I called Bristol Cameras this morning about a £1,460 lens, to ask if they had it in stock, and whether they could deliver it tomorrow if I ordered it today. Which they did, and they could.
So I ordered it on the Bristol Cameras web site, and just to check it had been dispatched, I rang Bristol Cameras just now.
No, it hadn't been dispatched. Er, but you said in stock, and next day! Oh but that's for PHONE orders. You should have rung back. Oh. Well given that you didn't TELL me I had to ring back perhaps you would just refund my NEXT DAY delivery charge and we'll say no more about it.
Oh we can't do that, if you read the small print on the Bristol Cameras web site you'll see that next day means "the next day after we post it" not the "next day after you order it".
Yes but I ordered it at 9:54AM, was that not enough time for you to send it out from the Bristol Cameras store? Not to mention I've taken tomorrow off work to stay in for the delivery, AND I've arranged to go out to shoot with said lens tomorrow afternoon. Now I've got to cancel all that and it's a major pain!
Well sorry but we process the previous day's orders at 9AM. It won't be processed until tomorrow.
Then it's not NEXT FUCKING DAY IS IT.
So I asked to speak to the Bristol Cameras customer services manager, who was bewilderingly unsympathetic until I mentioned the cost of the lens... at which point he said Oh! I think there's been some crossed wires here! Hang on a minute. And he went off for a few minutes, and I thought Ah, it's all going to be sorted, they finally recognise me as a valuable customer who spends stupid amounts of cash on big pieces of glass... and they know that if they handle this right I'll want to come back the next time I want to buy a stupidly expensive big piece of glass. A customer for life. I was actually feeling a slight glow of specialness.
But no! I couldn't believe it. He came back and said, well I asked the managing director of Bristol Cameras and he said no, we can't do it.
After I'd finished spluttering and excuse-me?-ing and good-griefing and picked my chin up off the floor I tried to explain about things like 'goodwill' and 'a bad taste' and 'customer service' and 'inconvenience' and 'repeat business', but he just wouldn't shift.
So I said, in that case I have zero confidence in the after sales service of Bristol Cameras but more to the point I will not do business with a company who treats their customers like this: please cancel the order immediately.
So he did.
Is it me or is that spectacularly unenlightened?
Bristol Cameras would rather lose an order, which was probably going to net them what, 50 quid? 100? 200? than knock 20 quid off to keep a high-spending customer happy whom THEY had given duff info to.
When billions of people come here after google's excellent indexing picks up this article about how Bristol Cameras' customer service sucks, and Bristol Cameras don't care about their customers, some of them will (hopefully) decide not to place orders with them and they will lose even more.
I'm going for a lie down.
Extremely pissed off of New Malden
PS. Said lens, whilst £1,460 quid, is being bought on the proceeds of selling another lens, which originally cost far more than that, for about the same amount. I only mention this in case anyone thinks I'm stupidly rich or something, cos I'm not.
PPS. Not sure if I mentioned, but the company is Bristol Cameras.