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As I’ve said before, I work for a private day school. Recently we had some budget to purchase a couple of SLR cameras, and the school has a relationship with a Toronto store called Vistek. I called the owner, who didn’t answer his phone, instead a secretary told me they’d get the details we want, and have a sales rep write me a quote. The owner would then modify pricing.

I was cool with that. I used to work for Carbon Computing, and everyone who called and asked for Ron usually wouldn’t get to Ron, it seemed I was always the guy who was told to quote on those products.

I gave one of their sales reps my information, and the package we wanted to buy. We’ll call this sales rep “Brian.” Brian then sends me a quote on December 16. I say it’s great, and tell him I’ll be there to pick it up Monday morning if that works for him. I confirm with him that a purchase order is okay. It is, I send him one.

I didn’t want the school to pay for shipping, I live in Playter Estates, and Riverdale isn’t too far from me. It was Winter break that following week, sure I could show up a bit late if I was out picking up products for the school, right?

Monday morning, 8:30 am, they open, I walk in at 8:35. The sales floor is dead, I ask for Brian, he’s not there, I get directed to Michael. That’s fine. He’ll do. I tell him who I am and what I’m there to pick up. He goes to get the product. They’re not put aside.

Fine, Michael goes and gathers the products. He begins ringing it up. I ask him why some things are missing. He tells me that they’re out of stock of the bag and tripod. I give him a funny look, walk over to the wall of bags, and grab the bag. He says they’re out of stock of the tripod. Fine.

He then needs a copy of the PO. He should have a copy, but fine, I go to one of the demo computers, and email it to him. He needs it again, I go back and email it to him. Then he needs a copy of the quote. I email that to him. Then he needs a supervisor to unlock something. Then he spends 20 minutes trying to make the order go, then he needs a supervisor to unlock something. This happens over and over again. I spend 90 minutes on the sales floor, wonderful what the hell is going on.

Finally it’s all done, I go back to work. Camera works great. Woot!

I notice that he threw in a little case to hold spare batteries and memory cards. It’s an SLR with a rechargable battery. Why would I want a pouch designed to hold AA batteries? Whatever, who cares.

Weeks go by and I realize that I haven’t heard from Vistek about that tripod I’m waiting for.

January 5, I send Brian the following email:

Any word on the tripod?


January 8:

I’m still waiting to hear about the tripod.


A few days later, I call, I get Brian’s voicemail. I press zero and get directed to Michael. Sounds familiar. I tell Michael what’s happening. He check… oh, it’s due to arrive in March. I give him the death-stare over the phone. “March? Why would I wait until March for this tripod? It’s just a tripod, you must have something comparable.” He tells me that they can definitely do that, he’ll get Brian to call me. I tell him, that I doubt that Brian will call back. Michael assures me that Brian will get back to me and they’ll get this all straightened out. I reluctantly agree.

Yesterday it was January 19th, and I hadn’t heard from Brian. I had forgotten about it, until I was in class last night for a photo course I’m taking and among the discussions was some bashing of Vistek. That reminded me.

Today, I called Vistek, asked for a manager. “Our manager’s not in today.” I ask for a supervisor. He transfers me to “Ryan’s” voicemail. I call back and again get Ryan’s voicemail. I’m tired of this. Wait a couple hours. I call and AGAIN get Ryan’s voicemail. Press zero ask for some kind of manager. I got routed to a gentleman who we’ll call “Paul,” he’s the “customer experience manager” or something like that. Paul listened to my story, and was extremely apologetic. Told me he’d call back in ten minutes with a solution for me.

He did, and they’re shipping out the tripod tomorrow. Here’s hoping it shows up tomorrow.


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