An Apology Letter From Ed Lopez, Owner of PriceRitePhoto

I received a call this morning from Ed Lopez, the owner of PriceRitePhoto. We spoke at length and he told me that the activity that has resulted from my post on my experience with his business has most certainly impacted his business. Mr. Lopez told me that he was calling to apologize and that Mr. Philips was going to be terminated at a company board meeting later on this morning. He confirmed to me that they do have the camera in question in stock and although I am not interested in purchasing it from them at this point indicated that he would sell it for me at the advertised price. Subsequently Ed sent me the following email:

“On behalf of Priceritephoto I would like to sincerely apologize for the negative experience that you have experienced with our company. As a company this is not representative of the way we treat our customers. If there is anything that we can do at this point to rectify the situation, please let me know. We have tens of thousands of happy customers who have purchased form us in the past and it is our commitment to give our customers the best value when dealing with us. We are doing a comprehensive review of our company’s procedures to ensure that something like this never occurs. We have also terminated Mr. Philips from his position with our company.”

Although I do not believe my “Steve Philips experience” was an isolated case by this merchant (and certainly the other testimonials suggest that this is in fact more of a common practice by them), my own personal view is that any retaliation towards this vendor should be channeled through legitimate and legal channels. Although some of the crank phone calls are actually pretty funny I think that it is better to take the high road in this case and to use legitimate resources where they exist, whether reporting them to the comparison pricing services or contacting the Attorney General (as I have done) or reporting them to people like the Better Business Bureau.

I think that the popularity of this story comes in large part because the message resonates so strongly with all of us. Although in a sense it is the classic tale of David and Goliath retold, it is much more than this. We all have at one point or another in our lives been bullied and most of us have been defrauded or ripped off. The fact that so many times in the past there was nothing we could do about it makes us feel all that much better about the fact that in today’s internet and blogosphere we actually CAN do something about it.

It is tremendously empowering for all of us to be able to turn the powerlessness that we felt in the past into justice in todays’ blogosphere through the help of things like Digg and Slashdot and Boing Boing. And although every rip off does not receive this level of attention, I believe this story in a greater sense is representative of perhaps thousands of rip off experiences that we have all suffered in the past and been able to do nothing about – some directly with this vendor, some directly with New York based camera vendors like this one, and some with just fraudulent internet businesses wherever they happen to be located. Because we in the past have had to live with the bitterness of our own personal frauds, our feelings towards the popularity of this story is that much stronger – as is our desire to retaliate.

This being said, I again would encourage everyone to take the high road with respect to this vendor. I believe that the power of this story and the ultimate outcome, whatever that may be, will carry much more weight if as a public we handle things responsibly and do not resort to illegal tactics or harassment. Although there is a sense that we all must feel that these folks have gotten what they deserved, I think it would be a far greater legacy for this story to have if change takes place in legal and legitimate channels.

I cannot speak to the sincerity of Ed Lopez. He has sent me an apology letter and I feel it appropriate to print it. His motivation very well may be legitimate — or it could also be the only possible avenue Mr. Lopez has left to try to salvage his business at this point.

Out of all of this, hopefully more than anything, this story will serve as a reminder to shady businesses everywhere that in the end fraud and abusive behavior towards customers does not pay. Perhaps I’m being overly idealistic here and perhaps this incident is the smallest possible blip in the greater world of internet fraud — but one thing I do know is that the power of the consumer is growing. And in a new world today with tools like blogs and Slashdot and Digg the consumer is empowered in great ways that they never have been in the past.

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124 Comments

  1. Superchou says:

    congrats… i am sure they will be good for like a day and Mr. Phillips will take on some new name and all their bad habits will resurface… maybe not as agressivly but people like this don’t really learn their lesson and him saying they are not in the practice of behaving this way is bull — bribing people to leave positive feedback proves nothing about how they operate… the fact that so many people had similar experiences with these guys attests that this is part of they way they operate, preying on the consumer… this time they got busted… thankfully… good work thomas 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    well done!

  3. paisley says:

    The blogosphere, the diggsphere and among other things like some phone calls from certain news organizations helped for sure…

    The question is.. Did you get a refund? In FULL?

    just Google, “Paisley Does Dallas”

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Mr. Phillips” and “Mr. Lopez” are probably the same person

  5. Anonymous says:

    He should have given you the camera for free.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes. “Free camera” seems like the obvious way out of this mess for “Senor Lopez.”

