Jul 06, 2002, 4:15pm
I meant to post this a few days ago, but forgot about it. I was reminded today when sharing a "trip to the photo store" story with a fellow shutterbug.
I will never shop at Kerrisdale Cameras again. Ever.
This store, and especially the Richmond location, has several staff members who have the most uncanny ability to make you feel insignificant and not important.
My thought is this. If you're prepared to walk into a shop and want to feel good about dropping $1,000 or $1,500 on something, you should be treated like gold by the staff.
Heck, even if you're in there and wanting to spend $200 on a camera or lens, the staff should treat you with respect and attention.
In my case, I walked into Kerrisdale Cameras (in Richmond), gearing myself up to drop as much as $4,000 into their laps, a large portion of which, no doubt would be a sweet profit. And I was treated like a second class citizen. The sales dude was so snotty that almost my entire time in the shop I could count the nosehairs he forgot to trim.
Here's the story. I'm in the market for the Nikon D100 digital camera. It was (supposedly) released on June 28. I was in the shop on the 29th. I asked about the camera. No, they haven't received it yet, I was told. Okay, I said, when will you get it. Dunno. Okay... will you be able to give me a ring when you have a demo model?
Snide, barely audible snicker.
Then "oh ho, sir, do you realise how many preorders we have for that camera? We won't have a "demo" (sniff) model for some time. I suggest you put a deposit down on the camera and get in line".
I explained there was no way I was going to put a deposit down on a $3000 camera until I got to see it in action.
"$3,000? Who told you that price? It's $3499" (Nikon's list or probably higher).
I said, well two respectable camera companies back east are listing it for $3,049. I would assume you would match any Canadian authorized retailer price, or at least be a little flexible in the price, given that it is very expensive.
"No." as he turns to do something else. I said excuse me, I'm not done yet. If and when I buy the camera, chances are I'll be buying a Speedlight SB50 and at least one lens. Are you saying you won't deal on the price even a bit?
"Sir, if your only concern is price, I suggest you shop with your east coast (sniff) dealers (snide)", as he turns away again to go and see what another customer wants.
I stood there a bit in shock. He started talking to another customer, but I went up and interrupted, and this is what I said, almost verbatim:
"Sir, I want you to know something. Maybe for your tiny circle of photo buddies who see no problem dropping $8,000 on a Besler colour exposure and developer system or $6,000 on some Olympus 600mm lens, for them the price of a D100 is a "whatever" instance, but I assure you for myself and many people, even pros, it is not a minor purchase. Your profits are probably very good on the sale of that item, and let me tell you, the way you just treated me right now, I will never shop at Kerrisdale Cameras again, and I will use whatever resources I have to demonstrate to people how they can expect to be treated if they shop here. You may think big deal, it's no big loss, we have all these preorders, but you know what? You've lost me as a customer forever, and I hope others benefit from what I have to say about your store and also shop elsewhere. I suggest you either change your attitude or that your boss replace you."
His mouth was slightly agape, but I left before his brain could process a comeback. And I'm here, telling you about it. Take it for what its worth.
As a postscript to this story, this isn't the first time I've been treated this way by Kerrisdale Cameras. When I was shopping for the Nikon F80 system (abot $1,000 with taxes) I bought for Jeanette last summer, I got much of the same treatment. I ended up shopping at Lens and Shutter in Vancouver, who were very much more hospitable and helpful.
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Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
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iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
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Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
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Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
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My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
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Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D