Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Ugly Purchase Process

First of all, we went with Nikon D80 because we already had several quality lenses from the film era and because the D80 received very good reviews from online pros and friends who have one. Once this was decided I went online and started searching for the best price.

I'm a seasoned internet purchaser, pretty technical, and did significant research into what extra components I wanted and why. I learned a lot from Ken Rockwell's site and will continue to refer to his postings. So, I felt confident in what I wanted, I just needed to find a great price, be warned, you get what you pay for!! And sorry in advance for this venting, I assure you that I typically do not post negative things.

1) I found a great price for the camera and all components I wanted at and placed my order. Right away I should have known there would be problems. Upon placing the order online I was required to call them to verify the order. Okay it was an expensive order, so I called. Eventually, I got to a live person and Instantly they were RUDE. After many transfers and much ATTITUDE I got to Jason, "a manager." He started talking a mile a minute with all kinds of attitude, rudeness, and lingo. All the items I wanted were "not what I wanted" and this other set-up was much better. Now, I knew there were problems when the Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX
VR lens that is absolutely raved about all over the web was "not the lens I wanted,... and all the pros are now getting this other lens, and turning in their Nikkors,..." I've dealt with this type of sales guy before but still I started to second guessing myself and wondered,... luckily I got the specs on the other "better" lens (it turned out to be a Sigma 18-200mm DX), and said I would go and research it before I committed to any change in my order. He also wanted to charge me more $$ for the Sigma, but I "was getting a great deal." After researching I decided,... No I wanted the Nikkor and called back,... I got a huge run around, tons of RUDENESS and Attitude, and my call got dropped 3 times. Finally I got back to Jason, because "he is the only one who could help me." He wasn't happy and was rude. Finally, everything got worked out and my original order was intact and all set to go..... But, Oh wait there is a $45 shipping fee,... But the website said free shipping on these items if I purchased by xx date. More RUDNESS. I said, okay ship it, thinking the price was still so good that I was ahead. Just as I was about to hang up the phone,... "there is a 3-5 week 'manufactures back-order' on this camera,..." WHAT!!! I tucked my tail between my legs and said, okay ship it when it is available. I waited 3 weeks, and finally woke one morning literally in a cold sweat about the order. I called them and they said the back-order was now 12 more weeks. I canceled the order and felt a huge relief. Later I searched for reviews about,... and

2) I went back to the web and searched and found another good price at USA Photo Nation on the D80 body only, and decided to get it rush shipped. I placed the order, selected 2nd day air and was all happy. Later that day I got a message that I needed to give them a call.
Oh No, here we go again,… I called and again battled to get to the person I was instructed to speak with. Right away,... "I see you ordered the camera body only,..." You really need to get this, and this and this,... "No thanks" I said "I already have lenses," and such,... "Oh, I see you ordered the “CHINESE MODEL" What!!! No I didn’t,... "yes, all the menus are in Chinese,..." WHAT?!?!, I was looking right at their site/add at that moment and said I see no mention of this,... "You need to order the 'E' (English) model and it costs,... (hundreds more), additionally the Chinese model does not come with anything in the box, no manual, charger, battery, no USA warranty, etc. it is just the camera body, which has all of its menus in Chinese." I was pissed, because I knew he was lying,... I canceled the order on the spot!! FYI - the D80's menus can be set to many languages, you select the language you want to use in the set-up. Your choices are; Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or Swedish. You can switch them anytime you want.

3) I went to
and ordered all the items I wanted. I paid more for the camera body, but all the other items were actually about the same or less $ than the above vendors. There was no hassle, all done online, smooth, 2nd day shipping, I received email confirmations and was able to track the FedEx packages through the RitzCamera website. I even called them at one point and was greeted by a person that was helpful and pleasant to speak with.

Please, PLEASE learn from my experiences. If you are uncomfortable with the sales people, bail and don't look back. I would have slept better, and had my D80 four weeks earlier.

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