Leica M8 Refund Issues

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by aaron_johnston, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. One shop in the UK, Classic Camera, is refusing to refund a deposit on the M8:

    http://www.leica-camera-user.com/digital-forum/9527-dealers-response-order-cancel.html

    It's unclear if the dealer is being the prude or if Solms may be trying to stem
    a potential tidal wave. Nonetheless, for those of you who did place a cash
    deposit and are getting cold feet, you may want to look over the fine print of
    your agreement.
     
  2. Well, after all, a deposit on an order IS supposed to be non-refundable, by definition. It's
    there to guarantee the seller - who will have ordered the product and paid for it - that the
    sale will not fall through because the buyer changed his mind, or for some other reason.
    Perfectly legitimate. Perfectly straightforward business practice.

    Now, if the product proves to be defective after the sale is completed, it's either the
    complete refund route, deposit and all - which very rarely happens, unless the seller has
    some complete refund policy within, say, 30 days, and generally this also covers even
    buyer's insatisfaction with the product, no questions asked - or the repair under
    guarantee
    route - which is the most common case.

    Apart from that, I don't see how you can get your deposit back. For now. Wait and see if
    the product proves to be defective.
     
  3. << ... Well, after all, a deposit on an order IS supposed to be non-refundable, by definition. ... >>

    Not sure which "definition" you're referring to, but speaking generally, whether a deposit is refundable in a particular case would depend upon the terms and conditions under which that deposit had been tendered. In other words, the particular agreement, or contract, would control.

    In the absence of any agreement, it would be helpful to consult the relevant jurisdiction's statutes/ordinances regarding consumer transactions and protections.

    Don't mean to pick on you here, Bernard, but what you're offering here as a general purpose legal definition is just not accurate.
     
  4. Well, after all, a deposit on an order IS supposed to be non-refundable, by definition.

    Nonsense, look up what "deposit" really means. It is YOUR money that is in the trust of the retailer. Just like with a safety deposit, or a bank deposit, or any other kind of deposit -- it's YOUR money put in someone else's trust. It can only change hands under specific circumstances, in this case when the retailer has a camera for you. They can NOT "take" the money you have deposited with them without shipping a product! That would land them nicely in prison in this state (CA).
     
  5. Is either of you a lawyer? The word "deposit" can have many definitions, as you most
    certainly know. And we are not talking about a bank deposit or a down payment, here. In
    this instance,
    deposit must be taken as meaning either what the Wikipedia Enyclopedia says:

    " A sum of money or other asset given as an initial payment, to show good faith, or to
    reserve something for purchase. "

    Or what the Webster College Dictionary says:

    " Money given as a pledge or down payment. "

    I may not use the exact right words because, after all, English is not my mother tongue,
    but bear with me. Common sense suggests that the words "good faith" or "pledge" are of
    the essence here.
    They
    mean that I'm asking my seller to order a product for me, to be delivered at a future time,
    which I promise to buy,
    and to show my good faith, or to pledge that I'm not going to cancel the sale,
    I trust a deposit in his hands - the general custom in retail being between 10 and 20% of
    the purchase
    price - to be substracted of said puchase price upon completion of the sale. As for the
    seller, upon accepting my deposit, he pledges not to sell the product to someone else or,
    more generally, refuse to deliver the product without giving me back my deposit (in many
    other
    places, this would get him in jail too, Jan).

    Such deposit is meant to protect the seller against having to buy a product on behalf of his
    customer
    and then remaining stuck with it when the buyer changes his mind. And to protect the
    buyer from the seller preventing him to buy from someone else without delivering the
    goods.

    This may not be the legal terms, but it is what is generally understood in every day
    practice
    when a "deposit" is made to reserve a product. No need to sign a contract, here. Common
    usage and common sense rule the relationship. Granted, I'm talking in Canada, here, not
    the USA. But I would be very surprised if it was very different.
     
  6. I knew I didn't like this place when I visited!
    00Ipcr-33552984.JPG
     
  7. A Leica store with a café terrace? That's a first for me. Snooty all right. What do they serve?
    Summicroissant and Noctilatte?
     
  8. Is either of you a lawyer?
    As a matter of fact...
     
  9. It's clear that camera dealers are not banks who take deposits and give them back when asked. A deposit in this case is an advance payment to secure the purchase of a product. So whether the deposit is refundable is dependent on the terms and conditions of your contract with the store. Without knowledge of their fine print, how could we judge whether the store acted correctly?
     
  10. A deposit on an item is entering into an agreement between two parties with mutual
    responsibilities. The payer is expected to pay the remainder due at the agreed upon price,
    and the seller is to provide the product or service ... in this case a digital camera. It is
    based on reasonable expectations on the part of both parties.

    The question is does this camera fulfill "reasonable expectations".

    For example, if you put $ down on a brand new model car and it was delivered without a
    rear seat, and the manufacturer failed to notify anyone they had removed the rear seat
    during production to cut weight and make the car more fuel effecent, would the deposit be
    refundable?
     
  11. I definitely agree with Paul above, The Classic Camera in London has a very snooty / nose in the air attitude. I have browsed on many occasion but I would always purchase elsewhere in a more friendly environment... Regards Simon
     
  12. The café is not connected to Classic Camera (though there is a more pleasant camera shop
    about two minutes walk away which does have a café as part of the business).

    My own take on the deposit issue is that, whatever the terms and conditions, Classic Camera
    are being extremely foolish. Their reputation has never been that great and the bad publicity
    they are now 'enjoying' is hardly going to help.
     
