PSA: Beware of Focus Camera

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Mar 20, 2018
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West slope of the Sierra Nevada
This is summarized as best I could, but if you want all of the gory details (including proof of the offer and the used listing described below) they are at: Focus Camera

I took advantage of the Panasonic Trade Up offer on the DC-G9, but actually it is Focus Camera that took advantage of me.

I first filled out the trade in form on their web site. They responded by email within a day, but there was no quote for the mint condition DMC-G85 I planned on trading in. When I responded to the email asking for a valuation, I received a phone call later that day.

In that conversation they valued the camera at US$650.00, and that they would offer me 70% of that ($455.00). But a week later after receiving the camera, they offered $300.00, telling me that due to the popularity of the promotion, the value of the camera had dropped. I told her that was unacceptable to me and to return the camera and I would send them something else.

She then asked what would it take to complete the transaction as is, and taking them for their word that the G85 did in fact depreciate, I suggested splitting the difference ($375). 4 days later she contacted me with acceptance, and that they would credit that amount to my card (which they did).

However... a few weeks later I see a "like new in box" G85 in the used section of their web site (exactly like the one I sent them), for $699.99. So it seems the G85 didn't depreciate like I was told, and in fact, they were selling it for $50 more than the original value they had quoted me.

Long story short... they refused to even acknowledge the pricing discrepancy, and just repeated over and over that they credited me what we agreed upon. And now they no longer respond to my emails.

I feel they had intentionally low balled me after receiving my G85 so they could strike some kind of deal where they could acquire the camera for less than it was worth, and it clearly worked. Pass it on!
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2008
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Ireland
Real Name
(Mike) Michael Skerritt.
Sorry to hear about this sort of thing happening. My advice to members hers is to avoid focus cameras even if they were to offer a better price that others you can trust.
Mike
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
15,212
Location
Nashua, NH
But still, I would *expect* that from many retailers. Honest ones like the one I go to offer me such a low value - but they are upfront about it. When selling on FM I get so many low ball offers I wonder if people just want to buy from me and then sell to others for a higher price.

However, I am glad to know focus is on a bad list. I would be interested in others..
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
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Nashua, NH
Deceptive - I went to the sight and started to type in Nikon 500 pf and that auto filled in the search form before I typed pf. To me, that would seem they were selling it. However, the search returned over 200 lenses on cameras for Nikon, but not the 500 pf.
 
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May 5, 2005
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SW Virginia
Let me report a very positive experience with MPB.com, a supporting vendor of Nikon Cafe. This past summer I traded three lenses toward a used D5500 body. Not only did they follow through on the e-mailed offer, they actually gave me more for one of the lenses than offered, after they inspected it.

Next time you want to make a trade, try mpb.com.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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Moscow, Idaho
Let me report a very positive experience with MPB.com, a supporting vendor of Nikon Cafe. This past summer I traded three lenses toward a used D5500 body. Not only did they follow through on the e-mailed offer, they actually gave me more for one of the lenses than offered, after they inspected it.

Next time you want to make a trade, try mpb.com.
Very similar to my recent experience with them - class act.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
221
Location
West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Thanks to everyone for your comments.

I was recently contacted by the manager of Focus Camera customer service regarding my posting of this experience on Yelp. She has apologized for my experience with their company and has issued me a refund of $150.00 ($70 more than their initial valuation).

She also remarked that there would be some "conversations" with upper-management of the Used Department so this kind of thing will not happen going forward.

I had planned to also send a certified letter to the CEO of Focus Camera recanting my first experience with their company. Would that have received the same result as the Yelp review? Possibly... I know I have achieved similar results in the past.

It's unfortunate that corporate America hasn't learned from Jeff Bezos about empowering the people in the trenches to look after the customer, and that this kind of escalation is all too often required.

In any event, I wanted you all to know that my escalation of this issue has resulted in Focus Camera doing more than what was right in the end.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
22,079
Location
Moscow, Idaho
I recently had a dealing with Thermoworks, in Utah, that gives me hope. I've owned one of their fabulous instant-read food thermometers, the ThermoPop, for years. It accidentally spent 45 minutes of its life in the rough and tumble and wet world of a washing machine. My wife came across it as she was switching the load to the dryer. It looked beat up. I turned it on and it worked. The readout seemed accurate. I took a picture and sent it to the company along with my eternal thanks for such a tough and dependable instrument. It was well out of warranty, which did not cover operator stupidity!
Here's what I heared back from them (their Chief Customer Advocate, actually):
"What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing it with me. It's great to hear that your ThermoPop could withstand a washing machine!
I'd like to do something for you. We're going to send you a brand new ThermoPop to make sure that you have a reliable unit to enjoy for years to come - just in case...
I hope you have a wonderful day!"

Made my day and more!
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
221
Location
West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Made my day and more!
Ya know... the list of companies I will no longer do business with grows longer and longer every year, and it is predominately due to customer service issues. Corporate America just doesn't understand that this should be funded with part of their marketing budget and not viewed as an added expense.

Far more expensive to bring in a new customer as opposed to keeping one for life. Kudos Thermoworks... of course I already knew they were a standout company.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
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Lansing MI
“Far more expensive to bring in a new customer as opposed to keeping one for lifetime.”

Not if your product is good enough to last a lifetime
 
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Apr 3, 2018
Messages
452
I have heard reports of WEX UK even increasing their offer price on equipment that exceeds expectations.
Yes. I have used Wex for many years as my preferred UK photo store, mainly because of their excellent service and pricing. I recently sent them a bunch of stuff as part exchange for my Nikkor 300mm PF. They got back to me after they had tested them and had increased valuations on two of the items.
 
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