Poor experience purchasing Pro Lens

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Sailing Terrapin New Member • Posts: 7
Poor experience purchasing Pro Lens
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I just bought an Olympus 12-40 f2.8 pro lens on-line from Park Ave Video. Their price on line was around $689.00 compared to the $999.00 on most other web sites. To their credit, they called me the next day to tell me that I had ordered the “international” version of the lens that comes without the Olympus warranty and that the lens mount was plastic and not metal. However, nowhere on their website did they make this clear. They said that if I didn’t want that one they had the USA model for $999. I said that I did want the USA model and authorized them to bill my credit card $999 and to ship me the USA model. So, all was good.

I received the lens in two days, but it was not in the black Olympus box that my lenses usually come in, and there was no Olympus warranty card in the box. Instead, it was wrapped in bubble wrap in a plain white cardboard box with the words “Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 pro, M. Zuico, (kit lens) printed on the side (note the misspelling of Zuiko). The box also had a sticker on the side with a barcode and the serial number of the lens (they match). There were no Olympus papers or warranty card, but instead a 3 year extended warranty card from Consumer Priority Service.

I realized that I don’t really know whether this is a grey market lens or not. So I called and spoke with Ross, the same guy who called me originally. I told him my concern that the lens did not seem to be in original packaging and that there was no warranty card. He told me that it was a new Olympus lens but that it was taken out of a packaged kit (I guess bundled with a camera body) and therefore not in the original box. I told him that I didn't have any official Olympus warranty nor the actual box. He insisted that it was a new lens with an Oly warranty. He said I can register it on-line with Olympus. I pressed him that when I pay $1000 for a pro lens, I expect it to be in an original box. I said I wanted to return it. He started getting very rude and condescending and said that would be a 20% restock charge. Things started getting heated and I told him that I would contact my credit card co and tell them that there was a disputed charge and that I would post my experience on all the photo forums. That didn't seem to phase him. In the end, we were basically arguing about the box. He maintained the lens was brand new and that there was nothing wrong with it.

I decided that if I can register the lens with Olympus that would be ok, and I can live without the box. I told him that I would try registering and that if successful, I would accept that, but that he should know that this is not the way to treat a customer. I was able to register the lens on the Olympus site, and I am happy with the lens, so I will not pursue this further. Of course I will never deal with Park Ave photo/video again.

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