FotoConnection.com Informative - Online Scam
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.