  7. Bryan Sime says:

    Good job, everyone! 😀

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don’t fall for it!

    Look at the pattern!

    Yours was not an isolated incident, this is the m.o. of these companies, and they will never change.

    They will change their name and continue business as usual.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes. I totally believe that a New York camera vendor wouldn’t be quick to send out an apology. If they say they’re going to make sure this happens again, they’re going to make sure. Because New York based camera vendors would never tell a lie in order to do business! This is true!!1!!one!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    would be great to be able to hear some of the prank calls being made…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Digg has pwnd Steve Phillips 🙂 Hooray!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous said…

    “Mr. Phillips” and “Mr. Lopez” are probably the same person

    I would be surprised if this wasn’t the case. Outfits like these are typically one or two man operations that deal with a drop shipping distributor. The way that Mr. Phillips handled himself indicates that he is hardly a person who should be in business. I know people who run sites like these, having even run a drop shipping based site myself at one point in time. you try very hard to make your operation seem larger than it is talking about distribuiting and shipping departments and all that jazz. I sincerely doubt that there is a board at all that will be terminating anyone’s employment.

  13. thewebguy says:

    that’s pretty great. once i saw this posted on /. i knew you would have a happy ending 😀

  14. Anonymous says:

    There’s only one camera store to shop from and thats

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/

    They are a real class act.

  15. SeeSpan says:

    Though it is nice of him to Apologize, I have to say, it really should not have happened in the first place.

    This is why reputable companies hire reputable employees and make use of the proper screening processes to ensure this.

  16. en3r0 says:

    I don’t believe that letter was sincere at all. A nice cover up for when he got caught though. Digg brought him to his knees! Good work.

  17. en3r0 says:

    I don’t believe that letter was sincere at all. A nice cover up for when he got caught though. Digg brought him to his knees! Good work.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, I say he should have given you the camera for free for all the harassment you received. I will STILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING from Priceritephoto, they still suck in my book! What a bunch of jerk offs.

  19. Cam says:

    What I think is funny is before I bought my first camera (a Canon G1) my coworker warned me about buying from New York or New Jersey camera shops. I thought he was just repeating some kinda of paranoid urban legend about them often being cheats and swindlers. The more I read online, I began to believe him. The swindles and tactics described here seem to be common across many of the shops I researched.

    As to the poster who suggested BHphotovideo.com they’ve been been pretty respectable to me as well.

  20. Anonymous says:

    They just want your NEW credit card number since you cancelled the old one

  21. Elinesca says:

    I guess I’m a sceptic, but I don’t believe Mr. Philips was fired. Words, words and words again.

    Even so, I agree that the only “rite” way to go now is through the legal channels. If they’re legit, they’ll survive that.

  22. Josh says:

    I’m just glad to see that the consumer has a voice. It has always been said that the customer is always right, but when wrong is done to them, it seems all to often that they get swept under the rug. It’s nice to see that our experiences and “blogging” of said experiences can keep businesses in line. Or at least show that if you speak up, your chances of being heard are much greater these days.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Ask him to donate the camera to charity in your name!

  24. Paulrus says:

    In case anyone wants to actually see PriceRitePhoto, here’s a link to a guy that goes around photographic all of the Brooklyn discount photo shops:

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0121.htm

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good for the apology letter. However, it seems like this fits the pattern, i.e. PriceRitePhoto makes a threat to the customer, and then the posting of negative information stops and/or is retracted because the customer is too scared to continue.

  26. Antonio says:

    Don’t worry about Mr. Phillips. He has a law degree! haha

  27. Here is another example of a discussion of a New York based camera store (selling televisions):
    http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=8783&page;=1&pp;=10

    Don’t worry. “Editor’s Choice” is gone. You’re safe, right?

    Now at that _same address_ is “PricesRite”, which also sells that same TV at a suspect discount.

    Was formerly known as “Let’s Go Digital”, was formerly known as the “LGD Superstore”, etc etc etc.

    Nobody has been able to put these guys out of business. NOBODY.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Well done, well done.

  29. jason says:

    Personally speaking, I have no doubt that Lopez == Phillips.

    And further, buy from reputable sites/stores, like B&H;, J&R;, etc. I’ve been telling people for years to stay clear of Brooklyn-based camera shops. These tactics are nothing new.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a scyzophrenic

  31. Anonymous says:

    What can i say, you were a fool to shop there (for a 5D no less) without doing proper research and you’d be a fool again for taking this as some legitimate letter of apology.

