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Whose Worse Yahoo Shopping or Broadway Photo?
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Image by Thomas Hawk
Photo by Vincent Ferrari

[I am CEO of Zooomr Inc.]

Broadway Photo’s Sheisty-Looking Business Addresses – Consumerist The Consumerist is out with a post today on Broadway Photo and their related businesses.

Here’s a snippet from why they have an unsatisfactory report with the BBB.

"Please understand that complaints may concern more than one issue
Complaint Issue Last 12 Months Last 12..36 Months Total
Advertising Issues 21 64 85
Contract Disputes 4 2 6
Credit or Billing Disputes 39 54 93
Delivery Issues 19 29 48
Guarantee or Warranty Issues 11 11 22
Product Quality 11 14 25
Refund Practices 23 41 64
Repair Issues 3 3 6
Selling Practices 90 223 313
Service Issues 5 11 16
TOTAL 226 452 678"

Vincent Ferrari
, a blogger and friend, decided to go out and actually take photos of the various locations on record with the BBB for Broadway photo and in addition to the shot above, click through to the Consumerist to see more.

I, of course, had my own infamous run in with another one of these sleazy retailers, PriceRitePhoto (now operating as Barclay’s Photo) a little over a year ago.

Sleazy camera retailers, unfortunately, are nothing new and seem to persist despite the attempts on our part to shed light on the cockroaches.

But one of the things that really bothers me is that somehow these sleazy companies seem to make it back on the shopping search engines over and over and over again.

After I wrote my post on PriceRitePhoto, perhaps the most trafficked post of all time on sleazy camera retailers resulting in stories in the NY Post, NY Times, the top Dugg story of 2005, boing boing, Slashdot, and hundreds of blogs, PriceRitePhoto was able to change their name and get right back on Yahoo! Shoppping within three months.

Subsequently when I pointed this out in another blog post they were dropped from Yahoo! Shopping again.

But today when I go and look up Broadway Photo, the photo store with an unsatisfactory BBB rating and the complaints listed above, guess what? Yep, not only are they on Yahoo! Shopping but they are listed as a three star merchant. How does a company with an unsatisfactory BBB rating, hundreds of complaints with the BBB able to get a three star rating? And with product reviews on Yahoo like this:

"Buyer beware!!!!!! False advertising on product inquired. What was shown on web site was not the real total product expected. Upon calling for confirmation, product advertised wasn’t available but was for an inferior version of the same product that you have to buy extra accessories that normally are included in the advertised product. Sales person would insist of purchasing extras that would jack up the price of the order. Very dissapointed!"

Flickr, by the way, recently instituted this "cool" new "camera finder" feature where they will send you directly to Yahoo Shopping to buy your camera. That sucks.

I’m sure this will be taken down by the time I get this post up (I did take screen shots though and can always share those later) but try this. Go to Flickr’s camera finder for the Fuji FinePix S9100. Now click through and sort by price. Who has the lowest price? Yep, you guessed it, Broadway Photo. Thanks Flickr, thanks Yahoo.

Take this advice if you want to buy a camera. AVOID YAHOO SHOPPING. AVOID Flickr’s camera finder. Instead go to B&H Photo,, Costco, or a local retailer where you can walk into their store and trust them. I understand that Yahoo needs to monetize their social networks, but this is NOT the way to do it.

Although Yahoo Shopping may not bear a legal responsibility to prevent bad merchants from getting on their site, they bear a moral responsibility to do at least a modicum of due diligence before letting someone like Broadway on board.

Can’t write today
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Image by tonyhall
Can’t write today. My brain is tired and achy. Need some mental exercise. Walk to the local cyber caff. Blood flowing into brain cells. Give them a chance to ignite. Connect those disparate thoughts.

The caff is on the other side of the hill. As I walk this familiar route thoughts about creative writing bubble to the surface. Need to read more novels and poetry. I nearly always find this type of reading stimulating. Remember my book shelf at home; Photomontage, Megalopolis, books on photography and cities, interesting, but I need to read some well written stories. I’ll make an effort to read more novels and put a poetry book on my xmas list.

An animal runs across the road, two children jump up and down pointing and waving their hands, they too have recognised it as a fox. Maybe I can make a story or poem out of this incident. Stories are driven by events and incidents.

George died this morning, haven’t heard from him in years. The cancer took him over. A bit of my youth, an era dies with him. Do you remember his guitar gently weeps, I hum the tune to my self, look at the world, notice it is turning, from every mistake surely we must be learning. Funny how you can remember a rhyme. Like a child.

I pop into the shop that sells my photographs. Martin says the last sold very quickly. Jean, a local historian, is beginning a new book on the area, and is photocopying some documents. She says she would like to use some of my images in the book. That feels good. Maybe one day I will write something imaginative and stimulating about the city.

I walk a little further down the street to the cafe and order morning tea and book a computer and find a seat near the window overlooking the quiet street. I can use the small portable computer anywhere in the cafe, and connect to the internet without having to attach wires. I pour some milk and tea and spread some butter on my tea cake, that tastes good.

A chink of sun is creating a pattern of reversed words on the wooden floor – e-c-a-p-S-r-e-p-y-H, something like escape, no it’s back to front, I type the letters into the google search engine h-y-p-e-r-s-p-a-c-e, hyperspace. I get 88,000 results. One of the sites says, ‘Hyperspace; Searching for Extra Dimensions; Parallel Universes: The Role of the Observer; Magic windows… I’ll ask Zircon why she called the cafe HyperSpace. Maybe I’ll also ask her why she is called Zircon, the oldest mineral on earth. I wonder what I am doing here.

That’s the trouble with virtual reality, it takes you to all sorts of fascinating places, but you begin to feel lost very quickly, unless you have a definite route you want to follow. Same with reality I suppose, just not so obvious. I type that into an email to my self, with the subject heading, ‘Stay Focussed’, and send it off. That will be a little something I remember from the day, I also type in, we need to be creative each day, to show a trace of our existence. That will be something to ponder on.

(1119) Silhouette, Primrose Hill, London, 2001, Tree, Story, silhouette, Surely We Must Be Learning, convivial camera, old, Haruki Murakami,

Suggestions for bloggers
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Image by kentbrew
Sort of weird; here they listed suggested topics for blog posts.