I know I have more than a few posts on here about various companies and how **** they’ve been (I have a doozy coming up if the bastards ever reply), but just for a change I’m going to recommend someone. A business who went that one step above, ignored stupid T’s and C’s and treated a customer very well indeed. That would be me, by the way.
Olympus – manufacturers of cameras and related bits and bobs – please step forwards and take a bow.
I picked up one of their 330 waterproof cameras in Dubai as a replacement for an older model that I lost in a river in Laos. Seriously. Waterproof, but not “dropped in a river somewhere by a drunk loon in a floating tube”-proof.
This particular replacement fit perfectly into the underwater housing I’d purchased for the original camera. Being a diver, this is a great budget way to take photos underwater. The housing cost the same amount as the camera, near as makes no difference, but for a point-and-click I get good results on a budget.
Then, in Indonesia, I had a problem. The housing is rated to 40m depth; the camera to 10m. I was diving around 8m and the housing partially leaked which could have been my fault. Even a tiny hair in the seal can allow water in. Regardless, the camera took one picture… and then shut down never to wake up again. Being under 10m, the camera should have survived even with the failed case.
A couple of weeks later I was back home and went to Jessops to ask about a replacement which would fit into my housing. Problem is, the new model which has superceded the one I had is a different size and the controls are in different places – the upshot being that it won’t fit into my housing. The chap at Jessops pointed out that the camera came with a two year warranty (not a single year as I’d thought) and that he’d heard of Olympus replacing additional components such as the housing if they had to replace a camera through an inherent flaw and said extra kit wasn’t compatible.
I emailed Olympus explaining my problem and they told me to ring their customer service. I did so and they said, “yeah sure”. Send the case and the camera back, don’t worry about the fact that I don’t have any boxes or paperwork or receipts and they’d look at it. The camera model was less than two years old therefore I must have bought it within the guarantee period even though I had nothing to prove this.
So off it popped in the post. Via the web page I could check the progress of the repairs and when the bits were dispatched back to me.
Within a month, a shiny new camera arrived. As did my old housing. Whoops.
I emailed Olympus again and said they’d offered to replace the housing. Again, no problem. They apologised and told me not to worry about returning my older housing as they’d written it off the system anyway. True to their word, a couple of days later a new housing (compatible with the new camera) arrived at my folks’ place.
So to Olympus – thank you. Very few companies seem to take their customers seriously these days. Sure, there was a slight cockup in the return with the wrong housing being sent out, but that itself was dealt with rapidly and politely.
As such, I will certainly be looking at Olympus for my next camera before looking elsewhere. I know if anything happens I’ll be covered and I can trust the people I bought it from.