Is there a meltdown in store for Royal Camera?

No_cameras

UPDATE: Add CCI Camera City Inc., 342 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11223 to your list of online camera shops to avoid. CCI has the same address as Royal Camera!

If you Google "CCI Camera City problems", you will find the same list of bait and switch complaints and grey market product complaints that Royal Camera is known for.

Royal Camera, the superstore of bait and switch selling, must be getting desperate. This is probably because Googling Royal Camera produces some very odd results. The forums and weblogs exposing Royal Camera are getting higher billing on Google than good old RC itself! 

Try it and see. Just imagine if your employer showed up on Google with that kind of bad publicity. You would look furtively around and check Monster.com to see who was hiring.

Ya gotta admire a firm so dedicated to corrupt practices that they will ignore what the public is saying about them for months and months on end. Somebody must have tipped them off that their cute little game was now public knowledge, because they have come up with a whole new approach.

Has Royal Camera seen the light and come clean? No way!

They have responded by getting their shills to visit every one of the sites that are criticising them and leaving messages how Royal Camera delivered exactly what they ordered, promptly, and how wonderfully kind and helpful the Royal Camera sales people were.

I had a flock of these shills descend on this site today and leave glowing reports on how great Royal Camera is, and how wrong I was to criticise such an honest and worthwhile company.

How do I know they were shills for Royal Camera? The comments come from the same few IP addresses and all contained the same mispellings and poor grammar, although the names were different.

I took a tour of several sites which have damning reports about Royal Camera and saw many of these chirpily cheerful and anonymous comments praising Royal Camera. It makes amusing reading, because the entries read like this:

Ripoff!
Cheats!
Scumbags!
Wonderful people with great products!
Liars!
Somebody ought to tell the BBB about them.
Ripoff!

How lame can these people get? There is a growing conversation about Royal Camera and it has reached all the way to China. I get visited by Chinese search engines every day and the only English words I see are Royal Camera and scam.

If there really is a Roy Shin at the head of this operation, he should carefully consider his options. This is no longer the marketplace of the nineties. Customers talk to each other all the time and their comments stay live on the internet for years. I feel Royal Camera has no place to go but down.

Why can I say that? I worked for a VP of sales in a small firm who drove his phone sales people to interrupt professionals who were working on patients. Ninety percent of the professionals so contacted would hang up as soon as they realized who was calling.

I would contact people in this profession and they would slam down the phone when they found out who I was working for, even though they had never been directly contacted by this company.

I challenged the VP to change his ways or he would upset his field. His reply is a classic: I don’t care how many prospects you upset as long as you make the sale!

He had no clue that bad word of mouth spread faster than his staff could contact new customers. The company fired him soon afterwards, but I was long out of there.

Roy Shin, or whoever is behind Royal Camera, is facing a sales disaster of his own making. The bad news precedes him and is the first thing a prospect sees on the Internet. In an informed and connected marketplace, bad news spreads at lightning speed.

Recent Update:

Royalcamera0009Here the Brooklyn storefront which houses Royal Camera and CCI Camera. Would you buy a camera from this store and expect to have a warranty that meant anything? Click on image to enlarge.

Thanks to Don Wiss <donwiss@panix.com>

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0 Responses to Is there a meltdown in store for Royal Camera?

  1. dan david says:

    david, I was looking in http://www.typepad.com offerw.
    just for your info the disk space & bandwidth in ordinary web sites is much bigger.

  2. Duncan says:

    I was just about to buy from these guys, but thought I’d better google for them first… Glad I did. Nice prices
    though..

  3. Linda says:

    Took me about 20 days to get the money put back onto our credit card, for an item they said they had in stock. Hard to get ahold of.

  4. Richard R Mass says:

    I fell for there bait & switch tactics to the tune of $3200.00. I ordered a Sony HDR-FX1 camcorder, price $1898.99 inc shipping. I was told the FX1 was replaced with a new improved camera HVR-A1U (slightly more money) also it didn’t come with a battery. Stupid me said to ship the camera with the understanding I could return it if I was not satisfied,I recieved a HDR-1J camera Japanese model. After many calls and free accessories I didn’t ask for plus a offer to reduce the price $700.00. CCI refuses to take the camera back. Stay away from CCI.

  5. David Marais says:

    Cheats, bait and switch merchants. My worst experienece buying online. Rude. Sold me the battery separately, claiming that it didn’t come with one, which was a lie.
    How can these guys stay in business. They are a fraud.

  6. Jay M. says:

    CCI camera and Royal are all owned by the same scam artist I guess. I had the same bad experience as almost every one that wrote a review had with CCI camera. The bait and switch scam at it’s finest. The BBB or NY attorney generals office should shut these guys down. I’m sure they have enough bad reviews to warrant an investigation. I don’t know how these guys get away with it. Total ripoff artists. Buyers be VERY aware and stay away from CCI, Royal, etc.

  7. xuhoo says:

    Here are a few more cases of bait and switch and false advertisement. They are: Royal camera, CCI, USA photonation.com, Expresscamer, BestPriceCameras, BananaBoatCamera, Century21Electronics.com

  8. Mrph says:

    thank god…that a lot of ppl are sharing their views about buying at these stores which others should avoid…seriously…thanks guys…
    i read about this other store too…Discounts-Webstore…they too seem to have a scam running bigtime…i’m not sure…but i’d keep away…

  9. Monty says:

    whew! Thank goodness for searching before buying! They are advertising a Canon 5d for $1229.00 when everyone else has it 2k+.

  10. Corey Petersersen says:

    WOW! I was looking around for Nikon D2SX Body and a search came up with the BannanaBoatCamera.com (You guessed it) same thing as CCI and it has 3 or four other aliases for the company. Thanks for the info ! I will avoid them!

  11. steve says:

    I have ordered from Banana Boat in the past (a good year ago), and they sent me what i ordered, and it was fine. Is the general criticism that they are bait and switchers (which they did not do to me), or that are they selling gray market products?

  12. Kathrin says:

    I am glad that I did not place an order with the Royal Camera, as well as the Expresscamera.com. Wanted to buy HD camera Canon XL H1, that was several thousands! $$ less than in other online stores. At first I though, “wow, that’d be a great deal!” but then it started bugging me and I was asking myself, “why for Goodness sake would they be selling it so cheap?” I googled them up, first on the BBB.com and having realised that they had such a bad report there,I continued my research, just to find out more appaling information. I appreciate that you spreading the word, it helps!

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