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View Full Version : Beware of Sharks that feed off Holiday Makers



wsayers
08-05-2004, 12:33 PM
Just a warning to all those people who are thinking of buying a digital camera whilst on holiday.

There are those companies out there who are willing to give you a very good deal and those who are definitely out there to con you for verything they can squeeze out of you.

Whilst on holiday you are usually in a positive state of mind and quite possibly not on your guard against those sharks.

This is a story to warn you of what can happen and to warn you against one particular store.

The Store:


Global Camera Gallery in Orlando and Kissimmee
11025 International Drive
&
The Shoppes at Vista Del Lago
8681 W. 192


What happened:

I went into the store enquiring about a particular camera:

A Sony DSC-W1. I had been quoted a price of $450.00 by another store. They asked if I had been quoted a price and I told them the price. They came back with a price of $395.00. This was a very good price. I deliberated for a while and decided to purchase the camera. Immediately, I was told to wait and was passed on to another sales person. He approached me and asked me if I had considered any other camera and proceeded to tell me of all the bad points of the Sony camera.

He then showed me a different camera:

A Nikon Coolpix 5200. He told me of the advantages of this camera over and above the Sony. He said that Nikon were manufacturers of quality "cameras" where as Sony were known for their quality in TV's and NOT cameras. He demonstrated some of the advantages of the Nikon camera.

Now here is the rub! Having been led into a false sense of security by being given a VERY good price for the Sony W1 I was given a price for the Nikon which he stated was 30% off the MRP of approximately $1130.00. This translated to $792.00 - a little more than I wanted to pay. After some discussion I decided to leave. He then offered to swap my Sony memory sticks for SD memory and download my existing pictures (I already had an old Sony DSC-P1). Again I tried to leave and he offered me a free case.

I wanted to check on the price on the camera from some other outlets and giving the excuse that I would return with the memory sticks to do the swap I said I would leave.

At this point he stopped me and offered a further 12.5% discount bringing the price down to $692.00.

Call it greed, incompetance, not on my guard having been lured into a false sense of security or simply a rush to purchase due to a combination of all of the above I agreed to the purchase.

With hindsight I now realise why he fell over himself to help me. He even gave me a free CD to take to his other store (much closer to my apartment in Kissimmee) to help them download my pictures.

He then prepared the receipt. Here is the, what I call, true deceipt within the transaction. Whether it is legal or not, at the moment, I am not sure. However, he said even though he was supposedly giving me the case and memory free he needed to put down a price against each item for his manager. He put the marked price of the case and a charge of $75.00 to convert the memory. This then adjusted the price of the camera down to $525.00. I stupidly signed this receipt and left with the goods.

As I left the store, I heard the two salesmen laugh. At the time I thought they had heard something funny on the TV. I now realise they were laughing at me - and for very good reason. I had been "fleeced" good and proper.

When I returned to "swap" the memory I had realised, in part, of the deception. At that stage I hadn't realised the extent of the deceipt. I tried to re-negotiate with the same saleman.

He then told me that they didn't countenance returns as, although he didn't think, "I was the type of person to do so", they had to protect themselves from those customers who just tried to use a camera for a few days and then give it back on some false pretext. Anyway I had signed the receipt and didn't I realise the terms of the contract.

I then tried to argue that the price was much higher than other stores. His reply was that they were competative with some cameras and not so much with other makes - Nikon obviously being one of them.

He then proceeded to tell me that the deal was a "complete package". This was to back his arguments that I had received a good deal. Later in the same conversation he stated that I had received the case and memory exchange free of charge - again that was to back his arguments against my later comments. He was totally contradicting himself throughout the conversation.

There are other points which I am now sure were part of the overall scam. He said that he would put the camera and all its accessories together for me. He said that I surely didn't want to pay the VAT on my return - did I!!!??? Whether I did or not was surely not his concern but he said it anyway. In so doing he opened each plastic container and bag and threw it away. At the end he said, "Do you want the box?" Seeing a completely empty shell I simply said no and he dramatically threw it over his shoulder behind the counter.

Facts are these:

The marked MRP on the camera as stated by Global Camera Gallery was $1130.00
Price watch ranges from $499.00 down to $377.18
[list]To wet my appetite they offered a 30% reduction. This made the price $792.00
They told me my original choice, the Sony DSC-W1, was a much worse camera - subjective I know but the reviews I have read since seem to disagree.
To stop me walking out of the store they offered a further 12.5% bringing the camera down to $692.00
They threw in a "free" case and a "free" memory swap - and then put down the full prices on the receipt seemingly reducing the camera price to $525.00
They threw away all the packaging not mentioning that the receipt said they would charge a 30% re-stocking fee if all the packaging was not present - that was only if the item was defective.

At the end of the day I have been scammed, deceived by a, in my opinion, a crooked firm who will, I am sure prey on any unsuspecting customer.

