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FotoConnection.com


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Online Scam
Posted by Larua on 02/25/2008
I do not want this company to swindle any more people, so this is a post written as an act of civic duty. This company has a scam and they are quite skilled at using it.

Long story short = DO NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY.

Read on for the specifics as to why...

I was lead to this companies page through search engines seeking the best deal on a Canon EOS digital Rebel camera package. I checked the contact info of the company before ordering, and called to verify. Once I'd placed my order I even spoke with a sales rep by phone. Yet, even after these cautions...

Shortly after placing my order I received an email reading:
"Thank you for your order. In order to promptly process your order, please call me james at, 800-457-0889 Ext. 2035. to confirm your order information, in order to ensure prompt delivery of your order."

So I did, and he verified my information, and then tried to get me to upgrade the battery, which I did not opt to do. He said, "We'll ship it out to you right away".

As I had been given a free upgrade to 2-3 business days, I went away for the weekend thinking I'd receive it this week. No. Monday I received another email: "Thank you for your order. In order to promptly process your order, please call me Jack at, 800-457-0889 Ext. 2032. to confirm your order information, in order to ensure prompt delivery of your order."

I did, and this time I spoke w/Jack, who went into a spiel about how he'd "Oversold this model." That he'd only had "680/90 units and sold 900+", So he was offering me an upgrade from the "import model" that I'd ordered to a "USA model" at cost. My first thought is, "import model...???" and my next thought is - "um, you/you're company made the error, so the upgrade shouldn't cost ME anything."

So, I told him that I'd already called from the previous email and that I'd been told then that it was being shipped out right away. He responds that that is why he - the manager - is contacting me back about it. He wants to "keep me happy"/"keep me as a customer"/"do right by me", hence the offer to upgrade. However, they "can't lose money on a transaction", but they can "make no profit" by allowing me to upgrade my order at cost.

I then went into rewind mode, asking what the "import model" versus "USA model" difference was, (as nothing of this sort was noted on the site when I placed the order)?? Then came the list of differences/benefits of a "USA model":
- Camera actually has English menus, (import supposedly doesn't)
- 18-55mm lens that has autofocus capability, (import was only manual)
- 1GB CF card was hi-speed, saving photos "faster essentially", (import not hi-speed)
- Comes with instruction and user manuals, and actually in English nonetheless, (import evidently didn't then!?)
- 1-hr long life battery and fast charger, (import had standard/basic 15-30min. battery)

NOTE - all of which contradicted the item specs that I'd purchased online. Granted the listed battery on the page didn't give an estimated time span nor did the manuals specifically say they'd be in English, (Canon items are typically shipped with both Spanish and English manuals). ALSO NOTE Canon does NOT make different versions of any models by region to accommodate different languages; they make a camera that you can change the language on internally within the unit.

After listing these differences, he finished his fast-talking swindling pitch with how instead of paying the $479.00 of my original order, that I would now be paying only $585.00. I told him that my original total wasn't $479.00 - that it was $419.00. He assured me I was wrong, even though I was looking at a copy of the sale confirmation grand total. His explanation being that that total wasn't accounting for the sales tax and S/H/Insurance fee. I informed him that there was no sales tax as it was an out of state order and that I was given free shipping - all of which was on the sale confirmation I was looking at. Again he assured me that not charging sales tax would be ridiculous, (NOTE - it's NOT - you are supposed to record and account for such purchases in your financial records and report them in your annual tax filing believe it or not). Oh and the S&H? Silly me it was a free "upgrade" to 2-3 day - but I would obviously still have to pay the initial $22.95 S&H fee! (Um, a ridiculous amount too by the way).
Please note that their web site touts: "Free ground shipping everyday!" (to which he concurred, even repeating the tag line back to me in a seemingly proud/and well-rehearsed manner).

He had no response to my question as to how my FREE upgrade from FREE ground shipping was going to cost $22.95. He also had no response to my inquires about why he was figuring my new total at 7% sales tax when IN sales tax is 6% (and has been since I think 2002). Besides the glaring issue that NONE OF THESE CHARGES WERE LISTED ON THE ORIGINAL ONLINE TRANSACTION. (So I guess that they were just going to charge my credit card $479.00 after I'd agreed to pay the $419.00 grand total at the online transaction. Further, note that even with these new charges and sales tax the total wouldn't have come to $479.00, it would've been like $471.28).

I told them to cancel my order. He all to quickly informed me that I'd be charged a 15% cancellation fee. (Perhaps I should've asked, '15% of what, $419, $479, $585...?')

Additional complaints -
This company doesn't tell you until after the fact that they record all phone calls, which if they actually are recording them is a flat out unethical practice. There is not even an automated message anywhere along the lines that states the typical: "this call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes".

