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Old Aug 23, 2003, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Shoddy Treatment by Olympus

In June I bought an Olympus Stylus 300 for my friend in Thailand. I bought the camera in Thailand, paying the slightly higher price such products attract in that country so that she would be protected by the in-country warranty.

Through no fault of her own, the camera failed after two weeks. She returned it for repair, and now, two months later, Olympus predict at least a further month for spare parts. They refuse to give her a replacement, saying "that it was working fine when it left our factory!" A more than three months wait for a product that failed immediately after purchase is in my view outrageous.

It seems that quality control at Olympus has dropped, and their customer service obviously stinks. After the shoddy treatment by Olympus, and obvious poor quality of their product, I will never, ever buy one of their cameras again.

I wish I'd bought her a Sony.
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Old Aug 23, 2003, 9:45 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your problem with Olympus. Companies that are responsive to my problems as a customer and provide outstanding customer service are companies that get the bulk of my business and money. This is a fact that's been demonstrated over and over in business study after study, but most companies still don't realize how profitable this market position can be, or more companies would adopt this strategy. A dissatisfied customer will tell twice as many people about their experience than a satisfied customer. I recently went out of my way (searched their web site for a retail seller, went to the other end of town) to buy a bird feeder from Yankee Droll because several years ago when I had a minor problem with one of their products, they sent me a complete replacement, no questions asked and let me keep the first one I bought. I keep reading about service gripes about Olympus on-line, which is too bad, because I like their cameras. If I read enough, I'll probably try another company next purchase.
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Old Aug 23, 2003, 1:16 PM   #3
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I suggest you get in contact with someone higher up at Olympus. You were probably talking to someone pretty low on the totem pole who doesn't have any power.

Anyway, this isn't indicative of Olympus in general...in America service is pretty good.

When you talk to them (assuming you talk to someone higher up), say a generic mechanic can have a car in and out in a day, if they don't have the part they need for your car, they go out and get it and still have your car fixed that day. You are the manufacturer of the product, there's no reason for you to not have the parts on hand. Two weeks should be the maximum you should have my camera in for repair, not two months. Either give me a new camera, or give me a FULL refund.
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Old Sep 26, 2003, 7:22 PM   #4
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Follow-up to my original post:

Probably as a result of my friend continually phoning Olympus Thailand, and who knows, perhaps this forum, the camera was back in a week rather than a month, for a total repair time of around two months.

But guess what? It worked for two weeks and then failed again! Olympus were contacted once more, with a now predictable result: no replacement, and news that it will take another month to repair!

I urge all potential buyers of the Olympus Stylus 300 to consider other manufacturers if they want to avoid the problems and lousy service dished out by Olympus.

Shame on you Olympus!
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Old Sep 26, 2003, 8:53 PM   #5
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Agian, Olympus where *you* are!

At this point I'd get really mad and say, "Look, first you had it two months and you finally decided to fix it. Now your repair didn't last and you're telling me it's going to be ANOTHER MONTH? I WANT A NEW CAMERA!!!"
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 8:53 AM   #6
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I'm sorry to hear you have had problems. However, I can give a very good report about Olympus repair in the US. While the camera repair took several weeks, there was a means available to check on the repair status via the Olympus website, and the repairs were done perfectly.

Like Mike_PEAT suggested, some times it is necessary to go higher up to get the desired response you want from companies. And yes, it is true what they say about "the squeaky wheel always getting the grease...". Focus your complaints in the appropriate place, and you'll have a much better chance of getting the results you want.
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 11:53 AM   #7
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Mike_PEAT/Ig:

I hear what you're saying, and I'm sure that if I were dealing with Olympus USA, things would be very different. There is no more powerful force in America than the angry consumer!

However, in Asia things are different, and the attitude of vendors is often "tough luck" if things go wrong. At my urging, my friend went as far as she could go up the company ladder in Thailand, with the results I wrote about. I specifically intructed here to ignore the small fish and ask for the department head. It's disappointing that Olympus Tokyo doesn't insist on a more level playing field as far as worldwide service is concerned.

But the other issue is the camera itself. I posted my experiences here to warn potential shoppers of the shortcomings of the Stylus 300, as they affacted me. It is up to them whether they buy Olympus or a competing product. I for one never intend to buy a single Olympus product ever again.
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundpounder
But the other issue is the camera itself. I posted my experiences here to warn potential shoppers of the shortcomings of the Stylus 300, as they affacted me. It is up to them whether they buy Olympus or a competing product. I for one never intend to buy a single Olympus product ever again.
You can't judge a camera (or a camera company) by one person's experiences...if we did that, no one here would own a digital camera! It doesn't matter brand or model, every camera can have a flaw.

There have been a few complaints about the Olympus C-700 breaking down, but that didn't stop me from buying one and I have no troubles with mine. Sure if there were 100 complaints about the same problem I'd be concerned, but one...nope.

If I needed a weather resistant pocketable camera, I wouldn't hesitate buying the Stylus 300.
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Old Sep 27, 2003, 2:51 PM   #9
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I have had to use Olympus warranty twice in the last five years and was totally satisfied both times. It could be that the overseas Olympus facility did not respond as well as the california serivce dept.
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