Dell.com customer, Jalal, shares his story of how he became a victim of a retail shop scam. The “Canon 5D Mark III scam” seems to revolve Dell.com and a wholesale warehouse, and it’s not the first of this type.
Jalal, a photographer who wanted to upgrade his gear, went through a real turmoil. After searching the internet for a new replace camera for his six year old Canon 30D, he settled for a brand new 5D Mark III and 24-105mm f/4 kit. Dell.com offered him what he considered to be an earnest deal. He placed the order and waited for the package to arrive. After a few days, he finally received it, but the contents were nothing of what he had expected: wood flooring! After contacting Dell support, he got a second package sent, overnight. This time, the contents were in order! Or where they? After unboxing (and documenting it with photos) he found out he was literally “floored”, again. In the end, he received his money back and a $100 coupon offer. You can find the letter Jalal wrote – in order to share his story, below.
Even if he stated that he had declined Dell’s offer, Jalal’s story sparked interest amongst the web surfers. While some blame Jalal for being the scammer, there are others who claim they have been victims of the same scam. Another user states that this is an old and also very common scam, targeting electronics retailers. After buying a product, the scammer replaces the contents of the box with scrap objects of the same weight and returns it to the shop via post. The retailer then restocks and re-sells it. Here is his opinion on what had happened and his decline to Dell’s offer:
“At this point I knew that their distribution center’s stock of Canon EOS 5D Mark III kits was compromised and the thieves probably cleaned house. I noticed both Canon boxes had clear circular stickers placed on the box flap, and after consulting with the members of an online Canon forum (which I was a member of) they indicated that Canon never uses stickers to seal their boxes and that it sometimes was done by the vendor.
It’s now Wednesday January 16th and I just got off the phone with a higher-up manager from Dell customer care. The absolute best they could offer me was $100 coupon towards a future purchase and that was the most they have ever offered customer. He asked me if he wanted Dell to send me the order and I promptly asked him to cancel my order. I will never be ordering or dealing with Dell again. After 11 years, my relationship with them as a consumer is over. I will make sure to spread this word and make sure that everyone knows what I have experienced”.
Whatever the truth is, the public opinion over Dell’s shop reliability is seriously damaged. In times like these, when big retailers fall in a matter of months (take the recent case of Jessops), scams such as this one can irreversibly damage the market. You can find the photographer’s whole letter on petapixel.com.