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Camera shops - making promises they can't keep


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synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#1
I was on the lookout for the Minolta Dynax 60 SLR, and headed to one of the more reputable and popular shops in Singapore (at Ang Mo Kio). When I queried, they quoted me a very attractive price, $30-50 lower that the lowest price I could find in town. BUT the camera wasn't in-store yet, and they said it would bring it in "next week". I asked if I needed to place an order/reservation, and they told me no need, because the camera was already at their office.

So, phoned in a week after that in inquire, and was told that the camera wasn't in yet. When will it be in? Not sure. Maybe after the PC show. And yes, I did call in after that, and again they said they are not sure, and "must check with Minolta" when the camera coming in. Finally, I called their other branch at Yishun as asked the same questions. They said they didn't have the camera. And then I asked, "are you bringing in the camera at all?" And the answer was a straight "no".

Now if they didn't intend to bring it in, then they should've just said so in the first place? I really needed the camera and would've purchased it earlier at the few shops in town that did have it in stock. I wanted to deal with this shop because of its reputation, but this has been a big-time letdown. This is not an uncommon practice though; shops making promises they can't keep.

What's the logic behind this?
 

Aton

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Jan 29, 2004
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#2
Can understand this, your waiting time may have cause you to miss the opportunity to get a better pacckage.

What is the shop?
 

hansia

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Apr 27, 2004
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#3
Aton said:
Can understand this, your waiting time may have cause you to miss the opportunity to get a better pacckage.

What is the shop?
AMK and Yishun... by logical deduction, it should be the one with the same initials as the company famous for its DOS vapourware in the past - MS.

Come to think of it, it does sound like vapour-cam in this instance. Tell you coming, but actually not. Anyway can lock you in first to see if stock really available from distributor. If not, maybe can try to get stock from other fellow retailers, then resell. If I'm in the business, I'd prob do something like that... ;p They do bait and switch tactic, you took it up. But no $$$ transacted, so no one loses anything.
 

ptwong

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Nov 10, 2003
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#4
I know what shop you're talking about, the branch in Yishun doesn't really involved in retail much, mainly for developing. Guess it depends on who you're talking to over the phone, boss or employee. I can understand how you feel but to tell you the truth, i don't really see any promises made or broken between you and the shop...If Minolta doesn't want to supply, the shop also can't do anything right? feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.
 

ptwong

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Nov 10, 2003
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#5
Agree with you, Hansia...but same can be said for consumers, if don't have can always buy from other shops also?
 

hansia

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Apr 27, 2004
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#6
ptwong said:
Agree with you, Hansia...but same can be said for consumers, if don't have can always buy from other shops also?
Bait and switch tactic loh. Standard practice in cut throat retail business when consumers shop around for free service (advice), then go buy from cheapest place on earth (or in Singapore).

Consumers are willing to fall for it, so no choice loh... it'll always be with us as long as retail is not dead.
 

ptwong

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Nov 10, 2003
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#7
true....guess consumers need to be more savy....i didn't really had any problem dealing with the above mentioned shop, I was willing to wait longer for more discount so my scenario was different from synapseman who was in need of a cam.
 

nightwolf75

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 18, 2003
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really MORE diaper changes
#8
ptwong said:
true....guess consumers need to be more savy....i didn't really had any problem dealing with the above mentioned shop, I was willing to wait longer for more discount so my scenario was different from synapseman who was in need of a cam.
most probably synapseman was talking to one of the employees. if u talked directly with the bosses, they usually deliver their promises. of course, it helps if one had develop a relationship with shop owners or employees (in any shop, not just this one). like dat, they will serve u better. put urself in their shoes. i'm sure that there's a reasonable explanation for their oversight.

besides, like hansia said, no $$$ changed hands, no problems.
 

synapseman

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#9
Well, the first time I enquired, I was personally at the shop. And whoever I spoke to consulted with his other colleagues, before making a telephone call to ask someone about the status of the camera. The thing that really disappointed me was

"I asked if I needed to place an order/reservation, and they told me no need, because the camera was already at their office."

A shop with such reputation wouldn't resort to bait-and-switch tactics, I should think. And it didn't make sense (to me) to say later that they "didn't have an idea" when the camera would come in, and "must check with Minolta". (Another big-name shop in Peninsula Plaza gave me the same story). A check with Minolta and several shops revealed that this camera had hit the market for at least a few weeks already.

I don't think it's vapourcam. The cam is already here. I just theorise that consumer-grade film SLRs (especially if it's not a Nikon/Canon) don't sell as well anymore, so they never had the intention of bringing it in in the first place.
 

synapseman

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#10
hansia said:
Come to think of it, it does sound like vapour-cam in this instance. Tell you coming, but actually not. Anyway can lock you in first to see if stock really available from distributor. If not, maybe can try to get stock from other fellow retailers, then resell. If I'm in the business, I'd prob do something like that... ;p They do bait and switch tactic, you took it up. But no $$$ transacted, so no one loses anything.
Well at least they aren't as scheming as another shop at Peninsula Plaza (one of the newer ones). Ask me to put down a deposit and then he would get me one "later in the afternoon". Lucky I wasn't taken in by that. Why should I pay anything in advance, before I even viewed the product?

Yes, let the buyer beware...
 

charvy

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Jan 27, 2002
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www.urbanpixel.net
#11
well i called in once @ their amk branch to enquire abt the pricing of quantum battery.. she keep asking if i really do need a turbo.. u know turbo is for pros and its like really espensive.. i was like duh? anyway i left a name/number with the lady cuz she said she need to check with her supplier.. and will call back in due course.. 2 weeks later? no news.. fed up.. bought from nelson instead.. so much better customer service from him instead..
 

consumer

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Jun 13, 2004
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#12
1. Looking for the cheapest price in town
2. Camera "in office" but too lazy to push for it there and then
3. Complains and bitches

typical whiner
 

y0ngcheng

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Nov 24, 2003
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#13
strange... if the camera at their office, they can ask ppl to bring in.. shld be less den 4hrs. coz i waited before. dunno why they ask u wait for 1 week.
 

hansia

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Apr 27, 2004
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#15
arikevin said:
Dunno why shops in Singapore treat their own people like that...
Guess it's because our service culture here is still very much "service for tourists". A kind of imperial colonialism that still afflict most parts of the Far East, including Singapore.

On the other hand, we whine abt bad service, but generally don't bother to make an issue out of it with whom it matters the most, the company. I salute those who refuse to pay 10% service charge at restaurants on the spot for not receiving service :thumbsup:

The mentality of "it's ok lah, someone else will complaint" just doesn't work coz no one would end up complaining. We hardly bother to assert our consumer rights.

To set things straight, we are paying for the goods, we shouldn't beg for service. Seems that we pay $$$ to suffer bad service all the time. Think taxis...

By the way, the cab companies do have decent complaint handling procedures (have used it on many occasions, once three companies at one go). But most pple never used them, so rougue cabbies are here to stay :blah:
 

mpenza

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2002
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#16
Finally, I called their other branch at Yishun as asked the same questions. They said they didn't have the camera. And then I asked, "are you bringing in the camera at all?" And the answer was a straight "no".

Just wanted to clarify the above. The Yishun branch would definitely say 'no' because they are just a photo lab, not a camera shop! But of course, they could have done better by referring you to the AMK branch. For MS Color at AMK, ask to speak to Florence or Mr Loh if they are around.
 

togu

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Jul 11, 2002
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#17
The thread had served it's purpose in sharing the thread starter's bad experience, it'll be closed.


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