OT - too long, not approprite - don't care

Bill anotherdrunkensot at gmail.com
Wed Jun 10 14:33:56 EDT 2020

On 6/8/2020 7:59 AM, Pat Temmerman wrote:
> !!!! Long down mentaily alert!!!
> A bit of an off-topic photo industry ditty (off-topic, not Pentax). Just 
> one of those random recalls of the past. Through the 80s/90s I worked 
> for a Japanese marketing company that supplied various brands of camera 
> equipment (later expanded to audio/TV – different stories) For retail 
> sales on US military bases globally. If any of you bought your first 
> equipment somewhere on a Army, Air Force, Navy base in Asia or Europe in 
> was supplied by my crowd or 1 or 2 others. This was a serious, 
> well-established industry. Tokyo HQ, fully staffed sales orgs in 
> Okinawa, Philippines, Viet Nam, and Europe. I was a Europe guy.
> Anyway, early/mid 80s our primary product line was Minolta – just 
> nipping the heels for #1 position from Canon. We sponsored in-store 
> displays, active sales, special sales and occasional free camera 
> cleaning clinics. (We got great tech from Minolta Germany even though 
> our business was totally outside their business loop). Three – four 
> times a year they'd send a Japanese factory tech out that I would haul 
> around for a week our so to the bigger US bases like Frankfurt, 
> Stuttgart, Nuernberg, Kaiserslautern.
> Saturday morning, Stuttgart. (Stuttgart was always Saturday morning...) 
> Guy brings in his 101. Disgruntled. I looked at it at it felt, well ….. 
> sticky. Asked if something had perhaps, spilt. Nope. No spills. Wants a 
> completed refund on a 6 month old kit – lenses, filters, et al.
> Over to the tech to have a look. Have you ever seen one of these factory 
> guys take a camera apart? Screw driver in each hand and – buzz – piles 
> of parts about 30 seconds later. Everything separated and organized. 
> Every screw in an exact place to be reinserted. Bare bones. Film advance 
> lever, rewind mechanism, base cap, top gone, top most circuit board 
> laying exposed to the elements. Slight sticky-looking gleam on the 
> board. Tech finally looks up at the horrified GI – he couldn't believe 
> the full-out assault on his camera! - and simply said 'Coke?'
> Mr. horrified GI really cut loose – lawsuits! damnation! second invasion 
> of Japan! and refundrefundrefund!
> Never taking his eyes of the customer, the tech picked up the 101 and
> gave it a long, slow, clean lick from one end of the circuit board to 
> the other and simply said 'orange juice'.
> Tech produced a plastic bag, swept all the camera components and debris 
> into it, handed back to the GI saying, 'warranty cancel'.
> Back to lock down mentality. Notified today we still have 10 days to 
> go.....


When I was still working in a camera store in the late 1980s, a customer 
came in with her son wanting a warranty repair on a Yashica of some 
sort. It had just stopped working, no reason why....
I looked through the viewfinder and saw liquid on top of the screen, 
literally a puddle sloshing around in there. I took off the lens, and 
more water inside the mirror box.
I said that there was no point in sending it for repair as it was 
probably irreparable, and that the warranty would be voided by the water 
inside it.
Apparently, the young lad had decided to clean his camera under a stream 
of running water. I was told by the customer that this shouldn't void 
the warranty as he was trying to keep the camera pristine, and besides, 
nowhere did it say that one shouldn't do what he did.
I showed her page one of the manual where it said to not expose the 
camera to rain or submerge it in water, she said it had been neither 
submerged in water or exposed to rain.
I've never been much good at dealing with that sort of lack of good sense.
Anyway, I offered to send the thing away if she insisted, and there 
would be a small, non refundable fee for having us do it.
More push back as was expected, would the fee be refunded if the camera 
couldn't be repaired?
What, I asked, does non refundable mean to you?
Oh right, a similar meaning to running it under a tap doesn't mean the 
same thing as submerging it or getting it rained on.
It was quite a day.


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