PriceRitePhoto Update #24, Has an Innocent Company Been Hurt in My PriceRitePhoto Coverage?

Yesterday I received an email from an individual identifying himself as Gabe Heffez from A. Heffco Technologies. Mr. Heffez seemed somewhat distraught over the fact that in my reporting on PriceRitePhoto that his company and companies had been erroneously identified as being associated with PriceRitePhoto. In my reporting on my experience with PriceRitePhoto I had identified A. Heffco Technologies as possibly being associated with PriceRitePhoto based on a report that linked the two from the Better Business Bureau of New York. I was first made aware of this report and connection from CNET’s David Bricker when he pointed me to the BBB report when I first began reporting on PriceRitePhoto and included my first mention of A. Heffco Technologies based on this report.

Contrary to this report from the BBB Mr. Heffez wrote me yesterday saying, “our company is in no way related to PriceRitePhoto,” he added, “we don’t know who C&A; Marketing is or who Ideal Photo Video is. We have sent dozens of faxes and made numerous phone calls to the BBB to correct the issue so far to no avail.” Mr. Heffez further went on in a subsequent email to say, “This (action) caused us to reap the wrath of the public and our own advertisers. In early-mid December, our host, Yahoo! also terminated our stores and three of our personal ID’s without explanation. A seven year relationship was ended in the blink of an eye.” Mr. Heffez also said that CNET dropped them as well and added, “your David vs. Goliath blog unfortunately turned into our instant termination. We all have families to feed and this past Christmas our job was that much harder.”

In response to Mr. Heffez’s claims of not being associated with PriceRitePhoto I have been in contact with Tony Barbera, Manager of Information and Investigations with the BBB serving Metropolitan NY expressing my concerns over having possibly hurt an innocent company based on a potential wrongful association on the part of the BBB. Mr. Barbera, who was aware of the coverage that this story received yesterday by the New York Times told me that the company’s report has been suspended pending further results of an investigation. “I was contaced by Mr. Heffez yesterday, and we will be working with the companies in order to establish correct and complete records for each entity if it is determined they are separate,” wrote Mr. Barbera.

Millions of people turn to the Better Business Burea and rely on the accuracy of the information that they provide for making informed decisions regarding their purchases and which merchants they will do business with. The integrity of their information regarding merchants is super important. If in fact the BBB has erroneously linked PriceRitePhoto and Mr. Heffez’s company then I would be very personally disappointed to have hurt an innocent unrelated company. Mr. Heffez has informed me that over the past few weeks his phone lines have been ringing off the hook with nothing on the other end but hang ups or music and has told me that he is pretty sure that his sites have been bombarded with worthless traffic in an attempt to crash them.

I suspect that this story will be developing and hope to have more conclusive findings one way or the other shortly — but in the event that the information linking his company and their affiliates to PriceRitePhoto was incorrectly reported by the BBB, I apologize and am truly sorry for any role that I and my blogging may have had in hurting his business.

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37 Comments

  1. elamb says:

    Holy Shit, dude…

    I hope that is resolved. That is terrible. Amazing how powerful blogging and Web 2.0 wares are. I’ll publish links to this on my blog.

  2. trip says:

    Good for you, righting a wrong. It’s hard to rectify something like this, and it look like you are doing an good job trying to fix it. Keep up the good work, on both sides of this story.

  3. Anonymous says:

    how about a link to the site so we can purchase shit from these guys?

    thatd help.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This would be a sad outcome if it turns out to be in fact true.

    Maybe to right the possible wrong it could be possible to post a link to the companys site for those wishing to do business with a “legit” (hopefully) vendor.

    In all fairness if the products and service are good and people are proactive, positive customer ratings of the website should bring it back to par.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only reason he is “righting” this wrong so he won’t get sued you dork.

  6. Pyro says:

    “how about a link to the site so we can purchase shit from these guys?

    thatd help.”

    I’m not sure if this is the right site; I was linked to it from http://www.mackcam.com/warranty_dealerlist.html,
    which said that A. Heffco Technologies is at http://www.lgdsuperstore.com/
    No verification of that as of now.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure that he is genuinely upset that this could have hurt a good and honest company. I would definately purchase products from the wronged company to help them out. This could turn around to make them more popular than they ever were before if word spread about the story. I hope it catches on like wildfire. They could end up rich to make up for the an awful Christmas.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Definately find the absolute correct website so we don’t make some other company, maybe even the real culprits, lots of money!

  9. Bryon says:

    Personally, I think he wants to help them. I would feel bad if I had nearly closed a company for no reason due to a flaw and misinformation.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same Heffco Technologies, Inc. that is listed on http://www.m4040.com/AssholeFiles/HypeAudio.htm ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ah, and now you start to see the benefits of thinking before speaking.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If you pull up some info on Let’s Go Digital, my memory is that you’ll find that they do the EXACT same things as the store you had a problem with. They may or may not be the same company, but I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re a poster child for a blameless victim.

