYDIVERS

April 2013’s Most Read Post #2:
The TO THE ARCHIVES link on JOL!
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #3:
San Antonio Rigger Falls 100 Feet to Death at AT&T Center
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #4:
Lighting 101:  Luminance VS. Illuminance
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #5:
New Footage of the Demolition of the Famous Texas Stadium
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #6:
Let’s Be Safer, At Least in the Entertainment Industry
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #7:
A Time-Lapse of the Maroon 5 Overexposed Tour Load-In
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #8:
Memorial Fund Established for Dean Williams, Rigger Who Fell at AT&T Center in San Antonio
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #9:
UPDATE – Ultra Music Festival LED Wall Accident
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #10:
Jim Hutchison Leaves CAST Software, Opens Lumen Buddha Studios, A Lighting Industries Think-Tank and Design Studio
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #11:
INDUSTRY ACCIDENT – Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Video Wall Falls on Workers
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #12:
Something Horribly Wrong is Going On at Wicked Lasers, UPDATED
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #13:
Recommended Reading on JOL!
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #14:
Radiohead Stage Collapse in Toronto — 1 Dead, 3 Wounded
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #15:
Gaffers and Grips — DIY Gaff Tape Key Fob
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #16:
LER:  Luminaire Efficacy Rating
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #17:
DARTH FADER
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #18:
LED Freerunning:  Lighting Emitting Dudes
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #19:
Mycena Lux Coeli — The Coolest Mushroom I Have Ever Seen!
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April 2013’s Most Read Post #20:
Pilobolus’ Shadowland Review
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Something Horribly Wrong is Going On at Wicked Lasers

A quick update on this post:  I did receive my laser after  a long wait.  But it took me getting ahold of the VP of Customer Service to do it.  I am, believe it or not, considering ordering a green laser from them.  I have been assured that the manufacturing and shipping problems have been corrected.  So, for what it’s worth, the laser is pretty awesome.

I’m not into libel or anything – these are hard facts for consumers to make up their own mind before they have to go through the experience that I am currently not enjoying.  However, I feel that with the research that I have, consumers can make up their own minds about future purchases from Wicked Lasers.

I’ve been into lasers for quite some time now, and back in August I decided to get one of Wicked Lasers’ 1W direct diode blue lasers from their China facility.  I am putting together a little laser studio, and I thought that their S3 Spyder Arctic 1W blue would be perfect.  Honestly, it would have been perfect, I think, and with the optics sets that I purchased and the laser shades that I ordered, I would have had a nice laser source to conduct some research!  HOW EXCITING!

Oh, contrare, mo frere.

I ordered the Spyder Arctic, along with their Expanded Optics set, the safety lenses (basically a low-power lens), and some laser goggles.  My order total came to $404.89, which was charged to my card the day I purchased the package, August 24.  On that day, Wicked Lasers’ website stated 3-5 days on shipping.  I had fully planned on rocking the heck out of that laser and optics set that weekend!

Well, here’s where the disappointment comes in – and it’s disappointing because, well, it’s a 1W direct diode blue laser, for under $400! I really, really wanted this for my research and work!

About 8 days after not hearing anything from Wicked Lasers about my purchase, I called the customer service center, apparently located in the United States.  At first glance, no one could locate my order number, so a message was taken to have a senior customer service representative call me back.  Another week went by, no contact, so I called again, got the same thing.  Then I went to the website and saw this – a “new” shipping schedule for the S3 Spyder Arctic:

Okay, suck.  So now 3-5 business days has turned into October 24.  Well, I really, really wanted this laser and optics set, so I put it out of my head and gave Wicked Lasers the benefit of the doubt – my order number was #66XXX, so October 24 it shall be.  However, October 24 had come and gone, and nothing.  I called customer service to find out if perhaps my laser package was stuck in US Customs, but once again, the customer service agent couldn’t locate my order number, so yet another message was forwarded to wherever they keep forwarding these messages that never get returned.

I’ve made a total of eleven calls to the US-based customer service department for Wicked Lasers.  I have had a total number of zero messages returned, even when the agent tells me that they’ve found my number, the status is still “backordered,” and a supervisor will call me within the day.

Starting to seem like a sham yet?  Well, it gets better.  Two days ago (October 26, 2010), I went to check the website to see if there was any more new information about my laser package.  I then find this – a new, revised shipping schedule:

The NEW SCHEDULE now says NOVEMBER 28 for shipping my S3 Spyder Arctic laser.  No one at customer service will return my calls.  Customer service agents keep passing me off, telling me that a supervisor will return my call.  Nothing – not even an email telling me that they’ll ship when they’re damned good and ready, nothing.  How about now?  Seem like a sham now?

So Wicked Lasers, since I’ve heard nothing from anyone, I’m filing a chargeback tomorrow and a fraud report with American Express.  Is anyone else who reads JimOnLight.com having this kind of trouble with Wicked Lasers?

OH – then there was this, on the Wicked Lasers Facebook profile:

Who knows what the hell this is about, but what it looks like is crap.  Shipping numbers posted out of order?  What’s that about?  Also, if this is a hack or something, wouldn’t you think that they’d take it down to stop confusing their customers?

Here’s what I know (which was true at the time of writing this post):

  1. Wicked Lasers let me order a laser and accessories that it seems like they have no intention of shipping to me.
  2. Wicked Lasers also took my money immediately for a product that it appears that they will never be shipping – were this a $5-10 dollar item, I’d just eat it and stop wasting my time, but it was over $400.
  3. I am not the only person dealing with this game of poop.
  4. Wicked Lasers CONTINUES TO ACCEPT ORDERS AND PAYMENT FOR LASERS THEY’RE NOT SHIPPING.
  5. Wicked Lasers will not contact me (or others) back with regards of why we don’t have our packages that were promised October 24.
  6. Customer service is a waste of a phone call, and emails are even worse.