I was gruffly greeted by a man with a mustache, glasses, and a somewhat confrontational and grumpy attitude. I said I needed a sensor cleaned. He asks me to show him the camera and proceeds to give me a disclaimer regarding the service: he might not be able to do it. All he would do, he said, was blow on it with an air puffer. He would not touch the sensor with a brush or anything as that might damage it. He told me to come back in 30 minutes.
I come 40 minutes later, and the door is locked, so I stand around for a while. He finally lets me in, and said that he fixed it, no problems at all. But, I need to buy a filter.
I protested that I didn't need one. But he argued with me that it was necessary, not with logic or words, but with the kind of ""you're just a stupid kid"" kind of face. I would scratch the lens or break it, he kept repeating. I tried another approach.
I'm planning on upgrading, I said. I'm not going to use this lens for long.
Stil, he kept that condescending look on his face and basically said I'd be stupid to risk the resale value of the lens I had by not buying the filter.
I then said that I think it degrades the image quality. It produces lens flare, and two more surfaces for light to hit.
Oh, no no no, he says, the multi-coated glass won't make a difference! No difference at all, he insists.
I used my last excuse.
I can't afford it, I said.
Oh, it's hardly an increase to your bill, it's like nothing, he countered.
The cleaning fee was $40. The filter was $20. A 50% increase is quite a big deal to a college student (and I say this), quite frankly. I told him that I needed that $20 to eat for a week.
You know what he said? He told me that the food bank was down on 50th Ave.
I was shocked. For the first time in my life, a shopkeeper is telling me that I should eat from the public food kitchen so that I can afford his merchandise.
I gave up. He starts ringing me up, and I realize that the filter he is selling me is the wrong size. I bring it to his attention.
He was annoyed that I noticed, but goes to the back and grabs me another filter, this time, not in a box.
This one is three dollars more, he says (no box, no price tag) but since he already wrote up the bill, he'll maintain the $20 price.
He puts the filter directly on my camera and gives me the total for the sale. I pay and then start asking about lighting equipment, as I saw some things on the website.
He didn't know what I meant by Alien Bees. Really? Are Alien Bees some unknown type of strobe? There are two of them on his website. Again, he avoids my questions and refuses to give information about high speed strobe systems. He changed the subject or gave me that ""what a stupid question"" look whenever I asked something.
I felt that there was no respect at all coming from that side of the counter. I put my camera in my backpack and looked around as we continued to talk about selling pictures and how he wanted a new car but his wife wouldn't let him get one. Everything in the case was old, dusty, and over-priced. I couldn't stay long enough to look at everything. I felt so uncomfortable, so violated.
He has cool stuff, but of course I'm not going to take food from the food bank so that I can afford any of it. I'd rather shop at a friendlier location where my business and my presence is appreciated and respected. I will never go back to this place. Unprofessional conduct and complete disregard for others' opinion/expertise are not worth the ""cheapest sensor cleaning in town."" It was cheap because he didn't do it the way professionals do it. Duh. I should have realized that before I agreed to it. My mistake, and I'm happy to pay for that. I shouldn't have to put up with one of my overall worst shopping experiences. (Seriously, ever.)
Oh, and when I got home I found out that the filter that he slipped onto my lens was not multi-coated, and it is only worth $15.
I feel cheated; it's a nasty, slimy feeling. How do you clean that?