In addition to viewing my wonderful pictures on Flickr ( 🙂 ) you can now check them out on the Why Dont You Gallery. In addition to this, Heather is currently working hard to create a gallery / ordering system where you can buy prints or purchase digital rights to a wide selection of images. If all goes well the Ogum site should be up and running in time for Christmas. Feel free to purchase some huge prints to hang on your atheist walls 🙂 .
Jessops is still a bad shop. Last week there came a point at which I was going to write a big, apologetic, post here about how Jessops had redeemed themselves in my eyes. Sadly is it not to be, and they have firmly entrenched themselves in my “Bad Shop” books. Interestingly, today I have a comment from someone who seems to be defending Jessops and I will deal with that in this post. This is quite a convoluted tale of woe but I will try to keep it simple.
First, the comment by Tycoon. For those of you who haven’t read the previous post, and its comments, this is what he wrote:
Once again, this is a typical example of what you think the website tells you, rather what it actually tells you.
1 million other customers who have used the service since it launched a few months ago, didnâ€™t have a problem.
Wow, where do I start with this! Obviously I have no idea if this person works for Jessops or their web site people, but if s/he doesn’t it is an oddly worded comment. I have never engaged Tycoon in discussion before, so I dont know what “once again” is supposed to mean – other than this is a disgruntled help desk employee.
Critically, this is not an example of me making a mistake over what the website was telling me. The website explicitly informed me the items would be ready for collection. However, I have admitted it is possible I made a mistake, and it is. The fact 1 million (or how ever many) other customers have not had a problem is irrelevant. I had a problem and there was no system in place to make it better for me. Does Tycoon have any figures as to how many other online customers have had problems but not bothered to complain about it? Or the people who never got the site to work properly for them in the first place? It strikes me he is more concerned with the least important numbers.
Anyway, this is all in the past and I don’t want to descend into an argument over pedantry. Jessops is still a bad shop.The problem with my order continued and has affected other people I know. Now, there is the outside chance that the two shops in question are just badly managed, or that the people I know are just unlucky, but you have to start to wonder…
Looking at my order first, eventually I received a text message saying the order was ready and I could pick it up. Overjoyed – and tempted to forgive Jessops for my initial ranting – I took time off work, jumped in my car and drove the eternity to the town where Jessops is. I happily paid the Â£4 parking fee and went to the shop (I could have waited but the next time we were planning to go into town was two weeks away). In all the time between getting the text and arriving at the shop was just under two hours. In the shop there is a huge queue – comically the person at the front was complaining about an online order they had made, but I didn’t get the full details.
When I eventually get served, the assistant brings up a huge box with my name on it and starts to show me the items. Everything is there — except the camera and lens. After a search, the assistant draws a blank and seeks the managers advice. It turns out, they are out of stock of the camera – the last one they had was sold two days previously. So it seems that despite the text message sent to me telling me the order was ready, it actually wasn’t. I am sure this is not a case of me thinking the website was telling me something different to what it was really saying.
Now, at this point, there was nearly a huge row in the shop. I was furious at having taken time off work, driven all the way to town, all on a complete fabrication. Fortunately for my blood pressure, the manager diffused the matter by coming to a deal where I would take away the shop’s display model (heavily shop soiled), then when they had new ones in stock I could exchange it for a new one. This seemed reasonable enough for me, so off I went.
Having forgiven Jessops for their sins, my wife decided to purchase a tripod for me. This was double and triple checked on the website (it was in the collect@store special deals) to ensure it was available. It was, so the order was made. An hour later, my wife duly received the email and text message confirming the tripod was available for collection – so she goes into town to collect it – and ask if the camera was ready for exchange.
Shockingly, two people in front of her in the queue was a gentleman who purchased the last D80 they had in stock (nice of them). Still, no massive deal, so she asked to just collect the tripod. At this point, the assistant apologises and says they don’t have any in stock. He defends himself by saying they are on order and should be in by Saturday. So away she goes – with nothing. When we get home, we check the website – it is still marked as being in stock and check the emails. All point to the tripod being ready that day with no explanation as to why it wasn’t.
Saturday comes, we phone up this time, and neither the tripod nor the camera are in stock but a delivery has arrived and will be unpacked over the course of the day. In the afternoon we phone again – nope, they are not there but a delivery is due on Monday. Today, my wife has called them again and neither the camera nor the tripod are in stock, but a delivery is due… yeah, I am sure you get the point.
Add to this, a friend from work made a collect@store purchase for a Canon EOS400D camera (seeking the Â£10 saving). He went through the exact steps I did, got the store (a different one than I used) only to find out there were none left in stock but some more were on order. This was four days ago – it still hasn’t arrived and he has given up and bought it elsewhere.
It looks like I will end up doing the same for the tripod. I am still left with an excellent – if shop soiled – camera which I paid full price for and no signs of a possible exchange. The savings from using Jessops are quickly eaten up by the difficulties involved with actually getting hold of the goods. It doesn’t surprise me that Jessops are closing nearly a hundred shops over the country – with this sort of sales skills, I suspect more may go as well. Collect@Store is pointless if it doesn’t work.
Sadly, the staff in Jessops are wonderful (if poor at stock control) and know the subject very well indeed. It will be a shame to see the shops close, but at least then I will no longer be tempted to buy things from them and I can do the sensible choice and shop elsewhere.
[tags]Bad Shops, Jessops, E-Commerce, Camera, Nikon, D80, Digital Camera, Online Shopping[/tags]
The current line of ranting on technological subjects continues… This time it is the result of some mixed experiences with Jessops, a camera retailer with both on- and off-line shops.
Surprisingly for a High Street retailer, Jessops price their camera systems competitively with most online shops. For anyone who has not been unfortunate enough to try an dip their toes into the world of Digital SLR cameras, the whole thing is a muddle of choosing a camera body and lens from an array of options that really are mind boggling. Annoyingly, there are few retailers who provide the best price on everything, one will have very cheap lenses, but expensive camera bodies, another will be cheap bodies but extortionate shipping costs and so on.
As a result of this muddle (and wanting to have my new toy right now!), I eventually came to decide that the best solution would be to buy the camera and a kit lens from Jessops (I went for the Nikon D80 and a Nikkor 18-135mm lens for anyone who cares), then order other bits and pieces from cheaper, online, retailers (Warehouse Express is very good value for lenses). Continue reading