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Old Dec 28, 2010, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default OK to warn of non-reputable vendor?

Hi,

I don't want to break any forum rules, but I would like to pass along a warning regarding an online vendor (I am still fuming over the situation).

I searched for forum guidelines against such posts, but not having found any, here goes...

Having had positive results buying directly from Buy.com, I purchased a Canon Rebel T2i kit. This time it was through one of their "Marketplace Sellers", which was a new process to me.

The Marketplace Seller was "Click Go and Buy". The ad specifically stated "Brand New with US warranty".

What I received was a used camera (52 images had been taken, according to the image counter) and the warranty card was removed.

Click Go and Buy claimed it was a mistake. Yeah it was... on my part. Never again will I use Click Go and Buy or any Marketplace seller on Buy.com.

Thankfully Buy.com refunded my full purchase price, but I want to warn folks of "Click Go and Buy". I have to say I am jaded on the whole "Marketplace Seller" thing as well, but you be the judge on that.

I may some day purchase something directly from Buy.com (not through a Marketplace Seller), but it's much less likely now.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:06 PM   #2
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Hi Dave,

Sorry to hear about your camera. There are two points I wanted to comment on.

First, to have 52 images on the camera is somewhat expected, since the camera will be tested while being built. It is going to vary from individual camera unit to unit, one may have 50 while another may have 82. The count depends on the adjustments and the checks needed to put the unit within "factory specifications". I would think that in general something averaging 100 or so (some as high as 200), will be normal.

Also a better way to check the number of shutter activiations is to check the EXIF (or meta data) associated with each image, as opposed to the numerical label within the file name. There is a free utility called PhotoME that you can download. This utility provides you the ability to see and read the contents of the EXIF data. You will want to look for the field labled "Shutter Count".
The more troublesome item was the lack of a warranty card. I believe that you could have called CanonUSA with the serial number and found out if it was a USA or Grey market camera.

Anyway, I am glad that you were able to receive a full refund.

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Old Dec 29, 2010, 11:26 AM   #3
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I bought the same kit via B&H the same day I discovered the problem mentioned from the bogus vendor. I will check to see where the image counter is on that one.

I don't know of a way to check EXIF data on shots taken at the factory, since the camera didn't come with a memory card. It seems to me that the counter is the only record of shots having been taken by Canon, right?

It makes sense that Canon could test fire in order to make adjustments, but not sure what they would be adjusting. I guess with the burst-rate that the T2i is capable of, you could fire off quite a few shots rather quickly.

I called Canon and they confirmed that a new kit would ship with a warranty card. The kit from B&H contained a warranty card and several other printed items missing from the bogus kit. The bag that holds the user manuals was torn open in the bogus kit. Malfeasance, me thinks.

Surprisingly, Canon said they could not trace the serial number of a camera body to inform me of it being grey market, used or whatever. My guess is that they chose not to go down that path. It may just come down to the difficulty of having the serial number database system tied into the workstations that service reps have in front of them in a call center. Not sure, but as I said, surprising.

I left a scathing review of said Marketplace Vendor on Buy.com's site. It yielded an angry phone call from the "gentleman" I dealt with after discovering the underhanded skulduggery. Raising the volume, inflection and rate of speaking was his game plan while talking with me (more like shouting at me). I'm not sure how he expected that it would lead me to revise my review, but hopefully he feels better. He intimated that my review was a personal blow to his business, himself and his children.

If I were in his shoes, and it really was a mistake, I would have gone about it in a different way. He came off sounding more guilty than before. As the saying goes, "Yelling - it's the next best thing to being right".

Thanks for the response. As you said, the good thing is getting the refund and a new kit for the GF before Christmas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
Hi Dave,

Sorry to hear about your camera. There are two points I wanted to comment on.

First, to have 52 images on the camera is somewhat expected, since the camera will be tested while being built. It is going to vary from individual camera unit to unit, one may have 50 while another may have 82. The count depends on the adjustments and the checks needed to put the unit within "factory specifications". I would think that in general something averaging 100 or so (some as high as 200), will be normal.

Also a better way to check the number of shutter activiations is to check the EXIF (or meta data) associated with each image, as opposed to the numerical label within the file name. There is a free utility called PhotoME that you can download. This utility provides you the ability to see and read the contents of the EXIF data. You will want to look for the field labled "Shutter Count".
The more troublesome item was the lack of a warranty card. I believe that you could have called CanonUSA with the serial number and found out if it was a USA or Grey market camera.

Anyway, I am glad that you were able to receive a full refund.

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Old Dec 29, 2010, 2:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlavaDave View Post
I don't know of a way to check EXIF data on shots taken at the factory, since the camera didn't come with a memory card. It seems to me that the counter is the only record of shots having been taken by Canon, right?
...

Surprisingly, Canon said they could not trace the serial number of a camera body to inform me of it being grey market, used or whatever. My guess is that they chose not to go down that path.
.....

