Wind-Blox Business Practices
Wind-Blox makes a 'wind and noise blocker' product that attaches to the leading straps on a cycling helmet and, as the name suggests, the product 'blocks wind'. Introduced a year after Cat-Ears, Wind-Blox has a long history of making false and misleading claims. Some examples are noted below:
Wind-Blox claims to have received the 'Most Effective Wind Noise Reduction' award.
While this claim sounds very impressive, there is no such award.
Wind-Blox uses fictitious names on cycling forums to promote their products (or discredit others). Below is one of many examples. When caught, moderators closed / banned / deleted accounts. On more than one occasion, IP address searches (by the moderators) validated the source of the forum comments.
After getting caught, W~B may have stopped these fictitious comments.
Fake Twitter Followers
Wind-Blox purchased over 11,000 'fake' Twitter followers. A form of social media fraud.
After getting caught, it appears Twitter deleted >8,000 fake W~B followers.
Friends / Family Reviews
Numerous friends and family (and re-seller) product reviews:
“The new Wind-Blox Pro is a welcome addition to my kit.” - Tyler Gilmore (family friend)
"Heard the sweetest little birds chirping on my ride to work today. Thanks Wind-Blox!" - Drew F. (son)
Amazon Review: "Works great, not 'furry' and easy to install. Terrific, look high tech (not furry). Work fine.
Don't have to remove straps." - Ted Finch (purported VP, Marketing for Wind-Blox)
"The new design of the Wind-Blox Pro made riding safer and more stylish as the product became easier to use."
- Tyler G. (another review by the same family friend)
Amazon Review: "I have about a 12 mile ride to work that I take 2-3 times a week. I purchased these wind-blox
and put them on my helmet. Now... I can hear much better. Very helpful." - relation name withheld
Amazon Review: "Amazing how much more I hear while biking. Wind-Blox work amazingly well! I'm stunned at what
a difference it makes to ride using this product. I can hear SO much more." - Ben L. Fajen (brother of Wind-Blox CEO)
After getting caught, it appears Amazon may have deleted some these reviews.
Paid Product 'Endorsements'
Wind-Blox: "The Hearing Health Foundation chose Wind-Blox and featured us as an 'Editor's Choice'"
<= Original W-B advertisement
According to the HH Foundation, the claimed 'endorsement' was actually a paid advertisement.
"Thank you for bringing this advertisement to our attention. "We will reach out to Wind-Blox to ask that they remove or amend their wording as it is misleading." - Hearing Healh Foundation
<= Corrected advertisement
After getting caught, W~B corrected the blatantly misleading endorsement claim.
Misleading Use of the 'Velcro® Brand' Name
Wind-Blox: "The bi-directional Velcro closure takes seconds to attach"
Velcro® aggressively protects its brand name when a company utilizes imitation materials.
After getting caught, W~B reworded the more obvious 'Velcro®' closure references.
Wind-Blox Are 'Made In America'... Or Are They?
It appears that the "Made in America" Facebook claim was intended to mislead consumers.
After getting caught, W~B deleted the 'Made in America' claim on their Facebook page.
Fictitious Aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel Testing Claim
Wind-Blox originally claimed that they performed aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel tests.
Unfortunately, the small and loud Flotek Wind Tunnel (#1440) is not suitable for aeroacoustic testing:
Performing aero-acoustic analysis in a test chamber with 85 dB of fan / flow noise would be difficult.
The 1' x 1' test section (fixed walls) is small. It would barely fit a test head or helmet (blockage effect).
Open-jet wind tunnels are typically used for aero-acoustic testing since fixed walls can reflect sound.
Revised claim: "Because fan noise is significant, only the fluid flow imagery was observed in the wind tunnel".
Accurate 'fluid flow imagery' observations would be difficult due to the restricted flow displacement.
An understanding / measurement of aeroacoustic noise is critical for interpreting fluid flow imagery.
After getting caught, W~B made a correction on their website / removed the claim on Amazon.
Endless False / Misleading Advertising (e.g. Facebook)
In our opinion, making false / misleading claims for self enrichment is wrong.