Sonic Cameras Review: Doing Evil With Google’s Help

I was using Gmail today and noticed an ad at the top of the window for a new Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera that seemed like an amazing deal.

Now, I know what “too good to be true” means when dealing with the Internet and digital camera prices specifically… it usually means we’re looking at an ad from one of the many bait and switch scam artists that seem to be centered in the New York City area. Here’s what the ad looked like:

gmail ad

And when clicked, I ended up at the Sonic Cameras web site.

sonic cameras site screenshot

For me, alarms were already going off. The red text, all the freebies, heck, even a free lens shade for a lens they aren’t providing with a camera body-only purchase.

So what do I do next? I search for them on Reseller Ratings which is my best way for “stink testing” an online retailer. What did I find? An utterly abysmal rating of 0.6 out of 10!

sonic cameras rating

Read through the list of comments and you’ll see how bad it is. Numerous complaints of insults, order cancellations, high-pressure sales for items that should already come in the box… outright lies.

What’s the Problem?

The problem here is that Google prides themselves in “doing no evil” yet by allowing ads to horrible companies that are deceiving and harming consumers daily, they are doing just that. If Google protects web visitors from visiting sites known for Malware, why not hold advertisers to the same standards? You’d think a 0.6% satisfaction rate out of over three hundred ratings would prove there is a major problem.

Review of Sonic Cameras

Now, I certainly wouldn’t fall for this trap, but many others might. That’s why I’m posting this review of Sonic Cameras on my blog. In fact, every link in this post goes to the Reseller Ratings page for Sonic Cameras instead of to the Sonic Cameras site. I don’t want anyone to get there and mistakenly purchase from them. Luckily, the second site in a Google Search for Sonic Cameras is the Reseller Ratings page. The sad thing is that there are dozens and dozens of other stores doing the very same thing.

The argument that it takes too much time and effort to manually approve or review items is hogwash. They could automate things using Reseller Ratings if they wanted. They already manually check every site in their index for Malware reports… so why not extend that to AdWords ads?

Could it be because AdWords directly generate revenue?

So, in short, never, ever give Sonic Cameras a single cent of your money. Maybe we can dissuade them from advertising on Google AdWords by clicking their AdWords links by the tens of thousands…