Called to order a camera from them by phone. I wanted only the camera body - no lenses, nothing extra. The representative, Mark, said that in order to use the camera I needed a special high-speed, error free memory card, and that the battery life on the camera was only 35 minutes. Thinking that the man works for an electronics store and probably knows what he is talking about, I agree.
The items come to $1839. When he gives me the price for the 3 items, he tells me that for another $30, he will send me a quick charger, a starter kit, which includes, cleaning materials, a tripod, etc. I say fine. He says he will expedite shipping for free and I will get it within the next two days. I get no price at the end of the call (which now I regret) and I get no confirmation email.
I do some research on the camera's battery life and actually make some calls - call B&H Photo and the representative tells me that the the battery life is just fine on the camera. As a matter of fact, it is very long on this camera. Also tells me that I do not need any specific memory card for the camera to work properly.
I call back and speak to Mark and told him I want to cancel all the items I ordered except for the camera. He says no, the order was processed and will be shipped and that I will receive it tomorrow. I told him I was unhappy with the way he sold me the "extras" and that I didn't want them. He said "you need them". I said I didn't and I wanted to change the order. He said he can't, but to call him when I receive the package and if I don't want anything, he will give me a return authorization number. I asked him specifically if I could keep the camera and just return the "extra" items. He said absolutely, no problem. You can keep the camera and return whatever you don't want.
I received the package the next day. I call the day after that and speak to someone named Steve. I tell him what happened and he says I have to return everything. That I bought it as a "package" and the return was all or nothing and there would be a 15% restocking fee. I said that is not acceptable. He said that's the policy for buying a package. I never intended to buy a package. I told him that Mark was deceptive by telling me I "needed" these other extra expensive items in order for the camera to work properly.
He said that would never happen. Well, it did. He then offered me $150 as a refund to keep the whole thing. I said no. I said I want to keep the camera and return the rest. Nothing doing. I admit, I was irate at this point. I probably cursed and hung up on him. I called him back, knowing I would submit a dispute with my credit card company, and asked him for a return authorization number. He said he would not give it to me until I sent him an email stating that I agreed to the 15% restocking fee. I said no way. He refused to give me a return authorization number.
I then told him, I wouldn't pay the bill, wouldn't return anything and would put the whole transaction into dispute with my credit card company. He acted like he couldn't believe his ears. I said, what do you expect me to do? I'm not going to let you railroad me like this! I hung up on him. He called me back (yes he did) and said they want to resolve it and they would be willing to give me a refund equal to their profit on the deal - $382. I said no. He said fine, then return it all and I'll charge you only a 5% restocking fee. He said I know you're upset, but think about it and call me back. I said fine.
I called my credit card company and they called AJ Richies and got them on the phone. I have no choice but to pay the $95 restocking fee (5%), but got a return authorization number. I certainly did not want to pay this, but I was not willing to lose $2,000 instead. I will be filing a complaint with the Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau.
Their deceptive upselling practices, their nastiness and seeming non-chalance about how they do business is unacceptable. I have never been so irate with a company in my life. They have terrible reviews all over the internet. When is this company going to be investigated and shut down?