    Mr. Lopez? Board of Directors? *LMAO*

  32. Mr. Chalk says:

    Thomas, the obvious solution is to only buy from your local bricks and mortar camera store.

    i know that sounds so 1989, but you do manage to establish a real life, person to person relationship that is so much more durable and reliable that developed in a flimsy online transaction.

    While I’m onthe subject, have you ever considered web retirement ?

  33. jeff Bellamy says:

    While looking for more info on PriceRitePhoto (I wasn’t sure I believed they were having a “Board Meeting” I happened upon this site.

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/

  34. Anonymous says:

    Having owned several small businesses, I’m loathe to suggest you take your business to one of the large discounters. Large companies are just as capabable of shafting you as the small ones are. I’ve found it’s generally much more difficult to get one of the big guys to respond when they screw up an order or provide lousy customer service.

    As to the matter at hand, I suspect that this particular camera sales company has learned that there’s a price to be paid for bait and switch as well as abusing their clientele. If they’re now willing to honor their prices and acknowledge their ill treatment in an appropriate manner, they might be worth dealing with.

    However, I’d be inclinded to pay by credit card to ensure that there’s recourse if they don’t do well.

  35. Anonymous says:

    ED Lopez is not the owner of Price Rite Photo.

    http://www.bbbnewyork.org/businessreports/Default.aspx?id=1026

    The Above will show that Price Rite Photo is D.B.A. Let’s go Digital and that the owner is one Jack Heffner.

  36. Anonymous says:

    PriceRitePhoto should post the apology letter on their front page ~

  37. Anonymous says:

    Err.. Reverse the above.. Lets Go Digital is D.B.A Pricerite photo.

  38. Anonymous says:

    ANONYMOUS… WOW… what can I say?

    Anyone researching this? LOOK AT THIS LINK that ‘anonymous’ gave…
    http://www.bbbnewyork.org/businessreports/Default.aspx?id=1026

    Add it to an example like THIS from July…
    http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=8783&page;=1&pp;=10

    It would appear that this is nothing new, and that one single company is burning through names and complaints like hotcakes, but still manages to stay in business.

  39. Anonymous says:

    CLICK HERE to see a picture of your SuperStore you were buying from.

    A. Heffco Technologies, Inc.
    aka C&A; Marketing
    aka Dealz Net
    aka Hype Audio
    aka Ideal Audio/Video
    aka Ideal Photo and Video
    aka Let’s Go Digital
    aka LGD Superstore
    aka Price Rite Photo
    aka Prices Rite Photo
    aka Prices Rite

    1643 McDonald Ave.

  40. Anonymous says:

    aka Editor’s Choice

  41. Anonymous says:

    AWESOME outcome! I’ve been given the run-around by many online vendors and it’s SO frustrating to be powerless to do anything about it. It’s unbelievably satisfying to know this really worked for you and that they’re groveling at your feet now!

    Just an FYI for other posters here, B&H; Photo is also a New York camera store, but as everyone has pointed out, they are a very good and reputable store. So not all of them are swindlers…

  42. Anonymous says:

    Damn, what am i gonna do with all of these “F*ck you Steve Phillips” mouse pads?

    http://www.cafepress.com/duggit

  43. Michael says:

    I highly doubt there was ever really a Steve Philips. Companies use alias’ all the time for the phone reps. I would imagine a bait/switch con job would do the same.

    You guys are following his scapegoat right out of town.

    Steve Philips did NOT make the policy of paying for good reviews, did NOT write up the form you have to sign saying you won’t post negative reviews and did NOT post false reviews on reviewing websites.

    And the employees were laughing at us on speakerphone in the calls recorded.

    This company has not changed, they are trying to divert the heat.

    The attacks should be stopped against the company, but they should not be allowed to stay in business, and personally I’m going to follow the story until all of their websites are offline.

  44. Anonymous says:

    **Chanting**

    Digg…Digg…Digg…Digg…

  45. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, I don’t see any stock filings for PRice Rite Photo, or anything close, at that address in Hoovers.

    If they’re not incorporated, how would they have a ‘board’ ?!

    Unless of course they’re a non-profit, which it seeming more and more like by the hour… that’s gotta suck at three weeks before Christmas.. No wonder they are in major Damage Control mode!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Outstanding. It’s good to have a final resolution in situations like this. I also applaud your statements about taking the high road. They eventually conceeded, and now it’s time to leave them alone and let the agencies responsible deal with them.

