charliecurran wrote in post #14285214
Hey folks, I just got a chance to take a break from prepping for my trip back to New York and logged onto the forums and was surprised to see an actual response from Barrow Lenses.
...why on earth would you be surprised? Don't you know how google works? You didn't know that markol has been a member here since 2007 with over 800 posts? Well, now you know.
First, thanks to everyone that has leant me words of vindication for the experience I've had with Barrow Lenses. Knowing that I'm not entirely crazy having gone through this situation has given me a chance to take a step back from my initial anger and approach things less emotionally.
Well of course people were responding to your version of the story. Now the vendor has come in with their side of the story people may decide to re-evaluate their support for either side.
Markol, I'm going to lay out as logically as possible my response to your post. While there are inherently two sides to every story, I'm hoping to prevent this from becoming a bitter public back and forth,
If you wanted to avoid that then perhaps you should have thought about things before you posted on one of the biggest photography forums on the net.
though based on your implications that I demanded compensation I feel the need to respond to you publicly as this seems to be the venue in which you've chosen to have this discussion rather than a private email, phone call, or pm on the board.
Hold on a second here: you chose the venue, not markol. Did you not post the first post? That was you wasn't it? Yeah it was you!
Why are you upset that your very public opening post was responded to in public?
It's great that you've taken the time to read through all the posts, and while I'm sure the volume of business Borrow Lenses does has resulted in the average customer receiving a passable experience (you should note that I only continued giving my business to your company after a successful rental prior to the incidents prompting this post) I truly believe that it is the unpredictable situations such as these that will reflect the integrity and values that any company holds.
I'd like to note here that based on the email I received when your company cancelled my most recent order it has been acknowledged by both parties that I had a prior disagreement leaving me "dissatisfied" had occurred, yet after my call to Lisa there was never a follow up via any form of communication to attempt to resolve the issue beyond Lisa hanging up on me. I assume that as you've omitted a response to my pretty vivid recollection of being hung up on after being called a liar multiple times by the manager of your operations that moving forward we can agree this occurred.
Well, did you lie? Because if you did, then you are a liar, and if the conversation went down as you describe it Lisa would have been completely accurate.
Of course we don't have any way to prove how the conversation actually went down unless you happened to have recorded it. But as I've pointed out throughout this post there are a number of things that you have misread, misinterpreted or just gotten plain wrong. For example claiming that this was a "he said she said" situation when the other side of the debate hadn't even weighed in.
Additionally, while I'd love to believe that this is an infrequent occurrence, since posting this story I've personally had a friend tell me that he had a similarly troubling experience with your company based on your staff misplacing equipment.
Was that the guy whose portfolio you spammed the board with in your fourth post? I thought you were linking to his complaint: you were actually linking to a portfolio video.
I posted the snapshot I took of my facebook comments but it seems that twitpic wasn't the best hosting service, so here it is again as the link appears broken in my previous post.
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO
Wow: your friends on your facebook page are angry because of something you wrote: how surprising!
Real classy stuff there mate. Who is Robert Bryce Milburn and how can we verify his story? Why are you posting screenshots of stuff that other people have said in other forums when they could have posted here?
At this point I think I can safely say that I've felt the extent of your group's appreciation to its fullest and yet I still have a pretty bitter taste in my mouth. Unless you happen to be the manager I spoke with (I unfortunately don't recall his name, but when I told Lisa he had what I took to be a pronounced accent she seemed to know who he was immediately)
Here is what you said in your OP:
"He said that sounded fair, and that when I returned the lenses we would take care of the reward."
If that is what was said (and I'm sorry but based on your posts so far I have my doubts) then no offer was made. The guy on the other side of the line said it "sounded fair" and "he would take care of the reward." Well they offered you a reward, didn't they?
I see an inherent problem with your knowledge of the situation and I think that should bring your claim's bias into question. Beyond the obvious problems with the biases stemming from your employment with Barrow Lenses, the Manager's own self-interest at this point in waving away the exchange we had if it was out of line with company policy, and Borrow Lenses pretty obvious hope to save face - I don't believe that you were involved in this dispute directly.
His bias is about the same as yours dude: and unless you've got a transcript of the conversation how are we supposed to judge what happened? I do know that markol has been a member in (presumably) good standing here on these messageboards for over five years and he has made over 800 posts. You've posted five times on these forums all in this thread, and one of those posts was to spam your friends portfolio. I know who I'm more likely to believe.
