Ten days ago I wrote about my saga dealing with Sigma Corporation (read the Sigma Saga).  Here is an update as I promised.

I sent them an email right after I posted that to my blog, which was 26 June 2012.  I waited a full 48 hours without a response from them.  I then sent a second inquiry.

The $500 mistake – I will not likely purchase another Sigma product.

Before I received a response from Sigma, I received a message from a Helen Oster, Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador, she offered to help me out by allowing me to return or replace the lens. She said the original Adorama Customer Service rep erred when they told me it was too late to return it, because their return policy is 30 days from receipt of the product.  I was thrilled – I could avoid dealing with Sigma altogether, return the lens and buy the closest Nikkor equivalent

I quickly sent Helen an email with the details:  I had ordered the lens in late January and received it about 3-4 weeks later.  I used it about 3 weeks before I started having problems with it and after about 1 week of problems sent Adorama an email asking for help.  They told me they couldn’t help me and referred me to Sigma.

Imagine my disappointment when I received another email from Helen with the Roseanne Roseannadanna-esque reply of ‘never mind’.  It had been too long so Adorama was no longer willing to help me…WTF?  She said that if she had known about the problem when the original Customer Service rep told me no, she would have been able to intervene, but now she couldn’t because too much time had passed…WTF?

As I said before, I was mildly disappointed with Adorama, but I did understand they had a policy and they were following it.  I didn’t think they were being unfair, just not very generous.  I can accept that.  But now I am told by their Customer Service Ambassador, that they gave me faulty information, but because I didn’t know it was faulty information, I didn’t act in a manner in which they could help me, so now it really is too late for them to be willing to help…hmmm, help me understand this – because of their error, I am back to my original problem…Well, am I missing something or is that a horseshit way to deal with a customer service issue?  Helen did offer to contact Sigma for me, which was nice and she did get an answer saying they would fix it again…but then again, so did I.  I guess I will think twice about buying from Adorama in the future.  My advice for all customer service types – never over promise & under deliver, ever.

So, back to Sigma.  I finally got a response from Sigma shortly after I had received Helen’s original offer to allow me to return the lens.  I read it and could not believe what I was reading.  I was incredulous and didn’t know if I should laugh because it was some sick joke or become incredibly angry at the asinine email I received from Marc Farb, who claims to be a Customer Service Representative.

He not only did NOT offer to repair or replace the lens, he actually blamed me for the problem!  He claimed there were three possible problems and none of them were because of the shitty quality of the Sigma lens (the lack of quality in Sigma lenses appears to be fairly well established if you look at customer reviews of Sigma lenses – I wish I had done a better job of research before I purchased)!

He decided that I must have damaged the lens because they tested it & it was fine or it could be because I do not understand the ‘limitations of a consumer product (camera body) versus a professional product’ (yes, that is an exact quote) in a harsh environment – in other words he said the Nikon D7000 isn’t up to the task of taking pictures in Afghanistan…hear that Nikon?  Sigma thinks your camera sucks…His last excuse was that I probably damaged the camera body.

He didn’t say it, but he seemed to imply that I apparently do not know how to put a lens on a flimsily built camera so I am causing all the problems.

Gosh, what a brilliant mind, of course that’s it!  Nikon builds a crappy, flimsy camera & I am an oaf that cannot possibly handle the task of changing lenses without causing damage.  It has nothing to do with the Sigma lens!

We will just ignore the fact that I have taken approximately 10000 pictures in the last 9 months without a single problem, except when I have had the Sigma lens on my camera.  Any moron can easily see it is the cameras fault! Why oh why would I even think it was the lens?  Dumb me.

Good thing for Marc that I was in Afghanistan so I couldn’t pick up the phone and tell him what I thought of him & his email…sometimes my temper flares a bit quicker & hotter than it should; this was one of those times.  I did wait a bit before I replied and I think I did pretty well at expressing my ‘frustration’ without being overly inappropriate.

