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Old Aug 2, 2005, 12:35 PM   #1
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I chose Butterflyphoto.com to buy my digital video camera recently as they were the cheapest in the bunch. Their rating looked ok. The axiom you get what you pay for rings true here. I'll give the whole shaggy story, in case it prevents someone else from having to go through similar hassles.
After I placed my order, the salesman called and tried to sell me an extra accessory package. I kept declining until he tossed in a bunch more stuff and then free shipping. When I got the camera, not only had I been charged for shipping, but I had been Overcharged $100. I called customer service and they reimbursed me for the overcharge. The salesguy gave me a lame excuse for being charged for the shipping--he said I was only charged regular shipping, but he gave me free express shipping. It was a small amount so I didn't choose to quibble. Then I checked the accessories that I had been convinced to buy (included 2 lenses) and found that they were the wrong size for the camera lens (!) I called and they said there should be an attachment. There was none. I thought about returning the whole darn accessory package, but they were going to charge me 10% AND shipping costs. I asked several times for a compensation. I kept getting a run around, like "we already reimbursed you $100." I tried to explain that the logic of them paying me back an overcharge they made in error to begin with is not exactly a compensation for all the problems. I have tried to reach a supervisor--so far two messages out with no word back from him. I would never trust these guys, if I were you.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 2:30 PM   #2
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I hope you have relayed your grievances on the user reviews at shopping.com, pricegrabber.com and resellerratings.com. That is where the most people could benefit from your experience.

I have bought a couple of things from Butterfly including my latest camera. Everything went smoothly and nobody called to sell me useless junk. But sometimes retailers get good ratings and then go sleazy. It is important that everyone know immediately at the sites where they do their price searches.

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Old Aug 2, 2005, 3:36 PM   #3
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Thanks. I posted on bizrate, and comiserated on cnet, where I found a slew of similarly sleazy experiences. Seems butterfly went sour.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 4:13 PM   #4
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I had a bum experience dealing with them also. I ordered my camera from them as well because their price was the best I could find and they appeared reputable. I placed my order on Wednesday, hoping it would ship by the weekend. Friday after recieving no email notification I called them late afternoon to check the status. Salesperson told me some BS story about why they had not shipped it, but said it would go out Monday and they would bump the shipping to 2nd day air so I would still get the camera when I should have originally. I was cool with that and thanked the person for their effort. Monday I called to get a tracking number and was told that they could not fulfill my order because the camera was no longer in stock and they were unsure of when more would arrive. If I hadn't called who knows when they would have informed me of this. I was issued a full refund (which took 2 days to get credited back, but they took a whole 20 minutes to charge my card when THEY get money). This really irked me, especially since it was a debit card and I had to wait for the cash to return before Ihad enough $$buy from somebody else. Yeah I could have used the Visa but....

So I ended up buying from a place in NY called 17th Street Photo and had my camera 3 days later with a hassle-free experience. BTW, if you can buy from somebody who ships FedEX, you always get your stuff quickly for cheap shipping.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 6:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
I was issued a full refund (which took 2 days to get credited back, but they took a whole 20 minutes to charge my card when THEY get money). This really irked me, especially since it was a debit card and I had to wait for the cash to return before Ihad enough $$buy from somebody else.


Unfortunately, this is the norm when getting a credit refund, and is not the fault of the retailer. This is an excellent example of why not to use your debit card for large purchases. I work in retail and have encountered this situation many times. The retailer does not actually receive the money instantly...it takes a couple of days for them to receive payment from the credit card company.

This being said, beware of any online retailers that show a price that's too good to be true. Many times you will be charged crazy prices for batteries, cables or other items that come standard with the camera. One sign of trouble is the "call to confirm" email. Often if you refuse to buy these "extras" they will claim the camera is not in stock. Resellersratings.com is a great resource.

Good luck with your future purchases!!






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Old Aug 2, 2005, 7:01 PM   #6
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Code:
Below WAS my email to butterflyphoto from Nov 9, 2004. I did NOT even get a email reply!
I wrote a similar email to DBUYS.com, and the email reply that I received from DBUYS.com was one...yes one...word.
The single word in the email reply from dbuys.com was 'yes', and the email did not contain anything else....not even a 'single' extra ASCII character apart from the word 'yes'.

These places disgust me. In the end, I ordered from profeel.com. I ordered and profeel produced the goods without any fuss. It was great. I'm not associated with profeel in any way. But I don't mind to give good comments about a decent online shop if they truly deserve it. The reviews about profeel are very good anyway, so their good service speaks for itself already.

=========

Dear Butterfly Photo representative,

I am interested to order from your online store a
Canon G6 digital camera, advertised as IN STOCK for
541 dollars (as shown in the attached screen capture
dated 11-09-04).

I would like to see if you have them in stock at the
moment, and ready for shipping.

I've been reading reviews on a number of online stores
and I've seen reviewers mention that a lot of online
stores advertise that their product is in stock, but
they get a call a few days to a week later after the
online order - to find that the product is actually
not in stock (and is on backorder etc).

