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So Christmas has been and gone, and Santa delivered my new lens.
But the British weather has decided to act up.
The snow of the last week or so has started to melt leaving brown, slimy sludge on the roads. on the grass and fields patches of green showing through a once white covering, like a tatty green jumper coming through the holes in a dirty lab coat.
The sky has gone from a light grey haze with the sun struggling to get through, to a miasmic, dirty, greasy smear letting very little natural light filter down. This afternoon a damp fog started to descend, covering everything with the droplets of a miserable cold mist.

All these factors provide little incentive to get the new lens out and give it a test run.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

After some time deliberating, it was the ever present restrictions of cost and availability which made me choose the Zuiko 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II zoom lens as my Christmas present this year.

I had originally wanted the Zuiko ED 12-60 2.8-4.0 SWD zoom. It has been getting rave reviews and seemed to be the perfect standard zoom. However the cost prohibited the purchase. At between £700 to £800 it was just too much.

So in the end I went for the slightly cheaper 14-54. this is currently shipping at about £520 but a company in Scotland was shipping them out at £380 through EBay. I ordered one and it duly arrived. Brand new, in a box that had not been opened it is a good piece of gear

It’s been a couple of weeks or so since my last blog, so I thought I would fill you in on the E-1 saga.

Well, surprise, surprise, I was not contacted about a replacement E-1 camera and so at the end of the week I contacted Mastercard and registered the transaction complaint. Over the next couple of weeks I had two letters from Mastercard, the first saying they were looking into the matter and the second saying they had temporarily removed the amount for the camera from my credit card account.
Well apparently the shop has declined to reply to the credit card company’s letters (no surprise there then) and there is still the chance, according to Mastercard, that the problem cannot be resolved satisfactorily for both parties.
Sod both parties! The camera was faulty, it was sent back, they reneged on various promises to call me and they still have the camera.

We shall see what happens.

So SRS get the E-1 that won’t read memory cards back.

I rang them to ensure my refund was going through and was told that someone would ring me back. he/she didn’t.

So the next day I was duly on the phone again and reached somebody who knew about the E-1. When I asked if my refund was going through I was told no. Apparently I had broken the camera.  When I inserted the memory card, I was dutifully told, I bent the pins.

Now when the camera didn’t work after inserting three different memory cards I checked the pins, I couldn’t seen any bent or missing ones. My thinking is, they didn’t check the ability of the camera to read memory cards when it was part-exchanged by a .punter, they didn’t check it when they sent it to me and what has happened is in fact the mother board is buggered (no bent pins). They now want me to pay for their incompetence

So an argument (not heated) ensued wherein Mr SRS said they were going to see how much it would cost to get it repaired by Olympus. I told him that it was irrelevant as I wasn’t going to pay for it. Ok, he said leave it with me and ‘I’ll get back to you’.

He didn’t so I rang again the next day, mid-afternoon and was told the gentleman wasn’t in until later , but that a message would be left to tell him to ring me.

He didn’t.

So I didn’t ring them again I rang Barclaycard to whom I filed a Transaction Dispute. Iwould get the neccessary papers in a couple of days and then have 10 days to send them off.

At a quarter to five that night, I got a phone call from SRS! A lady this time, who was being conciliatory.

I was told they were expecting a couple of E-1 bodies in next week and they could swap them over. If I didn’t want that then I  could have a refund less a 10% re-stocking charge. Now I didn’t argue that at the time (I’ll wait to see what happens with the replacement bodies), but why would there be a restocking charge for a broken camera?

Unless…they plan to send it out again to another unsuspecting customer.

After getting my excellent second-hand Olympus E-1 body  from SRSMicrosystems, my brother asked me to keep an eye out on their site for another one to become available as he would like one.

Another one did appear and it was duly ordered.

This too was in excellent condition except for a couple of light scratches on the pentaprism. The battery was put in and everything fired up – excellent. The memory card was placed in the slot and then the dreaded ‘Card Error’ message came up. Several cards later it still wouldn’t work. Cards from my other cameras which work faultlessly also wouldn’t work.

A call to SRS elicted the usual ‘…it must be something you’re doing…’

‘What size card are you using?’

‘Four gigabyte’

‘Ah then the firmware needs updating so it can read that size of card.’

‘I have another E-1, that works perfectly with the cards we tried and that is on update 1.4 – the same as this one’

‘OK, right. well we’ll have it back and have a look at it. Hang on a second and I’ll sort out a collection.’

A few moments pass.

‘Hello. Yes, we’ll pick it up tomorrow and give you a refund.’

So, the upshot is, someone came into SRS with this camera. Part exchanged it for a new one. The shop checked everything on the camera except the ability to read memory cards. At this time, the shyster who bought the camera in must have been sweating in case they checked the card reading. Obviously they didn’t and he got his new deal.

SRS probably paid £100 for the E-1 so with postage costs in collecting from me they are out of pocket to about £120.

They can’t repair the camera because it would cost too much for the motherboard (£80 – £100) and so they are left with an E-1 to sell for spares.

So much for their ‘All of our used equipment is fully tested and cleaned before dispatch.’ on their website.

I wonder if someone got their butt kicked?

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