Consider Yourself WARNED! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 10th, 2005, 06:52 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 4
Consider Yourself WARNED!

First and foremost, I just want to say that this is my first post! I have been browsing the forum for about 3 months now and I must say that this has been an indredible resource for information and I say thank you to all you professionals who are sharing much information, we are all better for it.

Now, to the point. I would like to share/open a topic with all of you and get your feedback and/or save anyone in the future who is researching making large purchases some frustration. Although I am a little furious over the situation, I will attempt to be objective and constructive, as I am sure the moderator of this site would not apprectiate a straight bashing of a particular retail outlet, so let me begin...

I got into video about a year ago, I have been doing audio for a decade video was a natural progression. I bought a little Canon ZR90 and started making films of anything, Thanksgiving, nephews football, parties. I found people were going CRAZY over these stupid low quality videos! Naturally, in time, I was approached about doing a wedding. I didn't charge much to shoot with a couple of consumer cams, but the wedding turned out wonderful and next thing you know, I am faced with the reality of going to the next level or just sittin' on the pot. After many months of research and soul searching, I decided to go for it! I was on the hunt for a Canon GL2, lights, lenses, green screen, light discs, shotgun mic, etc....
In the last 3 months, I have invested @5k into new equipment.
Here was the quandray...
Do I shop online, e-bay etc....or do I go retail?
Online, I take the risk of shipping and poor customer service.
Retail? I pay too much, but at least I have the face to face and customer service that I am paying for.
After much though, I decided to go retail.
I know many of you have purchased your GL2's for much less than the $2700 I paid, but I rationalized that buying from Wolf Camera would offer me face to face benefits.
The day I walked in, I was treated badly. I kick myself for not just walking out. The guy at the counter was 'toody' and knew nothing about the camera, or video for that matter. I felt like I was getting on his nerves until he ran my credit and I was approved for 5k, well, then his attitude changed. I can't say that my first visit was all bad, but definatley I have gotten better service at Wal-Mart. I walked out with $3,500.00 in camera and accessories and was confident I did the right thing. ( Hoping, at least..)
About a week later, I decided to get my light kit and a shotgun mic and a light disc holder. I did my research, found the models I wanted, got part and catalog numbers and prices. I go in on a Saturday, and again, I had to almost 'grab' someone, I am thinking I was invisible. Nothing was in stock, the DM-50 shotgun mic was not available through the store, ( why would you stock a high dollar item with no accessories ) ? The guy seemed annoyed that I was asking about products that were high end. "Sorry I wasn't just here to get film developed, but I was trying to spend another $1,000.00, excuse me for interrupting." The light disc holder had to be special ordered. No big deal. The light kit had to be transferred from another store. No big deal. Couldn't get the mic. I'll order online. No big deal. So I wait.
A week goes by. I call. The lady on the phone is VERY AGGRESSIVE! Who did I talk to, who did I order it from? Hmmmmm....shouldn't you know this? This is why I paid waaaaay too much for the cam, I was expecting you might know?
I told her I would call back and talk to the guy I ordered it from, ( it was his day off) , she hung up on me.
Arff?
I called back, told her who I was, ....( maybe we got disconnected?) ;)
She hung up on me again.
Arff?
I'll wait till saturday. The guy I ordered from will be there, he will straighten this out for me, right?
Saturday, 8 days later. I called. I think he was high, he couldn't stop giggling at me. He said, and I quote, " Awwwwwwww, man, I remember you dude. I totally spaced. Give me till the end of the day and I will call you and let you know what up with your gear!"
Why does it take a whole day to make a couple of phonecalls to locate something you should have had a week ago?
Oh, and he never called me back!
Hmmmm.....lucky I didn't have a shoot this weekend.
So this is where I am at. I feel foolish for spending way too much on my gear expecting something more from a storefront retail purchase.
I did not just post this to 'bitch', there is a moral to this story and I thought it was prudent to share my experience.
If you are right now deciding what and where to buy your $$$$ high dollar gear, do not think that just becuse you pay more, you get more.
I don't inted to make a slam at this retail outlet as a whole, and surely this is just a poorly managed store, but if you go into a place and they don't have someone who is 'happy' to serve you and can actually answer 1 question about your purchase, walk away!
If I had to do it all over again, I think I would query all of you nice people on how you bought your equipment and walk the road of experience.
I hope anyone looking to make major purchases has a better experience and perhaps I have answered one persons question, " Online or retail?"
Think about it.
Take care.
PS. Cancelling the light kit order. Writing letter to district manager, ( for what it's worth), never shopping there again.
Adam Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2005, 07:12 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 882
I bought online the GY-HD100U for $4900 No tax. Saved over $1100. Got it 5 days after I paid for it =) I could have bought it from one of the arrogant sales people here, and paid more, but gained what? NONE! I'm happy so far, customer service has been very helpful with giving me shipping confirmation, refund for overcharge shipping etc.
I say Online is best!
Brian Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #3
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
Your experience with this vendor echoes what I and others have experienced from this retail chain. I don't quite understand the attitude but it seems to be prevalent in different locations.

If you have been looking here for awhile, why, oh why, didn't you do business with a DV-INFO sponsor. They are 'hand-picked' by Chris H. because they take good care of their customers before and after the sale. Very sorry for your experience from any retailer that behaves like this. Something tells me your letter will go into the round file but you should try none the less.

Now, please become a member of the forums, keep the posts positive, and please fill in your location in your profile. Why? Because we are a global forum and it's important to know when you are interacting with someone in your own state, own country, or across the world.