    In fact, I think some scrutiny SHOULD be placed on their business.

    http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=8783&page;=1

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m not so sure I trust this guy. His store location and web site fits the profile of these scammers. If he’s truly innocent and a trustworthy vendor then the retraction and apology was in order but I for one am waiting for further clarification before I make any judgement.

  14. BrK says:

    Dude, you’re just being scammed again. Look at the source for the two sites (you’ll need Google cache for the offline site). They are all practically the same on the back-end, exact same variable names in the javascript, etc.

    Both sites are registered by an “Eduardo”.

    They have far too many things in common to be unrelated. This sort of “backlash” from them, moaning about their families and Christmas and all that just further underscores how dishonest and shady these merchants really are.

  15. Anonymous says:

    ePinions and other links show this was just a poor attempt to instill a sense of pitty on this bastard. In no way should this person or company be disassociated with the rest of the camera and electronics scam artist that are so plentiful on the web.

  16. This may be a case of someone who is screaming loudly to deflect involvement i.e. “Methinks thous protest too much.” After reading this post via DIGG I checked the Heffner link by GOOGLE and found these sites:
    http://www.m4040.com/AssholeFiles/HypeAudio.htm

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0219.htm

    http://www.switchboard.com/Stock_&_Bond_Brokers/Brooklyn/NY/1642-/yellowpages.htm

    which all indicate that there is more to this Heffez or Heffco than can be explained by some guy calling and telling a tale of woe. So don’t feel bad too soon until all of the facts are in. The phone call may just be smoke and mirrors. One thing we probably can predict is that this guy prescribes to the Republican Partys business practice.

  17. This may be a case of someone who is screaming loudly to deflect involvement i.e. “Methinks thous protest too much.” After reading this post via DIGG I checked the Heffner link by GOOGLE and found these sites:
    http://www.m4040.com/AssholeFiles/HypeAudio.htm

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0219.htm

    http://www.switchboard.com/Stock_&_Bond_Brokers/Brooklyn/NY/1642-/yellowpages.htm

    which all indicate that there is more to this Heffez or Heffco than can be explained by some guy calling and telling a tale of woe. So don’t feel bad too soon until all of the facts are in. The phone call may just be smoke and mirrors. One thing we probably can predict is that this guy prescribes to the Republican Partys business practice.

  18. This may be a case of someone who is screaming loudly to deflect involvement i.e. “Methinks thous protest too much.” After reading this post via DIGG I checked the Heffner link by GOOGLE and found these sites:
    http://www.m4040.com/AssholeFiles/HypeAudio.htm

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0219.htm

    http://www.switchboard.com/Stock_&_Bond_Brokers/Brooklyn/NY/1642-/yellowpages.htm

    which all indicate that there is more to this Heffez or Heffco than can be explained by some guy calling and telling a tale of woe. So don’t feel bad too soon until all of the facts are in. The phone call may just be smoke and mirrors. One thing we probably can predict is that this guy prescribes to the Republican Partys business practice.

  19. This may be a case of someone who is screaming loudly to deflect involvement i.e. “Methinks thous protest too much.” After reading this post via DIGG I checked the Heffner link by GOOGLE and found these sites:
    http://www.m4040.com/AssholeFiles/HypeAudio.htm

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0219.htm

    http://www.switchboard.com/Stock_&_Bond_Brokers/Brooklyn/NY/1642-/yellowpages.htm

    which all indicate that there is more to this Heffez or Heffco than can be explained by some guy calling and telling a tale of woe. So don’t feel bad too soon until all of the facts are in. The phone call may just be smoke and mirrors. One thing we probably can predict is that this guy prescribes to the Republican Partys business practice.

  20. This may be a case of someone who is screaming loudly to deflect involvement i.e. “Methinks thous protest too much.” After reading this post via DIGG I checked the Heffner link by GOOGLE and found these sites:
    http://www.m4040.com/AssholeFiles/HypeAudio.htm

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0219.htm

    http://www.switchboard.com/Stock_&_Bond_Brokers/Brooklyn/NY/1642-/yellowpages.htm

    which all indicate that there is more to this Heffez or Heffco than can be explained by some guy calling and telling a tale of woe. So don’t feel bad too soon until all of the facts are in. The phone call may just be smoke and mirrors.

  21. Joe says:

    Way to go Thomas. You FU#$ED over an innocent store owner. I hope you feel good now… maybe next time you’ll do more homework before taking down an innocent bystander.

  22. Roomba says:

    I hope this is not true, I would hate to see some one hurt.

    This would be just like a drive bye were a child gets shot and not the real target.

  23. Anonymous says:

    You believe this poor man was victimized? Put your money where your mouth is. Even do yourself a favor and buy some electronics at a VERY STEEP DISCOUNT here:
    http://www.lgdsuperstore.com/

    If you’re so sure, buy from him.

    Now, if the argument is that if this is the SAME company or not as PriceRitePhoto, that’s a different question.

