Friday, April 3, 2009

Digital Camera Bait&Switch on Internet

I was shopping on line for a Canon digital camera body and came across a large # of suppliers offering the model I wanted at a very low price. Though sceptical, I told myself that the price was low because there were fewer buyers for this high priced item.
At the first, PhotoProNation, the salesperson tried hard to sell me a pkg..lenses+ the body and the price for the lenses were not much below their listed price. When I refused, suddenly they no longer had the camera body in stock. At SLRGenius, they assured me that that they had it in stock and I ordered it online; received an order and tracking#. But when I saw no activity on the tracking# and called, they told me that it was an all plastic body. (Canon does have some models in polycarbonate, but not this one), and rather than have my $ tied up for an indeterminate amt. of time, or losing it, I cancelled and informed my card company.
Canon tells me that there are about 50 suppliers using this bait and switch tactic; that there is nothing that they can do about it. I have reported the 1st incident to the FTC, but I don't expect any action as no doubt they've received many thousands of reports and have done nothing. Friend, photographer Tim Schrein tells me he's been the victim of this more than once. So proceed with care when ordering a camera online; order only what you want and don't be pressured to buy add-ons.

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