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Old June 23rd, 2006, 06:36 AM   #1
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Questionable sales practices

I recently bought a Sony DCR-HC39E, and this is what happened.

I got to the store (a trusted swedish electronics chain) and bought the last of their cameras of my model. I was assured that it wasn't the "on the floor" one that had been tinkered with by customers trying it out.

Then came the first red flag: When the attendant put it in its box (it had been in a glass desplay) she noticed that four items were missing! neck strap, MemoryStick Pro card, manual and installation CD... all missing.
I said "Fine i can live without the neck strap and download the manual and stuff from Sonys support site (I had checked before i bought the camera on sonys homepage) but i wanted a free pack of Dv tapes as compensation, also a lower price on the seperate MemoryStick as they only had a more expensive model. She agreed and i thought i had made a bargain, i mean, i could live without the neck strap and manual stuff.

Second red flag: I came home and set everything up, i installed the docking station for the cam and plugged it into an outlet; brought out the camera, checked everything so it was in off mode and other stuff so it would properly load and then put it into the station. Now, luckily i had the Manual in PDF format on my comp so i knew there was supposed to be a little light blinking to tell me it was charging... it didn't light up. Fine i thought, maybe it needs a little time before it starts chargin. After dinner i came back and it still wasn't charging, so i removed it from the station and fiddled with the battery and cleaned everything out with a rag and saw to it that i plugged it firmly to the station... still didn't work. I tried everything from changing outlets to trying to charge it through the cord directly... nothing worked.

Third red flag: I started to open and check everything so that i knew nothing was wrong with the cam, and when i opened the tape hatch a used tape was inside!

I was furious, not only did they lie to my face, but obviously was it a used camera; someone most probably brought it home from work, used it, and forgott to put everything in the box when they returned it.

So now while preparing to go back to the store next sunday or mondey i'd like to hear you guys worst camera purchase story
Dan Bergqvist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2006, 07:55 AM   #2
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My condolences----My practice is to never buy anything that isn't in a SEALED box----If the company doesn't seal it then I want to examine the box, and contents before leaving the store. The tip-off here is that there were pieces missing----Anyhow, I'm sure they will replace it but what a waste of your good time.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 10:47 AM   #3
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I think this could be a common problem. I bought a digital camera, and it was the same deal, all the stuff had been opened and then resealed with tape, lens was finger smudged etc. I've been chastised for not giving more "mom and pop" businesses a chance. But when I went to go buy my Canon XL2, their price was $1200 more than what I could buy on-line, and they claimed to only have the floor model. I ended up buying it from B&H Photo, the entire XL2 box came packed perfectly in ANOTHER box, with everything sealed and untouched. Now I buy anything significant from B&H, its just a no hassle deal (at least so far).
There's enough places out there that offer a limited time return policy with no questions asked. We just bought a computer from Costco, 6 month return policy, and you don't have to have a reason.
Take the camera back, and make sure they refund you fully, or give you a new unit from the box. If someone won't sell you a unit new from the box, just walk away.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 01:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Johnson
There's enough places out there that offer a limited time return policy with no questions asked.
Be sure to read all the fine print in the store's return policy before purchasing. While they might not ask any questions, many places will charge you a 10% or higher restocking fee.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Be sure to read all the fine print in the store's return policy before purchasing. While they might not ask any questions, many places will charge you a 10% or higher restocking fee.
Boyd, whatever... you can just ask. The point I'm trying to make is that there are plenty of vendors out there that legitimately want to sell you what you want, and for you to be happy with your purchase. If Dan is having trouble with these guys, I'm sure there's going to be someone else happy enough to take his business. Further, "the fine print" as you put it, is only going to be made available to you after the sale, and by then it's too late. I've certainly don't know that "many" reputable places use this as a tactic. I've returned stuff lots of times, with no difficulty so long as proper documentation was provided.

Last edited by Cal Johnson; June 23rd, 2006 at 04:54 PM.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 04:36 PM   #6
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I'm going to want my money back and go to another store that i know has one, the most amusing thing though is that this item is being phased out by a new product line from Sony, which is actually worse then the camera that it's phasing out. So i counted that there might only be as manny as 3-4 left in the city of the model i want. Hopefully they are not all gone come sunday/monday
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