  47. cancerox says:

    In the original post explaining in great detail the poor experience received from PriceRightPhoto, a story was mentioned about dealing with a person named “John Hancock”.

    Though the coincidence of a person sharing a name with such a famed person is possible, I’m not convinced of it’s legitimacy.

    Seeing how PriceRitePhoto is located in Brooklyn, I feel it necessary to mention that I do not believe “Steve Phillips” ever existed as an employee. Steve Phillips was the General Manager of the New York Mets a few years ago.

  48. Nah. This isn’t a David vs. Goliath story, unless you consider “the man behind the curtain” trying to look much bigger than he really is would be a genuine Goliath.

    If you really want to see a David vs. Goliath success story, help me tackle Sony over a camera problem.

    Details here.

    While not a nasty confrontation and the numbers are smaller, it’s a big deal to me. I think I’d have preferred the out of control Mr. Phillips to the cool control of the answer bots at Sony.

    That being said, it’s been an entertaining couple of days as I’ve dealt with folks like this in the past. I’ve gotta give kudos to:

    B&H; Photo
    Adorama
    J&R;

    While I’m sure no vendor can please all the people all the time, I’ve only experienced and heard good things from these three businesses. Folks from the laid-back midwest may find some of the personnel abrasive or short, I’ve never felt like I was being run through the ringer or sold a bill of goods.

  49. Kris says:

    Way to go! It is encouraging to see someone actually win one of these battles! You’re my hero.

  50. ballookey says:

    A BOARD meeting? Have you seen the photos of this place? Somehow, I highly doubt they’re a publicly traded company, therefore NO BOARD, and therefore anyone who takes this letter seriously is STILL just the kind of sucker this place wants as a customer. That letter and phone call are insulting. Not only did they fool you once, they’re trying to continue to do it.

  51. thom says:

    Considering what appears to be the number of complaints against the company, if he is being earnest, then he’s been criminally negligent in how his company has been ran up to this point.

    Take it for what its worth, and as you noted, don’t do business with them. Though I might “keep an eye” on them, and if things haven’t changed, be ready to lend your story again.

    Good job!

  52. mocheeze says:

    Digg users, can you guys be a little less self-centered about this? Digg was not the first to carry the story, nor was it probably the most viewed website with the link to this. Seems like the users of Digg have a serious inferiorty complex about this stuff, more and more. I love digg, but really, grow up guys.

    I think this incident will become (in)famous for the next few years. PriceRitePhoto will become the newest addition to the geek lexicon, like “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US” and etc. Good job internet!

  53. Anonymous says:

    interesting to note the whois database was updated today for priceritephoto.com

  54. Anonymous says:

    Add the following….

    aka MLGJ Holdings
    aka Heffez, Heffez, Heffez, and Zalta
    aka PricesRite.com

    SOURCE:
    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0027.htm

  55. Anonymous says:

    While I agree that harrassment is wrong to a certain degree, it was this harrassment (the prank calls and the like) that actually caused this guy to apologize. Legitimate means only go so far. I think that this vendor will truly change the way he does business as a result.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Huh. Very interesting. I believe that’s the same online retailer that I tried to buy a camera from. I saw a listing of theirs somewhere in which their price was really good. When I called, everything was fine and dandy throughout the call as the sales rep kept trying to upsell with extras and ending up getting pretty testy with me. I remember the sales rep asking if he could put me on hold, coming back on the line then apologizing because they just sold out of the item.

    Of course, I had friend call for me, ordering the camera (miraculously back in stock, I guess) WITH an accessory, only to bail on the order in the end.

