After researching digital SLR cameras I decided to buy the Olympus
E-510. I found B&H Photo Video through a google search and saw
that had a used Olympus E-510 in good condition, and for an unbeatable
price it was the lowest I had seen. I ordered the camera on 7/14/09 for
$319.00 with 10.75 for shipping, a total of $329.75.
On 7/16 I was thrilled that the camera arrived so soon, only to find
out they sent me the wrong camera. They had actually downgraded my
purchase to a lesser version of the same brand. At first I thought it
was an just a unlucky mistake, and since they were closed for the day,
I wrote them an urgent e-mail telling them that they had made a mistake
and to please hold the Olympus E-510 so that I could exchange the
camera they accidentally shipped to me for it.
Bright and early in the morning I called them and told them about what
happened. [continued below]....
..... I had to go through so many ill mannered people until finally
I found someone that could help me. He said it was a mistake and that
I could send it back, I told him I wanted to exchange it for the E-510
that I had purchased and that I hope they still had it. He then
informed me that they never had it! And that it was a labeling mistake.
Disapointed I told him that I wanted a refund, and that I should not
have to pay for return shipping because it was not my fault I was sent
the wrong camera. He said that they would reimburse me for the shipping
cost and that I should include a copy of the shipping receipt. But they
would only pay for unisured ground shipping!I said that was silly, what
if something happened during shipment? I don't want to be held
responsible for that. And he replied that I could purchase insurance but B&H will only reimburse me for the ground shipping and not the insurance.
So 7/17 I returned the camera for $13.55 via USPS.
On 7/24 they refunded $329.75 to me using the refund option in paypal.
I noticed something strange about the way they refunded the money
B&H did it in two partial refunds:
one for $316.20 and another for $13.55 which adds up to the original
$329.75 I paid for the camera and original shipping. But the strangest
part about it was $13.55 was also the amount I paid for the return
I called them and asked when I could expect to receive my reimbursement
for the return shipping and rep. said I should see it post in to my
paypal account in 3-5 business days. After this time I called them back
and said I still hadn't received the money for the return shipping. The
rep. told me that their system says they had reimbursed me for the
return shipping on 7/24. I told him they had made a mistake and made
two partial refunds that equaled the amount of the original purchase
price but they never sent me the $13.55 for the return shipping. He
kept telling me that I was mistaken and that B&H owed me nothing,
and that their computer system doesnt lie or make mistakes. I tried to
explain to him how paypal works and that the two partial refunds are
linked to the same original transaction and that in order to reimburse
me for the return shipping they needed to send me money with paypal
separate to original transaction and he said he didnt know about these
things he didn't work in billing. I asked to speak with someone in
billing, but he told me the person that does the billing is not in.
He gave me what he said was the Paypal transaction ID number for the
reimbursement of the return shipping and told me to contact Paypal
because in his opinion B&H did everything they were suppose to on
So I called paypal and talked to a rep. and she said the transaction Id
numbers given to me could not be paypal transaction ID numbers because
they were too short, and that the whole situation sounded like fraud to
her. She then informed me that there was nothing Paypal could do about
it but sent an email on my behalf, telling B&H there was no such
transaction made. Because the original amount I paid had already been
refunded there was nothing PayPal could do.
After calling back and telling the same B&H rep from earlier this
info, he still insisted that they made no mistake and that they are
reputable business etc etc.
I firmly believe that not only have I been scammed out of $13.55 but
what happened was bait and switch. Clearly the partial refund for the
same amount as the return shipping cannot be a mistake. B&H had to
manually type in $13.55 and then knowingly refund the remainder.
B&H was hoping that I didn't notice the camera was a lesser model
(they look almost the same, but the E-510 has way more features). Their
return policy is 14days, and after that I would be stuck with the
camera. And they knowingly did not refund the return shipping to me. I don't care If it's only $13.55 its the principle of the matter, It is MY
MONEY and I should not have lost any money returning their mistake!