I ordered a Canon 28-300 IS USM for $2000. I live in Australia and was flying back home the following day so I called them to see about express delivery to Los Angeles.
I spoke to Ralf who asked me why I wanted to buy such an old model lens which Canon had recently discontinued.
He then told me about a brand new Sigma 70-300 that had just been released for $1499. He said he could provide a professional filter kit normally $299 and a tele-convertor normally $680 and a 5 year warranty with annual cleaning service all for $2400. Alarm bells should have been ringing.
When the package arrived the next day a found a sigma lens selling on Amazon for $144, a Vivitar tele-convertor worth $100 and a Vivitar filter kit selling on Amazon for $20. Despite asking if the warranty and cleaning service was available in Australia and being told it was, I now discover the annual cleaning service is only valid in the USA..
I was back in the USA a week later and called Ralf. He at first denied the incorrect items had been sent until I informed him I had contacted Sigma and Vivitar and had confirmed all the prices. He then agreed I could send it back.
When the second package arrived, I now had a Sigma 70-200 mm lens, again not what I ordered. This time I also had a Sigma 2x converter but no filters. I again called and got Nicholas who claimed to be the owner. I told him I still had the wrong lens and no filters.. He told me they had upgraded my lens to one that was so new, few stores even knew about it. I said I was unable to find it on the sigma website. I was told to look at the bottom of the box for a PE code. This signified the new lens. He also stated his paperwork showed the filter kit was included. After much arguing he agreed to send me another filter kit..
Being suspicious I called sigma and provided the box barcode and lens serial number. The guy told me to "get my money back and run". Sigma stopped producing that lens 2 1/2 years ago and the PE on the box meant the box was recycled. I again called Nicholas to inform him of my displeasure. He told me that although the lens was not a 70-300 as ordered it had an equivalent zoom of 300mm. Again utter rubbish. On a APS-C camera it has an effective field of view of a 300mm lens but not the zoom of a 300mm. My Canon 5d is full frame anyway so this is all irrelevant anyway. I told him I wanted a refund and would return all items. He informed me that because it was outside the 7 day return window it would cost me $477 to return the items. I would have to pay the additional money via money order and once the items,had been returned they would refund the $2400. I told him there was no way I was giving him another $477 on top of the $2400 I had already paid.
What I have ended up with is a lens worth $900 on Amazon, a filter kit worth $20 and a 2 x converter worth $250 and a warranty/cleaning card worth nothing to me in Australia..
These guys are scam artists and nothing more.
The filter kit turned up today and again is selling on Amazon for $20. I will call them one last time tomorrow in the hope.
My next step is to lodge a formal complaint with the attorney generals office of Brooklyn and the Federal Trade Commission. I will also post this on as many websites as I can find and will write to as many magazines in the hope they publish my letter to warn others. With a bit of luck I can ward off as many potential customers as I can costing them far more than the $1200 the ripped me off for.