This company has a scam and they are quite skilled at using it - be warned.

     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-25:
You have run into one of the biggest scams on the Internet. These operations all seem to run out of New York and all follow the same scam. If you don't buy all the upgrades and junk they want to sell you then they either say the camera is out of stock or if you cancel they hit you with a cancelation fee for something that was never even shipped.

If they charged your credit card dispute the charge at once and advise your CC company to block any further charges. Then file a complaint with the State Attorney Generals office, probably New York as this is where all of these scams seem to come from. You will find thousands of complaints about these phone scams all over the web.

http://www.ferreum.net/news/news_ecommerce/BestPriceCameras_com-is-a-scam.html

Good luck and thanks for the info on these scammers.
Posted by defGeoff256 on 2008-05-14:
Never EVER buy from these people. I bought a "TV" from them almost a year ago and it's been a pain in my rear ever since. I spent more than $2000 on a very nice TV, or so I thought, and I was looking forward to having it in time for NCAA Football Championships. So I ordered, hoping it would be able to get to me in time. I ordered a month ahead of time so I thought I was okay on that end, but it took more than a month to get the thing shipped. And that's the BEST part... that's right, the best part. When the TV arrived it wasn't even in a box. It was wrapped, pigs-in-a-blanket style, with a shipping blanket, no box, no packaging, and the remote and other accessories came in a nice plastic zip-lock baggy. Totally suspect, I tried to refuse the shipment, but the guy driving refused to take back a product without the original packaging - odd since he delivered it wihtout said packaging. So I had to sign for it as damaged. When I reported this to them they said they would get back to me. Since then they ave never returned a phone call, e-mail, or correspondance/certified mailing. They have made it as hard as possible to talk with anyone in person and when I do they say the person who deals with insurance, etc, is out. Evidentley the person neevr actually works because she's NEVER in and NEVER helpful. Last time I talked to them they cursed me out and said that if I had a problem I should file suit... so I did. Since then they have refused to take my attorney's calls, or any other type of communication. They have refused to show up to court and have refused to pay me the money I am owed. NEVER USE FOTOCONNECTION.COM they are a bunch of scam artists
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WORST COMPANY EVER - faulty advertising, bad customer service
Posted by Jenn612 on 08/28/2009
I placed an online order with this company on May 31, 2009 because they had a great price on a digital camera I wanted. Shortly after, I received an email confirmation with my initial order, but no description of my purchase. My original order was for a Casio Elixim digital camera model EX-S880 for $169.99 with free shipping. Two days later on June 2nd I received another email stating I needed to contact Tom to confirm my order. I promptly called him to do so. When I got on the phone with him, he kept pressuring me to purchase additional accessories for the camera. I explained to him that this was merely a replacement camera because I had dropped and broken mine. I told Tom that I already had the battery and memory cards and such for the camera. After several more attempts, he finally took no for an answer. He then proceeded to offer me an “upgrade” of camera for an additional $10. Apparently this “newer” model of camera had a higher mega pixel for the screen and would take better pictures. I asked him if this camera used the same battery and memory card, Tom assured me that it did. I, therefore, agreed to this “new” camera because I believed it to be a good deal. I was going on the recommendation of what I assumed to be a knowledgeable sales representative for Fotoconnection.com. Tom also encouraged me to purchase the 3 year warranty for $30 since I had “just told me [him] that you [I] had broke[n] the camera.” He got me there, so I agreed. Tom then sent me an email to click on a link to agree to the credit card charge, now a total of $208.99- $179.99 for the camera (Casio Elixim EX-Z85BE) and $30 for the warranty. I did this no problem, based on the assumption of an honest vendor and sales person.
When the camera arrived on June 4th, I immediately recognized it to be of a far lesser quality than the one I originally had. The camera also came in a box that had Casio stickers on it, but was not in an actual Casio box. I’ve bought a few Casio cameras over the years and have never seen a plain white box like this from CasiO. This made me wonder now if the camera was refurbished- this is something that their website did not state. I looked up the camera they sent me on their website that same night and saw that it was selling for $104.99 and the warranty for $20.30!!! You can imagine my surprise and unhappiness when I realized I had been sold this camera for $179.99 and the warranty for $30!! I called Tom immediately. He was incredibly rude on the phone and insisted that this was still the better camera, never addressing the price issue. He then told me I needed to call customer service the next day if I wanted to return the camera.
