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Thread: Lee Filters - Michaels Camera Store...

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    Lee Filters - Michaels Camera Store...

    Hi All,

    Thought i might share an experiance i had today. For those familliar with the area, I was in Elizabeth St Melbourne today. Just picking up a 4G internet dongle for work... Whilst i was in the area, i passed Michaels Camera Store... Supposedly Melbournes oldest, longet running, most iconic camera business'...

    I thought, "i am going to check this joint out!!!"

    So in i strolled and was quitely looking at their range of filters... Most people know, the stackable type filters are rare in most local Teds stores, most only stocking screw on types...

    Anyway... Here i am looking at the filters and one of the store asssistants approach me... Asked if i needed a hand at all... I replied, "sure, i'm just having a look at your filters and am wondering if you stock the 'LEE' range??"

    To my shock horror, the guy replies... Which Filters?? With a puzzled look on his face he says, " i can't say i have heard of that brand before"


    Now this is a store that stocks 800mm L lenses the size of my leg, worth 30k and this guy hasn't heard of Lee filters!!?!



    I was astonished that such a store with such a well known reputation would allow staff on their shop floor to serve customers without a basic knowledge/understanding of brands and makes of different equipment....


    Has anyone else had a simmilar experiance to this? i'd love to read about your expeeriances....

    If this is in the wrong Forum, please acccept my appologies in advance.
    Daniel Thompson

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Stores are so used to people walking in and knowing exactly what they want, thanks to research on the net, that they employ people who do not know a lot, at a cheap hourly rate. They are salespeople, not customer service people.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Maybee he was just pulling your Lee?!?! Or having a leend of you?!?
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    you would have been better off going up a few doors to jb and get some decent service and knowledge off the chap in there
    very helpfull and have prices displayed on stock
    i have asked for a price on a wide angle in micheals and was asked if i was going to buy it
    when i said it depends on the price
    i was told to go and get it elsewhere if you think we are to expensive
    and i still did not get told how much it was
    cheers macca

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    To be honest, I think you'll get both kinds on any given day!

    I was in there once a long time ago and found some Cokin P series filters hanging forlornly on a long forgotten rack.
    Attractive young woman comes up and asks if I want assistance, and I ask her if they have this and that(rings, adapters and holders etc ...)
    She has no idea of what I'm talking about, and somehow the conversation turned to her, and it turned out that she was a grand daughter of one of(or the) original owners, and so on and whatever!
    And here she was doing some part time 'penance' in the family business but with no clue as to what anything was, and after I explained to her the purpose of a grad filter and how it works, she though it a great invention!
    Well at least she had good looks on her side .. anyhow, she called a young Nordic fellow over, who only barely spoke English, but we managed to converse for far too long about all manner of stuff, and he knew exactly about everything I asked for, and where to find it in the company's database.

    Then you get experiences with staff at Vanbar!
    Chap with a beard I remember used to always frequent the Carlton shop .. and I'll be damned if he doesn't know every trivial bit and byte of info almost anything photography related.
    But then you go to the larger North Melb warehouse store and I remember a chap there .... barely knew what a Lee filter was too, even tho he was into photography himself.

    It's a matter of luck I guess. Some folks do it for the passion of having employment in a field in which they're interested and knowledgeable about, and others do it cause they need to pay bills.
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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I have had a similar experience with Michaels as Macca did. Rude, condescending and will never see $1 of my cash ever. I had bought my 400/2.8VR and was looking for a CPL-1L circ polarising filter for it, and a bag to fit it and the D700/D3 attached to the body.
    In response to my question as to whether or not they had the polariser in stock, the sales guy asked "I don't think you would be after that filter, it's for a 400mm super telephoto worth more than $10,000!" to which I smiled and replied "I guess I won't need the bag to put it in either then?" and I thanked him for his time and left.

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    No wonder I don't shop at camera retail stores...

    It's a worry when the customer knows a lot more about the product than the people selling it.

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    The people that can, do, and the people that can't try and sell them!

    I've had a number of similar experiences with not only cameras, but cars too.
    Condescending and downright rude sales people will NEVER get my business, but I do love showing them up as fools.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    .....

    It's a worry when the customer knows a lot more about the product than the people selling it.
    It is a strange phenomenon, but it's never bothered me.
    I've even taken the time to explain to other shoppers why they want this instead of that, and not to get that because it's basically useless(mainly filters!!) but other things too such as tripods and such.
    I'd make a dreadful salesperson I reckon!

    But the way I see it, is that as long as the sales person knows their prices, is willing to come to a common ground that we can both agree on, then I'll still shop at wherever that situation exists.
    I generally know the product I want, and usually prefer that the sales person doesn't hold up the transaction process with their tirade of misinformation.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    It really is a sad indication of the state of the industry when such poor customer service occurs in stores that are at the forefront of howls against online shopping by educated consumers.

    FWIIW, a few years ago I had a "salesman" tell me that I was delusional and most likely making it all up when I asked for a price on lens that didn't appear on their stock list. If it wasn't on their list it therefore did not exist so I was wasting his time.
    Strangely enough that was the last time I ventured into that multi storey, prominent corner site camera store in Elizabeth Street.
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    Photography has a huge range of products and technology, no one knows it all.
    If you employ some part time students on minimum wage you will give service at that level.
    I.e. they can sell a compact camera to mum and dad.

