Friday, August 29, 2008


I could should kick myself. After finding a superb deal on a lens, I placed on order with online company that I knew very little about; a quick review at an unassuming price comparison website stated that the company was "reputable" and offered great customer service. (There were 5,000+ reviews, most of them positive.) To top it all off, there was even free shipping! What a deal... or so I thought.

Turns out I was SCAMMED. How did it happen? I didn't use my usual resources to check into the website and fell for the fake reviews and too-good-to-be-true price. I suspected something was up after the sales person tried to use the old "bait and switch" on me saying that "Lens #2" might be a better option for my camera. When I said I wanted to stick with "Lens #1", the sales person seemed almost irritated.

After the phone call, I looked into things further and found a lot of complaints. In fact, a couple of disgruntled customers had even created websites devoted to sharing bad experiences with this particular company. Some of the complaints included being charged fees for cancelled orders (even orders cancelled immediately), bait-and-switch tactics, advertising items not truly available (if the bait-and-switch doesn't work, the customers typically receive emails stating the item is not in stock - yet it remains on the website), appalling customer service (bullying, name-calling, and threatening customers), and selling grey market goods.


In an effort to turn this giant lemon into something worthwhile, I thought I'd share a few tips with all of you.

Tips for Online Digital Shopping

1. Even though your debit card has the Visa logo on it and is treated like a credit card at local retailers, do not use it for online purchases. You will receive more protection by using your regular credit card.
2. Check the Better Business Bureau, Google, PriceGrabber, BizRate, and ResellerRatings to learn more about the online company BEFORE engaging in business.
3. Learn more about digital price scams by reading THIS HELPFUL ARTICLE.
4. If you've been burned, click HERE to learn about filing an Internet Crime Complaint.
5. When shopping digital, stick with retailers you know and trust. I have used and love the following companies: Adorama, B&H Photo, Amazon, and BuyDig.
6. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

I should kick myself because I know better. Live and learn and learn some more.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Proverbs 4:6

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1 comment:

Tina Vega said...

It turns out they cancelled my order because "the item is no longer in stock" - I'm one of the "lucky" ones.