  57. D-Ran says:

    I would like to say that I have a horror story from this company. In fact in lasted several days and they kept calling my home threatening me because I canceled my order because they did almost word for word what happened to you. When I called to cancel my order they kept hanging up on me. Finally I said that I was calling my credit card company to file a complaint and have the purchase canceled. The craziest thing about the whole thing was that they called me and pretended to be American Express!! The so called “American Express” representative claimed to have been eavesdropping on a conversation on a three way call with the company. The “American Express” representative said that they would not cancel my order as its legit transaction and the problem isn’t with the company its with my attitude. Well, as soon as I asked for this representatives name and extension we suddenly got disconnected. GO figure. I really called American Express and had the charge reversed. The damage done to the company PriceRitePhoto is now monumental. The only way they will recover is to change the name of their company. So beware. The type of slime ball tactics that PriceRitePhoto engages in are common from other vendors of the area. Beware. I wouldn’t be surprised if Steve Phillips is just an alias. In dealing with the company I felt I was talking with people who were the same person but they changed their name. They also falsely post good reviews on websites posing as satisfied customers. These reviews are easy to spot as they all have a common pattern which sticks out as an anomaly to all the other comments posted. Ed Lopez has been telling his employees to behave like this. It’s their business model. Basically their business model is… 1) Advertise rock bottom prices for quality camera equipment(even if they don’t have it in stock) to lure in the most amount of people 2) Offer all the extras and warranty. 3) If customer declines then tell them the item will be shipped but then never ship it 4) when customer complains threaten with the 15% restocking fee 5) finally tell them that the item is out of stock(since they never really had the equipment anyway…If someone buys the camera with the warranty then they will send “Larry” down the street to pick one up from B&H; camera)

  58. Anonymous says:

    You guys who are saying bad things about “Ed Lopez” and “Steve Philips” should expect a call, and your boss will get one too and then a two cops will come and arrest.

  59. Dave Rosen says:

    Power to the people!

  60. gosha says:

    Awesome man. Good for you.

  61. Jon E says:

    Good job Thomas!! Way to give it to those jerks. And to get an apology from the owner himself, impressive.

    Sincerely,
    Bill Gates ..er…Joe Montana ..er…Bill Clinton

  62. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to say this, but I just wouldn’t be fobbed off so easily on this one.

    Ever since this surfaced people have been digging up mounds of dirt on this company. They have a despicable trail of crimes and injustices going back for years.

    Do you think they are just going to stop it all with a single day of “trouble”? I seriously doubt it, and I doubt Steve Philips ever existed.

    Companies like this are pure scum and need to be taught a lesson. Don’t fall for this brush off.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe it. The “owner” is probably just a friend of Phillips. It’s just too shady.

  64. Anonymous says:

    “I’m an attorney, I will sue you.”

    One would think this would be strongly related to the attorney comment:
    http://www.donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0116.htm

  65. Anonymous says:

    Is it just my connection or is pricerite.com unable to serve any images? 12/01/05 6:34pm est

  66. Rudy246 says:

    Rock on Thomas!!

  67. Anonymous says:

    dude… man you got had… dig into this company man,.. they sent you a letter not resenting this company… man… !!! call the real guy damnit !! im reporting it tonight on my local news.

  68. Niklas says:

    Great way to handle the situation. Proud of you man 🙂 It’s been dugg

  69. Anonymous says:

    Talk is cheap. Apologies are cheap. If taking the high road means allowing yourself to be bought off with pretty words and empty apologies, more fool you. Why strike such a conciliatory tone when they have taken no concrete steps to fix the problem? They use their dishonest business practices because it makes them money. Until they offer money or goods in exchange for their lousy treatment of you, they have simply swapped yesterday’s rude lies for today’s polite lies. That doesn’t seem like much of a resolution to me.

  70. Anonymous says:

    “the negative experience that you have experienced”

    he should have gone to grammer school instead of law school.

  71. Anonymous says:

    PriceRitePhoto.com is down!!!

    From their website (12.1.05 7:40pm est):

    There is no website configured at this address.
    You are seeing this page because there is nothing configured for the site you have requested. If you think you are seeing this page in error, please contact the site administrator or datacenter responsible for this site.

  72. Anonymous says:

    PriceRitePhoto is down. However Thecameramall.com is still up. Cut one off and the hydra simply grows more heads. I’m afraid that there are more than enough willing fools out there to keep the priceritephoto crew laughing all the way to the bank. Still, it was fun to see them sweat for a day or two. Having the site go down this close to the holidays may make a small impact on their bottom line, which would be vindication, of a sort.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Server Used: [ whois.domaindiscover.com ]

    priceritephoto.com = [ 205.234.196.98 ]

    Registrant:
    PriceRitePhoto
    1274 49th Street
    Brooklyn NY 11218
    US
    Domain Name: PRICERITEPHOTO.COM
    Administrative Contact Technical Contact Zone Contact:
    PriceRitePhoto
    Eduardo Lopez
    1274 49th Street
    Brooklyn NY 11218
    US
    (888)365-4300
    webmaster@priceritephoto.com

    Domain created on 22-Jun-2003
    Domain expires on 20-Jun-2015
    Last updated on 01-Dec-2005
    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS0.DNSMADEEASY.COM
    NS1.DNSMADEEASY.COM
    NS2.DNSMADEEASY.COM
    NS3.DNSMADEEASY.COM
    NS4.DNSMADEEASY.COM
    Register or transfer domains at http://www.BuyDomains.com – as low as 9/year.
    Including FREE: Responsive toll-free support URL/frame/email forwarding
    easy management system and full featured DNS.

