Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Retailer Review - Barclay's Photo (Another Disrespected Customer)

Since my initial review on Barclay's Photo, another customer found my blog & went through the trouble of detailing his experience with Barclay's.

I think it interesting to not only find out, but to note, how little emphasis there is in obtaining a good reputation via good customer service @ Barclay's Photo. Instead Barclay's staff opts for rudeness, arrogance & trick tactics. Not a very smart lot of people, and they will not hesitate to call you dumb if you prove to be witty and not fall for their aggressive sales tactics.

Before I post Glenn's review of his experience... I have a few questions for Barclay's Photo?

1) How hard is it to fully communicate and entertain a customer's inquiries about his order? Choosing not to clearly means you have something to hide... I hope to get to the bottom of that however long it takes.

2) Why is it so difficult for your staff to setup your customer's expectations? This could save you a ton of grief as a seller & for your customers alike.

3) Send your staff to Customer Service seminars... they all sound like street hustlers.

On to Glenn' review.

How to be rude, uncaring and a liar by any member of the Barclays photo staff
- by Glenn

I have bought photo equipment from New York companies before and was somewhat ready for the New York attitude and hard sell but what I was about to experience from Barclays Photo was truly beyond belief. If I had known then what I know now I would have paid the extra money and gone with a no hassle purchase from Amazon. I looked over the auction pretty good Canon D40 and lens and other misc goodies. I did check Barclays feedback, with their amount of closed auctions it is hard to know if you will have problems or not, and for me it’s not really the problems that are important its how they handle them.
I went ahead with the auction as I saw they take Paypal and I feel more comfortable using Paypal than a credit card. After the auction closes I send a Paypal invoice request that I get no reply to. I do get an email with Barclays photo phone number in it, but decide to send another Paypal request. Request 2 gets no reply so I call the number, after waiting 20 mins I talk to a guy called “Chuck” that proceeds to tell me I have bought a “non US” camera body. I tell him it says nowhere in the auction that it’s a non US body. He proceeds to tell me that eBay doesn’t require them to post that in their auctions but I can get insurance to cover this non US body for $300. I decline and am already a little miffed. I tell him I want to pay with Paypal and not a credit card, he’s put out but said he will send me the Paypal request.
Day 2
No request. I try sending a Paypal request again through the eBay auction, no luck. I get on the phone again and wait another 20 mins on hold before I get a Leora to help me. She said she will send the Paypal request. I receive a request for $1049.99, when I click on the link it has no detail on what I am paying for? Just to send the money. I get back on the phone another long wait and tell the next person to send the request from eBay so we can get the auction details in it. I get another request this time its says “d40” and that’s it. I call back again ! this time the lady admits they don’t use eBay to send paypal requests and prefer not to take paypal at all. 3rd time I get a request with the auction number in it. Although not sent from eBay it links back to it so I assume I’m fairly safe. I pay this and make the note for Barclays to send me a tracking number as soon as they ship.
Day 3
I get an email saying my order was released for shipping. I’m stoked, and waiting for that tracking number to show up anytime.
Day 7
I call looking for a tracking number, Leora tells me they have had problems with defective lenses (canon?hmm) and that I will have my camera on Friday (Day 10) and make sure and give us good feedback although she cannot give me the tracking number she says they will email it to me.
Day 8 !
After calling a few times for a tracking number without success, I get this email:
Dear Customer,

Thank you for your payment. Please be advise that the standard ground shipping method you have selected, may take up to 7-10 business days for your item to arrive. You will be getting a email with the tracking number, shortly after your item has been shipped.

Thank You,

I call and talk to Avi, and get in a heated argument. I ask for a shipping number and remind him that the auction specified I would receive my auction items within 10 days. I see the are not going to be able to ship those items ground and make that deadline. I tell him I am not happy with the way I am being treated (you should never shout at your customer) he tells me they want good feedback and he is trying to work with me. I don’t remember the last time a retailer said he was trying to work with me whilst he was shouting down the phone so I hung up so I can cool off some.
Day 9
I call for tracking number and get Avi, he tells me I can get my camera Friday (Day 10) but it will cost me $75 to ship it. I’m pissed as they have let me down already and not they are going to do it again !. I tell him Leora told me I would have Friday even if they have to upgrade the shipping. He said she cannot tell me that and we go back and forth on what good customer service is. I am about to miss the weekend and had planned to use my new camera to take so surfing shots (so much for that plan). Avi says my camera will be there in 10 days from auction date but refuses to give me the tracking number. We go back and forth on how there are only so many ways to ship to get it to me on time. He keeps reiterating that they want us to be happy and get good feedback. I tell him I have not been happy so far, but if auction arrives on Day 15 with everything in there he’ll be ok on the feedback. He calls me later that day with a UPS 3 Day tracking number.
Day 15
Cool my camera and goodies are here, open the box. The memory card wallet Is not in the box. Now I cannot say whether this was intentionally left out (to cover cost of 3 day shipping?) or not. But at this point I felt people should know what kind of experience they risk if they buy from Barclays Photo. I post a negative on the auction feedback stating “Bait and switch, bad business, auction not complete”. I get a call Avi asking why I had posted negative feedback, I ask him to recall our last conversation in which I told him if the auction was complete I would be fair with his feedback. He says its only a small thing ! and that they would take care of it. I tell him I think its important that people understand what kind of experience they are in for. He then says “I’ll give you $100 if you remove your negative feedback”, I laugh and joke with him, “ok put it in my account” he goes “no remove your negative first” beware as if you post negative and remove it you cannot post it again. I tell him that’s another way to dupe people and hang up. I wanted nothing more to do with these arrogant, liers. But you know what story don’t end there !!!
Day 16
I get an email from eBay saying I haven’t paid for the auction? What the hell, I go look and because Barclays sent me a Paypal request not from eBay but from Paypal its showing like I didn’t pay for the auction. Adding insult to injury Barclays posts a negative feedback saying “BEWARE CUST IS HYPOCRITICAL TRIES 2 EXTORT CREDIT TO HIS ACC. RCVD FREE UPG SHIP” now what being hypocritical has to do with winning an auction I’m not sure, but it did make me pissed. Luckily I still have my paypal card so I start a paypal dispute.
Here is the Barclays Post:
All merchandise has been shipped and received within the 7-10 time frame. Furthermore we have expedited the shipment of the camera without charge. This transaction has been a loss to us from the start - not a gain! We are merely following the guidelines set forth to us by eBay!
Now they are not even admitting all items were not in the box !!!. I continue to ask them why they filed eBay non payment when they are replying to my Paypal dispute !! duh.
This is still up for a decision. They are trying to get me to remove my feedback through Sqauretrade and I since notice my negative feedback is gone from eBay.
Here’s what I learned, a good price is often too good to be true. Barclays Photo knows the system and will lie, cheat and screw you in any way they can. You must be prepared when dealing with people like this as I found out. I know most people on eBay are screwed by these guys but are like me and don’t know (and shouldn’t have to know) the system. This Blog is a great idea I think I’ll put up my own !

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