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.