Monday, November 17, 2008

Sad Day

I've been lusting after the Nikon D40 ever since I heard it was coming on the market. I had decided to buy one on Black Friday if I could find a good price. I was browsing online to see what a D40 would go for right now and I came across one that cost $333 on
I saw good reviews for them on another site so I decided to go for it. I bought a warranty for another $60 and received a confirmation e-mail.

The next afternoon I was woken up from a much needed nap by one of their sales reps confirming my order. He confirmed my address and then tried to tell me that the battery that comes with the Nikon D40 only lasts for 10 minutes. I would need to buy a 1 hour battery for $59 or a 4 hour battery for $89.

Kids, what battery costs $89? Why would Nikon make such a battery? Even being only semi-conscious, this seemed outrageous. I told the fellow so and he insisted that if I found a lower price they would match it and that he could put my order on hold for me until I was sure I wanted to order.

I browsed online and found many replacement batteries for the Nikon to be as low as $13.99, but the clincher for me was when I asked on a Nikon D40/D60 Flickr Group and I got 25 variations on this reply,
"[Broadway Photo is] a scam. The D40 battery is the best in all the camera lines. You can get a D40 battery for cheap on ebay.

Their scam is well reknown, offer a camera cheap, then require a confirmation call. That is where they either say the camera comes without battery and charger, or hard sell you into expensive add ons that you don't want or need. If you refuse to buy, then your camera is put on back order forever. If you cancel they charge you a "restock fee"."

They also pointed me to resellerratings where I discovered that 9 out of 10 people had terrible experiences with Broadway Photo and at least one person had their credit card number used fraudulently soon after their order was placed.

A few people got camera's in good condition after being firm with the salesperson. But most people who went through with their order from Broadway Photo got immitations or their camera was "back ordered" (one person called in pretending to be someone else and discovered that they had 36 of that camera in stock!).

After my innitial findings of cheap, long lasting batteries for the Nikon D40, around every corner - I called Broadway Photo. I hung up after being on hold for about two millenia (or ten minutes, but still kids).

Then I e-mailed Broadway Photo and let them know that I was not impressed with their company and was considering canceling my order. That $333 was just soooo tempting though that I idn't want to cancel just yet (I did not mention that, I told them I could get it almost as cheap elsewhere...and I can, just they're probably a scam too).

But after seeing and hearing from my new Flickr friends I knew I had to give up on the wildly cheap price and resign myself to paying whatever moderately cheap price comes along on Black Friday.

I called a few minutes ago and told the Broadway Rep I wanted to cancel my order.
"Ok!" he yelled cheerfully over the insane amount of noise in the background, "Would you mind telling me why you want to cancel?"

I explained the discrepencey between their battery prices and every one else's battery prices.

The smug Indian (supposedly this company exists in New York, but I heard no evidence of this) wanted to know where I had gotten my information. He thought he had me, I could hear in his voice that he thought I didn't know anything about anything (after all, if I did why would I be buying from them?). I told him I talked to other Nikon D40 users and that they said the battery that came with their D40 lasted for hours and hours. They didn't have to buy theirs seperately and when they did it didn't cost any old $59 either!

"Hahaha," he cackled, "But they paid $499 for theirs didn't they! Even with the battery you'll save $70!"

"But the batteries don't cost that much. I checked. I can buy the same thing for $20."

I couldn't understand the next bit, so finally I just interuppted and said, "Sir, I know it is a scam. You're trying to sell me some cheap piece of crap. I want to cancel my order."

Then he was an angry Indian. He told me that they weren't a scam and that I needed to check all my facts before I started accussing anyone of anything. I was about to reply that he needed to improve his customer service, but he snapped, "Your order is canceled. Goodbye!" You'll just have to imagine the tone. It wasn't friendly.

So, now I'm feeling a little depressed. I thought I could buy a camera and buy some boots to comabt the snow in, but now it seems I will have to choose...and I know boots should win, but kids I SO want that camera.

My new Flickr friends suggested I buy my camera from B&H, Adorama, or Amazon - but those would be refurbished. On reseller ratings got mostly good reviews and they're selling for $419 brandnew, plus they'll throw in a free 4 gig card. Maybe I'll buy from them.


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