Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Hate for E Max and My First Experience with Oman's Consumer Protection Section


This a post about my first experience with Oman's consumer protection section. And my second bad bad bad, much more horrible than my horrible first, experience with E-max [ http://www.citycentremuscat.com/shopping/anchor-stores/e-max.aspx]. Okay, so, I should have remembered the time we bought an adapter from E-max, only to get it home, and find out, look at the box, it was obviously used (and ruined) and returned, and then put back on the shelves for re-sale. Being the famously angry-OPNO that I am, I walked inside E-max with this adapter, put it back on the shelf, and walked out of the store with another, without going through the return process. Call it stealing if you will, but that's what I've learned to do in Oman. I paid for a working adpater. I got a working adapter. That's the life, and I don't think I am going to hell for it.

But this time, I needed a camera. A dying relative gave me money to buy a camera to take photos of my kids for them. Yes. That's why I am so so so emotional about stupid E-max, that I bothered with consumer protection.

I bought said camera. Also, I bought suggested batteries for camera recommended by its warranty. I set camera functions to work with recommended batteries. I took that cursed camera with me to take photos at an event, and it died after less than twenty minutes. Weird, but then I thought, maybe I did not charge the batteries correctly?

So I charged the batteries correctly. I tried to use the camera again. Same thing, died after taking 11 photos. So weird. So I thought, maybe the batteries are crap so we bought E-max batteries, we bought non-chargeable, the works, it kept dying.

So we went to the return section at E-max in the store. Staff who work there?: super nice people. They aren't really allowed to help you but they feel guilty for this and are super polite no matter how angry you get, especially the Omani and Philipino girls who work there. Can't complain about them.

However, even though I was returning said camera with all its contents, and original box, and receipts, despite the store poilcy being cash back is allowed with 15 days of purchase, I was forced to send the camera for maitenance "first". I waited more than two months for "maitenance" to "fix" it and when it was returned, the lense wouldn't open now either, and so we couldn't see if the battery was fixed.

I asked then, to get a new camera, or a different model and pay the difference.

They told me to send my camera for maitenance again.

My kids, by now, have not been photographed through many important moments. Recieving birthday gifts. Baby's first steps... Daughter's first doll house... But whatever. Send it again to maitenance and wait.

They said one week. After a month, we went to consumer protection. Then, E-max phoned and said they'd give me a replacement. So I went in and tested this time, in-store, the replacement.

It had the same problem with battery so obviously the model doesn't work and has something wrong with it. The service department girls agreed, they couldn't say the replacement was working either, and I told them I wanted another model of camera and I would pay the difference.

The Seeb City Center E-Max manager refused however, and basically told me, take the paperweight your dying relative sent you money to buy and like, throw it in the garbage, because E-max doesn't do refunds or "working camera" exchanges.

I was so so mad I freaked out and went to the camera section and ranted at customers buying cameras and scared all the customers away until my husband led me out of the store, and then took me to Cake Gallery for macaroons and coffee so I could calm down, and not cry in public.

I have no salary right now because my work is renewing my contract, I am paying a mortgage (Islamic loan) for a house, and I bought plane tickets to the land-far-and-away. I couldnt just buy another camera. I needed the money back from this one. Really I did.. I felt I was failing the person who got me this gift because it was a gift for them, not for me. Does that make sense?

So my husband, knowing this, went to consumer protection and demonstrated how the camera did not work. The E-max manager (City Center Seeb) promised consumer protection he'd fix everything for us.

SO we went to E-max to get another model of camera. But the manager told us that his camera expert would see us instead.

The so-called camera expert told me that battery-powered cameras only last taking 35 photos max.

Which is a load of bull-crap. Since I've owned digital battery powered cameras since the begining of this particular era, circa 2000 and the 2000 cameras lasted 2 hours on battery power. And even my stupid cellphone lasts an hour of photo taking.

If that were true there should be a warning when you buy, I said, so I asked for my money back or a replacement. When both were refused I promised I'd blog this, and the consumer protection would make them get me a new camera, so screw them. (I didn't say screw them, but in my head I said it, plus threw pies at their stupid faces) [the nice service people, I'd buy them a pie, for having to deal with angry people all day and a job that sucks, and they could eat it to, but not manager and his so-called camera expert]. I took photography as part of my art foundation in school. I am no idiot. I can even develop my own photos, dumbassess. Grrr.... Of course I can set the camera function for the right battery type...

As you can see, I am still very angry.

My husband went again to the consumer protection who forced the manager at E-max to come in to their office, and he was told, give me the money back, or give me a new model.

Of course, when we got to the e-max store, the manager still insisted we return EVERYTHING to get our money back, including the memory card (which most Omani will never do). However, I'd only managed to photograph floor tiles before the camera's batteries died...

So moral of the story is, don't trust E-max to sell you working items. Don't go to them for their return policy and always keep all original packaging and receipts and just go to the consumer protection from the beginning. Force the stupid store to see you, on your time, by appointment.

Thank you consumer protection, and "I hate you" E-Max and Manager and fake camera expert guy.

-XOXO OPNO

7 comments:

Mars said...

I can feel the anger while I am reading this blog post. How on this earth with high end camera out there that there is a camera that last only for 35 shots!? I might have agreed to that if they say that it will take only 35 shots because the film is 35 shots only! Not the battery reason.

And who is that camera expert? By the way, what was the camera model?

Depressing said...

It's the same everywhere in Oman - I just take electronics back to the UK to be fixed in the summer and buy most lightweight electronic goods in the UK now.

Anonymous said...

Wow you showed a lot of self restraint and patience. I'm afraid someone would have been eating camera if it had been me.

Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with blog post BUT I've been reading one blog gazillion years ago and I remember author saying her perfect niqab is string with satin, dear sister they are finally in stock in sunnahstyle �� although u live in different part of the world right now I just had to make this fact known lol

Ahmed panty said...

Sounds like user error. What battery size? If AA then you should be using lithium ion.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Anon: Thanks;) I am not wearing niqab currently but if I ever decide to practice again as full as I ought then I'll definately order from Sunnah style... love those ladies and always got my stuff from them. Now that I have a proper address in Oman what they send me won't get lost anymore either;)

Ahmed Panty: Er.... interesting? username. Panty does mean women's under garments in English if you are unaware or maybe that is the point;). Not user error, it is a problem with the device (and all the stock of the same model, which were, imported and sold to Emax by Khimji Ramdas and having issues there... I can set a camera. I also tried many may kinds of batteries... New camera (also a Nikon) works just fine. Batteries last a week of constant use before dying. I used the same batteries suggested by Nikon and another kind emax insisted I must use (with the correct settings for such batteries). The issue wasn't user-induced. And they are AA and depends... some cameras have settings options. Lithium ion requires one setting... there's a difference for chargeable and on-rechargable batteries... But then, I know that, duh.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Mars: Camera expert my butt;). I know right... A film camera lol.

Depressing: I get ACs and mobiles fixed and exchanged perfectly fine usually... but everything else is a nightmare... even cars.

Anon: my Omani usband is restrained... that usually restains me lol. He finds me horribly embarassing when I get into expat anger mode.