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If you find youself in this joint you will do yourself a favour by getting the hell out of there. Wish I did.

Recently upgraded my trusty old Sony A900 dslr camera to the new A7 R11. What a beaut this is proving to be, but this is not a review of the camera, it is about an embarrassing experience that when told will hopefully help someone avoid someone a similar indignity.

Kowloon, Hong Kong

If you find yourself in a place that looks like this, my advice – GET OUT.

I received my new camera a day or 2 before heading off on a European multi-city photoshoot. I obtained a 24-70 leans and could not get delivery of the other lenses required at short notice. Calling into Hong Kong en-route I believed,from adverts I’d read, that I should be able to pick what I wanted and perhaps quite economically.

In short, do not buy from this or any similar outfit if you value your wallet.

Long View Digital Co and Good View Digital – Hong Kong.

I arrived in Hong Kong late at night and was looking forward to hitting the streets for a little sightseeing, firing off some shots on my new camera and hopefully finding a source of lenses.

My excitement was piqued when I saw a number of camera stores claiming Sony as one of their range.

I knew what i wanted. Dropped into a few of these stores, was impressed by the offers, but this where it gets weird. They could all offer me at great prices for what i wanted. In the end one of these “super friendly” salesman convinced me to buy. Why not? I’ll tell you why.

Now ive ageed apparently its not in stock but we’ll have it in 10 mimutes. Someone is despatched to collect it. He never returns and by now about salsman number 3 is charmingly conversing with me.

So tactic 1. Yes in stock.

Tactic 2. Sorry we’ll get, take 10 minutes. Pay now and we’ ll get it. Uh, no, I’ll pay when i have it in my hands. Ok they say.

Tactic 3. Rotate salemen

Tactic 4. Start “helpfully and to fill the time” showing other products.

Tactic 5. Rotate salesman again.

Tactic 6. 30 minutes have now gone by. “This is a better product” try it. Great price? Great extras thrown in. Now close to an hour, still waiting for the ordered product at the agreed price to arrive .

Tactic 7. Really push the point that the now offered product is a better option, better quality etc, and they offer to add some extras to sweeten the deal.

Then somehow, unbelievably, we agree.

Tactic 8. They then produce an invoice (saying it guarantee, ask that you sign.

When looked at in the cold light of my hotel room, I find the price they use is far below the price given in the sore. The total is correct, but only by adding in the freebees at inflated prices.

Everything is put in bag, much patting on back etc, and effort to introduce something else to buy. Escape.

Back at hotel, the new lens is tried out. It malfunctions on both my cameras. So straight back to the shop. Explain, to of course a whole new group of salesmen, the problems. They say can’t be so, pull all sorts of stunts, talking amongst themselves in Chinese all the while. I then demand either the original product at offered price, or a refund. Now they say have to get the manager. Another 15 minute wait.

Finally Jacky arrives. I know his h=name because I ask, but I’ll bet that’s not for real either. After heated discussion I’m shown only a refund at a 30% discount.

When I argue about that I’m shown some small print on the “guarantee” that supports their discount claim.

Now how in the hell did all this happen. I don’t know, but to admit I was totally suckered by professionals. Embarrassing as I say as someone who is used to dealing and negotiating and knew exactly what I wanted.

But here’s another thing. When I say I want what was originally ordered I’m presented with another price, double what was originally offered. I say, and show the notes written at time of early discussion. I’m told that that price is not possible. So now we see the strategy always was to make a great offer, deceive about provision, then work on the buyer (me) until they pull off another sale.

Of course proving I was lied to is now impossible because the “group” who gave me the good price werew nowhere to be seen and their names were not known to the current group. Of course.

Absolute con-manship.

I’m passing through again soon and hope to get some photos of the offending store to update this post. However, these will not be necessary if you just heed one stupid guys big mistake.

I’m sure there are others who get caught by these Nathan Road and the surrounding Hong Kong street con-men in flash shops.

Don’t become one.

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