Strange behaviour (to say the least) from Fotoman

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by john_fatin, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. I bought a Fotoman PS 45 from a registered Fotoman dealer.
    Camera was sold with a 90 XL cone.
    After some tests, it appeared the cone is too short.
    Reply from Paul Droluk : we had a batch of cones which
    were not on specs indeed, but it should not affect shooting.
    Right, but it affects my ability to sell the gear if necessary,
    the cone being non sellable as it is.
    Paul Droluk advised to contact the seller and return the cone
    to him.
    I did contact the seller.
    5 times.
    Without any reply.
  2. In what way is this strange behaviour from Fotoman? You bought a product from one of their dealers. The dealer buys stock from Fotoman and sells it at a profit, and it sounds like part of that deal with Fotoman is that the dealer handles returns for that stock. Like it or not, you aren't Fotoman's direct customer. This situation is no different to the way Nikon or Canon handle product distribution.
    It sounds like the cone can't be serviced, so the only real way forward is to return the item. Fotoman are not being obstructive by asking you to return it to the dealer for them to exchange it or refund it; they might even be bound by their contract with the dealer not to do this themselves.
    It sucks that you're not getting a response from the dealer; how about naming them here?
  3. What Michael said is right. My Toyota van gets service by dealer, I don't call Tokyo. And is this the same issue you were working on in July? See link below which includes reply from Paul Droluk. I'm not sure what the real issue is - are you still trying to focus 6x17 closer than two meters? Don't know what country you're in, but Midwest and Badger are both reputable companies that I've done business with - how did you "contact" best results are usually Telephone.
  4. and you're aware Fotoman ceased production about 7 months ago, according to their website
  5. Just so you don't feel that you are alone, the Linhof Technorama 617S III with the same 90mm XL lens has a minimum focus distance of 1.7m.
  6. To be clear :
    #1 Paul Droluk replied, but the dealer did not.
    # 2 I know Fotoman closed business 7 months ago.
    # 3 About Toyota. If a dealer sells me a defective car and won't repair/replace it, honouring its T & C, I call "Tokyo".
    # 4 The cone is defective (cut is too shallow for the lens). It cannot be replaced (see # 2).
    # 5 If I feel like selling it and keep the 90 XL to mount it on another cone/camera, I cannot.
  7. Don't know where you are (USA?) or when you bought the camera (Fotoman apparently ceased production 7 months ago but were still trading as of August 2009 - are they trading now?).
    Also do not know if you paid by credit card and if you kept records of your attempts to contact the dealer.
    Under British law, you would have the right to return the goods as being "not fit for purpose" and receive a full refund from the dealer (who I presume is still trading and who therefore will be a whole lot easier to chase than the manufacturer). The fact that you waited so long could be a problem - always best when making complaints to request a reply within 2 weeks and start legal proceedings immediately if 2 requests for restitution are ingored) but you do have the excuse that you were negotitating with the dealer at the manufacturer's request and waiting for a response. Do not wait any longer - if you paid by credit card, invoke their consumer protection and let the card company sort it out. If not, start legal proceeedings against the dealer without delay - it might be worth sending a final letter by recorded delivery say that you regard the dealer as being in breach of contract and intend to start proceedings if no response is received within 1 week. In disputes, it is always best to be reasonable but move fast to avoid a time-out of your consumer rights.
  8. David, you're right, but I have been quite fast in representing the fact both to the dealer and the manufacturer
    (within a week).
    Now, this will be a registered letter to the dealer. It happens to be a (small) company based in the UK, so your
    advice is clearly useful here.
  9. His reply :
    It is clear that the depth of field on this lens will not cause any problems when used correctly.

    It is also clear that your photography project has finished and you are also trying to minimize
    your costs by claiming this refund.

    I would suggest you sell it.

    Best rgds"

    In a word, he sold me a defective cone and suggest I resell, lying my way to the cheque book of some one else as he he did with me.
    Nice character indeed. Cannot even figure out someone could have principles.
  10. You mean it is defective because the pictures are out of focus? Or is it defective because it won't mount to the camera? Or is it defective because it has a light leak?
    It is not defective if it mounts, takes pictures at infinity and does not fog your film.
    Or are you complaining that it is missing a feature that you want to have?
  11. It is defective because the cone is too short, being not on specs.
    This has been acknowledged in writing by both Paul Droluk and the dealer.
    The cone is part of a defective batch, it should be replaced or refunded.
    As it cannot be replaced because there is no availability, it should be refunded.
    I don't know why this is so difficult to understand.
    Paul Droluk wrote :
    "As previously explained, we no longer have the correct Cone Assembly available. As you did not acquire the Cone Assembly from us directly, we can not accept a return directly. Any further transaction must go through the dealer... we will honor our commitment to the dealer, and accept a return from them ."
    But the dealer won't honor his commitment to the buyer.
  12. If it is too short then you can not focus too infinity. Can the lens work at infinity?

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