In blogging about Jessops, it’s impossible not to start by expressing sincere sympathies for the staff who’ve just lost their jobs. My problems with their previous employer is nothing compared to the shock and pain they’ll be going through and it was the staff who made that business. Helpful, knowledgeable and passionate photographers, I’ve always valued the service they gave which is why I shopped there.
I just wish I hadn’t shopped there this week.
It all started so ordinary. I’d spent some time over Christmas researching the camera I wanted, got my pressie money ready to go and placed the ‘collect at store’ order to time with a day working in Manchester.
Sadly the Market Street store didn’t have a record of my order when I arrived on Wednesday (despite an email confirmation) but, no worries, they had the model in stock. Boxed and ready to go I was off. A day of meetings meant I didn’t get the chance to try out my new purchase and it was on the drive home I heard the sorry news that Jessops had gone into administration.
Once home, I couldn’t wait to get the camera on charge, opened the box……..ah, no charger or battery. How annoying, plus a minor irritation that the still wrapped camera body seemed to have a scuffed hotfoot.
Thursday was spent being pushed from call centre to post as stressed out staff no doubt attempted to cope with a myriad of customer enquiries and concerns.
As the clouds gathering over Jessops got darker (there was now a no returns policy) I thought my best bet was to take the whole boxed kit with all the paperwork to my local store and hope the staff would see the common sense in handing over a battery charger unit.
They did. Professional as ever they called the Manchester store, a bit of gallows humour banter about jobs passed between them and it was all sorted. I would take the display camera’s battery and charger and Manchester would replenish the store at some future point. All sorted – until I mentioned the scuffed hotfoot.
Taking the camera out of the packaging produced an actual gasp, ‘what is that!!!’. The body unit turns out to be an entirely different model from some years ago and worth about half the value of the model I believed I’d purchased.
Calls were made out of my earshot to the manager of the Manchester store. How could the wrong model have made it into a sealed box and how on earth could they resolve this given the no returns policy?
They couldn’t of course. I called the administrator – his number prominently displayed in store – but no, he had no sense of fair play and would not allow the staff to let me take the display camera as a replacement and no, I couldn’t have a refund.
I called the credit card provider to see if payment could be stopped – no.
So I’m left with an unsuitable camera I don’t want and, even if I did, I can’t use because there’s no battery or charger.
I’m registering as a creditor and of course I shall pursue all routes in an attempt to get a refund but who knows how long that will all take.
If there is a moral in this tale I guess it’s that buying from household names doesn’t mean anything in these dark days and actually shopping online often offers better consumer protection. Oh and – always open the box!
Was I just incredibly unlucky or has anyone else lost out by buying in the dying hours of Jessops?