    B&M stores are fighting hard to survive in the 'net age.
    Experienced staff cost $$ when margins are tight.

    I don't expect the sales person to have deep knowledge -- I do expect courtesy and the ability to find out (i.e. look things up and get prices etc).
    Consumers are now more informed than ever.

    So I see it as an expectation clash that we need to adapt to.
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    If you employ some part time students on minimum wage you will give service at that level.
    Problem was in my encounter with that store the salesman was older than me and that is positively ancient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    It really is a sad indication of the state of the industry when such poor customer service occurs in stores that are at the forefront of howls against online shopping by educated consumers.
    Indeed!

    The retailers complain about online businesses cutting into their profits.

    But said retailers employ people who don't know much about what they're selling, and charge too much.

    Talk about cursing the darkness rather than lighting a candle. 'Nuff said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    ...I don't expect the sales person to have deep knowledge -- I do expect courtesy and the ability to find out (i.e. look things up and get prices etc).
    Consumers are now more informed than ever. ...
    That's true. There is no way a sales person will know all the fine details of the stuff we've researched thoroughly before even stepping foot in the store. I don't expect sales people to have an in depth knowledge but I am pleased when they do, and it does happen if you go to the right store for the right product.

    What I do expect is courtesy and professionalism so I shop elsewhere, usually Vanbar these days although they've now gone to bloody Fitzroy, the arse end of the world. But the people there are great.

    In the city Camera Lane is excellent and Alan knows what he's talking about. Aside form Camera Lane, there's no where else in the city to shop now that Camera Exchange has gone. The remaining few shops (aside from Camera Lane) are geared towards the point and shoot customers (which is all good as long as you don't have any questions to ask). JB has good prices, but I don't feel like I'm walking into a camera shop in there.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    .... usually Vanbar these days although they've now gone to bloody Fitzroy, the arse end of the world. But the people there are great.

    ..
    Don't quote me on this, but they should still have their North Melbourne warehouse (I think).... cnr Munster Tce and Queensberry St.

    Fitzroy's OK compared to Box Hill!(where Camera Exchange have moved too).

    I remember my last excursion to JB's(Elizabeth St) ... they had the 18-105VR advertised for $389 and everyone else had it at closer to $500, and JB's price was close enough to grey prices.
    I ask for an 18-105VR thanks .. salesman's reply was more about the better quality and zoom factor in the 18-200VR. And I'm sure this was at about the time that the 18-200VR was being updated to the VRII.
    I told him Nup! ... 18-105VR if they had one is stock, and not really interested in anything else ..... and that I think the 18-200 was overpriced anyhow.
    OH! and by the way was it the VRII model or the older original VR model.
    Of course as a salesman his reply was yeah it's the VRII model, and when he brought it out I pointed to him that there were no markings stating that this was the II model, and that if he sold it to me for the same $389 as the 18-105 lens, I may be tempted to 'take it off his hands so that he doesn't get stuck with it'!
    Anyhow, I think he realised after a while that I was only there for one reason, and we just did the exchange of cash for lens and I was outta there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Don't quote me on this, but they should still have their North Melbourne warehouse (I think).... cnr Munster Tce and Queensberry St...
    They don't trade from there any more. Wish they did as it's kind of around the corner from me.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Ah! last time I was there was well over a year, maybe two now.
    That used to be their warehouse .. so I assume it's all moved to Fitzroy now.

    Haven't been in the Fitzroy store since their move there .. will try to get around to it one day, just for the stickybeak experience.

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    I had a similar experiemce at the local Tweed Heads store, Wayne's World - yes the title bodes ill, doesn't it. All I can say is the owner is an absolute pig and the staff not much better. About two years ago I went int here - aqll I wanted was to find out about a screw for a tripod mount, but I was treated with a very misogynistic brushoff.

    As I left I thought to myself "Wonder what he would do if he could see the H2/PhaseOne digital kit and the Canon 1DsMkII & 4 x L lenses in my camera bags in the van?" Probably gushed all over me - and I'd find that as distatsteful as the brushoff.

    Don't they realise every person who walks through the door might be a big buyer one day? What happened to customer service?
    Last edited by Analog6; 19-08-2012 at 3:55pm.
    Odille

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    I had a similar experiemce at the local Tweed Heads store, Wayne's World - yes the title bodes ill, doesn't it. All I can say is the owner is an absolute pig and the staff not much better. .....
    LOL! .. and an evil cackle ...

    It may be payback time Odille

    I have 17 pallets of goods for their stores sitting at our depot .. and it may just get delayed for a while!

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    This thread reminded me of the story of the scruffy old gent in ragged clothes that walked into the Rolls Royce dealers in South Melbourne many years ago. The young salesman asked him what he wanted, he replied I'll take the Silver Phantom V in the centre to this the salesman replied get out before I call a cop. The Sales Manager seeing him leave went to the salesman and asked what old Charlie wanted. The salesman proudly told his boss he had told him to leave or he would call a cop and was laughing at Charlie's reply that if he didn't want the sale he would fly to Sydney to buy it. The manager informed the salesman that old Charlie was one of the richest farmers in the country and their best customer, he had 3 Rolls Royce's and a Bentley S Series garaged in different states, just before firing him.
    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 20-08-2012 at 10:35am.

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