Beware buying a camera at Jessops (London)

Started Jun 8, 2009 | Discussions thread
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andrew_london
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Beware buying a camera at Jessops (London)
Jun 8, 2009

Hi all,

first of all, I'm finally a proud owner of a Nikon D700 and just love my new camera. I come from a D200 and the differences with regard to handling, tonality, dynamic range, autofocus and of course high ISO noise are tremendous. Taking pictures handheld in low light opens up a totally new world for me and I can already see my tripod gathering dust.

However, buying the camera was one of the worst shopping experiences I've ever had. After comparing prices online, I decided to pay a few bucks more and buy it at a local camera store. Almost every digital camera I've had so far had either a flaw right from the beginning or developed one pretty soon after I had bought it (stuck pixel on sensor, electronic faults, etc.), so I wanted to be able to return it quickly should it be faulty. In the end, the price differences was "just" around 150 GBP, so I bit the bullet and found one store in Central London, that had the camera in stock. The subject line of my thread already foreshadows that the dealer I chose was Jessops.

After arriving at the store, I was quickly besieged by several salespersons who clearly didn't know exactly what they're talking of. Having read countless hours about the D700 and having been an amateur photographer for more than a decade, I found the allegedly "pro" sales talk of the shop assistant rather amusing and only negotiated down the price a bit. We closed the deal and he went away to get the camera box. The actual camera was on display (only the body, no lens attached) next to another D700 kit (lens attached). I asked him whether the body is completely new and he said, sure, we only took it out of the box, placed it into the display cabinet and whenever a customer wants to see the D700, we show him/her the one with the kit lens attached. I was given the opportunity to examine the camera and all looked well except for a little scratch on the display cover. The shop assistant wanted to give me a new one for free but didn't have one in stock so I decided to take the camera anyway. Warranty card and all accessories were in the box, so I went home with my new toy, attached my 24-70 and headed off to the park for a few test shots.

When I came home and transfered the pictures, however, I became a bit suspicious. The file name of the first picture wasn't DSC0001.jpg but DSC1242.jpg instead. "Does that mean that someone has taken more than 1000 pictures in the store???", I was asking myself. After doing some research, I found out that one can easily check the number of actuations the D700 has as this information is stored in the Exif data of the JPGs. When checking the first picture I took, I was as if struck by lightning - the total number of shots fired was 2580!

So believe it or not, Jessops sold me a used camera for the price of a new one and, to top it all off, intentionally lied about it. According to UK law this is highly illegal and, as you can imagine, I was extremely furious. I went back to the store on the next day and though several salesmen started besieging me when I was entering the store (they seem to work on provision and fight for keeping their jobs at all costs now that Jessops is nearly bankrupt), I asked for the store manager who arrived after a few minutes. I told her my story and I could see in her face that she immediately realized that the illegal sale could mean a lot of trouble for the store if I went to the police. Unsurprisingly, it took her only two minutes to organize a new one in a different store, she reserved it on my name and not even checked my returned camera respectively the content of the box. I could have returned a boxed brick and she wouldn't have cared.

So I went to the other store in London, took a picture with the new camera, transfered it to my laptop (which I brought this time) and was happy to see that this body had only 5 actuations (maybe Nikon tested it or the salesperson took a few test shots). I didn't have to fill out any form, didn't get a new receipt, nothing. Just took the new boxed camera and left the store.

What I have learned from this experience is that

1. I will never buy anything again at Jessops

2. I will always bring my laptop and card reader and check the number of actuations of a camera I want to buy in a store.

I hope my experience is of use for the ones among you considering to buy a camera at Jessops.

Apart from this, I'm very happy with my purchase and hope that I will soon make the most of all the improved features the camera has compared to my D200.

Cheers,
Andrew

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