    “Has an Innocent Company Been Hurt?” Uhhhh…. why don’t you buy some nice equipment from them and let us know?

  24. Jason says:

    It’s very common for a person to own more than one company for legal protection. It very well could be the same person who owns both companies and is using the legal technicalities as an out. At the very best, this guy ripped off a scam artist site and deserves to be out of business anyway as he is contributing absolutely nothing to help the Web or the economy in general.

    That,and his wife should have known what kind of guy she was marrying, but sorry she had a lousy Christmas anyway.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the BBB is not the only one confusing these people:

    http://www.resellerratings.com/seller8613.html

    all the other names are Jack Heffner, AKA Gabe Heffez

  26. Anonymous says:

    Opps Nevermind, it looks like the problem is Heffco Technologies is the bad guy and A. Heffco Technologies is the Gabe. There is a difference. Sorry.

  27. Anonymous says:

    OOPS AGAIN!! IT is the same guy! Look at the whois for LGDSUPERSTORE.com. This guy is definately pulling something.

  28. jackjackjack says:

    First of all, I want to say that it impresses me greatly that you have issued a retraction/caveat to your original statement. It takes a great person to be able to admit when they’re wrong.

    However… I think it’s absurd that you feel personally responsible for damaging the company’s image. Sure it was because of your blog that this issue garnered the national attention it surely deserved, but when stating the other companies involved, you simply re-listed the BBB’s listing. It is obviously the BBB’s fault for the defamation, considering that before all this, if I had personally called the BBB independantly to find out whether A Heffco Tech. had an ethical business, they would have told me no.

    In fact, considering that the BBB’s entire raison d’etre hinges upon their trusted DB of good business, they’ve probably researched this better than you have, and I think it might be likely that the company actually is in kahoots with the despicable rest.

    Basically, at this point your post is conjecture, based upon a single phone call made to you by someone you don’t know. Surely the reason they have multiple identities is to be able to shift blame to the outdated companies while stating that the new companies are completely separate.

    I look forward to your post confirming your inital feeling about this company.

    . . . . . . .

  29. Anonymous says:

    Give them a break. What’s amazing is that if you look at some comments people leave for all companies they are all the same.

    http://shopping.com/xMR-store+best+buy~MRD-312488~S-1

    http://shopping.com/xMR-store+dell~MRD-9228~S-1

    Dell, Best Buys _ “The ABSOLUTE WORST”?? 2 1/2 stars?? If these national chains can get this kind of publicity, what does it take to satisfy a customers today? This whole thing started because of some ripoff scheme. The BBB had some information wrong and this company got stuck in the middle. You want to flame somebody – flame pricesritephoto for not delivering what they offer their customers, flame the BBB who is supposed to have reliable information for the consumer, While A. Heffco does not have the greatest customer comments, they are certainly not the same people.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the BBB–here are some interesting links i found regarding lawsuits against them and the fact that most people think they are some type of government-related entity.

    personally, i have no experience good or bad wioth them, but i always (wrongly) also assumed they actually had some type of mandate or authority.

    as soon as i read up on them, i instantly thought man this would make a good 60 minutes or (shutter) geraldo special.

    http://www.onlyreviews.com/betterbusinessbureau.html

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff1343.htm

    http://www.naas.org/axx12.htm#Page_1

  31. Anonymous says:

    thomas hawk should be sued for slander!

  32. Anonymous bull, did anyone notice that these companies flood the shopping websites with fake comments of how great they are. Now if someone didn’t have the nerve to put a name to his comment I would look at their comments as BULL! “madmax01- great place to shop will use again” or “anonymous said- we should buy from them to help make it right” they will post anything to make you buy. Surf the web and see how many complaint sites are out there showing what these companies are really about, I did found some interesting pictures of Heffco law office and company check out the signs on their stores, is that english?.

    Also forget the BBB they get their funding from businesses so who are they going to help?

    Forget the NYAG he is too busy going after companies that are not in NY and he can get big headlines and settlements and he doesn’t have to worry about their votes hurting him when he run for office.

    I had the same problem with a different company in New York got emails with a different company name “sales@” confirming my order was out of stock “because I would not pay for extras when they called saying they needed more info to run my credit card”. I called the company I placed the order with and talked to someone named Bob who said they said they were not the other company. I then called the other company and guess what Bob answered the phone.

    Did anyone else call these companies all seem to have names like Bob or Bill or Joe yet all sound like they are from the middle east.

  33. Ice Wolf says:

    Heh.

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0219.htm

    Kind of uncommon for Jews to celebrate Christmas.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This guy A. Heffco is the same thing, I’m going through disputes with his company right now. Stupid mistakes. Nothing pisses me off more than people that try to take advantage of others, especially when I have fallen victim. Don’t buy into his bullshit story.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Heffco is a shady company indeed. I work for a wholesale distributor and they have stiffed us for several thousand dollars!