Therefore, I'm emailing to request that a
representative officially check and confirm that the
item is in stock and ready for shipment once I make an
online order, and that I won't encounter the problems
from customers of other online stores (such as finding
out that the item is advertised to be in stock, while
it really is not).

May I also have an email reply that guarantees that
the Canon G6 package will be brand new, the original
box unopened, and the USA warranty form packet
unopened? Also, may I also request that if my credit
card needs to be confirmed by phone-call, that the
Butterfly Photo representatives simply confirm my
credit card, without asking me if I want to purchase
additional items?

These small things are requested with complete respect
to your company, and I'm only requesting these things
because I simply want to make a very genuine purchase
efficiently, without unnecessary problems.

Thank you for your kind help in advance. Could you
please email back with my message quoted for
reference? Thanks again.

Regards,

Kenny Leong

Boulder. CO. USA. 80305.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 8:11 PM   #7
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rjseeney wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
I was issued a full refund (which took 2 days to get credited back, but they took a whole 20 minutes to charge my card when THEY get money). This really irked me, especially since it was a debit card and I had to wait for the cash to return before Ihad enough $$buy from somebody else.


Quote:
Unfortunately, this is the norm when getting a credit refund, and is not the fault of the retailer. This is an excellent example of why not to use your debit card for large purchases. I work in retail and have encountered this situation many times. The retailer does not actually receive the money instantly...it takes a couple of days for them to receive payment from the credit card company.

This being said, beware of any online retailers that show a price that's too good to be true. Many times you will be charged crazy prices for batteries, cables or other items that come standard with the camera. One sign of trouble is the "call to confirm" email. Often if you refuse to buy these "extras" they will claim the camera is not in stock. Resellersratings.com is a great resource.
Good luck with your future purchases!!



I could see that with a credit card, but with debit that should be almost instant I would think? They had my money in less than 20 minutes going from my online account status. Why it took them two days to do the same for me is what made me upset. Too bad it's like this with almost everything in business: If you owe them, they want it now. If they owe you, you'll get it someday.

The worst part is I never even got an apology or anything from them. I don't want to sound like a crybaby, but if they would have said they made a mistake and they were sorry for the inconvenience I might consider buying from them, I understand mistakes happen. But when all they say is "We can't fulfill your order, so you'll be getting a refund in 24-48 hours" that is just bad customer service IMHO. I just wonder how long it would have taken to find out I wasn't getting a camera if I didn't call them.



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Old Aug 2, 2005, 8:47 PM   #8
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todiane4....your bad experience is actually very typical of many highly-questionable online sites that offer the lowest (and unbelievable) prices.

eg...epinion reviews will generally give a good indication on which of those sites are going to give you big problems. For me, I ended up purchasing from online sites that had a huge number of views and the averaging rating of the full 5 stars. Price will be more, but at least you won't have to waste your time with those lowly online sites that will only give you a nightmare experience.

The general trend for the lowly sites is to

1) get you to order with credit card.
2) send you a confirmation email that your order has been received
3) make you think that everything is just fine
4) make you wonder why you haven't got a email to indicate your order has been shipped.
5) force you to call them to find out what's happening, instead of them calling you to tell you what is happening.
6) makes up a lie to tell you that they needed you to call them to make sure your credit card details are fine, except they don't tell you why they didn't inform you to call them....in other words....wasted your time.
7) eventually says that everything is fine and your order will be shipped today or tomorrow
8 ) but on the phone.....attempts to get you to buy more things by offering you many items.
9) you get annoyed when they cease to persist to 'hard-sell' you things. Yes...the term is called hard-selling.
10) they then tell you that the item is unfortunately out of stock, or on back order.
11) the nightmare continues....and eventually you will never get the product you wanted.

There may be small variations to the above. But that's what happens. Complete waste of time really. Probably best to go for the 5 star rating shops with lots and lots of reviews.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 8:51 PM   #9
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Indeed. With butterfly, they actually called me to confirm the order and then the circus began...I need to buy a regular camera--think I might try something novel like going to a store Thanks for all your tales, folks. Sorry to hear similar woes, but misery loves company, of course.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 7:31 AM   #10
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gipper51 wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
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I could see that with a credit card, but with debit that should be almost instant I would think? They had my money in less than 20 minutes going from my online account status. Why it took them two days to do the same for me is what made me upset.

In terms of processing, debit cards are treated just like credit cards. The money is not transferred to the retailerimmediatley. A "hold" for the amount spent is placed on the debit or credit card until the transfer of money actually takes place, which is typically 2-3 days later.If this transaction is voided, the hold is removed within the same time frame, and thecardholder once again has access to the money. This prevents one from spending more than they actually have in their account the debit card is linked to or exceeding their credit line. Believe me, I know how frustrating this is for a customer. Again you will find this to be the case with any retailer, not just the shady camera dealers.
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