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View Poll Results: Have you been ripped off, by an online store?

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Thread: Have you been ripped off when purchasing over the internet?

  1. #1
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Have you been ripped off when purchasing over the internet?

    The mods and I were discussing this issue earlier today after banning a person who joined up, stating they lived in Darwin, and posted a link to a site selling remote triggers, flash units etc. Their IP address confirmed they really lived in Turkey, so we dumped their thread and banned them. But it got us to thinking about purchasing on the net and we wondered if any members had been ripped off by trying to buy from one of these online stores that seem to be cropping up everywhere.

    So, have you been ripped off, over the net, via an online store that was not what it purported to be?


    We are not interested in Ebay scams etc, but being ripped of via a website.

    Please do not name the sites etc as just posting the name or linking to the site will mean it is grabbed by google and we could see an influx of dubious members using google to find where people have talked about their sites. So lets keep it generic and about your experiences, rather than naming/shaming certain sites.
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  2. #2
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Rick

    About 5-6 yrs ago when I was first starting out purchasing things over the internet and thus using on-screen images & descriptions of goods [rather than handling the item in-shop as I was used to], I purchased a lens from one of the world's major camera companies. I'll call them 'xyz' camera company rather than spell out their 5-letter name ...

    The lens duly arrived in the post and although it fitted the camera it did NOT work as I expected it to work
    The seller refused to accept the lens back as either an exchange or for a refund
    The seller turned out to be the Aussie wholesaler / dealer for 'xyz' products rather than the primary company-name that I thought I was really dealing with

    Despite many emails & several phone messages - mostly unanswered or fobbed off to another not-knowing-about-it person the lens eventually got chucked into the bin

    I do not like chucking hundreds of dollars away, but that's what happened in this case
    Did I get ripped off - I believe so in that the product description was too 'loose' and did not fully specify what the lens actually was, nor that it would not work as I believed it 'should' on my camera. Will I buy any products whatsoever from 'xyz' as a result of these experiences ... no, never ever

    Also
    last year, I googled for a particular camera, found a sydney site giving a pick-up address > ie- must be legit
    I emailed to & fro for details, confirmed price & delivery details, all seemed beaut, placed an order and nothing arrived in the specified time frame. After nothing happened for 14 days, I then emailed cancelling the order, and No deduction appeared on my visa card either

    I placed the order with Bing Lee, service & delivery 100%

    3-months later, my visa statement came in with an $1200 mysterious deduction attached to it, via a supposed PayPal transaction. I looked up the name of the company listed as the PayPal supplier .... someone in Indonesia

    An email to PayPal, then a phone call with them started the ball rolling
    Over 48 hrs several more incoming calls double-checking various details

    14 days later $1200 returned to my account as a PayPal credit to the account

    So things can go both ways Rick ... dunno whether this helps or not
    Regards, Phil
    Last edited by OzzieTraveller; 01-03-2012 at 8:36pm.
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
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  3. #3
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    Arm yourself with knowledge and you will be fine when buying online

    When something looks TOO GOOD to be true it is.
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  4. #4
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Never been ripped off, but then the only thing I've ever bought online was my camera (and some accessories at the same time). Bought from an AP sponsor starting with B, there's also a H.
    If they'd ripped me off I'd be worried. Buyer beware.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

  5. #5
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Ironically the one and only time we have been ripped off was our first purchase!
    We had been deciding about heading into the world of DSLR photography in 2005 and made the decision to buy a Canon 20D
    Marianne checked out a vendor on ebay who had 99+% feedback and the price was good (but not unrealistically so)
    Ordered it and it never came
    10 other people were also affected by the scam which in retrospect should have sent off alarm bells for the following reasons

    Payment was via direct transfer and not something like paypal
    When we went back to view his feedback, the 99+% feedback was all from very small things he/she was selling - clearly this had been quite well thought out and he spent a fair bit of time building up this rating to con the likes of unwary green internet buyers like we were back then. the 20D was a lot of money back then too ;(
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  6. #6
    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    I have not done a lot of buying on the net, but so far so good. I must say that I prefer paypal knowing that if it goes belly up thereis a chance of getting my money back. On the other hand I have a couple of lenses that I would like to sell but I have read so many stories about people being ripped off I am reluctant to put them up on ebay.
    The age of entitlement isn't over, it's just over there where you can't get to it.
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  7. #7
    It's all about the Light!
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    No. I've been careful. Nel and I do quite a few 'net transactions, but only via well researched sites.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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  8. #8
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    dont know if its a rip off but I bought a $10 Chinese cpl off ebay once, I suppose it worked , sort of, and I suppose I got what I paid for. So no complaints. A month later I bought a Hoya from an Australian on line store on special for about $60, realised just how crappy the Chinese one was.
    Cheers David.

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  9. #9
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    I've bought heaps over the net with great results. You just have to research a bit & find out who you're dealing with.