In some respects it has put a shadow against ALL camera retailers as I can never be sure that a salesman is telling me the truth.

Therefore PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE research your purchase first.
DO NOT jump at the very first deal unless you have done the research first.

I have been preyed upon - PLEASE DO NOT LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU.

ruggedtoast
08-23-2004, 08:44 PM
Dont beat yourself up over it - its easy to be taken in in the heat of the moment, especially when youre not expecting it. I cant believe they wouldnt refund the money though, sounds like a very dubious business.

Helena
08-24-2004, 06:50 AM
I'm sorry to say that we were duped by exactly the same store - the salesman was called Eli!

The story is exactly the same except we went in enquiring about the Sony Cybershot DSC T1 for which we were given a price of $429 - which sounded excellent value. However, he again gave the spiel about Sony not being best for cameras and lenses and pointed us to the Fuji Finepix A340 against which he gave a retail price of $799. He then discounted this by 25% and then an extra 20% and finally when we didn't bite (though he saw we were tempted)he threw in a case and 64MB memory card for free (retailing at another $200 he said). We took the package for $499 as it sounded a great deal against the initial price and again we had been lured into a false sense of security by the original price he'd given on the Sony. We also signed an altered receipt and let him throw away the packaging!

On returning to the UK we found the exact same camera retailing in Argos for 179 and have since found it on the web for 129 - with the memory card being only 25 and the case about 20 we've been duped out of a considerable amount of money.

We phoned Eli from the UK but he still insisted that that was the US retail price and we had got a good deal which was absolute rubbish. We managed to get another 64MB memory card out of him which my parents picked up for me as they were still out there but that was all he would do. All in all we've still lost approximately 100.

In hindsight he played on the fact that we hadn't done any research and were looking to be advised. My partner and I are both intelligent individuals but didn't expect to be taken advantage of in such a reputable looking shop.

We are now planning on posting this information as far and wide as we can and also faxing him with any other complaints we find together with a note that we are looking into the legality of his business practices!

If anyone's had any other experiences with this retailer please let me know.

Rhys
08-24-2004, 08:46 AM
I often wonder whether these messages are really genuine.

It seems to me that once-bitten, twice-shy would apply. This is the kind of experience that happens once in a lifetime and no more. It's such a commonplace story I'm amazed people get caught out by it. A salesman is the last person who I would go to for advice based purely on the fact he's there to shift boxes, not to render accurate or helpful advice.

Having said that, it would seem that the sensible thing would be to move on.

Threatening to sue a shop will just cause the shop great mirth. They'll laugh their socks off at such threats. If you're going to sue then sue but for under about five hundred quid it's not worth the effort. Besides, how would that be achieved when you live in Britain and they are in America? A court appearance would mean airfare and so on. There's no telling what lunatic anti-consumer legislation the shop will come up with and no telling whether they'll have already bought the judge.

Starting by naming names etc as has already been done puts the claimant in a weak position as the previous posting could be considered libellous. My advice would be to write it down to experience and don't fall for it again.

speaklightly
08-24-2004, 10:10 AM
Perhaps this is yet another reason to take your time studying all the data and prices in detail on the internet. Then after you are confident that you have made the very best decision, make the purchase. It is a longer process, but it does eliminate some of the pitfalls described above.

Sarah Joyce

britdigicamuser
09-16-2004, 04:07 PM
As in my other post in this thread - didn't spot this one before I posted.

I had a similar experience with Web Camera when buying a Sigma 28-300 lense for my Canon Digital rebel.

They used all the same tricks of discounts and deals and then the same technique of marking off the prices against all the parts. I was horrified when I realised what had happened to me.

i'm just glad my $400 rip off (~250) tought me a lesson... just an expensive course really.

Great thing about the web is that google will pick this stuff up and help spread the word... but i think it needs to happen to you for you to take notice. Ironicly earlier that day I recounted a story of my dad getting ripped off by street traders.

Just don't buy any thing from Web Camera unless you know you are paying a good price.

Its so hard not to let rip :-)

unclerogi
10-24-2004, 03:25 PM
Also been had but this time by Oren(?) at the same store. Went on holiday not really thinking I would get a camera and so did no research, My Wife decided she would get me a camera as it would be so much cheaper than at home.

We actually got quoted a good price on the camera (A Nikon D70), but then fell big time for the spiel about "the finest lenses, specially designed for digital SLR's" - because they are so new and expensive we will even throw in the camera for free!! - Should have realised at this point that something stank, the price quoted was about ten times what the lenses were actually worth, add to that the vastly overpriced memory and uv filters and you see the size of the rip off - over paid by something to the tune of $1000, closer to $1600 if you look around for the cheapest available of the branded items!

If I could warn people against this store I would do it any way possible and hope that they would try to sue.

