Warning - Bristol Cameras

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MattKing

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I have no way of knowing that this is the case in this situation, but if a retailer is having cash flow issues, it may be difficult for them to process a refund through their credit card processor.
 

pentaxuser

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I have no way of knowing that this is the case in this situation, but if a retailer is having cash flow issues, it may be difficult for them to process a refund through their credit card processor.

A good point, Matt. The energy crisis with its stupendously rising costs for many small to medium sized U.K. businesses may be taking its toll

It would look as if a film process company, called Peak Imaging with a good reputation for colour processing has ceased trading

I think were are in for a very bad 6-12 months, if not longer, ahead

pentaxuser
 

BrianShaw

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Seriously… who cares about a vendors cash flow. As a consumer it reasonable to expect a prompt refund if one promptly pays and the vendor promptly fails to fulfill. Grasping at straws in an attempt to explain bad business practices is akin to victim blaming. If a vendors cash flow prohibits giving back money they are not entitled to retain them interest should be paid to the “lender”.

Yes. We are likely headed to hard times but that doesn’t validate bad/illegal/unethical business practices.
 

BobUK

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I wonder if the retailer realises that they are the subject of some very grim publicity here?
I already have doubts about using them again, and who knows how many members and other readers are thinking the same.
Bad publicity of their own making it appears, not very good in these economic times.
 

Sirius Glass

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Seriously… who cares about a vendors cash flow. As a consumer it reasonable to expect a prompt refund if one promptly pays and the vendor promptly fails to fulfill. Grasping at straws in an attempt to explain bad business practices is akin to victim blaming. If a vendors cash flow prohibits giving back money they are not entitled to retain them interest should be paid to the “lender”.

Yes. We are likely headed to hard times but that doesn’t validate bad/illegal/unethical business practices.

I agree and possibly illegal in their country, the UK in this case.
 

Sirius Glass

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I wonder if the retailer realises that they are the subject of some very grim publicity here?
I already have doubts about using them again, and who knows how many members and other readers are thinking the same.
Bad publicity of their own making it appears, not very good in these economic times.

Start filling out complaints of Yelp, Trip Advisor and several others. I got through to a company big time by flooding the internet describing an incident that they were avoiding correcting or apologizing.
 

MattKing

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Seriously… who cares about a vendors cash flow.

You will care if you are owed money by an entity who is unable (in contrast from unwilling) to pay you.
And banks and credit card processors are often the ones who shut down the ability of businesses to make payments, whether or not the entity who owes the money intends or want to do so.
People or businesses who are owed money by entities that cannot pay them are in a terrible position. In my previous life I represented clients who had apparently successful businesses who had to put them into bankruptcy because their customers went under and couldn't pay their bills.
 

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I have no way of knowing that this is the case in this situation
This might be the most important part of this thought pattern.

We know that the entity intends to return the funds. It’s the processing delay that seems to be the issue. No need to speculate too much beyond that, I think.

Did you ever get your clients money returned. I got a judgement but could never collect. I know the situation. :wink:
 

MattKing

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Did you ever get your clients money returned. I got a judgement but could never collect. I know the situation. :wink:

I had more than one client with this sort of problem, but the most memorable example was one where the clients were owed for most of their work replacing the windows on a medium size hotel that went through a substantial renovation. The owners of the hotel went bankrupt, and failed to pay the general contractor. As a result, the general contractor went bankrupt, and failed to pay the sub-contractors, including many, many thousands of dollars owed to my client. In turn, my client was forced into bankruptcy, meaning my client was unable to pay its suppliers and its employees and some sub-sub-trades.
My client and most of the other sub-contractors and sub-trades filed liens, but the mortgage lenders had priority. The trustee in bankruptcy for the owner sold the hotel which, IIRC, resulted in the mortgage lenders getting most of their monies, but the lien holders got essentially nothing. My client was unable to realize enough from the rest of its assets to come out of anything meaningful from the bankruptcy.
Every time I drive by that hotel, which the current owners appear to be operating successfully, I look at the windows that were supplied by my client and grimace.
 

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I would suggest you post a letter to them, by registered post. Your letter could outline your complaint and your demand for a refund. If you don't receive the refund by a certain date (ideally 30 days from date of order) you will issue legal proceedings (eg: small claims court)

As @BobUK said, the business probably isn't aware of all this bad publicity and if it is then it mustn't care.
Not a very good business model.

The delaying tactics they have used would make me suspicious. Not being to handle a refund, quickly and efficiently, is bad business practice. All businesses make mistakes BUT it is how they handle the resolution that shows what they are made of.

Issuing a refund, online, is fairly straightforward. It appears that they are using Woo Commerce for online sales and their payment processor is Realex. All fairly standard. ( I check this out with "built with" which is an app that will list the structure of a website)
 

Ian Grant

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Many businesses and private individuals/families are struggling with cash flow here in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe) due to the high costs of gas and electricity, and the inflation this is causing. Businesses have yet to have their energy bills capped unlike households. To minimise their risks banks have been reducing overdraft ceilings, something I've experienced first hand, and it's happened to friends as well.

However, that's not an excuse for not processing a relatively small refund.

Ian
 
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I don't want to publicly trash them just yet, this may be a temporary issue and I may be the victim of plain old bad luck. They seem to have been successfully trading for many years and I don't want to push them over the edge if they're basically honest people genuinely having temporary trouble - for whatever reason.

However, I do also want my money back. As of this afternoon there is no refund. For now I am prepared share the experience I've had here on Photrio. I've also written a Google review, and I noted that recently there have been some other negative experiences specifically with online ordering. Looks like Bristol Cameras had a major update (and/or change of service supplier for their online sales). It seems that products are sometimes shown as in stock when they're not and that customers have had issues not dissimilar to mine with slow refunds.

As I was asked to wait 4 working days on Friday, I'll give them another week. Though I can think of no earthly reason why it would take so long. After that it's the credit card company to flag the charge as disputed, and negative reviews.
 

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To me the best way to deal with this matter is to contact your local Tradeing Standards Department , give them the facts, and let them handle the company's failure to give you a refund.
 

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Ian Grant

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At least you got your refund. I doubt comments here will have any negative impact on the Retailer. Their feedback on other sites probably has little impact to buyers, just to their ego.

Ian
 

benjiboy

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Trying to shame companies online might make you feel like you are getting some kind of revenge, but the best way to actually get something done about your complaint is to report it to your local British Tradeing Standards Organisation office give them the details of your complaint, and ask their advice how to proceed with the matter.
I base my advice on my more than twenty years of experience in photographic retailing, and dealing with customers complaints, and I know that because "Training Standards" is an official government organisation companies will take them seriously, and a phone call from them to the company's head office will usually settle the matter.
 
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pentaxuser

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Ben I wonder if in this case of the slow refund, Trading Standards can help? Here's what Google came up with when I asked the question on help with refunds

"Trading Standards can take businesses to court or stop them operating, but they won't help you fix your problem - for example, they can't help you get a refund. You can get help with your consumer problem from the Citizens Advice consumer service" .

pentaxuser
 

benjiboy

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Ben I wonder if in this case of the slow refund, Trading Standards can help? Here's what Google came up with when I asked the question on help with refunds

"Trading Standards can take businesses to court or stop them operating, but they won't help you fix your problem - for example, they can't help you get a refund. You can get help with your consumer problem from the Citizens Advice consumer service" .

pentaxuser

I know that when the several photographic companys I worked for for more than 20 years got a phone call about a customers complaint from Trading Standards they really took it seriously.
 

GLS

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Sorry to hear about your experience. I've ordered film from them many times in the past and never had a problem.
 
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