My approach worked; because it didn’t take him long to reply that he has included a prepaid shipping label for me to send the lens back to him.  He didn’t say if they were going to repair, replace or refund.  At this point I honestly have zero interest in receiving another lens from them, but I suspect that’s what I will be stuck with.

As soon as I get back to Apache, I will pack it up & drop it in the mail…we will see what happens.

This whole situation really stinks.  I was seriously hoping I would like my Sigma lens because I had my eye on their big zoom 50mm-500mm lens.  I would love to be able to have that kind of zoom range!  But at $1700+, I was reluctant to buy it without knowing much about Sigma.  Well, now I know I would never trust them enough to shell out $100, let alone $1700!

We’ll see how this thing turns out.  I am not optimistic.  I will keep you all updated.
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About danbohmer

...just another guy moving through life Everything posted here is my personal opinion and in no way reflects an opinion, thought or representation of anyone else or any organization.

12 responses »

  1. Reggie says:

    WTF indeed!

    What appalling, shoddy, unforgivably unprofessional lack-of-service from two companies who really should know better: Treat your customers with respect, friendliness and willingness to help, and they will come back to you.

    Treat them like dirt, accuse them unfairly, and you’ll not only never see them again, but most likely alienate their family, friends, colleagues, blog-readers, … – oh, and the rest of the internet.

    I can sympathise with your frustration. I’d have told them what to do with themselves too.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I will think veeeery carefully before buying any Sigma lenses for my Canon camera…

  2. zannyro says:

    I know I won’t be buying a lens from them…I wish I could give them a piece of my mind for the ridiculously offensive treatment you’ve gotten…

  3. Disgraceful! Suggest you find review sites and post the story there.

  4. Margarita says:

    Someone needs to explain the meaning of the word “service.” The people at Sigma clearly don’t know it! So sorry you’re having such troubles!

  5. free penny press says:

    Geez Louise, this is like “Who’s on first”, etc.. I work for a large corporation and our Customer Service team has a motto “Delight the customer”.. While I work in another department, I can assure you had you had a problem with one of our products you would have been given the white glove treatment, refund, replacement etc.. No excuses for shoddy service such as you received. I personally would take this all the way to the top of the ladder. If they treat you this way, how many others are getting the shaft. How about the person that saves all year for that special lens and it’s “broken” .. They are out their money and a dream of expectation..
    Yes, follow through.. (whew, sorry for the long comment)

    • danbohmer says:

      I hear ya! I will send the lens in & see what happens next…

      • HelenOster says:

        Daniel

        I wish you’d come back to me directly.

        As I said to you, the email we got came directly from the President of Sigma US, Mark Amir-Hamzeh.

        Clearly the info hadn’t got through to anyone who could actually help in Sigma; had I known that it wouldn’t be dealt with as we were led to believe it would be, for sure I wouldn’t have let it go.

        Seeing your post I am back on the case this morning. However, can we take this off line until this is resolved in case I need to ask you for info that you might not want made public – and you can post the outcome?

        Thanks

        Helen@adorama.com

      • danbohmer says:

        Helen,

        Please feel free to email me if there has been any change in Adorama’s stance. Based on your last message that you had contacted & received a reply from Sigma, I assumed my dealings with you were complete. Adorama had chosen to pass the ball to Sigma. Disappointing, but not necessarily unfair or unexpected. I received your last email indicating Mr. Amir-Hamzeh had said I should send the lens back for repair/replacement shortly after I received the final email from Sigma with the pre-paid postage label.

        In addition, if you feel I have misrepresented you or Adorama, I would be happy to clarify that on here as well.

        Yes, once I have final resolution I will post the outcome.

        Thanks,
        Dan

  6. HelenOster says:

    Dan

    While Sigma is responsible at this point, (rather than Adorama), for work carried out under warranty, or for making a decision to refund or replace, until you are satisfied that your concerns have been addressed in full by Sigma, I am here for additional support to the end.

    Helen

  7. […] need to be back to the PAX terminal until 1445.  I went to the Post Office & mailed my crappy Sigma lens back to […]

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