Thursday, November 1, 2007
Just Another Rant from Hannibal the Disgruntled Consumer
My adorable, significant other, "Cuttidad" ordered a gift for me in advance for my birthday (Dec 14). Cutti wanted to give me this gift before we left on vacation to Costa Rica. I would need a flash in the rainforest, as the canopy would cast shadows throughout, and to capture the many creatures that live within, I would have to depend on something other than my standard flash which isn't up to par for long ranges. With all that in mind, my research led me to the Canon 430EX Speedlight. The best price was at "Express Camera" on the net. Cutti orders the flash, and then (of course) has to call the company for confirmation. Express says that they have an even better flash, and that all the 430 owners are upgrading to this new digital flash. It has features that the 430 doesn't have and it is formatted for digital cameras, unlike the 430, so the accuracy is superior. Sounds great! The price was just a few dollars more, and if I am not happy, I have 7 days to return it. Sounds reasonable! O.K., lets get this one. I write down the make number, and jump on the net, after the order. I can't find any reviews on this new flash. Hmmm, must be extremely new, since no one has reviewed it. I am not feeling so great about this anymore. All I want is some confirmation that what I am about to recieve is worthy of the price and the justification that it is indeed as good as, or better than the 430. We wait for UPS to deliver, so the testing can begin, since I only have 7 days. It arrives, and seems to function properly, but the testing is limited to short distances. This flash does have a zoom function, but the zoom is maxed out at 150mm. Extra long distance shots would be void, and I never really expected a flash to shoot so far, thats kinda ridiculous. Hopefully when we are in the jungle, the sloths, toucans, monkeys, hummingbirds, poison dart frogs, scarlet macaws, and hundreds of varieties of bird species will be kind enough to introduce themselves at close range.
Anyway, after recieving the product, I find a web address and discover that Amazon sells this beauty for $160 less than what Cutti just paid. Immediately, we want to send it back. I call customer service for the RMA number that you need to return merchandise and speak with a guy I shall name "Dick".
The conversation went like this:
me: I would like an RMA number.
Dick: What are you returning?
me: The 942 flash I purchased on the 22nd.
Dick: This is a great flash ma'am, why would you return it?
me: I don't like it.
Dick: Did you try it?
me: Yes, and I don't like it.
Dick: You tried it.-What camera did you try it on?
me: Canon Digital Rebel
Dick: Well I can give you $60 off and you can keep it instead of sending it back which will cost you more than what you bought it for.
me: Ummm, no, I have 7 days to return it for a full refund
Dick: I will give you store credit (interrupted by me)
me: No, No, No, No, No, I don't want store credit, I want a refund, can I have the RMA number?
Dick: I'm not going to give you an RMA number until you tell me why you don't like the flash.
me: I don't have to tell you why I don't like the flash, I would like to speak to your manager.
Dick: I am the manager
me: I would like to speak to someone over you.
Dick: There is no one over me
me: Really? What is your name?
me: Whats your last name?
me: Spell that.
me: So if I call back and ask(interruption from Dick)
Dick:Could you hold please..(click)
I am on hold for over 2 minutes and start to think he is not coming back. Then, the line gets kicked into the system intro, and I knew he ran from Big Bad Me. I hung up the phone, and realized that every one of my co workers heard the entire conversation. I then, chose to explain the whole thing to them but it wasn't enough for my blood pressure to let off steam, it probably got me even more worked up. I wanted justice. I wanted to know if Henry was this dicks real name. Could he be that stupid? I called up and asked for him, and the operater put me through. I hung up. I am shocked. He was that stupid. I then called back to speak with a manager. This guy was also a guy I shall call Dick. I explained that I wanted an RMA number and he must have taken notes from Henry. He asks me why I wanted to return such a great flash. I explained that I didn't like it, and he said, did you try it? (here we go again) FAST-FORWARD THRU ALL THE NONSENSE: I told him I honestly didn't like how I was treated, and that I could get this flash for $160 less at Amazon. He said fine, I can give you an RMA number but it will cost you $36 for using and returning it. It is now an "open box" item. Plus, the postage to ship it and I am already out $10 for the shipping to me in the first place. He would knock off $100 to settle this right now. I was done. I didn't want to fight any more, so I took the deal. Whether it was the right choice is still pending...All I know is, if I have 1 piece of advice to internet consumers out there, just do your research, and stick to your original decision. These scammers are hard sellers and push products that have huge markups, verses the item you want to buy with a lower markup. Don't let them sell you something because they say it is better. If you are unsure, hang up and research this new item, then call back. Oh, and don't order from New Jersey. The salesmen are all named Dick! Remember the warranty company I had to deal with for my broken camera? New Jersey! Cuttidad, Thank you for my flash. Don't let the dicks taint your gift to me.