Friday, July 07, 2006

Schiesty Brooklyn Camera Stores: Caveat Emptor

Anybody who shops for cameras online knows that there are an inordinate number based in Brooklyn that advertise impossibly low prices on equipment. The game is that to get the ridiculously low price on, say, the Nikon D70, you have to buy outrageously priced packages of "accessories." Not buying the accessories often means not getting the camera.

Our compliments to the Brooklyn Record for its excellent item--with several links--to help spread the word about one of these operators. The item, headlined, "Buy This Camera or Bite Me," details an operation that totally crosses the line and outright abuses its customers. We go to the copy and paste:
A pushy salesman is one thing, but a salesman who threatens to break your neck is another beast entirely. A camera shop with several online aliases (including WawaDigital.com and StargatePhoto.com) that operates out of a graffiti-stained shop at 295 Avenue O has been generating complaints all over America for their bait and hook schemes and "uncouth and threatening service." Their cameras are listed at rock-bottom prices, but apparently, once you place your order and give your credit card number over the phone, they demand that you add on a pile of expensive accessories — or face a "20% restocking fee," and, perhaps, a knuckle sandwich. They're also known to hang up on customers — and then call back to leave death threats on their customers' answering machines. (You won't want to blast this out of your work computer, but you can listen to a sample threat here.) Tons of bloggers are fighting back by getting the word out about these bad business practices — but what needs to happen to shut down this shady operation?
What, indeed? While these practices are clearly in their own league, many other online camera dealers here and elsewhere play the same game. GL's advice: if the price is impossibly low, there's a catch. Stick to reputable retailers where you will encounter run-of-the-mill maddening problems rather than bait-and-switch, false advertising and worse.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I buy all my electronics at B&H or J&R. They are local, family owned operations. They always give me good prices and are easy to deal with. Sure you pay sales tax, but you don't pay shipping and you have a real place to go to if anything happens.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed.

10:42 AM  

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