On November 15th 2007 I took my Sigma 10-20 wide angle lens into O’Learys Camera World in Cork to be repaired. (I found out they were using some of my photos without permission too, but that’s another story. Read the linked post above!)
Several phone calls followed over the weeks after that. Eventually I was told that parts had to be shipped from Japan.
Roll on 5 months later to April 15th 2008. I rang O’Learys Camera World and got on to Andrea. She had to check my docket number and was gone for quite a while, during which time several members of staff tried to make phone calls. Beep, beep, beep and I’d wait for them to put the phone to their ear before saying, “I’m waiting on someone to check a docket for me”. After what seemed like an age, Andrea finally came on the phone again. She couldn’t get in touch with anyone and rattled off the same old story about shipping parts from Japan. She’s said she’d ring me back in 5 minutes after speaking to the repair shop in Bandon.
Oh, and that took almost 11 minutes to find out. Grrr.
A few minutes later she rang back. The repair guy is off today, she’ll be off tomorrow, but she’d leave a note for Declan to ring them again. Hopefully he rings me, and I have to wonder at the inventory system of a repair shop that doesn’t have a database a secretary can check ..
If I didn’t have Matt‘s old lens I’d be really pissed, but as it is I’ve been without an expensive piece of equipment for too long.
O’Learys Camera World – you screwed me over by using my photos to sell your digital photo frames without asking my permission. Now you’ve kept my lens for 5 months. Please don’t expect any business from me in the future once this debacle is sorted out.
Hopefully a few members of Mallow Camera Club will read this and pass the word along. I gave a talk at the club last night on educational websites. Here’s a list of the sites I covered. If you’re new to blogs, it’s a good starting point for any budding photographer.
Hmm. I’m seething! I’m angry! I’m pissed off! Yesterday I explained why I “reserve all rights” on my photographs. I want control over how and where they are used. I don’t want a photo of my 7 month old son to appear in an inappropriate context. There are other restrictions on usage. When I photograph people, I never get signed model release forms so those images cannot be used for commercial or marketing use. Also, as some of my images are on sale as fine art limited edition prints in a gallery in Kinsale they have a monetary value.
So, it was with some shock that I looked around O’Learys Camera World while waiting to have my lens looked at and I saw two of my images in an electronic photo frame. The two images are Clouds Move At Night and West Cork Landscape. There was also an image of St Finbarrs Cathedral which has been photographed to death and could be by anyone, and 2 images of a large manor-house I didn’t recognise.
When I pointed out the images were mine and copyrighted, that they were downloaded from my photoblog or Flickr I was told they didn’t know how the images were on the device, that they were on it when they got the frame. It seems strange to me that a wholesale distributor of photo frames who probably distributes to many parts of the country and other countries would just happen to put pictures of Cork on their frames. If they do, I need to find out who that distributor is and work out a royalty scheme. If not, how long have my images been used to sell a €99 photo frame in a prominent city centre photography shop?
I can’t remember if I received an apology, I probably did, but they turned off the frame and took out the memory card and promised to wipe it clean. Do those photo frames come with memory cards?
After that, the purpose of my visit was to have my Sigma 10-20mm lens fixed. The M/AF switch fell out, and I noticed a crack in the plastic casing near the base. It has to be sent to Sigma’s HQ in Bandon and I’ll hear from them in a few days. There was also a €50 non-refundable deposit, which will be deducted from the cost of repair.
The whole experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth.