Thomas Hawk’s blog has a tale of his attempt to buy a new Canon 5D digital SLR camera from an outfit in New York called PriceRitePhoto. Seems that this particular online store is a classic bait-and-switch outfit and will get you to order, then call or email to tell you there’s a problem with your order and try to sell you more things you didn’t want.
I had a similar experience with Adorama when I tried to buy my 20D, though I did not get any of the abusive comments – just the call about the problem with the order, which was really just an attempt to sell me more things.
Interestingly, many people in the comments for Thomas’ story suggest Adorama is an OK place, and my dealings with them previously had also been good. I suspect that the trigger is certain high price, hot items that they are selling at lower than normal margins to attract people in. When I refused the extras, the order was suddenly delayed because they only had “bundles” in stock. I called their customer service the next morning and cancelled. I should add that their customer support line was excellent, and opened an hour before the sales dept. Within an hour I had the salesperson on the phone offering immediate overnight shipping if I reinstated the order; I declined and bought the camera elsewhere.
I also sent them a detailed email explaining why I cancelled the order (and it was for more than just the 20D) and that when I shop online I do so to avoid having to deal with salespeople. I hope the message got to somebody who cares, and it does seem from the other comments on Thomas’ site that they are still considered one of the better online photography stores by many others.