  13. I bought a few things from this shop years ago but mostly stopped dealing with them due to their lack of customer service. They exist mainly to service the camera jewelery crowd, and while I might fit into that category, I am also aware of what items sell for elsewhere. Classic prefers customers that don't care about price at all. They are like a Ferrari dealer - afraid of knowledgeable customers but hoping any minute some "bonus boy" (or girl) will walk in and plonk down the asking price, no questions asked. Walk in wearing a suit one day and then jeans the next and compare the response. R G Lewis around the corner is much friendlier and worthy of patronage.
     
  14. I have to say I like my camera stores a little bit scruffy and the RG Lewis store you refer to is just that. I have bought from them and they are very nice people who give the impression of being enthusiastic about all cameras from the very cheapest upwards. The Classic Camera store however looks more like a boutique than a camera store and I have peeked in the window but never gone inside.
     
  15. Hi,

    I can only echo the above sentiments about a 'not very classic' camera shop. If you want a truly 'classic' Leica dealer in London, then you will struggle to find better than Richard Caplan.

    cheers Steve.
     
  16. Regardless of whether a dealer does or doesn't have a legal obligation to give a refund, by stiffing a customer he undoubtedly understands he's lost that customer forever. What distinguishes a dealer with good business sense from bad, is whether he also understands that photographers are a chatty bunch especially with the internet, and stiffing one customer might cost him a lot more future business than just from the one guy.
     
  17. I always find them pleasant enough to deal with in Classic Camera. The chap with the beard is very helpful.

    The tables and chairs belong to Truckles Wine Bar (if anyone's interested!).
     
  18. Bernard Frank - "Is either of you a lawyer?"

    Probably. ;)

    Aren't lawyers the third largest percentage of Leica owners, only ranking behind doctors and dentists?
     
  19. "A deposit on an item is entering into an agreement between two parties with mutual responsibilities. The payer is expected to pay the remainder due at the agreed upon price, and the seller is to provide the product or service ... in this case a digital camera. It is based on reasonable expectations on the part of both parties."

    Carried to its logical conclusion, this means the dealer would be able to sue you if you didn't pay the rest of the money once the camera is in.

    That's clearly not the case. No one can force you to buy something against your will. If you don't show up to collect the camera after a reasonable time, most dealers will keep your deposit (not refund it) and sell it to the next guy in line.

    That's the purpose of the deposit-- to give you first right of refusal. It is a fee (in my mind) paid to secure this right and if you choose to decline the camera after paying the deposit, then the dealer has the right to keep the money. Because he did all the work for you-- ordering the camera, fighting for you to get the very first shipment, calling you when it's in, and giving you a specific period by which he will procure the camera for you, etc. So if the terms of the sales contract allow him to forfeit your deposit, then he has every right to keep your money.

    Of course, as someone pointed out, he has to weigh that against the negative publicity and against the loss of you as a customer. But we should also be fair to the dealer-- if he's acting within the terms and conditions, and these were made known to you at the point of the deposit, then we can hardly blame him for keeping to the terms and conditions.
     
  20. "For example, if you put $ down on a brand new model car and it was delivered without a rear seat, and the manufacturer failed to notify anyone they had removed the rear seat during production to cut weight and make the car more fuel effecent, would the deposit be refundable?"

    Whether the deposit is refundable or not is in the terms and conditions of the dealer's standard sales contract with you (which would also state, among other things, their warranty policy). My take on this is that while the deposit is not refundable, it would go towards the purchase price of the car. And if the car is under warranty, the dealer would have to fix it under warranty. As long as they can fix it properly, you probably won't get your $$ back, unless they have a 30-day no questions asked return policy.
     
  21. <<<Aren't lawyers the third largest percentage of Leica owners, only ranking behind doctors and dentists?>>>

    Fourth actually, closely following ambulance drivers.
     
  22. Probably. ;) ... >>>
    Well, I've never referred to myself a "Leica photographer," so I guess I won't call myself a "Leica lawyer" either. :)
    I have no expertise or experience with respect to Canadian law. I posted above because I saw a comment that purported to contain a general statement of law, but was in my view inaccurate.
    Above this post are two more that attempt to set forth general legal principles (albeit using more qualified terms). While there are some potentially helpful morsels there, I'd have to suggest the same caution I offered above, namely, that before reaching a conclusion it would be important to understand: (i)the parties' agreement; and (ii) any applicable consumer regulations/statutes/ordinances (or for that matter, law as developed from cases), so much of which varies significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
    All of that makes this Forum not the best place to seek legal advice, nor the best place to offer it.
    Is there someone I can bill for my time ? :)
     
  23. <<The café is not connected to Classic Camera (though there is a more pleasant camera shop about two minutes walk away which does have a café as part of the business).>>

    If you're talking about "Aperture" then I'll second your recomendation, and their special chow mein is another good reason to pay them a visit.
     
  24. I think you are being a little unfair. I had a deposit with this shop and when i decided not to
    proceed with the purchase my money was refunded without question. I will buy my camera
    from this shop when I am ready.
    I imagine that you'd all rather go to Jessops or other shops that pander to the life long
    'wannabee professionals' that spend most of their time gawping at long and cheap lenses in
    Jessops window at lunchtime, dreaming that the ?99 Sunaflo f8 16-900 mm lens is the only
    thing between you and the pages of Amatuer Photographer.
    Get a life and take some pictures
     
  25. I think , Mr Dacqui, it was merely a valid point being made that of the four recognised leica dealers in that area, the experience does vary - in my experience as well. I bought a new M7 and lens from CC but didn't get that buzz of enthusiasm from a fellow photographer salesperson and the environement is a bit clinical. Having since added some lenses I am now more aware of the others.
    I don't know where you got the Jessops and the gawping poor wanabee customers from - who rattled your cage today!
    When I am able to get the M8 it will be the well reputed Richard Caplan or RG Lewis for me where you get a down to earth respectful fellow enthusiast helping you.
     

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