  74. Anonymous says:

    The domain just happens to have been updated today, december 1st 2005.
    Coincidence?

  75. Anonymous says:

    TOTAL BULLSHIT. These gangsters are just pulling your chain. BOO-HOO.

  76. peabody says:

    I’m not sure what impact all of this will do on the people in question, but at the very least: there are a lot more people now aware of the “bait and switch” routine that these folks and others use on a regular basis.

    In the end, we (the on-line community be it diggers or slashdotters or whatever) have put a dent in this practice by making more people aware of it.

  77. Nimnar says:

    Well done!! Hopefully Ed Lopez’s business lost. It’s not as easy as it used to be to run a camera shop in Brooklyn.

  78. As much as I agree that this practice is perhaps common amongst this retailer, it should say something that remorse is being expressed. I work in retail. Anyone who expects to survive in retail understands that having a happy customer is equivalent to earning yourself a returning customer. With that said, with their customer service, I expect this company to be shut down within a year. There are more deserving companies out there worth your time.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many times the free fax service will try to send the fax to their voice line…

  80. Anonymous says:

    priceritephoto.com may be down, but Editor’s Choice (aka LetsGoDigital, owned by Jack Heffez and hosted by Yahoo) and LetsGoDigital are both still up and running. The pricerite plan seems to be to take one site down, and make everyone think they’ve won. Meanwhile, they can continue doing business with the company’s other Websites.

    Clearly, repeat business is not the goal of companies like this, as NO ONE who purchases something from them returns or refers anyone else to the store. They are interested in fleecing customers one at a time, and trying to make sure that customers keep quiet about their bad experience. As soon as the word gets spread too widely that company x is a sham, they stop using that particular name.

    It’s hard to believe that no one in NYC has taken photos of Ed, Mr. Phillips and others and posted them on flickr.

  81. This story (the happy ending, not the nasty beginning) is what’s RIGHT about the internet:

    http://www.gilgamesh.ca/index.php/2005/12/01/this-is-whats-right-about-the-www/

  82. Anonymous says:

    Ed Lopez is really Dirty Sanchez if you know what I mean!! LOL I live in Brooklyn and will try to take pictures of this scumbug with my brother’s help who works for the NYPD and post the picture to the web. My brother and fellow officers have a feeling they know who these scumbugs really are. LOL

  83. Anonymous says:

    Ed Lopez is merely an employee of this guy: http://www.bbbnewyork.org/businessreports/Default.aspx?id=1026

    If you want to make a difference, go after this guy and all this various web sites.

  84. Kakashi says:

    Go Digg!!!! LoL…
    I’d say they should have give you the camera for free! plus pay you with the amount of the camera.. that seems about right for me.
    the trouble and time they put you through. thats just something you can’t go back and correct.
    The apology is just for display. because they know that you would post it then they would sound good and nice again.

    Think about it, if waren’t for you publishing this article. do you think they would change the way they handle the customers? so i say this apology is just for show. give them about a week and their back again.

    about Phillips. i wanna the guys picture getting fired… hell i wanna see the guys picture so i can throw stones at him when i see him on the street. but unless this doesn’t happen then i wouldn’t believe that the guy was really fired.

    Anyways thanks to the blogs and internet for this!.

  85. Anonymous says:

    This company is like a rash all over the Web. Sites they own or use:

    http://store.edschoice.net/
    http://www.lgdsuperstore.com/
    http://shop.store.yahoo.com/gigabuyz/index.html
    http://hypeaudio.com/
    http://store.yahoo.com/hypeaudio/
    http://idealav.com/
    http://dealznet.com/
    http://www.heffco.com/

    There are undoubtedly others as well.

    So who owns these domains?
    The names change from domain to domain, but all the domains seem to lead back to A Heffco Technologies. What is A Heffco Technologies? In addition to selling electronics, they are also a security broker/dealer, an importer/exporter, and a stock & bond broker. And by the way, even the government has done business with A Heffco Technologies! Heffco had two contracts with the U.S. government in 2003 totalling $16,920.

