Wednesday, June 13, 2007

2 Scotsmen, 1 Penny

So Mungowitz tells these better than me, but I got a story for y'all. We decided to buy a digital SLR, specifically a Nikon D200. But they are expensive and the Angus family is CHEAP!! So we searched the internet and found a deal priced about 30% lower than anything else from a joint called Express Cameras. I placed my order online. 5 hours later I got a phone call from Adam at Express Cameras. They are so sorry but they don't take Amex anymore, the website is being changed as we speak so could he get another card number, oh and by the way, did I know the stock battery was no good and I should get a better one for $279 and the camera doesn't come with a charger so I'll need that too (another $150).

God help me people, I went along with that. I'll never be allowed to wear a kilt again, but I said, "OK Adam, thanks".

Adam, feeling like he's hooked the fish of the century then tells me, oh and the memory card you have chosen is very slow, you will have to wait 5-10 seconds between pictures. You should get a fast card for another $350, also did you know the lenses you are getting aren't for digital cameras? they won't allow you to use any of the features of your camera. we can sell you better ones for another $400.

At this point my genetic heritage kicked in and saved me, "Adam, I think this is a pretty bad case of bait and switch my friend and I am going to have to cancel the entire order"

On a dime, Adam turns ugly: What is wrong with you, are you retarded? I am trying to give you a great deal and you act like this? You can't cancel the order now, its too late.

Me: pretty sure I can and just did.

Adam: you will have to pay a cancellation fee of $389

Me: don't think so.

Adam: I am going to send this straight to a collection agency and ruin your credit rating, that is a promise.

Me: been there done that (some nasty business with my ill-spent student loans, don't ask), chaucito my friend.

So back to the internet and I find this great site, KenRockwell.com where he breaks things down for me about Adam and his ilk:

They prey on innocents and try to sell you pieces that come included with your camera, like the charger, for hundreds of dollars extra. They also try to switch you to high-profit-margin off-brand lenses like Sigma that they've deliberately overpriced, hoping you didn't research them.

And indeed, my battery was fine, the charger is included in the camera price, my lenses were Nikon and work perfectly with the digital camera and a fast memory card costs $60 at Circuit City.

Looking around some more, I found these customer ratings of Express Camera (which somehow are orthogonal to the testimonials prominently displayed on their website) and also their rapsheet with the NJ BBB (292 complaints in the last 36 months).

So innocent Angus hauled his butt to Circuit City and got exactly what he wanted (for less than he'd left things with Adam) with NO INTEREST PAYMENTS UNTIL 2009. Sweet!!! I could be dead by then (especially if Adam catches up with me).