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Old May 20, 2004, 4:08 PM   #1
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Let me tell you a short summary of a bad online buying experience. I like to buy older versions of cameras to save money. I went to PriceGrabber and a site said a specific camera was in stock. They had over 1400 reviews, only 7 bad. Needless to say I did not get the camera right away. I ordered it on March 28. They billed on March 30. They changed the status of the order from Processing to Shipping on April 14. What does "shipping" mean? They didn't ship it until May 8th. Aren't Internet sites supposed to wait until they ship before they bill? I called many times. I wanted to know if they even had it in stock. The salespeople said they could not get that information from their computer. I asked them where the information was. I was told the warehouse had the information. I asked it they could contact the warehouse. Three of the times I called, I had them call their warehouse to see if they even had it in stock. I found out it was not in stock. I wanted to cancel the order. They said they would take a 15% restocking fee. Even on a camera that was not in stock. They said that was in their policy and I should read it. I went to the vendor's web site and searched for the camera. It did not come up. I called and asked to speak to Michael. He said he was the president of their company on answers he gave explaining bad reports on PriceGrabber. Later, a supervisor told me he was not the president of the company. I asked him to make some offer because of the problems I had been having. I asked for an extended warranty (refurbished cameras only have a 90 day warranty. I didn't see that in their policy.) He agreed to send me a three year warranty. I finally received the camera on May 14th. It didn't work. A salesperson said to send it back and put in a copy of the shipping bill so they could re-imburse me for the shipping. They did not re-imburse me for the shipping. I again talked to the same supervisor and she said they don't do that, read their policy. She said the salesperson had no authority to make that offer and had been fired. She said they had spent a lot of time training her and she just couldn't learn. These were refurbished cameras. While the camera was in transit back to their site, I called and asked another salesperson if there were new ones in stock. He said he couldn't get that information from his computer. I told him he could get the information if he called the warehouse. He called and said that they didn't have any new ones in stock. On PriceGrabber, this vendor said they did have new ones in stock. I asked to pay for an upgrade to a brand new one. The salesperson said that wasn't in their policy. A half hour later, he called back and said he was wrong they did have new ones in stock and would bill me for the difference and ship out a new one on Monday. The camera I got was a re-furbished one. I did not get an extended warranty. I called back and spoke to the supervisor. She said Michael did not have the authority to give me a warranty. She said he was not the president of the company as he had written in his answers to bad reviews in PriceGrabber. She said he had another title but could not tell me what it was. We haggled for over an hour on the phone and finally she said she would send me an extended Warranty. Try to read the extended warranty before you buy. It is not from the manufacturer. And, there are so many outs, it reads like Swiss cheese. They only have an obligation to replace the camera with a camera of equal value when you make your claim. They don't have an obligation to fix yours. Prices constantly go down. Also, who decides what is equal value? They could send you something with a cost equaling one on the day you make your claim, but it probably won't have near the features. Also, I'll bet that they use a manufacture's suggested retail price. I wrote a very bad review and sent it to PriceGrabber and PriceGrabber never published it. I went to other low price sites that advertised on PriceGrabber that claimed this camera was in stock. When I searched their web page, they did not have it. I had to go to the 8th price up before I found one on the vendor's web page. CAVEAT: I don't trust PriceGrabber. The site I used was a 4 star. Do the vendor sites salt the reviews at PriceGrabber? Search the vendor site for any camera you want to order. Call and make the vendor's salespeople look in their inventory. Look at the policies for the sites before you order. I don't believe the rating list at PriceGrabber any more. Don't let a vendor string you along when you are buying Online. Write down every call you make to the vendor and the exchange and name of the person you talk to. Write down a summary of what you talk about. When I got the second re-furbished camera, I called back and complained that I was supposed to get a new one. The sales person couldn't find any records of my calls. After I started reading off the dates, times, exchange numbers, names and summaries, he suddenly found the information. But he said it was against their policy to change and original order without a 15% restocking fee. I had to accept the refurbished camera. I called the supervisor back and she said the sales people did not have the authority to make the deals they made with me.
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Old May 20, 2004, 6:31 PM   #2
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Always check out a new vendor at:


and next time try our friends at Shopping.com, bear in mind that even they list some of the semi-shady Crooklyn NY dealers too. Always stay away from the lowest pricedguys on any price-searching site and use common sense - if a deal looks too good to be true -- IT IS!