Since I work during the day, I asked my boyfriend to give them a call because he was home that day on June 5th. He spoke with Josh who told him that I had been talked into this upgrade of camera because the one I originally placed my order for was out of stock (which Tom had not told me). He said they also threw in an extra battery for free, something I did not ask for. Regardless of this extra “gift” they sent me (which in Fotoconection’s response to my dispute says, falsely, that they later sent me!), I still was not happy with the misrepresentation of the better quality of camera. I had looked it up on several additional websites to confirm my suspicions that this camera was of lesser quality than the one I originally wanted. My boyfriend kept emphasizing how unhappy with this camera I was and the situation, so Josh offered him a free memory stick as an appeasement. My boyfriend hung up with Josh and called me to ask if this was enough of a remediation for me. Unfortunately, it was not enough because I was still upset with the price differences.
My boyfriend called backed again and this time spoke with Andy. My boyfriend questioned him about the price difference and was told that it was offered at a lower price on the website because it did not include anything- battery, wires, etc which does not state this. Andy told him I could not return the camera without being charged a 15% restocking fee (which yes, this information was on their website and my receipts). However, we felt because we had been taken advantage we should have that fee waived. Andy would not cave on this and when my boyfriend told him we would dispute the charges for the difference in price, Andy threatened that I would be sent to collections and Fotoconnection would “mess with my credit.” After several more minutes of going back and forth, Andy then said he would speak to his supervisor to see if it was possible to get the fee waived or he said could offer us a $50 credit. My boyfriend then asked him to email us the offer of the credit and whether or not the fee would be waived, thereby having written proof and thus giving me a choice of what I wanted to do (keep the camera and take the credit or return it with no questions asked and my money back).
About 10 minutes after the conversation ended, I did in fact receive an email from Andy@eproshopper4.com- which is a different name than the company I ordered from, but contained a subject line of one of the order numbers on my different invoices. However, the email was completely blank with no body content!!! I replied back asking what this email was supposed to contain. I did not receive a reply to this email.
On Sunday, June 7th I received an email containing an RMA, but I had not been told if the restocking fee had been waived. I again emailed Andy asking where we stood on things. Four days later on June 11th, I received a reply from Andy simply stating “What you wants to do”. I replied back the same day that I would take the credit and have not heard from this company since.
I disputed the difference in price with my credit card and the company actually responded and denied my dispute twice. My credit card was nice enough to give me the credit as a good customer, but I am completely appalled with this company. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not do business with this company. I guarnatee they will scam you and please don't encourage them to do it to others!!!!
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-28:
You went "on the recommendation of what I assumed to be a knowledgeable sales representative?" Next time go on the assumption that the sales person is working on commission and gets paid more for getting you to pay more. Next time, just say no to all extras.
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Rip-off Company Do Not Buy From Them!!!
Posted by Wallie on 10/31/2008
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- TVsDepot - Refurbished TV - Removed labelThis is a WEB based organization. I ordered a TV from this company, a “Sharp LC-37D62U 37" Aquos LCD HDTV television advertised as “New in factory box” for $849.00. It is likewise a front company for "FotoConnection." Upon arrival the set had obvious damage, and would not function properly when cold. It had a shorted out circuit board that would only function properly when the TV had warmed up fully, usually taking a half hour. I filed a ‘damaged set’ claim with ‘Sharp USA’ as the damaged appeared as it could have only happened at the 'Sharp' factory. They agreed to exchange the set, but only with a refurbished one. I inquired why a refurbished unit and they told me the TV itself was not new but was refurbished by Sharp, in April of this year. The Sharp representative said the word ‘Refurbished’ should be plainly marked on the box just beneath the ‘Sharp’ logo.

After hearing this I then did some further investigating. After further investigation I find that (it was most likely) that employees within TV's Depot (aka "FotoConnection") company carefully cut the first layer of cardboard out where the word 'REFURBISHED" was off both sides of the box with a razor knife, and then covered over the cut out areas with two consecutive "Fragile Handle With Care" stickers (about five inches long each) just immediately below the 'Sharp' insignia on both sides of the box. I have taken extensive pictures, as evidence against this obvious fraud. I also have an open case number with ‘Sharp USA’ where I have documented evidence that the set was indeed a refurbished unit and not a new one.

IF I WERE YOU I WOULD NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!!!
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-01:
If you will be getting a refurbished set directly from Sharp then take it. In most cases refurbs are more reliable than 'new in the box'. Any problems have been fixed plus they come with the full warranty.
Posted by wallie on 2008-11-01:
Problem is: Sharp themselves said their warranty would only be good for 30 days on a refurb, to refurb exchange. I sent this fraud of a TV back to the shysters who tried to rip me off. It took a months worth of haggling and calling them that 'FotoConnection' that they would even take the set back RMA.

Point is: BAD COMPANY>>DO NOT BUY!!
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