Now, I have never been a fan of the Jessops photography store in Grimsby for numerous reasons but I was particularly disgusted with the service my fiancee received from them yesterday. Two weeks ago Sadie bought herself a Fujifilm Finepix AV100 digital camera from said store and for a few days all was good. However it was not to last for long.

Sadie soon found that the flash on the camera was intermittently failing to work, she fully read through the instruction manual and tried every available setting on the camera yet the problem still persists. So a return to the store was on the cards. On Sunday she and a friend visited Jessops on Victoria Street in Grimsby to return the camera. The staff member in the store informed her that it was not possible to return any goods while the manager wasn’t in the store. Unusual policy but acceptable. She then returned on Wednesday and saw the manager.

It was quickly becoming apparent that Jessops’ fair returns policy doesn’t apply to the Grimsby store. The manager insisted on checking the camera, the flash behaved the same as before, it worked a few times then it would stop working completely and then it randomly begins to work again. The manager then told Sadie that it will be because she “probably” has the ISO and other settings wrong. He refused to accept that Sadie had already checked all the settings and that she is fully competent in using cameras as she first owned a camera aged three, twenty-two years ago, and she still extensively uses cameras today and her father is a respected photography veteran. Regardless he refused to replace the camera or refund her the money she paid for it. When Sadie then told him she was going to contact their head office with a formal complaint he moved the camera away from Sadie so she couldn’t pick it up, he also placed his hand on top of the receipt in an effort to prevent her from taking them back and departing the store. Sadie had to literally snatch them off him otherwise she says she has no doubt he would have prevented her from taking them.

I feel this to be despicable behaviour for a manager who has obviously no indepth knowledge of photography and his customer service skills are shocking. This was in no doubt a breach of their returns policy as he had no idea if the camera was faulty or not, he based his refusal on a false uneducated assumption.

Sadie is now still in possession of a faulty £50 camera so I will give it one more go at the store myself on Saturday, see if they can bully me. If I get nowhere Sadie will be left with no choice but to wait on the result of the company complaints procedure. I’ll let you know how Saturday goes.

I might even make a poster of some sort encouraging you all to download, print and post in your work, colleges, universities, shop notice boards, etc. I’ll even put one on their window. I’ve heard so many stories of unhappy customers at the Grimsby store. Out-of-towners even saying that Grimsby has the worst Jessops store in the country, now that really is saying something!

UPDATE (Oct 18, 2010): Sadie has received a phonecall from the Jessops’ area manager after he had read this article, he promised to pay her a visit and offer her a full refund on the provision that I delete the article. She told him that she will accept the refund but she can only recommend that I delete it as she has no access to the admin panel of the site. A refund only if I’m gagged? I’m sorry Jessops, that doesn’t cut the mustard with me.

UPDATE (Oct 20, 2010): The area manager visited and gave Sadie a refund. Again he reiterated his desire for me to remove this article. No chance.

UPDATE: (Jan 9, 2013): Jessops today announced that they had gone into administration. Not a moment too soon. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20958659