I am a student. I don't have a lot of funds, but I did have enough to rent the lenses and equipment multiple times, and didn't keep quite expensive unrequested lenses that found their way onto my doorstep undocumented.
No one cares that you are a poor student. You are posting in the Business of Photography Forum: you are talking to a whole bunch of photographers who are working hard in a competitive market place to make a living. Why do you keep bringing it up? If you need to fund you project, fund it. Take some responsibility for yourself. Business people don't rely on other people's mistakes and a bit of luck to fund what they do.
If I was simply out to generate some money or perk from the experience I would have simply kept the lenses. I didn't, because money was not a factor in my decision when deciding to return the missing equipment, or ask Lisa to honor what the manager I spoke with initially told me. That's also the reason that I turned down the $200 eventually offered to me. It was not and never has been about trying to get free rentals from your company out of a sense of entitlement from having returned the lenses. Maybe I'm old fashioned, or naive in my young age, but I take people at their word to a fault, and in this case that came back to bite me. Perhaps the manager was overly relieved to have been notified about the missing lenses, maybe his ass was on the line having oversaw their misplacement, but even if he misspoke I took your company and its representatives at their word. That was my mistake. I won't make it again rest assured.
How did what come back to bite you? You got sent something by accident, you sent it back. They offered you some money, you decided to turn it down. What exactly did you loose here?
To infer that a simple misunderstanding has triggered my dissatisfaction seems a glossy PR way of whitewashing the situation that's occurred.
It appears a misunderstanding has triggered your dissatisfaction. You yourself state that the guy you spoke to said your offer sounded fair, but you never stated that he agreed to it. Maybe you really did misunderstand what he said?
It would have been one thing had Lisa apologized about the situation or even heard my whole story before politely putting down my request that your company honor its promise, but instead I had a very different interaction. I was called a liar and hung up on.
Judging by your wall of text posting style I wouldn't blame them.
Take away the entire dispute about the compensation promised, I think a lot of the sentiment in this forum has come from people being unsure of how to approach a he-said-she-said dispute but agreeing that the customer support your company provided was incredibly unprofessional and disrespectful.
But people weren't judging the dispute as a "he said" "she said". They judged only on the "He said."
Without the "she said" people were making judgements based entirely on your comments alone. Now that the other side has weighed in traffic on this thread has died down. I wonder why that may be?
I think this is a pretty loaded statement, so I'll try my best to convey why I decided to turn down your "kind offers of thanks." When I talked with Lisa, she first told me that nothing had been promised, and when prompted to talk to the manager it became clear to all parties that compensation had been previously discussed. It's here that she told me that not only had he spoken without authorization, but that I was lying about the discussion. It was at this point, with my acceptance of the $200.00 credit becoming dependent on me agreeing that I had made the whole situation up that I refused the offer. Had it been about the money I would have taken the $200.00, but instead I decided to hold my ground. I was so shocked that a Borrow Lenses representative felt it appropriate to attack my integrity after I returned those lenses that I couldn't in good faith accept the "kind offers of thanks."
Unfortunately in a public forum like this there is no way to confirm your story. To be honest I find your version very hard to believe, but thats just me.
It's pretty obvious that based on how little engagement your response had to the specific content of my post and its address not to me but the readers of this thread, that the motivation of this response was to try to stem bad PR rather than resolve our disagreement. I get that, it's your job...but I think that the situation speaks for itself, and the readers of this post will have to decide for themselves what to take from this situation. But hey, at least they know now that Borrow Lenses will finally take an interest in rectifying their bad experiences when they become public.
Seriously: what did you expect them to do? You are the one that went public with this: of course they were going to respond with their side of the story. You can't both complain they are responding to you in a public forum and then take credit for forcing them into responding in a public forum.
I'll finish by saying that in spite of your company's treatment, my momentary loss of faith in the idea that the universe usually has a way of making things right has been rekindled by the kindness of those who were shocked to hear about how your company reacted and out of kindness have aided me in getting the equipment I need to finish my project though they requested their help not be disclosed publicly. Please don't take my delayed responses in the next week to be an indication that I've agreed with any future claims you or any other Borrow Lenses representatives decide to publicly make on this board or elsewhere. I'll be traveling, but wold love to properly respond when I get back to school this coming Wednesday.