When does overnight not mean overnight?

Apologies (again)

Well dear readers, it has been a few months since my last blog entry. I promise I am going to try and get better at it.  I have, however, let life get too much in the way.  I am going to try and post at least one entry a week and to hold me to that, I am going to post at least one photo a week along with what I learned from it.  This will kind of be a way for me to remember everything that I am learning from a photography point of view.

Tilting at windmills

For this story to make the least little sense, I have to provide a bit of background information. Last Christmas season, I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph the dance troupe Praise in Motion during their dress rehearsal for their program “The Gift”.  While I had a wonderful time, the images I was able to capture were not quite up to my standards. This was partly caused by the lens I was using not being quite long enough or quite fast enough (who would of thought that a 24-105 F4L was not going to cover the need?). 

The images I shot were good enough however for me to be invited back for their spring performance “One Way” and this got me to thinking what lens would I really like to own to do this? Fortunately, I was able to find a Sigma 50-150 F2.8 on Amazon for a screaming deal and decided to place the order.

Here is where the tilting at windmills comes into play. I decided early Wednesday morning to place the order and while checking out I noticed that for an additional $3.99 Amazon said I could have it the next day.  Figuring that this was worth it, I added the item to my cart and went about my day.

Thursday morning comes and I sign onto Amazon to see where the lens is in their shipping process. Imagine my surprise when it was still listed as “Shipping Soon”.  “Hmm”, I think, “this is not the overnight I paid for, there must be a mistake here somewhere.” So I reach out to their customer service line to ask what happened. And the wonderfully helpful response I got was But as you have already chooses the fastest shipping method so there is no way to change its shipping speed. As the item is in limited quantity so it is taking so much time”.

So, an item that is listed as in stock and that is promised can be delivered the next day for an extra fee isn’t going to make it. And to make matters even more interesting, there is no real interest in doing anything to fix the problem by telling me it is MY FAULT!  Wow, what a great customer service experience.

So, pushing harder, I ask if this item can be placed on urgent shipping to get it here by 10am on Friday only to get this response It has entered the shipping process and so we cannot do any modification it has been loaded on truck”.  Now I know he is playing with me because it still says shipping soon on the order status (and by verification, UPS did not get the package until after 6pm on Thursday evening. And all of this conversation happened prior to 8am!)

Continuing to push, I finally got him to refund the $3.99 reluctantly with this comment At this point I can do one and only one favor that when item will be shipped we will refund you the shipping cost by making one time exception”

So, they can screw up and then do me a FAVOR with a on-time refund of the $3.99 I paid for something that they were not able to deliver.

Man, you gotta love customer service like this!

UPDATE: after emailing this to the customer service manager, they have offered a limited $20 credit on my next purchase. This is at least something, but not near enough to make me feel better about the entire transaction.

Photo of the week.

If you’ve stuck with me thus far, you deserve to see what the lens is capable of. I present “the Dog!”

The Dog

This is my buddy Dale that I shot Friday evening with the new lens. It is quite sharp and the background dropped out nicely shooting at F2.8.  I am a little bit off on the focus as it should have been focused on his left eye, but I seem to have caught just short of that.  Now I have to decide if it is my technique or if the lens is front-focusing a bit.  More tests to come, but I love this lens!


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