saved me from a digital camera scam

Fri, Jan 5, 2007


I am in the market to purchase a Canon Digital Rebel XTi. Like any self-proclaimed nerd, I looked to the internet to find the best deal avaliable. I googled the name of the camera and saw a sponsored link for They had a phenomenal price for the camera at $399. This was almost $300 less than’s price. Also in the Google search I came across at a similar price of $459. advertises all over the internet, including the popular There are even fake rating sites saying how wonderful is as a store. After checking major sites like and, I kept coming back to the two previously mentioned sites. I was very tempted by the low price but was slightly hesitant to pull the trigger.

Something did not feel right to me about the two sites offering the camera at such a deep discount, especially since the best deal I found on was for over $600. Since I had never heard of either website, a friend recommended that I take a look at, which rates online merchants on a score from 0 to 10. I typed in and saw that it was ranked 0.2 out of 10. Ouch!

It turns out that both sites, and are ‘bait and switch’ operations. According to posts on, they lure you in with a deal too good to be true. Once they receive your order online, they send you an e-mail asking you to call a sales representative, who then tries to convince you to buy overpriced, made-up accessories. If you do not agree to the accessories, they become belligerent and still charge your credit cards. If you do agree to buy the phantom accessories, they don’t even send you the right items and also overcharge you.

I always assumed that Google monitored the sites that they took ads from to make sure they were legit. I was surprised to learn otherwise. saved me from dealing with the headache of canceling my credit card and having fradulent charges. One tip to consider while shopping is to use the Firefox extension | Digg it | reddit | StumbleUpon |

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    51 Comments For This Post

    1. Your wife Says:

      Good thing you did your homework and checked Your wife would have been really pissed off if you spent $400 on a camera which you never received.

    2. Saved by a call Says:

      I was looking for a XTi as well and off course was tempted to order through those sites. I got careful when I actually looked for a physical address of the company and realized that the box showing the’customer service contact number’ looked very similar on all of these sites. So I decided to call some of the numbers and ask a few questions…. Most of them were just busy (No online customer support would have a queue busy unless the line was down).
      Finally – one one of the numbers, after a bad quality call queue recording, I was transferred to an agent. There I received a short – ‘snot available’ for an answer and was in the process of asking about backorder, when the rep simply hang up on me.
      I could tell by the way the call was handled that this was not a serious retailer.
      Red flag: No physical address, no actual customer service…… Buyer Beware!!!

    3. Max Headroom Says:

      I had the same experience. I never went as far as doing some due diligence on the site. 6 months later and $550 in lawyers’ fees, I am still fighting with the credit card company. They are holding me negligent for not doing more of an investigation into the site.

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    5. Snapshot Says:

      I wish I had known about before I did business with this company. Sent back an item that was unmistakably defective and they told me they couldn’t find anything wrong with it and were sending me back the original defective unit! Another caution is that this seller has an ebay component to their business and their ebay feedback score is almost !00% positive when their score was 7 something out of 10. I bought the item on ebay from them and the receipt that came with the defective unit assured me that they wanted me to be 100% satisfied with the item and their service. Somewhere there is a disconnect in this. Their behavior vs. their ebay rating now has me suspicious of how feedback scores are arrived at on ebay. Bottom line, these guys are a bunch of schmuks and buyer beware.

    6. sam Says:

      I had a similar experience a few months back when I was going to buy a graphics package on the net. Google shopping came back with several cheap companies listing prices half as much as the other retailers. I checked a couple of rating sites and found the cheap guys were scammers. I would have lost all my money easily.

      I will check out reseller ratings.
      Thanks for a good post

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      I gave him a bad review and warned others not to buy from him. He wrote back asking for me to please remove the feedback as he was selling it on behalf of a company he worked for and he would lose his job if the feedback was not removed or fixed as it now had placed some sort of ebay restriction on their account. I didnt check my ebay account for over a week and next time I logged in there was 8 emails in total from him pleading for me to remove the feedback or he would lose his job. The 8th email he offerrred $50 of his own money as a compensation for having recieved a DUD! (the phone still worked and appeared to be brand new altho it was not factory sealed and was missing the wall charger). He sent another few emails asking for me to remove the feedback and he would deposit the $50 into my paypal account. I finally accepted and sent the email after if deposited the money into my account.

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