Oh BTW, congratulations on your new camera. Now, accessorize it with goodies from our sponsors who help keep this great forum going!

regards,

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2005, 08:46 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 1,892
Well Adam, if it makes you feel any better, I had the absolute exact experience at the Wolf Camera store in Atlanta. Luckily, the only thing I ever bought there was Hi 8 ME tapes back in the early 90s and that was because they were one of the few local stores that carried ME stock. Anyway, I had the same difficulty with getting someone to help me. There were CSRs literally standing around jibber jabbering and I had to practically interrupt them to get some help. It was an absolute joke because I believe those guys are on commission. I wonder what would happen if you tried to shoplift in their store? I never, ever bought anything in their store after those few purchases mostly because of their HIGH prices and then that crappy service. I think everything in that store is way overpriced! I absolutely don't see how they stay in business! My guess is that it's because of impulse sales, like a convenience store, by people that have more money than sense.

I have always bought gear from the source with the lowest price AND from the most reputable dealer, both very important. I try to stay away from places that have commissioned sales staff too. I think it's a conflict and have always felt suspicious when there was a suggestion for an accessory or whatever it was just to help line that person's pocket. It just so happens that B&H was the place that I was told about first so I have primarily stuck with them but I still shop around and they will meet or beat other reputable dealers. If I find a dealer that they can't meet or beat and that dealer is reputable, then that's where I'll buy whatever it is I need. I know that there are quite a few other reputable places like B&H but that's where I started and everything has been great so far. Even B&H has slipped up a couple of times and I was hot. But considering all that I have done with them, those few slip ups are outnumbered by good experiences. They have taken good care of me by making things right that were mishandled. I flew to New York back in 2000 just to visit the B&H store before I spent any money and I was constantly asked by roaming CSRs if I could be helped. It was a great experience in their store. I must also say that I have developed a good relationship with a single source at B&H and I get a lower than list price because I did alot of business with them. No matter where you go, I think it's important to build a relationship with one or two people and just deal with them exclusively.

Like Brian, I also saved alot on sales tax, about $6000, from my intitial purchases by buying out of state which can be done with any out of state retailer. So, to sum it up, I don't necessarily buy into face to face support comfort or extended warranties because to be honest, those ideas have never paid off for me. I guess I've been lucky so far with no immediate problems after purchases and I've got a lot of gear that's 5 years old that could start acting up anytime now. I didn't think about all this as closely when I first got it all. Everything I have has outlasted the out of box or any extended warranty that I could have bought. There have been a couple of issues like a degrading EVF, bad CCD pixels, and a bad NLE drive but those items paid for themselves many times before they went bad. Minimal compared to the amount of gear though. I think the odds are with you if you buy brand name gear. They've definitely been with me.

Last edited by James Emory; October 10th, 2005 at 11:20 PM.
James Emory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 10th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #5
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Moved to TCB where it belongs -- save yourself a headache, buy from our sponsors. Thanks,
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2005, 12:46 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sherman Oaks CA
Posts: 255
Dear Adam,

Wow, that story just sucks. So sorry.

I would definately contact the president of Wolf Camera and express in detail your lack of customer service. Plus place a negative post on Bizrate.com and Eopinions.com and maybe contact the Better Business Bureau. Then send a certified letter to Wolf customer service outlining what steps you have taken to discredit their company's customer service. I guarantee they will be on their knees trying to make it up to you almost immediately.

BTW, I bought all of my gear online and got great prices, wasn't charged sales tax and got free shipping. The internet is the way to go as long as you do your research and find reputable dealers.

Please keep us posted on your fight. Good luck.

Stephanie
Stephanie Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2005, 06:08 AM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,093
Here's the direct link to the DVi sponsors page:

http://www.dvinfo.net/sponsors/index.php

I'm repeating what others have already said, but it is true...you'll be treated well and pay a fair price by anyone who is a DVi sponsor. That's how they got to be sponsors.
__________________
Pete Bauer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein
Trying to solve a DV mystery? You may find the answer behind the SEARCH function ... or be able to join a discussion already in progress!
Pete Bauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2005, 11:49 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Loveland, Colorado, USA
Posts: 292
I have also had bad times at Wolf Camera. The sales rep I delt with got annoyed when I wanted to buy only one flavor of DV tape. She told me my concerns about switching tape brands were total fantasy, and actually laughed at me.
I get all my stuff from B&H now.
__________________
" 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."
Michael Gibbons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #9
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 4
Well thank you for everyone who shared with my story. I felt sort of bad today, like I was just being a baby, but you all know how it feels to spend so much money and feel bad about the purchase when you should be excited, it's a real 'buzzkill'.
I learned my lesson and I will be buying from DVinfo net sponsors from now on. I still need a DM-50 and some filters, so now I know where to get them.
Thanks again for everyone sharing and caring. I think I will go read some quality posts and see if I can 'chime' in on anything a little more constructive!
BTW, I did update my location. Denver, CO.
Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.
Adam Terry
Adam Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 11th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #10
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Terry
Well thank you for everyone who shared with my story. I felt sort of bad today, like I was just being a baby, but you all know how it feels to spend so much money and feel bad about the purchase when you should be excited, it's a real 'buzzkill'.
I learned my lesson and I will be buying from DVinfo net sponsors from now on. I still need a DM-50 and some filters, so now I know where to get them.
Thanks again for everyone sharing and caring. I think I will go read some quality posts and see if I can 'chime' in on anything a little more constructive!
BTW, I did update my location. Denver, CO.
Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter.
Adam Terry
Good to hear that Adam. Also, don't forget to check our own DV-INFO classifieds because you will sometimes find accessories at very good prices and we've had good success with buyers and sellers here. Especially when they are established members.

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline   Reply
Reply

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.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:36 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network