San Jose Camera Experience - BE WARNED!

Started Dec 21, 2006 | Discussions thread
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PhotoGearJunkie Regular Member • Posts: 212
San Jose Camera Experience - BE WARNED!

About a week and a half ago, I purchased a Canon 100mm Macro Lens from San Jose Camera during their "No Tax" sale. Immediately after I bought the lens, I took it outside and inspected it in the sunlight. I noticed that it had a grease spot or a coating imperfection on the front element, and immediately returned to the store. I told the salesperson about the spot, and asked that he take it outside to verify my claim. He said that he believed me, exchanged my lens, and put the lens with the grease spot back on the shelf. Hmmm, ooooookay. I opened the new lens while I was still right there with the salesperson. I noticed immediately that the lens was not wrapped the way that Canon lenses are shipped from the factory. The plastic was extremely crinkly and was twist tied at the end. I mentioned this to the salesperson, to which he said that it's the last Canon 100mm lens that they have. The lens looked new, so I said that I'd give it a try.

I took it home to try with my 30D. I immediately noticed that it had problems achieving focus in various situations. (I should note that I've owned one of these lenses before, and know how they should work.) After about 5 minutes of being in use on the camera, the camera totally locked up, where none of the buttons had any effect. I had to power down the camera to get it to respond again. So back to San Jose Camera, I went.

When I got there, I explained the problem to the salesman. He said that he will issue me a refund. I asked if I could simply wait until they get more lenses in stock so that I could exchange it (since I wanted to take advantage of the no tax deal). He said that they have more lenses in stock, but that the store would not sell another one to me. He said that "I am going through too many lenses and that I am causing the store to lose money." I said "fine." He issued me the refund, AND THEN PUT THE LENS BACK ON THE SHELF WITH THE OTHERS!!!

I have been buying equipment from this store for about 8 years. I have spent about $3k - $4k in this store, over the years, buying Canon camera bodies, Canon lenses, bags, books, film, filters, and other accessories. I never minded spending a little more for certain items, because I appreciated the ability to check things out before buying them. No more. I'm done with this store. I'm telling you this experience so that you are forewarned about the policy of this store, to simply restock defective items and leave it up to the future buyers to see if they notice the problems.

B&H will now be my main source for photo equipment. (I've also been buying equipment from them for at least the past 5 years, and have NEVER had a problem with their customer service. It's always been outstanding. (No, I have no affiliation with them.) I have received several defective items from them, and they were always happy to either exchange it or issue me a refund. It's this type of customer service that will keep me as their loyal customer.

Good riddance, San Jose Camera!

PS: I am double posting this in the Nikon Forum and the Canon Forum, since I shoot with both systems (a D200 with a 105mm VR, and a 30D with a 70-200mm f/2.8L).

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