Monday, September 28, 2009

Exchanging Camera Gear

Back in February,
I purchased a 50 mm f/1.4D Nikorr lens from a local camera shop. Several months later, I noticed a small chip in the middle of the glass behind the rear element. I need the lens as it's my main indoor glass, but know that the store has a 30-day exchange policy. I was able to get a new lens exchange the next day. Here's 9 steps to consider if you need to do the same:

  1. Try to arrive on a weekday, before the lunchtime rush. This way, If negotiations don’t go so well, you’ll have an audience that may play in your favor in case you have to raise your voice.
  2. Be courteous and understanding. Listen to the policy and ask clarifying questions so that they know they’ve been heard.
  3. Follow the procedures. If they want you to talk to a repair person, do so, but don’t loose sight of your goal.
  4. Ask for a manager. Many times, associate level employees have no power to bend the rules.
  5. Point out that you are a "good customer" and you want to “remain a good customer”. You also want to “continue to support local businesses”
  6. Ask the all important question: “Under what circumstances could the product be exchanged” This gets them to think of creative ways of helping you out.
  7. Point out that you were “sold a defective product” and that the store has been “enjoying your money” since the purchase date. Pause, don't speak. Let the pressure build.
  8. Be flexible. Understand that they still may not be able to grant you a replacement, but ask for a loaner while yours is being repaired.
  9. Be appreciative of their time and effort. If things play out to your advantage, buy something to show that you were serious about point #5 above.
I hope these are helpful suggestions for you. Please comment and add to the list If you have experience with other tips.

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