    A recent transaction with a very large software company has left a sour taste in my mouth though. Seeing as we don't want names mentioned, they call themselves micro, but they're very big, and they're called soft, but they're actually very hard. Not that it matters, as they're name will be revealed furhter along, and all is correct and documented. It will also be impossible to explain the situation without revealing them.

    I had to upgrade a computer from windows 7 home premium to professional - stupid, but it was a requirement for some supported software I use at work.

    Seeing it was for a business purpose I did the upgrade anytime from the machine. It took me to the AU microsoft site. called microsoftstore.com.au..the currenct quoted was in AU $ and said it was inclusive of GST.

    I did the upgrade & got a receipt and the key.

    Several days later I noticed my credit card had processed it as on overseas transaction & charged me accordingly...an extra $7.30

    This pissed me off, as the purchase was through an australain site in australain currency. I checked back on the emailed recipt. It shows their Singapore address, yet quotes the australain ABN. No mention of GST and it wasn't a tax invoice that I will need.

    Long story short, I contacted them several times requesting a tax invoice, seeing they quoted the price of including GST, and also to refund me the bank charges as it as the price was in AU $ and wasn't disclosed as a currency conversion to be processed overseas.

    I got no where in dealing with anyone within micrsoft.

    I was even more pissed off.

    Next was to get the bank to reverse the credit card transaction- (in progress)

    A formal complaint was then lodged with the ACCC, ASIC, ATO and the office of fair trading. (all are in progress, and getting some 'interesting' feedback

    In my mind, (and the minds of several of the above mention gov't bodies) the practice of doing a transaction under the guise of dealing with an australain office, quoting AU currency including GST then processing offshore and not supplying a tax invoice is quite 'dubious'.

    So anyway, the moral of the story is even the big bastards will sometime do the wrong thing.
    Last edited by Art Vandelay; 02-03-2012 at 12:33pm.

  10. #10
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Art, that is a very interesting case, I reckon it really does fit into the category of being ripped off on the net and please do keep us updated as to how it turns out.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  11. #11
    It's all about the Light!
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    I worked some IBM some years ago in the software group.
    All transactions were Australian $ with GST as per ANTS (GST tax law).
    But! The transactions were processed overseas and the CDROM kit etc. supplied from overseas; so its quite possible to do it correctly.

  12. #12
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    No, haven't had any dramas purchasing online to date.
    I only purchase from Aussie sites.

    An honest C+C please!


    "I started life with nothing and I still have most of it left"

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  13. #13
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    I purchase regularly from Hong Kong sites and have never had a problem. I must admit though I tend to purchase several small inexpenive items first ie up to about $300 worth before making a big purchase. I also google and read all the available reviews about any company before giving them my business. Just recently I purchased a very popular waterproof compact for my husband that was about $500 in the shops here just before Christmas from my fav Hong Kong Company ( at $240) and they didn't have my requested colour, I recieved an email and subsequently phoned them in Australia, changed the colour on my order.. it was dispatched that afternoon and as a bonus they gave me free express international freight and it was on my doorstep within two days!! Awesome!!The only problem I have ever had was a lens bought from an Aussie online company that has been back to Canon twice for repairs but that is not really retailers fault..it was a faulty lens.
    I say buyer beware... do your reasearch!!! By the way I have only ever purchased lenses and accessories from overseas my camera body was purchased in the land of Aus with full Aus warranty!!
    Canon 5diii; Canon 7D; Canon 3.5 15-85mm IS USM; Canon 4-5.6 70-300mm IS USM; Canon 1.4 50mm , Canon Macro 100mm 2.8 L IS USM, Canon 35mm 1.4 L USM, Canon 24-105mm L IS USM, CPL and UV filters, manfrotto tripod and Lowepro backpack plus dreams for so much more!!


  14. #14
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Have yet to be ripped off, but I've had an opposite experience recently(off ebay for this one).

    A few months back I purchased a camera and lens from ebay for the total of $34 ... $9 for camera and $25 for postage.
    Camera was purchased(cheaply) only for some parts and the description said 'aperture not working properly' which wasn't important.

    The chap that posted it, then processed the payment the next day and a few days later I get an email from someone with an email address that I didn't recognise.
    The email said .... "<blahblah> has sent you $19.15" .... from an unrecognised email address, but with a paypal email form or webpage.

    LOL! .... first thoughts were ... "Bloody Nigerian scammers!!" and I deleted the email. The connection to the antique camera seller didn't click for a few days.
    Then I got the message on my ebay page that the payment was processed and the camera and lens are on their way ... the ebayer was something like jfcamera.
    Then the penny dropped! The name looked strangely familiar, so I went back to sift through all the deleted junk mail/spam/scams/etc and the name of blahblah matched the initials of jf in the email address.

    Logged in to ebay directly from my links, as I still didn't feel comfy clicking on the transaction link in the email and voila! .. the AU$20+ credit was sitting in my paypal account.

