This single piece got me into classical tunes as a kid. Thanks dad.
I don’t expect anyone to read this, but if you or someone you know ever chances upon ButterflyPhoto.com and looks to buy something from them, send them here.
I’ve just had the worst experience online shopping. I have been planning to purchase a camera for some time now, I’ve looked up accessories, I’ve watched demos and seen the outcome of said camera. You can say that I’ve done my research (however the dog ate the homework). As I get closer and closer to B-day (Buy day), I start looking for a nice online retailer who will take my money. A simple search brings up many reliable sites, such as Amazon and Newegg, as well as a few places I am unfamiliar with, most notably ButterflyPhoto.com. Now I’ll be the first to say that I am usually very on top of what places are reliable, as well as which places have the best deals. Now ButterflyPhoto should have passed my eyes and that be the end of it, but at first glade, it seemed they not only had the best price for what I was looking for, they also had a 4 out of 5 rating through 2000 reviewers. I suppose I fell into a bit of misguided trust in thinking that these people were top notch reviewers who had taken years of education on the value of adequately marking the perfect score, per their experience with said company. Well had I glanced over the reviews, I’d realize that these people were most likely writing these reviews while intoxicated and under threat of limb severing.
Now first off, we learn in very early schooling about fractions, decimals, and arithmetic in general. Things like this + this = that, or one more of these would make this a that. We also learn that out of a possible 100, 100 is the absolute greatest amount you can have. Anything below 100 means is lower than the absolute best, a 100. If we scale this down to the current situation at hand, a 5/5 would therefore mean that a score of 5 is the absolute greatest score a review can have, and the thing being reviewed (an online store in this case) should be so perfect that it makes you want to be a better person, and do more with your life.
When I started looking over the reviews for ButterflyPhoto (after this entire endeavor happened mind you), I was, in fact, for a very rare moment, appalled at the stupidity of people on the Internet. Most of the 5/5 reviews were in fact, not perfect. How did I know these reviews weren’t perfect? One simple word, one simple word that can change the entire meaning, the entire feeling and expression of any situation ever. That word is “but.” Anytime this word is inserting at the middle of a sentence, followed by another phrase, there’s trouble. Now imagine my surprise when I am looking over so-called perfect reviews with the word “but” littered through them. It’s the same as the paper giving a restaurant a 5/5 star rating, and at the same time, somewhere in the review, saying “but they could have cleaner bathrooms,” or “but the steak was definitely not how I asked.”
In our case, to cite specific examples, we have things like, “but the shipping was horrendous, as it took 2 months to finally get the item to me.” Now remember, this is someone who gave this store a perfect score. It seems all of the reviews have some problem in common, whether the item was damaged upon arrival, or the shipping took a tremendous amount of time, or even the haggling of the salesperson to buy more from them; Everyone seems to love them, yet settle for far less than mediocrity.
Back to the present in our story time, once again I glance over and see that not only does ButterflyPhoto have the best price, but a great review from thousands of people. I check out the website, see that it has the usual professional signs, such as accepting Paypal, and the Cnet store of approval. I find my camera, select what I want, make the payment, and revel in my great purchasing skills.
I have a good night’s sleep, and wake up to what would become a very stressful truth. First thing I notice is I’ve received an email from ButterflyPhoto. Probably a confirmation number and all that jazz, maybe even a shipping notice if I’m lucky. Oh how cocky I felt. It seemed the gracious people at ButterflyPhoto were not in the business for making money, or at least did not want some of mine, because the email read as follows:
Not in all of my online shopping, for many years, have I ever, EVER received an email or notification from a company/store stating that I could have paid less, and that I could save money by calling them back. At first I thought something was up, there’s no way they’re looking out for little ol’ me. Before calling them, I looked around for coupons to their site, and then for a better deal ON their site, and found nothing. Ok, so I’ll call them and see what’s up. Now first off, before calling them, I received not one, but two phone calls from ButterflyPhoto telling them to call them back for this very same reason. The man on the other end sounded like he was in a garage working on motorcycles, but none the less, I decided to go ahead and call, as this purchase was quite large and I wanted to make sure that everything was alright.
When I finally get through to someone, it seems it’s the same guy that left the message. I simply state I received a phone cal to call them about my order and wanted to know what was up. This begins a long process of failed salesmen techniques, where Steve tries to swindle me into buying many more accessories. According to him, the battery on this camera only lasts about 45 minutes, and I would need to purchase a special one from them to last many hours, as well as a warranty from them. As I continue to decline and wonder if people actually fall for this slander, I ask if this was the reason I got two phone calls and an email, so that he could try and sell me useless junk. He ends up telling me that since the order was placed on another person’s credit card (my own mother none the less), he was unable to speak to me anymore about the order, and hangs up.
Now here is where the fun happens. I begin to do more research into ButterflyPhoto, looking up the reviews from above and more, which all bring me to a wonderful organization: The Better Business Bureau. Apparently ButterflyPhoto isn’t who they say they are.
First off, not only are they not a certified seller of the brand of camera I was after, they aren’t a certified seller of ANY of the brands of products they sell.
Second, they aren’t really a CNET approved site.
Third, many large Credit Card companies will not even allow payment to ButerflyPhoto, pending their shady business.
Forth, a large majority of their products are either counterfeit, or from a different region. This means a few things: One, the product will not work correctly, especially when dealing with voltages region to region. Two, the brand company will NOT uphold their warranty, even if you purchased it “new.”
At this point, I feel like a fool. I’ve never been scammed online, and I can usually smell a Nigerian Prince from 10 emails over. I’m ready to file a claim with the BBB, and basically fuming from the ears at the reviewers. The next course of action is damn clear, cancel the order and never do business with these scum again, and hope nobody else does.
Well the worst happens next. I phone my dear mother and tell her the story, and that she has to call and cancel the order. While she’s on the phone with the same guy I spoke to, he tries to basically scam my mother, stating that I was very pleased with the order, and to top it all off, that I HAD WANTED TO PURCHASE THE WARRANTY. Now my mother being extremely wise to these tactics, as calmly as she could, continues to try and cancel the order. Steve gets very defensive, and after 10 minutes of my mother sternly telling him she does not want to do business with them, responds that he will send a conformation email of the cancelled order (Of which I’m sure will never be sent).
What’s the moral? Don’t be stupid like yours truly, and actually READ the reviews for online stores.