New experience: Avoid SonicCameras.com like the plague

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Tom3, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Tom3

    Tom3 TPF Noob!

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    I ordered a flash (Nikon SB-600) through them, and I received an email saying I need to confirm my order.

    So I thought they'd try to sell me crap and.. they did:

    After an endless wait, I got a very rude guy that put me on hold 4 times and told me this flash sucks and he has a better one for me: a one time deal that is normally more expensive but he'd make it the same price; the one time deal was a Bower SFD35N ($70 on Amazon); he got mad that I tried to Google it then he told me that the SB-600 will not work my my D200 as it is ... the analog version!, but I could get the digital version for more money :er:; of course, there was only the 'analog' one on their website, the 'digital' version is only in their catalog.
    and he got angry I did not want to cancel the order and eventually hanged up...

    they are rude and lie... I should have checked their online rating before (I found a site with 300+ reviews where they score 0.5 / 10)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    We could have told you that before you ordered ;)
     
  3. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes .. and the name SonicCameras.com had been mentioned few times here since I join this forum.

    But it is good to mention it again so remind some new comers.
     
  4. Tom3

    Tom3 TPF Noob!

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    I should have done more research but I did not loose time since my last post:

    - I filed a complaint with the BBB.
    - I filed a complaint with the NY attorney general.
    - I copied the story on my (rarely updated) blog.

    Not sure if anything will come out of it...
     
  5. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Frustratinly, these camera shops are really the modern version of a fly-by-night store-- by the time a complaint with the BBB gets any traction, they have faded away (usually to reform under a different name-- often different web shops all operate from the same shady back room. There is a guy who makes a hobby out of photographing the 'store fronts' of some of these places, I'll see if I can find his page).
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Ugh!! I just had a similar experience with another online store, Top Choice Digital. I ordered a 50mm 1.4 from them because it was $20 cheaper than anywhere else. I got 3 day shipping so I could have it for this weekend. So the day after I place the order, I get an email that I need to call and confirm some info before they can ship. After calling 10 times and getting busy signals and being on hold for 45 minutes, I get through. I'm like, what's the problem? He says that because my billing and shipping are different that they need to confirm verbally before shipping the order. I say, but my billing and shipping should be the same. And he goes, Oh yes, sir, you're right. They are the same. So I'm like WTF?? Then he goes on this tirade to sell me a 3 filter package for my lens. It's a UV, CPL, and ND from some company I've never heard of for 49.99. I'm like, yeah, no. Then he goes on to tell me that I need them to take good pictures and how most of the professionals get the filter package. I say, I am a professional. He says, then you know you wouldn't dare try and take good picture without professional filters on your lens, and tells me that uv filters are the only good way to protect you front element. I'm like, how about the lens cap, those work pretty well. He's starting to get mad. Then starts to say that you can't take good outdoor pics without a CPL, and I say they usually just oversaturate colors. Then starts to open his mouth about the ND, an I cu right in and am like, you realize that you're trying to sell me an ND filter for a lens I'm buying for low light conditions. While I guess I se the value of being able to get the 1.4 DOf in brighter conditions... no thanks. I have to tell him no like 8 times before he finally gives up. Then he says that their lens insurance is $10 a year, would I like the 3 year or 5 year plan? I say, how about no years, how much does that cost? After all this dicking around, I'm like, since you stalled for so long, you wanna se what you can do about shipping it out today so I have a chance of getting in time for the weekend, since I paid for 3-day and all that. He's like, sure I'll see what I can do... Yeah right. I'll probably see it in 3 weeks. It wasn't worht saving 15 bucks. I'm only going through respectable places from now on.
     
  8. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Sorry for the one paragraph novel.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's the same old scam and that's pretty much how it plays out.

    You might not get it in three weeks...and when you finally call to see about it, they give you the hard sell, again. Part of their strategy is to badger you into submission...so you finally just say OK...I'll take it, just send me what I want.

    As you can see, these places continue to get 'customers' because the advertise the lowest price...and that's what people search for on the internet.

    Notice to Everyone. Stick with the big reputable stores or a local store. B&H and Adorama are probably the biggest camera dealers in North America, if not the world. If you find a price that is lower than theirs, then buyer beware.

    Also, if you use the links on this site when you go there to buy, you are helping to support the forum.
     
  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One of the guys in the DC/Baltimore/NoVa Strobist group is a lawyer. I believe he's trying to put up a class action lawsuit against one of the bigger places that runs these scams.
     
  11. Kendo

    Kendo TPF Noob!

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    Wow this is an eye opener for me. I have been thinking about buying some items online because of the good prices, but not now. I will stick to my sources that I trust. Thanks for the heads up.:thumbup:
     
  12. Jklersy

    Jklersy TPF Noob!

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    I agree completely. I ordered a XT off of broadway, after checking over their website thoroughly looking for anything "fishy". I didnt see anything and got the same Gotta call shpeal. The order went through after arguing forever that i didnt need all the other crap. after six months i called back and they said it was sold out and i couldnt get it anymore. When I said to cancel the order they tried to upsell me to an XTi for reg retail price. When I cancelled I was told "Thanks for waisting everyones time!" and promptly hung up on.

    Lesson learned

    I have done all my business since with my favorite local dealer. I pay just a little more, but then again they earn it. I ask more questions than all their costomers combined probly, and I'm indecisive to boot! Shop local, keeps the doors open on your local store and have a great resource at your disposal.

    well, thats my $.02. thanks for reading
     

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