Excuse me Kamera-Express – Do you care?
Call me a sour customer. But I’ve never felt more right to be, especially after what I’ve experienced with this outlet’s service. Today, my blog will be a channel where I vent my unsatisfied experience with after-sales service from KameraExpress. Please be reminded that this is my 1st time expressing negative feedback on a company, which should focus on service more than anything else; to promote sales.
Over a year ago I flattered myself with the newly released Canon G9. The camera functioned great for my stop motion animation studio. Its also a handy camera to tote around for great pictures and videos. To make it even more user-friendly, I’ve added custom add-ons from Richard Freniec. Just to be clear, the camera itself was not tempered with the add-ons. This include a 35mm lens adapter, a glued-on hand grip and thumb rest and flash-shoe protector. I later got a Canon SpeedLight 580EX II to complement the built-in flash.
Nothing out of the unusual. But I did crack the LCD protector one time when I accidentally sat on the camera just 4 mths after purchaee. This would have been the 1st sign of how dear it is to get cameras fixed via Camera Express. They asked more than €80/$110 to get that plastic cover replaced. I ended up fixing it myself buying the part off DarnToothySam.com for $24/€17 incl shipping. Work the difference!
Your camera is still under warranty. We’ll fix it for free.
Fast forward a year later, in July, I took the camera out of my Crumpler Bag and started setting up for a stop motion shoot-out but the camera didn’t want to power up. I thought ok, probably need to recharge the battery. I got 3 spare batteries, fully charged, but none of them worked. So back to KE I went with my fav’d G9.
On the service desk, all was dandy. I showed them the non-working camera, KE guy tried it with various batteries he had behind the desk and verified it as faulty. I asked how much the servicing would cost and he smiled saying, you’re lucky coz its warrantied for 2 yrs! GREAT!!
“How long will it take?” I asked
“Maximum 6 weeks. And we can have it delivered back to your home for additional €8 charge.” He smiled.
“I’ll do that. And what a relief to have 2 year warranty!” But I guess I complimented a little too soon.
6 weeks later… Sorry sir..
Its unusual that repair service takes a whole 6 weeks, so I called KE asking for Repair Status #5653. Here’s when things started to go southwards. They explained that Canon Repair Centre in Netherlands have shut-down. OK so what does that mean for me? They say it might take a while longer since all repair services have been diverted to Germany. Great, so it will still get fixed right? Right. Said the voice on the other end. We’ll call you.
8 weeks’ passed… No news..
By this time, I was more concerned if I can have my compact camera back before the vacation coming in one week. I called again and KE rep said it should be ready in couple of days. He claimed hearing about repair service shipment coming in a couple of days. They’d call when its back. Again, no call.
Following that, 3 days before my vacation I rang again to ask about the camera return. Bad news, said KE, my camera is still not back. I bought the G9 specifically also for travel purpose, and its not going to be with me… In New York, if in B&H, they’d offer me a camera for loan I thought for the inconvenience. Thus I politely asked if I can be compensated with a temporary camera for loan. Something of equivalent standard maybe? But got rebutted right away. OK I can understand that they cannot loan out 800 similar cameras that’s stuck on service repair. But can they not make exceptions for a week’s loan. Its a small camera, thus small risk. I’d even pay rental if I got to. NOP. Said the rep. Final answer.
I was broken hearing that. I’m going on my one time vacation into France with the family without my fav pocket cam?? I paid so much for it, and not to be able to have it with me for that one purpose just killed me. Why can’t they loan one out? I just don’t understand… My camera is under warranty. They should respect that its not my fault to be camera-less. They’ve earned my money. KE or Canon should share for consumer rental costs if need be. Both these companies are not doing their work to keep their customers. That’s my final thought. Or somebody is just not doing the needed PR in these bad times.
DSLRs are good. But on the road, its not ideal.
I left for the vacation with my 400D. The vacation got my head off the hassle I’m in with KE for a while. At least I know I’ll have a fixed camera when we back. And I no longer need to vent more steam on the delayed repair. What’s done is done. I have no option but allow this to happen. But it would not be as so in USA or Singapore I’m sure. Or maybe I’m spoilt by these 2 previous places I lived in. I have heard before that there is no after-sales service in Holland. If you want one, you probably gotta pay for it.
Finally last week, I got an email from KameraExpress regarding the repair status. And if there was any lava in me, it’d be a good time to erupt. The email writes:
Uw reparatie met nummer: 5653 is niet gerepareerd. De kosten voor de reparatie zijn €49
Ongerepareerd retour i.v.m. val en /of stootschade de kosten van de reparatie bedragen meer dan de economische waarde van uw toestel.
U kunt uw reparatie afhalen bij Kamera-express.nl.
Your repair service item numbered: 5653 is not repaired. The service cost is €49/$69
The damage cost to repair the camera is more than the economic worth of the product.
You can collect your repair service item at KE
We’ll advise you to buy a new camera.
I didn’t want to call them up right away after reading that email. It would not have been good. But I doubt it made any difference calling them a week later today. In due respect I doubt I needed to call em at all. But I did. The email received pretty much summarized the ‘work’ they’ve done. Nothing. Which is worth €49 on my behalf.
They promise a free fix after a visual check in the store 1st day
3 mths later they insist the camera was damaged from an accidental drop
They will not believe that the camera was in a bag until discovered faulty
I’ll let you deduce how that conversation went today. But if I was the owner of Kamera Express, I’ll definitely advise to look into the company’s relation with future and more importantly, current customers. Instead of driving me closer to the company for future business and garner positive feedback. This 3 months ordeal with KameraExpress brought me to the edge I’ve never been through before as a consumer and a company director. A company that stocks everything doesn’t mean it will sell everything with such after sales support and PR.
I read earlier about the Netherlands’ Consumer Satisfaction Index as compared to the rest of the EU and refused to believe the figures. Would KE has a chunk to do with its consumer’s votes? I’d pull it another point negative if you ask.
I was thinking of getting a new DSLR. But after this experience, I guess its clear that I’m not going to shop at KameraExpress no matter what the price offer is. And as for the camera they still hold. I’ll pay for it. I’m paying to thank them for the horrible service they’ve reminded me never to offer to my customers.
12 weeks later – Today
What do you think? Should I give them the €49 for a no-fix service that is within the 2 year camera warranty?