On July 17th 2007, I ordered a Canon ZR850 miniDV camcorder from TheNewConnection.com through their website. They were offering a package for all new customers that included a tripod and carrying case, so even though their price was a little higher than some others I had found, it seemed like a pretty good deal.
The next day I received a call from their sales department to confirm my order (sounds good, fraud-prevention and all), little did I know that this is where the scam begins. They offered me a long life battery at a promotional price (which was more than I had already paid for the same long life battery from another website), I said "No Thanks, I already have a longlife battery".
He then proceeds, after a short pause, to tell me that upon checking his inventory that the 'internet/overseas model', which includes the standard battery and warranty, is out of stock. However, he does have the 'U.S. model' that includes the 5-hour battery and enhanced warranty, at a slightly higher price. I'm thinking uh-oh bait-n-switch, and was considering just cancelling the order. He then says that he can offer me a special package upgrade that includes the 5-hour Long-Life battery(BP-2L14), an external AC/DC Quick-charger, and extended warranty, all for $325 (up from $264). I reluctantly agreed because I didn't want to go through the tedious process of looking for another 'deal' among the dozens of merchants on the net selling this camera.
Upon reflection, after I hung up, I thought I had made a pretty good deal - I had already purchased an after-market 5-hour battery(NB-2L14) and AC/DC charger from another vendor for about $35, but this was a 'rapid charger' and I was also getting an extended warranty. And hey, it never hurts to have an extra battery and charger right ? !
Then the day the package arrived, everything is good and I am enjoying playing with the new camera, until I remember that I purchased an upgrade package. I look at the battery that came with the camera, little tiny 90-minute battery, no external charger, and no mention of an extended warranty.
I checked my invoice, thinking "they must have got my order wrong", nope - my invoice says "Canon ZR850 1MP MiniDV Camcorder with 35x optical zoom Quick Carger & Longlife Battery". So I call customer support, who proceed to tell me that "Yes, what you got is what you paid for". I explain that I looked in the manual that came with the camcorder, the BP-2L5 battery that came with the camera is in fact the smallest battery made for it and is definitely not an extended life battery, they would not budge on this issue.
Next I asked about the Rapid-Charger that was supposed to be part of the package, Customer Service insisted that the charger was built into the camera (so what, they 'installed' it into the camera in the factory-sealed box after I paid for the upgrade?? I think not!). I tried to explain that the salesperson told me that the charger was supposed to be an 'external' AC/DC Rapid charger, how could it be built into the camera. She insisted that I had misunderstood (how do you misunderstand someone telling you that you are getting an 'External AC/DC charger' ?), but that they would send me an extended life battery to make it right. She refused to further address the issue of the charger.
By the way, the compact AC power adapter that came with the camera is marked just that "compact power adapter", nothing about being a special rapid-charge adapter and the owners manual says that it will take 145 minutes to charge the BP-2L5 battery (that's the smallest one) in the camera with the power off. Hardly what I would call a rapid charger.
Next, I called customer service again, intending to speak to someone in authority. After waiting on hold for about 20 minutes, I got a dialtone. I called back again (I am nothing is not persistent), after a short wait a supervisor answered the phone who apparently knew exactly why I was calling (caller ID?), and in no uncertain terms told me that I had already got everything I am going to get and that shipping me the extra battery (which I had already paid for by the way) was just a 'courtesy' and that I was not getting a charger unless I was willing to pay for it. Needless to say, I declined that offer.
This seems to be my only recourse, the hope that others will see this article and not buy from these scheisters.
New Castle, Pennsylvania