A new experience for me: Being an Irate Customer

I have a camera.

(I have an insidious number of cameras [1 cardboard-box pinhole camera, 2 digital cameras, 3 SLR’s, and 3/4 of a camera that this story is about]. Insidious. This is a story about my 3/4 camera… The most insidious camera of them all!)

I guess the 3/4 camera isn’t really a camera at all, on account of the missing 1/4.

One day, it will be a Mamiya RB67 Pro-S.

Today, it’s a lens, a body and a viewfinder; and not much use for anything.

In a slightly more ideal world, there would also be a back.

But there isn’t.

Photo and Video International had a back for sale on their website. So I enquired, was this back they had a 120 back*? And the answer was yes!

And so I ordered the 120 back! (err… this was back on November 17th. This is a fairly long story)

Several days later, a courier brought me a package! With glee I opened the package; but alas, my glee turned to sadness. The back that was sent was a polaroid back*; and one that I’m pretty sure I’d need an adapter to even use on my camera.

So off to the post office I went with the wrong back and sent it back, from whence it came. And with the aid of modern courier tracking technology, I saw that it arrived on November 26th.

And time passed.

And time passed.

And time passed.

And then it was yesterday.

I was kinda wondering where my 120 back had gotten to.

And so I asked when I could expect my 120 back. And I was told that they’d send it once they recieved the incorrect back that they’d sent me.


(That would be the incorrect back that they’d recieved on the 26th of November. Ten days prior. Thank you modern courier tracking technology!)

And so I told them that they already had the incorrect back! And I showed them the wonder of modern courier tracking technology!…And the person I was dealing with went to confirm with someone else whether it had arrived…

And then didn’t bother getting in touch with me for the rest of the day.

I didn’t actually hear anything until *I* chased them up this morning.

And when I chased them up this morning…It turns out they don’t even *have* a 120 back. Apparently “according to our second hand database we had one, but it looks as though it was sold and not removed”.

In the process of *not* buying a back for my 3/4 of a camera; these idiots have told me that they had a piece of equipment for sale that they don’t have, sent me the wrong piece of equipment, didn’t process the piece of equipment that I returned for over a week; and on top of that, once they knew that the piece of equipment was returned much earlier (which was before lunch time); they couldn’t even manage to let me know what was happening with it that afternoon; and I only found out about it when I asked the next day!

The thing that really fucks me off; is that if they’d told me that they didn’t have the 120 back, back in November when I ordered it; I’d probably have had enough time to get one from somewhere like Keh, this side of Christmas. Now, three weeks out, at peak parcel time; the chances are going to be slim to nil.

In conclusion: If you’re looking to buy secondhand photo equipment; don’t even consider Photo and Video International. They’re a useless pack of idiots; who didn’t get any more useful in the face of a string of mistakes at their end.

*120 is a kind of film. 220 is like 120, but longer so you get more pictures on a roll, but only comes in about three flavours (I do darkroom stuff… there’s almost nothing available in 220 that’s appropriate for that). Other backs use polaroid film which costs about a squillion dollars per picture.

2 thoughts on “A new experience for me: Being an Irate Customer

  1. Good to know who the cowboys are out there. Not good that you were left dangling like that, without the product you wanted and absolutley no customer service.

    If you are still in the market for some medium format gear give Pro Gear in Auckland a try. I’m Wgtn based and have purchased from them twice (the first being a Mamiya ProTL 645). Always a fantastic service. Their website isn’t always up-to-date but give them a call. They will overnight courier your puchase and you have 7 days to return the item if it isn’t what you want. Anyway I highly recommend them.

  2. I ended up getting the last bits I needed from Keh (over in the states).. shipping was a bit spendy, though. Based on the way things were packaged, they’re extremely well organised (each thing was in an individual bag with descriptions and serial numbers and what-not).. They seem to have such a huge volume of stuff that they need to be well organised (:

    (I’m also in Wellington… d: )

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