scribbledaway (scribbledaway) wrote in bad_service,

The single most bizarre retail experience I've ever had.

About  8 weeks ago I went shopping for a super sexy 2.8 lens for my camera. I knew I was going to have to get a new camera to go with it, because the lens I wanted wouldn't work with the camera I had.  My existing camera needed some repairs, so I brought it with me.

I gave them my existing camera, with the 18-55mm lens still attached. They told me to keep the lens, they wouldn't need it for the repair, so I took my old, battered, dinged, much loved lens off.  The camera was packaged up and set to ship out.  Then I picked out my new camera, and tried out an assortment of lenses  of different types, basically to judge distance, as I was going to have to get a fixed 2.8, anything else being about $1000 out of my price range.
Keep up old bashed up 18-55mm lens is with me, and I'm trying out different lenses on the camera I am buying.
I settle on a camera and a lens, pack up my old lens, my new lens, my new camera, and go on my way.

I spend several weeks playing  with the new lens, which is more of a zoom than I can use in ordinary situations, and the day comes that I need some typical wider angle normal shots of some ordinary stuff. So I go get my old lens, put it on the camera....but something is wrong.
I can't seem to get far enough away from anything! No matter where I go it still seems to be stuck in some kind of weird mega zoom mode.
I check it....all is well. i check the camera, the settings, all is well.
Except that it's not working. I can't take a picture of my cat while I'm in the same room with her. I have to go almost two rooms away.
After much fiddling around I take the lens off and look at it to see if some odd macro button has been switched or whatever, and I notice that there is no ding in the mounting ring.

That ding has been there ever since i dropped it on Bourbon st last summer. Where is the ding? Then I notice that this is not a 18-55mm lens, this is a 55-200mm lens, it is brand new, and it is NOT MINE.


I go to the camera zoom lens is there, my new 2.8 is there, but my old basic lens? Not so much.
And then it dawns on me. While we were playing around with lenses at the camera store our lenses must have accidentally been switched.
They must still have my old lens, and I have this new lens that I'm sure is much better and is without a doubt much more expensive. My roomate thought it was a great deal, but personally I have no use for this lens. I already have two zoom lenses and I don't need another one, and I want mine back.

So I call the camera store, and I explain what happened.
They ask me why I had another lens with me and I tell them it was on a camera that was sent out for repair, but that I removed the lens so that it wouldn't ship with the camera, and that it must have been switched when I tried  a selection of lenses.

They put me on hold and come back to tell me that they can't find the repair slip for my camera that was sent out. What does that have to do with what I'm saying, which is that I accidentally took their 55-200 lens and left my beat up old 18-55?

They want to know if I have the receipt for my repair.

I tell them that I already picked up the repaired camera and that it has nothing to do with this.  The explain that my lost lens must have gotten lost when they sent the camera out.


I explain AGAIN that the repair is not part of the problem and that the camera was shipped without the lens. They then ask me what I'm calling for then, if I just lost a lens after I picked the camera up?


I explain AGAIN that i put my lens down on their counter, tried out a selection of lenses, chose one, purchased it and then accidentally gathered up one of THEIR lenses instead of my old one, and that I'd like to switch them back.

The man tells me they don't have any 18-55mm lenses in stock. I don't want to BUY one, I want my old one back! I have their new one, they have my old one, I want to switch back. I tell him I feel like I've stolen a lens from them and I don't want to keep it, and that I would like my old one.
He tells me that the lenses are on back order and have been for weeks. What can that possibly have to do with anything?
So i try AGAIN. It went like this:

"I came into your store and sent a camera out for repair. Before sending it out I removed the lens."

"Uh huh"

"I then purchased a NIKON D80 and tried out a selection of lenses."

"Uh huh."

"My old lense, that I'd taken from my camera that I sent out, was on your counter."

"Uh huh"

"When I left, instead of picking up my old lens and taking it with me, I must have picked up one of your 55-200 lenses by mistake. my 18-55 lens must have still been sitting on your counter."

"Uh HUH!"

(i'm thinking now that light has finally come on above his head)

"I accidentally took your 55-200 home with me, and left my 18-55 with you."


"Yes!!! So, I need to know if you still have it, and if I can come in and switch them out."

"Hold on just a minute!"


*short wait*

"Hi, Ms V?"

"Yes! Do you have my lens?"

"18-55mm lenses are on backorder and have been for weeks. I'm afraid we don't have one."

AAUUUGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! head+wall=beatbeatbeat

After several more such repeat conversations he finally seemed to catch on slightly, because this happened:

Him: "well, I'm sure we'd have noticed if we had one because as I said, they've been on back order for weeks and we'd have been thrilled to get one in."

Me: "Well it wasn't in a box or anything, so it wouldn't be like having one come in. It was really old and beat up and it probably ended up in the box that the lens I have here was meant to be in."

Him: "No, no, we don't have any. They're on backorder. And we're not missing any 55-200 lenses missing."

Me: "Well the old lens would likely be in the new lenses box. We put the lenses back in the boxes."

Him: "No, no, we have the right number of 55-200's in boxes."


Me: "Did you look inside the boxes to see if they're really what they're supposed to be? Because I'm pretty sure one of them is my 18-55."

Him: "No ma'am we dont HAVE any 18-55s."

At which point I finally gave up and said "Ok. so, you don't have my lens and I don't have  yours?"

He said "You have one of ours?"


I said "No, no, I'm sorry. My mistake. Bye."

I wasn't willing to go through it all again.

Somewhere in Wolfes camera, at the mall in Metairie, there is a box that's supposed to hold a brand spanking new zoom lens. In it is a really beat up old standard lens. And someone is going to be really pissed off when they buy that lens and open that box.

I don't know what planet the man on the phone was from, but he clearly wasn't even beginning to understand what was going on.
I told him "I walked out the door with on of your lenses by mistake" and he told me that I hadn't.
Go. Figure.

I don't know what to do next, honestly.


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