On September 1, 2006 I ordered a Sony HDR-FX1 camcorder plus Professional Accessory pack from their web site for the advertised price of $2499. On October 2, Mr. Ronnie Shy of BBC contacted me by telephone. He first tried to get me to upgrade the package (for a considerably higher price), but eventually promised that the order would be shipped.
I was told that because "they came from two different sources", the accessory pack would be mailed the next day, and the camcorder the day after. On October 10, the accessory pack arrived by UPS (tracking number 1Z0631W10350060871), together with an invoice (#B103199) indicating that my American Express had been charged $943. I note that although I had ordered and paid for UPS Express Shipping, at a cost of $109, the order came by UPS Ground - no difference in the cost of shipping was refunded. None of the contents of this "accessory package" are of any use without the camcorder to which they belong.
The camcorder has never appeared, and repeated e-mails to Mr. Shy (all enclosed) always elicit the response it is an "import" model, and on back order. However, on each occasion he has always been able to promise immediate delivery of the US model, for $1,000+ more. Finally, he responded on 28/4/07 that the Sony HDR-FX1 is "no longer being made", but he can provide the Sony FX-HD7 for only an extra $1,000.
Right after I received this message, I checked the web sites for both Banana Boat Camera and CCI Camera City, and the Sony HDR-FX1 is still being advertised as for sale at the same price as before. In other words, this is just another complete fabrication from Mr. Shy. When I challenged him about this, he responded that he was "still trying to get the fx 1" for me (e-mail: 5/1/07). Mr. Shy simply does not know which lie he told last, but it is clear that he is deliberately trying to defraud me by pretending that he cannot supply me with a camera that he is advertising to others.
In the meantime, I have $943 of useless accessories. I have requested a fully reimbursed return, but have not had a reply as yet, and anticipate all manner of obstacles to recovering my money.
I also note the following in response to my complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about Banana Boat Camera:
"Thank you for your recent letter concerning your complaint.
The Federal Trade Commission's Mail or Telephone Order Rule covers goods you order by mail, telephone, computer, and fax machine. By law, a company should ship your order within the time stated in its ads. If no time is promised, the company should ship your order within 30 days after receiving it. If the company is unable to ship on time, the company must give you the choice of agreeing to the delay or canceling your order and receiving a prompt refund.
Information from your letter has been added to our computerized reporting systems, which is used by the staff to determine actions that will benefit all consumers. As a federal regulatory agency, our role is to identify those companies that consistently violate consumers' rights and then correct those violations through appropriate law enforcement action. Meanwhile, the Attorney General's office in the state where the company is located may be able to assist you. "
As the most recent emails indicate, I have contacted Mr. Shy, quoting the above information from the FTC, and demanded that he return my $943 since he failed to ship the order. Now he simply refuses even to answer or respond to any of the twenty or more copies of this e-mail that I have sent him. The man is a liar and a thief.
Mr. Shy has to date failed to deliver the placed order, and has simply sent and (over) charged me for a collection of completely useless accessories, that have no use without the camcorder. I should, therefore, like you to have him return ALL of the $943 he has charged, with no deductions whatsoever for restocking fees etc.
This is nothing but a "bait and switch" operation. Mr. Shy NEVER had ANY intention of supplying the advertised goods at the advertised price. I was fortunate in that I could wait him out, and as you can see, he has simply reneged on the entire sale. I would like you to proceed against him for perpetrating this fraud, and I would be delighted to see him put out of business. I will be more than happy to provide you with any additional information you need to make sure that this low life does not prey on anyone else.