I left a scathing review of said Marketplace Vendor on Buy.com's site. It yielded an angry phone call from the "gentleman" I dealt with after discovering the underhanded skulduggery. Raising the volume, inflection and rate of speaking was his game plan while talking with me (more like shouting at me). I'm not sure how he expected that it would lead me to revise my review, but hopefully he feels better. He intimated that my review was a personal blow to his business, himself and his children.
To check the EXIF, you do need a SD card, slide it in and take a picture. Then either download the image to the PC (via the cable) or move the SD card to the PC and download it and then take a look at the image via PhotoME. I did not realize that Canon no longer supplied a SD card any longer. They use to include something like at 32MB card (really pretty useless), but usable for a few images if for some reason you did not already have one readily available.

According to posts here and elsewhere, if CanonUSA (or Canada) didn't "sell" (or one of their retailers) the unit, they will not repair it - so they can tell.

In this day and age of the instant Internet, the customer service side of various merchants are exposed very quickly, and with some of the attitudes displayed, it is a surprise that they are able to stay in business. I would think that Buy.com would be a bit more proactive in terms of policing their dealer network that they are associated with - it is their name on the website.

Hope your Girl Friend likes her new Christmas present.......

Last edited by interested_observer; Dec 29, 2010 at 2:56 PM.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 3:17 PM   #5
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I contemplated keeping the camera since it was so close to Christmas and the camera looked factory fresh. I asked the Canon customer service rep how serious it was that a warranty card was not included. She told me that warranty coverage essentially comes down to your sales receipt. If it is within the warranty period, and the seller is an authorized Canon dealer - you are covered. No need for a card. Buy.com is an authorized dealer but Click Go and Buy (and yell) isn't. The money was handled by Buy.com, but CB&G was referenced. It would be a coin toss as far as how Canon would interpret the receipt. Odds are you won't need warranty service in the first year. I still believe Canon has information tied to camera serial numbers, but as I said, I bet they don't want to be looking up info for a lot of consumers via their call centers.

What tipped the scales in favor of a return was the principle of it all, as far as having someone try to pull a cheap stunt on me.

The GF loves the camera. I have to confess that part of my motivation was the fact that I will get "borrowing" rights to it. I have two great lenses which she is welcome to, so everyone should be happy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
To check the EXIF, you do need a SD card, slide it in and take a picture. Then either download the image to the PC (via the cable) or move the SD card to the PC and download it and then take a look at the image via PhotoME. I did not realize that Canon no longer supplied a SD card any longer. They use to include something like at 32MB card (really pretty useless), but usable for a few images if for some reason you did not already have one readily available.

According to posts here and elsewhere, if CanonUSA (or Canada) didn't "sell" (or one of their retailers) the unit, they will not repair it - so they can tell.

In this day and age of the instant Internet, the customer service side of various merchants are exposed very quickly, and with some of the attitudes displayed, it is a surprise that they are able to stay in business. I would think that Buy.com would be a bit more proactive in terms of policing their dealer network that they are associated with - it is their name on the website.

Hope your Girl Friend likes her new Christmas present.......
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 1:31 PM   #6
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I would bet that either the camera was a refurb or grey market. First lesson in buying gear online is to stick with the reputable dealers. The two that stand out above the rest are B&H and Adorama. If someone has it listed for less than these two chances are its a scam of some sort. There is a huge list of scammers out there that list physical addresses in abandoned buildings in Brooklyn. Some will list far below the market and either take your money and you get nothing or they call you (phone number required when ordering) to "verify the order" whcih really means they are trying to sell you more stuff at inflated prices to make up the difference on the uct rate on the camera. "Oh just so you know this doenst include a battery, its an additional $300 for that". When you refuse their extras all of the sudden that camera body is on backorder and they dont know when they will get more. Consider yourself fortunate that you got a refund.
Canon does have a database by serial number and they can tell you the entire history if they wanted to. Most of the time they wont because it puts them in a position of being caught in the middle and possibility of getting caught up in legal battles that they can avoid by simply not providing the information. Your best bet when calling Canon is to call the service desk at Irvine or Jamesburg.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 8:03 PM   #7
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I've purchased things from buy.com a few times and never had an issue aside from them failing to fulfill some free-after-coupon orders. I've never ordered from the marketplace sellers though; always been very wary of them.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 8:33 PM   #8
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Also newegg.com is a very reputable dealer as well.

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Old Jan 1, 2011, 5:37 PM   #9
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The missing warranty card is a big tipoff that things are not right - it may have been sent in by someone else, who then returned the camera (in which case the camera should not have been sold as new, but as a return), or sometimes, vendors will return cards in order to get factory rebates on items themselves. In any case, a definite red flag.
You were fortunate, though that Buy.com stepped up to do the right thing. It does indicate good will on their part.

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Old Jan 2, 2011, 12:39 PM   #10
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Just to follow up on the image counter subject...

Her new camera (the one from B&H) was at "IMG_0001" after the first shot.

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