Casa Grande, AZ: On-line Camera Scam Artists

Mary Lynn was feeling a little under the weather this evening so, while she laid down, I went and visited with our neighbors across the road, Mike and Janice. There are from Ottawa, Canada and I always enjoy our talks.

Tonight we covered a wide variety of topics during our 'front porch' session however one of the most interesting had to do with where MLA and I might settle down one day. Mike and Janice both wondered if we would settle in the DC area since that's where we have lived for the last 30 years. 

True, it's where we have lived for 30 years and it's also true that it is a great place to both raise a family and to make a living. However, it's now more crowded and more expensive than ever. Even with the latest adjustment in housing prices it's still an extremely expensive area in which to live.

So MLA and I are keeping our options open. We are leaning more towards the warmer sections of the country. In fact, I told MLA the other night if I were to go back to work I would want to live here in the Phoenix area during the winter and in the Maryland area during the summer. If we didn't already own a home in the Maryland area I doubt we would live there while working or retired.

You know the saying "If it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't?". Well, over the weekend while surfing the Internet I found a really good deal on a small video camcorder that I figured would be perfect for our trip to Alaska. So I ordered a Canon flash memory based HD camcorder figuring I could post short video's on the blog. In fact MLA agreed to be the videographer while I continued as the photographer. Great idea, huh.

Well, almost. After ordering the camera from a company called the 'Camera Giants' I received an e-mail saying there was a problem with the order and to call them. I called and they told me the order was on hold until I selected which battery I wanted to ship with the camera. One was an additional $125 and the other was an additional $175. 

I told them I wanted the standard battery, as advertised, which is included with the Canon camera. The guy on the phone said OK but the standard battery only lasts for 30 minutes. I replied that the standard battery lasts longer than 30 minutes and that I had already ordered an extra battery for a whole lot less. OK, he says, I'll get your order out right away.

Well, today I get an e-mail that says the camera I ordered has unfortunately been back ordered and won't be back in stock for at least 3-4 weeks. Included in the e-mail was a note on three different ways I can cancel my order. Clearly they are trying to get the order cancelled so they don't have to fulfill the order at a low price.

Obviously this while experience is 'fishy' so I check out the company on the Better Business Bureau's on-line site and sure enough, this company has a grade of "F" with the BBB. The BBB describe the complaints filed against the company as the very same tactics of trying to force you to buy additional over-priced accessories and then, if you refuse to buy the additional items, not shipping your order. 

The BBB says the 'Camera Giants' have failed to resolve or even respond to any of the consumer complaints filed against them so I don't think my complaint will do any good. What a bunch of scam artists -- I can only hope they get what they deserve. So, as much as I didn't want to succumb to their high-pressure delaying tactics, I cancelled the order.

I found the same camera at another store and have ordered it. The price however is good, but not as good as the first company. I checked the second company out with BBB and everything looks good however I'm now a little 'gun shy' regarding on-line digital products retailers. Never had a problem previously however in the past I've always used reputable online retailers like Amazon.com, etc.

I'll let you know what happens. hopefully in a small video clip!

See Ya!


Anonymous said...

Dale the company you refer to has many names. We ordered a GPS from one of the other names and got the same reception. I think something should be done about them. I totally agree that they are scam artists. One of the managers that works for my husband also ordered, from one of the company names, a tripod for my husband for Christmas and guess what the same reception. I just wish we could get the word out about them. Please beware that there are many names for this company and that they all do the same thing. They will ship to you if you purchase the additional item that they are pushing.

2nd Trip: June 2008 through November 2008

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1st Trip -- February 2008 Through April 2008

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Maryland to Arizona to Prince Rupert, BC

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