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Camera stores to avoid like the plague PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brett Brewer   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wow, I have haven't come upon a company this shady since SuperMicro in the '90s. I recently made the mistake of doing a Froogle search for a Casio Exilim EX-V8 8MP Digital Camera with 7x Anti-Shake Optical Zoom. I found the cheapest price at site called Preferred Photo (preferredphoto.com) and placed an order for the refurbished model. I then recieved a followup email telling me to call them to expidite my order. Since I'm not in a hurry I did't bother calling them and instead did a little research on the company so that I would know what to expect if I had to talk to them about anything. Immediately I found droves of forum postings warning people to steer clear of this company. Most people were telling stories of the salespeople calling them and claiming they purchased a "Japanese version" of the camera and that they needed to spend $100 more to get a US version. Others were told that the camera would only come equipped with a "10 minute battery". Basically they won't ship your order until they talk to you and try to upsell you a bunch of overpriced junk and tack on some shipping and handling fees. Well, sure enough that's exactly what happened to me. They called me today around noon to try to upsell me a longer life battery, a warranty, and then after I refused everything they still gave me an order total that was $20 more than my original order. I told them just to send the camera and initally agreed to the extra charges because I didn't realize there WERE any. After I checked my original order receipt I realized they had still scammed me out of an extra $20 in hidden "handling fees" which were not listed on my original orders. I immediately called them back. After a few minutes on hold I ended up talking to the same guy who had tried to upsell me the junk. He wanted to know why I was cancelling my order so I lit into him with such a torrent of consumer angst that he almost immediately gave in and agreed to refund my order. We shall see if it is actually refunded in full or if this saga continues to garner them the kind of publicity they don't want. After doing a bit of research, I've discovered that this company is doing business under a variety of web sites. Normally I am loathe to mention the specific names of companies that piss me off on my web site as I generally consider it to be unprofessional, but I'm making an exception here because I feel since many of the visitors of my site are pretty likely to be into digital photography that everyone who visits my site should know about this horrible company. SO, here is a list of the camera sites that you should avoid at all costs:

  • Broadway Photo - http://www.bwayphoto.com/
  • A&M Photo World - http://www.amphotoworld.com/
  • Regal Camera - http://www.regalcamera.com/
  • Prestige Camera - http://www.prestigecamera.com/
  • Preferred Photo - http://www.preferredphoto.com
  • Royal Camera - http://www.royalcameras.com/

You can do a google search for the name of any of these sites and the first link will be a link to the company and the second link will be a link to a horror story about them. In fact, Royal Camera isn't even showing up in the #1 spot for their own name...a negative review of them is the #1 search result .

But don't take my word for it, here's what other people have to say about these incredibly shady web sites:

Sigh.....I could find hundreds of similar stories, but I feel much better now and should really be working. I'll probably just end up ordering from Amazon if I can't find a better reseller to re-buy this camera from.

UPDATE: I did receive an email from PreferredPhoto.com shortly after I cancelled my order stating that  my order would be refunded in full and that I should see the credit on my account within 24-48 hours. I will post another update once I know if my card was really refunded in full.  

Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 April 2008 )
 
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