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.

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