What should have been an amazing birthday present just ended up leaving a bitter taste in our mouths. And the stores justification when we called ........
"but doesn't it take fantastic pictures, that is the price we charge for quality, we have back orders so the price reflects this"

STAY AWAY FROM THESE PARASITES!!

Cunningham
12-29-2004, 04:03 PM
My parents had the same happen to them as Helena, same camera deal, same salesman, except they paid $811 for package. Have seen on web, camera alone $134.

We are all going back in March and we will not be a happy bunch, when we go to visit these conartists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As for Rhys response to these e-mails, I am sure if the same had happened to him, he would not be as blase as his message.

There must be plenty more people who have been conned by Eli, who was stupid enough to put his name on the receipt and we are as sure as hell not going to let them get a way with it!

PhilR.
12-29-2004, 07:16 PM
As for Rhys response to these e-mails, I am sure if the same had happened to him, he would not be as blase as his message.

Blase? That's not blase - that is real life. There are two kinds of people in this world - those that do, and those that let things be done to them. It's not hard to figure out which group you belong to.

There must be plenty more people who have been conned by Eli, who was stupid enough to put his name on the receipt and we are as sure as hell not going to let them get a way with it!

That's funny! What are you going to do - run in and demand your money back? I'll be able to hear the laughter way over here in Texas. They already *have* gotten away with it - you've just not realized it yet.....


happy holidays,
PhilR.

lordia
03-16-2005, 01:19 AM
Beware of Sharks that feed off Holiday Makers
WE WERE CONNED IN FLORIDA BY

Camera Express Inc
7544 West Irlo Bronson Hwy 192, Kissimmee
FL 34747 Ph 407-421-6680.





Our family from Dublin Ireland arrived in Orlando Florida for a dream holiday for 2 weeks on 16th Feb. 2004. Everyone in Orlando was friendly and welcoming but this all changed when we purchased a camera from Camera Express Inc.



The salesman and assistants lied about the camera and accessories (we have a 2 page fax of details to our credit card company see separate page). More seriously they also blatantly OVER charged sales tax of $300 on a supposed $900 purchase (the camera and accessories were only worth half that around $450 - we were overcharged by double on the equipment as well!!) having us sign a credit card docket for $1200. In Ireland we are used to 21% VAT Value Added Tax in Ireland and we did not query the Sales Tax at point of sale as we were told we would get $175 tax back at the airport!! (A lie!) We were not given an itemized sales docket with tax added but just a total figure saying tax incl. In fact the merchant had added a whopping 30% and we discovered later that Sales Tax in Florida is only one third what it is in Ireland
I put all the detail on a website
http://homepage.eircom.net/~finamco...0web%20site.htm

lordia
03-16-2005, 01:24 AM
Wsayers
here is the owner details of Global Camera Gallery fwiw
I did a search to find the directors of Camera Express and who scammed me
I sent registered letters to them
They were returned (but they had been opened)
Just let them know you know who they are.

http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?a1=DETFIL&n1=P01000051754&n2=NAMFWD&n3=0000&n4=N&r1=&r2=&r3=&r4=GLOBALCAMERAGALLERY&r5=

regards
lordia

joemojica@gmail.com
03-24-2005, 11:21 PM
1- Always search for a rating. Go to this web page or resellerratings.com

2- Always, pay with a credit card. If you are not satisfy or if something is wrong, you may dispute the charges. Remember, Seller can only charge for items you ordered. If you receive something you did not order, you don't have to return it, and you don't even have to let the sender know that you have it.
3- Write a complaint letter to your State's Attorney General. Print and send copies of every false ad, advertisement, and email notifications, ect, ect.., and explain your situation.

4- Go to the following Web Sites and file a complaint:
** INTERNET FRAUD COMPLAINT CENTER ( http://www.ifccfbi.gov/
** FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ( htpp://www.ftc.gov/

mariebmw
04-22-2005, 09:11 PM
Hello Everyone,
I read your posts with greatest sympathy. There are a lot of sharks in the International Drive and Kissimmee area. I'm a photographer in Orlando and know the stores well. Anyone on Holiday(or vacation as we say) STAY AWAY from the I Drive and Kissimmee Area. ONLY ONLY BUY From these stores. These are reputable stores with fair prices and excellent reputations:
Ready?
Ritz Camera-across from the Florida Mall is the closest-a reputable chain and this store is the Queen of the local shops in the products it stocks.
Colonial Photo and Hobby-a veteran photo shop in downtown Orlando-outstanding reputation and service.
Circuit City(several locations)-large electronics chain
Best Buy(several locations)-large electronics chain

