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Taking Care of Business
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Old January 6th, 2005, 12:15 AM   #1
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camera stores... or my why I buy online rant.

Over Xmass I was in Dallas, Tx and had the displeasure of purchasing tapes at Wolfe Camera. They keep all the mini dv tapes behind the counter. I asked for two three packs of the panasonic tapes. the clerk gets them down from the rack pops them in the bag . So far so good. It's $49.00! For 6 tapes? Well it's the day before christmass and I have dinner to cook for fifteen people so I just grit my teeth pay up and go out to the car. My brother in law is driving the car, so I pop the tapes out and notice that the clerk did not give me three packs but two packs with cleaning casettes. I have a cleaning cassette, after two years it has like 36 uses left. I will never use it up. In fact, I hope to never use it again. I don't need two more. We turn around. I return to the store, and return to the the same clerk. Ten minutes have passed. She doesn't want to give me an exchange. She insuniates that I'm pulling some kind of scam on her. Eventually she breaks down and gets what I've asked for. But they only have one three pack, not two. In order to get that three pack I must give them all sorts of personal information, just so they know I'm not scamming them. They don't want to refund me the $10.00 price difference. They want me to find something for that amount in the store. I think we all know how far you can go with $10.00 in a camera store. Needless to say I refused to give in. The clerk tries to interest me in some sony tapes. I explain to her that I have had problems with switching brands in the past and am not interested.
At this point she laughs at me and tells me that she has never heard of anyone having problems switching tapes.
I tell her that I don't mind that she has never heard of this well documented phenomenon, and insist on my ten dollars. At last, with a sneer on her face, she surrenders and gives it to me
Her disdain for me is palpable. I am a stupid rube who thinks he knows something about his cam, and my stupidity is only compounded by the fact that I won't do as she would like.
I can't believe I held my temper and my tongue. I didn't even ask to talk to the manager.
After all, it was xmass...
The reason for my rant is that it seems like everytime I go into a camera store the sales person's main objective is to prove to me how superior their knowledge of video is in comparison to mine. This is an easy contest for them to win- either they know more than I do, in which case they have scored, or they know less than I, and think they know more, and, therefore, they score.
All I want to is spend $ and get gear...

The moral to the story?
Long live B&H. I deeply appreciate thier service and commitment, but I especially appreciate the fact that the person processing my order is a contenant away.
And hey looky looky I'm a "Major Player" now!
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old January 6th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #2
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What happened to her Christmas spirit? A complaint to the manager -- or a letter to the store -- would definitely be appropriate.

Store clerks aren't always the sharpest knives in the cabinet. Some are very diligent and do their best to keep up with the industry they serve. Too many are just there for the hourly rate and couldn't give a rip otherwise.

Dean Sensui
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Old January 6th, 2005, 07:35 AM   #3
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Welcome to the new America. Same problem everywhere. It's enough to wish for a Depression, just so people can get a new work ethic. It might be worth the suffering.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #4
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Well of course we like to encourage everyone to go to our sponsors, like B&H. I guess I have been luckier than you however, the people in my local camera stores have always been nice and helpful. Of course when I go into one I realize I'm not going to get the rock bottom lowest price. But sometimes I need instant gratification, or I want to touch and hold something before buying, and I like to patronize my local businesses too.

But for something like blank tapes, if you want to buy locally I think you're better off at the "big box" retail stores - Target, WalMart, CompUSA, Circuit City, etc. where you can grab the merchandise yourself off the rack. Their prices are not much higher than mail order, and although some people have reservations about these companies at least they hire people in your own community.

But as a general trend, yeah I agree that the quality of store clerks often leaves a lot to be desired. Dean has a good suggestion, don't put up with rudeness, lodge a complaint. If I owned that store I'd want to know that my clerks are driving away customers.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #5
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Michael,

So sorry that you were treated that way. FWIW, I NEVER shop at Wolf camera. They are always rude and I gave up going there. Just so you'll know, Ritz camera and Wolf camera are the same company.

Anyway, I hope the rest of your visit to Dallas was more enjoyable. Happy New Year!

regards,

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Old January 6th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #6
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Dallas

Yes, my stay was lovely. I am a former resident, I lived there from 90-95. It is a totally different town now, though. My wife's family is still there and we go about once a year, the rate of change in the last 3 years, especially along the freeways, has been alarming. I don't drive there anymore, because all the landmarks I once knew seem to have vanished.
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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Old January 6th, 2005, 06:08 PM   #7
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Micheal, I hear you brother. It seems like every time I go into a camera store I post a rant on here. Keep fighting the good fight. Camera stores will eventually catch on.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #8
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I quit going to Wolf/Ritz a long time ago here in Dallas (and everywhere)! A$$HOLE$ to say the least, thieves at best! I used to shop at Robert Waxmans in downtown Denver before they sold out to Wolf and went down the toilet. Then I switched completely to Werners (right down California Street from there) but now I try to buy online or I really hunt for reputable companies. B&H have been very good but their prices are sneaking up faster and faster and now it's not quite the bargain it used to be. Reputable company though.

Sorry you had to experience some good ol' fashioned retail idiocracy over the holiday season. Didn't you get the memo? Christmas is now just a free-for-all for retailers to abuse customers. I won't get into the ridiculous scams I found this holiday season but it disgusted me to see the ways major companies (like Macy's or Wolf or many others) took advantage of it's customers (by intentionally overcharging) when they know everybody has a lot on their minds and is in a hurry and already stressed.

I hate retail!

BTW: "Film and Video" on Jason Street in Denver used to be a really good shop but I haven't been there in a while. They had EVERYTHING you could want, like a big candy store! http://www.fvesco.com/
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Old January 6th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip Rhett! I will definitiely check them out.

A little punch line to my story: when I finally got my $10.00 back I went out to the car, and grumbled about the clerk and her lack of knowledge.
My brother in law said,"Well you know she does work in a camera store, she probably knows more about it than you do."

Heh.

I'm glad I have little ones at home they've helped me learn how to control my temper and hold my tongue. My brother in law is glad too, he just doesn't know it.
__________________
" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
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