Hey Arun, do you remember when I was shopping for a new TV a year or two ago, and I found one online for like $500 less than everywhere else? I ordered it. The next day I got a phone call from someone that worked at the place I ordered it from. First he said he wanted to verify my credit card information… I of course thought this was stupid, since I had entered it on the web page and I usually assume people are able to read.
Then I think he asked if I wanted to buy an extended warranty or something. This didn’t seem too far out of the ordinary. I said no. Then I think he said that if I wanted a manual and the factory box and stuff that there would be an extra fee. It sounded a lot more suspicious when he said.
Arun was around while I was on the phone, so I told the guy at the company to hold on, I told Arun what the guy was saying and Arun was like, “That sounds really sketchy. If I were you I’d cancel your order.” “But this is so much cheaper than everywhere else…” “Yeah, probably because it’s stolen or broken.” So I told the guy I wanted to cancel it and he was like, “Ok, your order has been canceled, bye.” And THAT sounded really suspicious. What kind of a company is so willing to cancel an order? It was like he was expecting me to do it. He wasn’t surprised at all.
After that I googled around and hundreds of people had complained about similar experiences.
There has been an extremely popular story linked to from digg about someone being deceived in a similar way by PriceRitePhoto. I’m not sure if PriceRitePhoto was the company I was dealing with… but I’m pretty sure they were run by the same people. At the time I did a whois on the domain and found who registered it, then looked at other domains by the same people. They had a few online stores with the same crappy interface.
The lesson is: Read reviews about a place before you place an order!