I don't know who carries PAL equipment if you are looking for video but keep in mind, USA videocameras will NOT work in the UK. You can order PAL video equipement in advance from a highly reputable chain called B&H Photo and video in NY and they'll deliver overnight. Their website is bhphotovideo.com.
I have no personal interest in any of these companies, but I hate to see people get ripped off especially unsuspecting tourists.
Marie

cheese
04-23-2005, 03:17 PM
Please understand that this post is just speculation

Does anyone notice that it's just a little funny that all the people seem to have 1 post, even though they have been joined for months, and that they all got jipped by the same store, and same person? Perhaps a competiter? The chances seem pretty slim to me that they are all legitamite.

nuttynick
06-17-2005, 11:39 AM
I got back from my holiday today and have realised I've also been ripped off by Global Cameras. I bought a camera as a birthday present for my wife, and got overcharged on the camera, a bag which the salesman was going to throw in for free, and an SD card. Has anyone got anywhere with getting money back off these people?? Help!! As for the above post, I found this site by searching for 'Global cameras + gallery' Orlando, and I HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF!!! This is a genuine post for any help with getting some of my money back.

nuttynick
06-17-2005, 11:51 AM
I've now got hold of the store on the phone and spoke to the manager(Oran?) He basically told me he can sell his stuff for whatever price he wants and that was the end of it, so it seems he can lie about the original price, then give a big discount to tempt you into buying and still charge you double!! DO NOT DEAL WITH THIS STORE. This is a genuine post, anyone that doubts it is welcome to a copy of the receipt.

hansjepansje
07-21-2005, 06:46 PM
Last week we arrived in Florida for a 2,5 week holiday. At the end of the first day I discovered my pictures (taken with Canon EOS 350D) were too white. The next day we went to the Florida mall. At Ritz Cameras they advized me a circular polarized filter (32 USD). Now the pictures look great.

When I told a friend in our country about this, he asked me to buy 1 for him too.


Unfortunately I had a problem with my Lexar CF card last Tuesday: no more reading, writing or formatting possible. So I had to find myself a replacement for this card.

As we saw several photo shops on the 192 near our holiday house, we decided to go ask them what a new card would cost. And at the same time look for the additional filter. Well, I will skip all the details but:
- the prices offered always started high, and then dropped considerably (e.g. 2GB CF card from 349 USD to 249 USD)
- accesories were "pushed"
As we did not feel very comfortable at all, and the filter was always more expensive than at Ritz, we went home to google to Ritz and see what they had to offer. And the first thing I found... was this forum.

Boy-o-boy, am I glad that we trusted our instincts. Thanks for the warnings, guys, even though we read this afterwards. It's really comforting to read we were not being funny at all when we skipped the "great price, my friend" offers.


But on with my story. Today we went to Ritz Cameras in the Florida Mall again. We bought a 512Mb CF card, and the additional filter. Cheaper than on the 192.
And here it comes: when the sales person learnt I had already bought a filter last week, he asked me to select a 3rd filter for free. He had this special offer: 3 for the price of 2. Even though I had bought my filter a week earlier he still wanted me to take advantage of their sales offer.

Isn't that great service? I really appreciated that.

So, if you want to take my advice: forget about the shops on the 192 and go to Ritz in the Florida mall!

fnoel
07-31-2005, 06:43 PM
Please understand that this post is just speculation

Does anyone notice that it's just a little funny that all the people seem to have 1 post, even though they have been joined for months, and that they all got jipped by the same store, and same person? Perhaps a competiter? The chances seem pretty slim to me that they are all legitamite.
I agree. I am not saying that these stories are false because I always feel bad for someone when they get ripped off. Probably because I could not do it myself. Not saying that I am a saint by any means but I do live by the motto or scripture do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But I didn't even notice this until I actually read this thread through. And that is that everyone that was ripped off only do have the one post on this forum. Nowhere else. Especially since there are so many questions on everything like where to buy a camera to memory and batteries etc. You would think that one of them would try to give advice on something even if it may not be the best. Just to feel that your advice may help someone you have never met should make you feel better by the end of the day.

angela bennett
11-10-2005, 05:33 AM
i was in orlando for 1 week and went into global camera & gallery, orlando I bought labtop which when shown thought it was new and the guy (Rami) told me it would be UK compatable and my daughter could play dvd and download assignments onto the floppy disc. I also bought a video/digital camera and he did the usual sales pitch. Anyway on arriving home the laptop which I paid 400 for was pre-used, would not work and I left it into a computer shop and basically I bought a load of s---. The motherboard is not working and there is no place for a floppy disc. I now cannot afford to buy another one so my daughter is doing without her christmas present as I am a lone parent with three children. I do not have the e-mail of this company and if anyone out there has please let me know although I don't think it will get me too far.

Rhys
11-10-2005, 06:21 AM
Do you mean:

Global Camera and Gallery Inc
(407) 477-0089
11025 International Dr
Orlando, FL 32821

They don't appear to have a web presence. They're also on International Dr which a little research suggests is a tourist trap. Just put it down to experience and spread the word.