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Old May 21, 2004, 11:13 AM   #3
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Regarding Steve's comments about some of the dealers in the New York area, check out this article with the details:

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Old May 22, 2004, 9:52 AM   #4
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20 years ago I ran a little business selling a specialized electronic item in a rather small out of the way town in south central Ontario, Canada. It was a part time endeavour and I operated out of our rented home, converting the family room into a small shop.My prices were suggested retail. I didn't have room for discounts at a 25% mark up. My nearest competition was in Toronto, Ontario where there were wall to wall dealers with real storefronts and deep pockets. They were selling the identicalequipmentfor almost the same price I was buying it for wholesale.What surprised everyone was the fact that my business was a booming success, at least in my eyes. Most of my customers made the two hour plus drive fromToronto to buy from me.A potential buyer, who wanted to examine my limited stock, had to make an appointment in advance just to get in the door.In returnIgave themhonesty, customer service, individual attention and training on how to use the equipment.They didn't save any money but I always made sure theygot MORE than they paid for.

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Old May 23, 2004, 11:17 AM   #5
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I'll bet the company was "RADIOACTIVE DEALS. I saw their advertisment on the Nikon 8700 when they first came out and they listed it as being in stock. I ordered it and Micheal called Me less then one hour after My placing My order offering Me special pricing on extra len's and CF Cards Etc. I asked Him if My camera would be sent out that day because I ordered it early in the Morning. He said the warehouse only knew when it would be sent so I asked to talk to the warehouse. He said that was not possible so I cancelled My order because I could not understand why I was not in their loop when I was the one spending the $$$$$. The camera was listed at that time as being new USA for $729.95 plus $41.29 for shipping. Total $771.28 I ended up Buying from An E-Bay listing for $784.99 plus $19.99 shipping from "NEW-ITEMS-ONLY"and recieved My Nikon 8700 USA brand new in two days. It came to Me Fed Ex 2nd day in perfect condition. I think stores like "RADIOACTIVE" should be put out of business. If I had the money and time I would probably just go to New York so I could discuss the way they do business face to face with them. I don't think they wiuld be cheating people much after I spoke with them. Michael Would recive 5 stars to look at out of His Black Eyes.
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Old May 23, 2004, 12:44 PM   #6
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Mikefellh wrote:
Regarding Steve's comments about some of the dealers in the New York area, check out this article with the details:
New York has excellent dealers too. I have purchased a couple of times at J&R Music World online and never had a problem with them. They have been in business for ages and they do have a real store you can walk in somewhere in NYC.
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Old May 23, 2004, 12:47 PM   #7
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This was a very "Electric" company.
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Old May 23, 2004, 6:51 PM   #8
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Make sure to review the seller at Pricegrabber, resellerratings.com and shopping.com. The way some of the sleazier sites get 4 star ratings is to offer faster shipping if you will give them a rating. It needs to be offset by people taking the time to do reviews when they get poor service.

NY has some good dealers but doesn't seem to police them at all. Sleazy dealers gravitate to wherever they can get away with it. Except for a few well-known companies I wouldn't deal with anyone in NY or anyone who did not give their address. I was stung on my first digital camera. My credit card company straightened things out for me but I learned to avoid buying from a state that does not police their commerce unless from a very well known and highly regarded company.

Maybe if people just stopped buying from New York altogether there would be economic pressure for the state to police consumer sales better.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 10:55 AM   #9
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Steve, let's not knock everyone in NYC. I have been buying camera equipment and even film from Adorama Camera in NYC since I bought my first Minolta SRT-101 back in 1974. There website is in my bookmarks. If I see a price elsewhere that looks "to good to be true" these guys at Adorama are my guide. To me, they are a bit abrupt at times, but if you've ever been in NYC, and to their store you will understand why: They are ALWAYS jamming they are so busy. J&R Music world is another website, and brick & mortar location that are very reputable.

Good Luck!
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 9:11 PM   #10
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Doctor... if you would... PLEASE break up very long posts into separate paragraphs!

It makes things much easier for viewers to read.

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