    A week or so later, the camera arrived with regular post(no signature) and I started playing around with it and it appeared to be 'fine'.
    Went back to the ebay description of it and again to confirm the item description that the aperture(and apparently shutter now) weren't working properly, but as far as I can tell all seems to be fine.

    Only reason I wanted the camera was for some lens control parts which I wanted to rip off the camera body to make an adapter for the F-mount, but as the camera looks to be working, I felt compelled NOT to rip it apart immediately.
    Viewfinder needs a massive clean out, and I can't figure out how to pull the top plate off the camera(yet) to do so.
    So at the moment this one has turned into a long term project(with very little time to do it).

    So far so good on my end with respect to being scammed.
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  15. #15
    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    I have purchased may many items from o/s sites including software and camera and lenses. Car parts are a FAVOURITE as well. I (nearly)always purchase through payypalll so transactions/money can be refunded. All transactions have been excellent and even with one broken globe the retailer sent me 2 more no charge. I think they like the 100% feedback score on fleabay as it gives them trusted seller status. All in all it has been very good but sending $1500 overseas for the first time was very nerve racking. So no ripoffs yet cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian.

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  16. #16
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    Many years ago, when I was collecting west coast eagles memorabilia via eBay, I purchased a clock from a buyer, and paid via direct transfer. Three days later, he demanded an extra $10 for postage, as it was going to cost him more than he thought. (initial costs were $20 and $5 postage) I emailed back, letting him know it was a contract and I had agreed to pay $x among. I was not going to send more money to him, who knows, he may have wanted more again, and the upshot was that I got nothing, he got my money, and eBay didn't care because it was below $100 -their policy at the time for investigating etc. guy ended up simply deleting his account so I couldn't even leave negative feedback! Oh, PayPal wan't around then from memory...

    Still annoyed... Was a good clock!
    Epicaricacy
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  17. #17
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    I purchased through feebay a RC buggy $1200.00 from an Australian seller via PayPal as soon as I hit the confirmed payment button and the transaction was confirmed he closed his ebay account. I put in a complaint to PayPal and my money was refunded.

    So I now only purchase via PayPal, I do buy using credit card only if the sight has been recommended to me
    Canon 7d efs 15-85mm, Sigma 150-500mm. Nicon coolpix 5400


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Art, that is a very interesting case, I reckon it really does fit into the category of being ripped off on the net and please do keep us updated as to how it turns out.
    Well after many phone calls, emails & a couple of old fashioned faxes, this is only just coming to a close.

    In my previous post I noted I was reversing the credit card transaction. I stopped that after I was advised not to, as this would effectively put an end to any fair trading or ATO dispute.

    Just this morning I recieved this email from microsoft


    Dear Mr. (me),

    We would like to inform you that we have received notification from our financial department that they have arranged to refund you for the international transaction fee of $7.50 that you were charged for your order 2699xxxx

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.


    Please feel free to contact us if you should have any further questions. We are happy to help.

    Kind Regards,
    xxxx microsoft person


    Considering the charge was $7.30 & they're refunding me $7.50 is a bit weird, but I'll take that as a token profit considering the time spent spent in persuing it.

    Whilst getting the charge refunded was a small part & was done with the assistance of the QLD office of fair trading, the more interesting part is to do with the ATO.

    Under GST rules, a GST registered supplier must supply a tax invoice. If not done at the time of transaction it must be done within 30 days of one being requested by the purchaser.

    Failure to do so incurs a penalty. The current penalty for this is 20units. The unit value is $110, so effectively $2 200.

    A complaint case was opened with the ATO prior to the last post & they have followed the progress of me dealing with them & have noted the 4 times I have formally requested a Tax Invoice and to date (near 8 weeks later) have not recieved one.

    Whislt the chap at the tax office who I have been dealing with is quite good, they can't supply any feedback as to whether this actually gets imposed upon them due to privacy blah, blah, blah.

    I get the feeling that it will though as he contacted me again last week to see if the tax invoice been supplied.

    During another conversation with him, he indicated another course of action open to them was to review their records & adherance to GST matters in general. But again, I will get no feedback whether this actually occurs, or any result from it.

    So all in all, it's been a significant amount of time and effort just to get my $7.30 back.... but I'm glad I did.

    And if in a small way I've pissed them off by involving the ATO into their affairs and a probable fine then that makes me smile too.


    Note, I haven't seen the $7.50 hit my bank, but when it does it's party time...oh well, maybe just enough for one beer.
    Last edited by Art Vandelay; 26-04-2012 at 1:19pm.

  19. #19
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update, a very strange way to conduct business indeed and one can only hope that the ATO at least follow it through.

  20. #20
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    And I've just been done by another photographer. God I wish I could name names. Sold me a broken lens. Peeeeeeeeeeved aint the word.

    Buyer beware, in all things, I guess. Though I wouldn't have expected this from a pro tog.
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