    Who works for A Heffco Technologies? Needless to say, their employee list does not appear to be available online. Since 2003, however, one of their programmers has been Bat .G . Perera.

    Who’s in charge of A Heffco Technologies?
    It’s not Mr. Phillips. It’s not Ed (aka Eduardo) Lopez, who is listed as the owner of priceritephoto.com. It is not Jack Heffez, who is listed as the owner of edschoice.net. According to the BBB report submitted by someone else, the person in charge of all these businesses seems to be: Jack Heffner.

    And the plot thickens…Remember how Thomas said that one of the threats he received was:

    “I’m an attorney, I will sue you.”

    Turns out that A Heffco Technologies has an office in Brooklyn. [Be sure to click the “1643 McDonald Ave” link, which shows another A Heffco Technology store.] On the sign outside the door you can see the words “Law Offices” and “Sam H. Heffez, ESQ.” Does the name Heffez look familiar? It should; Jack Heffez is the owner of edschoice.net.

    So is it possible that Mr. Phillips = Mr. Lopez = Jack Heffner = Jack Heffez = Sam Heffez?

  86. Anonymous says:

    nice the way you treat all the people who joined in and wrote, harrassed, posted on review sites anti scam sites, digged, and otherwise on your behalf. now that you “Think” your`re going to get your camera from the head dick, you chastize and moralize to everyone about going the legal route and to lay off now, thx. and you still havent learned your lesson for fucks sake. that you would really consider buying your camera from this scum bag after all this, is beyond comprehension.

    go fuck yourself.

  87. J. Baumann says:

    “He confirmed to me that they do have the camera in question in stock and although I am not interested in purchasing it from them at this point indicated that he would sell it for me at the advertised price.”

    “Oh yes, Mr customer, we will sell you the retail box at the advertised price. Now might I interest you in some of our special offers – for example, the camera body which fits into the retail box, at $2.800, or this nice battery for $300, or the tripod most of our customers buy, or…”

  88. Interesting how what you think won’t garner any interest – as in this case where you were legitimately blowing off steam – takes on a life of its own. I agree with you on all counts and congratulate you on the professional manner in which you handled this situation and wrote about it. I have had similar experiences with retailers and actually enjoy the ‘taking the high ground’ in such situations and watching the other party implode.

    What i wonder about is that in your posts I do not see the very practical advice of alway using a credit card for such transactions – and in your case I will assume thatyou have a business card for just such work-related items. The first thing to do in a case such as this is to contact the credit card company and start the process of witholding payment. Yes there will be paperwork and you need to keep track of what is going on – but it is obvious you are capable of doing that (and making it enjoyable reading as well). we may damn our credit card companies but when needed they always seem to come through.

  89. Anonymous says:

    It’s a trick. Get an axe.

  90. Mister Hung says:

    I looked up Heffco in the publicly available State corporations database… I wonder where this is…

    A. Heffco Technologies Inc.
    936 Kings Highway
    Brooklyn, New York 11223

  91. Mister Hung says:

    Also MLGJ Holding Corp…
    their “CEO/Chairman” is listed as a “Max Zalta”… interesting.

    Chairman or Chief Executive Officer
    MAX ZALTA
    1843 MC DONALD AVE / SUITE #2
    BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 11230

  92. Anonymous says:

    Why would a company need to fire a regular phone sales jocky at a board of director’s meeting? That seems awfully weird to me…

  93. Anonymous says:

    something smells funny, you might better beef-up your ‘defense’, for this lunatic have your contact info …

  94. Anonymous says:

    “Perhaps I’m being overly idealistic here and perhaps this incident is the smallest possible blip in the greater world of internet fraud”

    umm yeah, I think your incident is definitely a small blip dude. Get over it and quit patting yourself on the back.

  95. Anna says:

    Please don’t let this go. These people are awful and need to be stopped, and right now you have enough attention that you can push for something.

  96. JB says:

    Why does it take a “board meeting” to fire a lowly store manager?

  97. Anonymous says:

    it takes a board meeting to fire a lowly shitbird peon, because a) the peon doesn’t exist, and b) it tells us all that they’re a REEL LEGITAMATE COMPINY who does not rip people off as a matter of course.

    screw the high road with these dudes, what’s to guarantee they don’t recitify the publicity and go on ripping people off right when they turn around? sure it’s nice to be famous, as mr. thomas hawk has had his 15min over the past few days, but don’t think that you’re speaking for anybody now that you’ve had your ego stroked with an apology.

