Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deal of the Day: Bait and Switch and Lie and Cheat

I just bought this camera body, a Nikon D3100, at the price listed, $229, and with the gear listed in the orange highlighted area. It clearly says that a battery and charger are included.

Couple of days ago--nine days after ordering the camera--I got an e-mail telling me Primotronix, the seller, was having trouble with the order. I called the number given. The young man who came on the line after subjecting me to long minutes of some awful music, told me that my credit card was out of date, which was not true.

I gave him the details and he said, "Oh, we had the wrong expiration date. Would you like to buy a battery and charger for the camera for the special price of ..." and my jaw dropped.

"The camera comes with a battery and charger," I said. "The web page says that under 'In the Box.'" He told me that the site was out of date (lot out of date with this company) and I'd need to buy the battery for $69.99 for a two-hour battery and $99.99 for a five-hour version, but because it was me and this was Tuesday, he was willing to give me the five-year battery for the two-year price.

I've dealt with these 42nd St., New York, Hassidic Jewish-owned camera stores before and have discovered that their extraordinary bargain prices (almost always the lowest listed in any comparison) come at a price that puts them at about the level of their competition. But with all the marketing and harrassment that is necessary, you wind up with the same camera and an ulcer.

Why the hell can't people just be honest?

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