Monday, March 12, 2012

J* … You did it again …

What?  What? .. Have they slashed their prices? Again?
Oh no … they have just managed to loose one more sale and a customer... for ever….

So here goes the story….
After some online research and price comparison I came to the conclusion that Canon D60 is going to be my next DSLR. As I was hoping to use it on my visit to Sri Lanka next month, I wanted to get one soon and practice its functions/features before I point it at something serious.

So here I am, On Saturday morning heading to Chadstone with a post it note on my hand with the camera model and lens names written on it. Plan was to head to J* first simply because it was on the way to Chadstone , then to office works , then to Teds Camera store and if all fails go to Camera House in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

Found the J* store in the Chadstone LifestyleCentre with ease and went inside. Camera section was close to the entrance and as I would do normally I checked the prices displayed on the shelves. Ah, 1099 for the camera and a crappy lens combination. That’s not the lens I wanted. I couldn't find the lens I was looking for anywhere, so finally I approached a sales guy and inquired about it.

Here’s what happened. What written in brackets were my thoughts, which I didn’t speak out.

Me: mmm, excuse me I'm looking for the canon D60 Camera and 18-135 IS Lens combination. Do you have it?
Sales Guy: (Looking at me from head to toe. Most probably noticed the paper with model numbers I was holding on my hand)  We should …
Me: May I know the price please.
Sales Guy: Well I can't tell you the price.
Me: (Surprised at his unexpected reply … Oooah … Why on earth is that … for a split second I was taken back to 18th century … Well thanks for giving me some  time travel joy ..  mate …  doesn't he like to sell anything to colored person or what?)  Well, why not?
Sales Guy: Have you come to purchase it or are you shopping around?
Me: Well, Yes of cause …I’m checking prices  (What idiot in this ere goes to the first shop they see on the street and purchase everything for the prices stated by the suspicious looking sales guy?)
Sales Guy: Well that’s why I told you, If I tell the price I will never see you again.
Me: (What the heck  is that.? well one thing is for sure … you all never see me in your store again … I didn’t ask to give me your arm or leg … I just asked for the price of the bloody thing you are supposed to be selling…) Well, then what should I do? If I don't even know the price you are selling it how would I know whether to buy it from you or not?
Sales Guy: Ah, go and shop around. Check the prices and then come back here. Then I will tell you the price.
Me: ( WoW .. his price tag itself is so precious. Its not to be reveled easily … But thinking that I’m starting to get the point … Well I’m not at all exposed to the world of bargain hunting.) Soooo if I find a good price in a different store and come back to you will you beat it and give me a better deal?
Sales Guy: Well, I will not make a sale just for the heck of it. I will have to earn some money as well. So if we can beat it we will beat the price. But I will not guarantee you that.
Me: Ok thanks … bye

So this guy won't match or beat the price from a different store. Then that means they should have a standard base price, which they don't go beyond. Forget that.. I’m not in to cut throat bargain hunting. That’s something I don't have any enthusiasm to do so. But I do check different advertised store prices to get a good deal. Is that wrong? As a customer am I not supposed to know at least the price of a bloody gadget the store is selling?

I had sour feelings about J* since long time. Mostly due to the aura of unfriendly sales staff and the crooked way they have conned some customers. Couple of my work mates who had no clue about IT/Computing has purchased unbelievably dodgy laptops from J*… of cause based on J* sales guys recommendation. This made me think that it is a place that conn innocent, unassuming customers who have no experience with technology and sell them cheap products for a higher price. When sales guys see that they can't conn someone and dig in to their purse easily and the person knows what he/she wants then sales reps does not even care to tell the price of a good they sell knowing that the customer will not swallow their Bull Cr**.

Word of advice… If you are going to purchase anything from J* make sure that you know everything about the product you are going to buy. As soon as its sales staff get to know that you have no clue about what you want and expecting them to guide you through the process, they will take the full advantage of that and sell you the crappiest of goods in the store for a ridiculously high price.

Basically by no price what he meant was that if you are a complete moron then I have a special (Higher) sweet price for you and if I can't con you and if you came prepared then I don't want to waste my time dealing with you. Wasn’t that so clear?

 Well after this bitter experience I went to Ted's Camera store in Chadstone Shopping Centre. I have purchased my good old Sony DSC828 from them 6 years back and it gave me a faithful service for 5 years before taking its last breath in Varanasi, India.

I have always liked their prompt friendly and unassuming customer service and was not disappointed this time as well.

Went in to the store, looked for the camera, asked for the price and.. Here comes the price. No buts, no ifs no bull shits…. Juts the plain price. We sell this for this much. Full stop. I liked the price so I went ahead and purchased it. Maybe it is higher and maybe if I would have bargains a bit I could have got a better price and save 50-100 Dolores. But I didn't because I didn't mind the price and even though I look for a competitive price, bargaining is not in my blood.

 ½ hour later after some paper work, walked out of the store with what I wanted. Exceptional customer service Teds. All credit and all thanks should go to Mr Andreas for taking extra pain to get the only lens (which I have requested) in the store release from a customer who has put a hold to it.

Bottom line.. J* might do it again and again  … but who would step in their store again?

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