  98. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad that this worked out. Peace.

  99. TomW says:

    When my mom got scammed by these assholes, they made reference to the “sixth floor” of their company. That must be where Steve Phillips works with Santa Clause.

    And I too am disappointed with Thomas’ response. You should be even more pissed off that these crooks lied to you over the phone and treated you like an idiot by making up all these lies about firings and board meetings. While you didn’t exactly say you believed him, it seems you found his apology to carry some weight, which seems pretty absurd.

  100. Anonymous says:

    I know most of you people feel savy enough to not get scammed. Not everyone knows about this type of internet scamming though. Heck, I was taken advatage of by another Brooklyn outfit called Royal Camera awhile back. The real issue is these guys are on Cnet with postitive feedback ratings.

  101. Anonymous says:

    I wonder whether the fact that they don’t take Visa and Master Card only American express and Discover isn’t that a red flag??

  102. Anonymous says:

    please folks, this is america! and yes this salesman is a jerk, but please lets dont ruin his business only bcs his worker was a jerk or still is.

    i am sure this stupid guy will be fired and he will have a lasson for ever

  103. Anonymous says:

    Beware of the bloggers internet merchants. Don’t you dare to treat us that way again…

  104. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting how the user “rgwcpa1954″ and PriceRitePhoto from ebay ” [Buyer and seller]mutually agreed to withdraw feedback for this item.”

    I wonder what kind of persuasion was neccessary on behalf of PriceRitePhoto. hhmm…

    http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid;=priceritephoto&items;=25&page;=6&frompage;=-1&iid;=-1&de;=off

  105. Anonymous says:

    seems like most of the sites above are not working anymore either.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Stephen Phillips
    361 Warren St
    Brooklyn, NY 11201-6412
    (718) 855-6719

  107. Anonymous says:

    LGD is still at it. My experience with LGDSuperstore.com is as bad as everyone else’s. I’ve dealt with a very rude customer service rep named “Danny Roberts” – maybe a pseudonym for “Steve Phillips”. I don’t think this is this guy’s real name either.

    I ordered a small (19″) LCD TV only to discover after the order was placed that the item had been listed as “no longer available” (it was “available” when I placed the order). After 10 days since the order was placed it was still listed as OPEN (i.e., nothing shipped) so I called and boy did I get a run-around.

    First I was told the order would be canceled per my request. The next day, when I asked for e-mail confirmation, I was told it was passed to the shipping department and could not be canceled. They said there was no record of my having wanting the order canceled (I e-mailed, called and faxed the cancellation to them.) When I asked for shipping information, they would not give me a tracking number or shipper.

    The TV was still listed as “not available” on their website, so I called the general 888 number. I was first told there were no more available, then was routed to some guy in the “TV department” who said they just got 12 in on Friday. Every time I call there is another story.

    These guys are shady at best and I don’t think I’ll ever get what I ordered.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Formed in 1998, our company is setting the pace for the new standard in the ever expanding consumer electronics industry. Our staff consists of some of the top buyers nationwide with over 21 years of industry experience. We are Agents for our customers and do not stock inventory on any of the merchandise listed for sale. This allows us to offer you the very best legitimate pricing online. We realize and acknowledge the competitive nature of the electronics business and bring to you our everyday low prices.

  109. Anonymous says:

    ITS DIPSET BITCH!!! DON’T STOP NOW! DIPSET! DON’T STOP NOW! (WHISTLEx8)HERE WE GO!

  110. girleto says:

    PLEASE any info on ebay camera store called camerasinasnap ??? i want to buy a camera at a good price but when i call them this store in brooklyn called wheeltolease.com picks up, are they legit? they have 100% feedback on ebay… ANYONE???

  111. SEO Services says:

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  113. I bet that Mr Philips was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time : in other words, he was behaving in accordance with the way the company functions, and he is going to simply be used as a scapegoat for a much larger problem within this company.
    Trust me, I’ve been there. I have tried my best to give the best service, but many times I was actually ripping off the customer because my management were, in fact, dodgy and unprofessional. I eventually had no more time for such blatantly corrupt management, and left quietly. Perhaps Mr Philips was acting on behalf of his superiors after all…

  114. I am glad that there are people out there like Mr. Lopez who despite of their position in the company can still afford to apologize. I know what a sincere apology can do to re-kindle or bring back any loose ends especially in business. I’m glad that everything is back to normal now. Hopefully, some people would also learn from this story.