Slow Response. Customer Service not very intuitive

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Guest's review of Clifton Cameras -


“Slow Response. Customer Service not very intuitive”

Written on: 27/02/2013

My experience with the retailer is not very good. I bought a Pentax K-5 II through finance and everything went smoothly until I received the Camera (pretty quick delivery!) and to utter bad luck the camera was faulty. First of all the box was not sealed. Secondly I could see a lot of dust and moisture through the viewfinder. I am a novice photographer and going through some online forum, I doubt the dust may be in the mirror, or in the prism. That let me conclude that the camera might be a customer return. I first phoned Pentax and taking their advice I phoned Clifton, only to find that instead of offering a quick speedy return/replacement process, their customer service was deliberately trying to dilute the issue and slow the eventual process in order to try and discourage me with the return and be left with the faulty item and going through the repair service in the near future. This is quite unfortunate and now I have started to believe that apart from Amazon and a handful of large online retailer, buying online is a risky proposition unless you are getting a one in a century deal.

  • £800

    Goods purchased & cost

  • On time


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Sailorboy99's Comment

Written on: 28/02/2013

Quote the distance selling regulations to them. They must take it back.

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Cliftoncameras's Comment

Written on: 05/03/2013


Dear Mr *******,

I am contacting you in regards to a review that I believe you have left on the Reviewcentre website about Clifton Cameras (copied below).

I believe that the comments you have posted here to be unfair and an inaccurate summary of the events. It was myself that spoke to you yesterday regarding your camera, I believe you also spoke to my colleague Vanessa prior to our conversation.

I can see that you initially made a purchase through our website on the 10th February for a Pentax K-5 II using our online finance service, you then called us to change the camera over to a Nikon D7000 which we duly did, this order was then cancelled by you on the 11th as we were unable to price match ******.

You then placed another order for a Nikon D7000 on the Saturday 23rd, again using the finance system. You then contacted us on the 25th to change your order to a Pentax K-5 II, we duly rearranged the finance deal for you and shipped your order on the 26th.

On the 27th (yesterday) you called us to complain of dust ingress in your camera, this was at 13:35, you spoke to my colleague Vanessa, who offered to send you a pre-paid returns label so that you could send the camera back for a full refund or replacement. You then called and spoke to me about half an hour later regarding the same issue, I told you that as we use Royal Mail and not a courier we were unable to collect the item from you that day but also offered to post you a returns label (incidentally we had already organised your label before I actually spoke to you)

I have tracked the serial number of the camera we sent you and can categorically refute that this was a customer return, I would also like to confirm that the camera kit you purchased does not come with a seal on it from Pentax UK.

I did mention to you on the phone yesterday that cameras and or lenses are not exempt from dust ingress and it is not unheard of for new cameras or lenses to contain an element of particle or dust ingress from manufacture. I also repeated the offer that we would pay for the return cost of the camera, inspect it upon return, contact you directly and promptly and either offer you a replacement or a full refund.

As you may appreciate I am a little staggered at your comments of a "Slow Response. Customer Service not very intuitive", also your assumption "That let me conclude that the camera might be a customer return"

We are more than able to accept criticism where necessary and admit that occasionally we do get it wrong, however I feel in this case your comments are totally unfair and do not reflect the service we have offered. The effect of placing reviews on websites like Reviewcentre of course have an effect on retailers and I would ask that you reconsider the placement of this review and retract it. If you are not prepared to do this I will respond to the review via the website.

I assume that your camera has been sent back to us and will be received here tomorrow ? I will keep an eye out for your camera and contact you once I have had chance to inspect it.

I can be contacted on 01453 548128 if you would like to discuss any part of this.

Mark Williams

Managing Director

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Rcjayanta's Comment

Written on: 06/03/2013


Before I write anything I would like to clarify that I don't have any personal issue with anybody in Clifton Camera and I hope everybody bear that in their mind.
I left my comments based on the issues I found going through the buying process and I am sure I would have added a few more if it would have been today, and now I would like to clearly point out those below. Any comments or remarks on those are most welcome.

i) First and foremost despite trading online, you do not reply to email and do not send email to update status of any part of the order including order dispatch. From this approach one can think that either you or the customers you deal with are more comfortable with the old school approach of phoning and meeting personally, or you basically being a shop do not intend to focus on online trading but rather the recent trends have forced you to venture into this unknown world. But I have to say, you need to be more professional in this stream.
ii) Secondly, when I talked to your sales/customer service team, I realized that you don't have any dedicated after sales support people as I came across same person twice phoning for different department which is bizarre.

iii) Now while talking to one of your sales person, I heard him saying that one can not expect a better result in 'AUTO' settings from Nikon D7000 camera as it is intended for Professional Photographers. Now this remark is utterly wrong from 2 different direction. First of all according to Nikon, D7000 is not a Pro DSLR. It is a consumer grade dslr made for enthusiast photographers who Nikon feels would use 'Auto Modes' quite frequently and would also expect the camera to deliver a good result. Secondly, it is sometimes quite fun but aristocratic feeling to hold a smart phone in one hand and changing disk in a turntable in one hand while criticizing the digital music left-right and centre. But let me tell you that there is absolutely no shame on saying that I like CD over Vinyl Record and Auto mode over manual settings. And a digital SLR as it's name suggests is a complex electronic device which is run by a very smart software which does all the calculations for human eye to take snaps. And as a programmer I can tell you, we don't do any justice to those geeks who write those software, nor those companies like Nikon, Canon whom we die for if some people turn their face from the technology and prefer to hold iPhone in one hand and adjust manual focus rings with another (if they can do both without being look like a juggler in a circus).

iii) I would also like to let you know, that when I dealt with the customer service / sales guys in your team, it seemed to me that they are less passionate about the camera, the excitement of a potential sale, or even talking to a person who is willing to know from them.

iv) And finally after receiving the latest comment from you, I have realized that there is a communication gap between the management and staff in your company, so that you are not been informed that your staff have received the camera back. Phoned me to discuss the options, and eventually processing the refund which is confirmed by the only email I received from you and hat`s off for that.

As I said, this is my personal opinion and does not intend to hurt anyone. But I would be really pleased to find my findings to be 'very wrong' when I shop the next time in 'CliftonCameras'


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Jimmycrackenbush725's Comment

Written on: 03/03/2013

Sorry to hear you have had a bad experience whilst online purchasing you're Pentax K-5 II with Clifton Cameras.
I have purchased items from them myself and am pleased to say their service has always been first class.

I have monitored their business, for several years now, via customer reviews etc. and have not seen any negatives, apart from you're own. I work in Customer Services myself and find that sometimes it is human error committed by an individual - that can inadvertently give a Company a bad name. In this day and age when the camera buyer now has to mostly rely on the Internet, due to the demise of the High Street, it is essential we have and support good, decent and honest online retailers such as Clifton Cameras. I personally think you have just been unusually unlucky!

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