Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fool Me Once...

With shame, I blog...

As my previous post stated, we ordered a new digital camera the other day - a Canon Rebel XTi. We saw an ad in a digital photography magazine for a company that (obviously) sells cameras. Comparatively, this company: BroadwayPhoto.com, had the best deal. So here's what happened:

Ron placed the order with our bank card. The screen he got said, "ORDER COMPLETE - THANK YOU!" and had the order number, etc. as well as some standard fine print. Little did we know that fine print included something about the company contacting us regarding any adjustments to your order, etc. etc., but since we didn't even see such a message until after the order was submitted, it seemed inconsequential, standard for Internet shopping type stuff. I know, I know...

The next day (today) Ron received an e-mail asking him to call an 800 number to confirm the order. We thought it was processed and shipping via UPS (2-3 days), so immediately red flags went up. This seemed quite strange, so he started Googling the company and quickly found they have a sketchtastic reputation as a "bait-and-switch" scam. They want us to call so they can attempt to sell more accessories, or that our camera is the Japanese version and the US version will be more expensive... and all sorts of other outrageousness. If you refuse, according to other victims, they send you oddball crap anyway, and then charge you a "minimum" 5% restocking fee (which could be as high as %15), and do not refund shipping charges. When it's all said and done, they could charge your account for hundreds, if not thousands, more than you were expecting... Ron, take a deep breath...

Since the e-mail arrived in Ron's inbox too late for him to actually talk with someone at 'customer service' he called National City (24-hour service) and explained the situation. We're not going to be charged, we're not going to call BroadwayPhoto, and if by some chance (slim, but you never know!) we receive a package from them, we'll simply return to sender, unopened. A new bank card has already been ordered.

So, a lot of lessons in this week's blog entries, between the dishwasher thing and this. We're going to a nice big-box store where you get what you pay for. Maybe it's going to cost a bit more, but it's worth not having the headache. I'm going with the "older" Canon Rebel XT kit, which, although the megapixels are lower, is actually an excellent camera. The 2 megapixel difference between the XT (8.0) and the XTi (10.1) is negligible, and only matters for super-large prints, and even at that point most humans cannot detect a difference. Sidenote: For anyone who doesn't work for National Geographic, megapixels start to "plateau" around 7 or 8, and beyond that, it's just a buzzword to convince people that one camera is 'better' than another). The older version (Rebel XT) actually has some nicer features... AND it's slightly cheaper, so between the "downgrade" and the "big-box price" we're going to end up paying about the same. But tomorrow, I should be walking out of Best Buy or Circuit City with my new camera, and no worries. Yay!

Crappy Reviews of Broadway Photo.com

3 comments:

kelly said...

oh darn you internet. glad you caught that and called your bank just in case. sad that there are sketchy companies out there that try to take advantage of ya. hope you get your big box version soon!

Mindy said...

yeah i picked it up today, i'm just waiting for my cf card to come (ordered from ebay). probably tomorrow. meanwhile i can familiarize myself since this camera is com-pli-cay-ted! (at least for me!)

kelly said...

well quit playin with it and email me back about what i asked you earlier! :P