A cautionary tale

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A cautionary tale

Postby endymion on Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:30 pm

Hi,

I've been pretty quiet on this site for a few months. For various reasons I haven't taken many photos. One of these reasons is an experience I had with a supposedly reputable Camera retailer in Melbourne. Here is that story:

In early July the warranty on my camera expired and given the number of times it had been in for repair (four or so) I decided I should get a replacement. The old camera had been repaired but still had intermittent faults that would never happen in the shop. Unfortunately, the model had been superseded and the maker had chosen to encrypt the white balance data in the RAW files of the new model. Anyway, I rang around several camera stores and found that one of them had one of the old model still in stock. So I drove over and bought it.

I drove home, connected a lens to the camera and found it would not focus. I then tried another lens, which again would not focus. This was the case for four of my six lens, all of which worked on my old camera. The common feature was that the lens that did not work had internal motors while those that were focussed from a motor in th camera body were fine. I was a little upset but figured the retailer would make it right the next day.

The next day (Saturday) I drove back to the retailer and demonstrated the fault to one of its staff. After allowing me to demonstrate the fault he shrugged and said that it was a warranty issue. I was most upset by this and pointed out that under the Trade Practices Act I had a right to a refund as the store had not sold me goods in saleable condition. This was refused and I was informed that the store could not possibly test every item it sold. I asked to speak to a manager and was told that none were on duty. I asked that a manager be called at home and was again refused. Eventually the staff member, after I stood my ground for twenty minutes or so, gave me the business contact details of the manager and said I could contact him on Monday if I wished. I eventually left the store extremely unimpressed.

As I needed a superseded model I elected to have the camera repaired by Camera Clinic who were superbly helpful and courteous. The repair involved replacing the main circuit board, the AF sensor, the AE sensor, the CCD and rear display unit (which had a hot pixel).

The moral of the story is that when buying a camera make sure you enquire about the store's return policy and get it in writing. After this experience I will probably buy all further cameras from Ted's who have a lemon guarantee. In addition, insist of testing the camera before you pay for it and leave the store. You will save yourself a great deal of grief. It may be silly but this whole episode has sucked a great deal of the pleasure of photography out of me.

If you wish to know more about my experience feel free to contact me via email on brucecrawford@optusnet.com.au

Regards,

Bruce
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Postby MATT on Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:53 pm

Bruce, thats terrible.

I take it, it was repaired under warranty??

I have this problem with everything I buy, you name I've had one new thats failed.

Most places will be helpfull but there is always the exceptions.

BUt get back out there and take some pics the enjoyment will return.


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Postby endymion on Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:55 pm

Yes, it was fully repaired under warranty and Camera Clinic were great. Not only did they repair it and keep me updated on progress but they also tried (and failed) to get a loan unit out of the Australia agent. I'm now the happy owner of a hand made D70 but its been a trip.

Cheers,

Bruce
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Postby kipper on Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:59 pm

I'm guessing the place is probably Michaels or CameraHouse.

Put it this way Bruce, I love Michaels and even though they were expensive were happy to go there after a many years ago I was steared from buying a Pentax camera (and a few others) to a Nikon F80 by an English storeman/gentleman who actually knew what he was talking about. Anyway to cut a long story short, the way I was treated there when I went to buy my D70 put me off of them for life. Basically the salesman looked down on me as if I didn't deserve to be holding the camera. I seriously thought he was going to stear me towards a P&S.
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Postby kipper on Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:01 pm

Btw Bruce, I dunno why you didn't go the D70s. The WB isn't encrypted, it was just that all the 3rd party readers out there didn't recognise the RAW format properly because the camera id was reporting a D70S and not a D70. AFAIK that is all fixed now.
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Postby endymion on Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:21 pm

I didn't got for a D70 because at the time I bought it the best information was that the D70s white balance was encrypted.

Regarding the camera store in question, I'm not going to play twenty questions but suffice to say the store does not have a branch on Elizabeth St in Melbourne.
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Postby Glen on Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:41 am

Bruce, sad to hear that story, hope you can get the joy out of that unit now :lol:
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Postby Killakoala on Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:37 pm

Sorry to hear what happened Endy'. But at least you are now in the position you wanted to be in the first place. It's a shame there are so many shisters out there. BTW, 'word of mouth' is by far the best form of advertising, especially if the service is bad.
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Postby DaveB on Wed Sep 14, 2005 1:44 pm

I have to ask, did you call the manager on Monday and complain?
Might they have been very apologetic and helpful? (not your fault if that sales "assistant" gets retrained or even fired)
Maybe yes, maybe no.

It's very sad to hear you had a bad experience, but at least it all got sorted out under warranty in the end.

As Steve said, word of mouth is very useful advertising. Just remember that as long as you tell the truth you're not being libellous. ;)
It's unclear from your description if your complaint is actually with just that sales guy or with the whole business though.
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Postby gstark on Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:01 pm

DaveB wrote:As Steve said, word of mouth is very useful advertising. Just remember that as long as you tell the truth you're not being libellous. ;)


Correct.

And I have no issues with you naming the organisation so that other members may be kept fully aware of exactly whom you were dealing with.

The trader in question is always welcome to present their side of your story, should they so wish to.
g.
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Postby petal666 on Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:40 pm

I've only ever been to a camera shop once, to buy my backpack.
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Postby sirhc55 on Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:02 pm

Not a camera story but one that relates to good service.

In July of last year I purchased a home DVD recorder. In December it became faulty. In January the unit was replaced by a new one. In August this year the unit became faulty again. I returned it to the store for repair and 2 weeks later they gave me a NEW one.

The store - Dick Smith Electronics :D
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Postby birddog114 on Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:47 pm

sirhc55 wrote: Not a camera story but one that relates to good service.

In July of last year I purchased a home DVD recorder. In December it became faulty. In January the unit was replaced by a new one. In August this year the unit became faulty again. I returned it to the store for repair and 2 weeks later they gave me a NEW one.

The store - Dick Smith Electronics :D


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Postby Alex on Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:53 pm

Hi Bruce,

Very sorry to hear about your experience. I really believe that retailers like the one you had experience with should be named to warn others, just as should the good ones.

Cheers
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