Aug 26

Going Postal

 Nikon D610 with Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8
Update at the bottom of this post…
When/if I get my Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens, it will not only be the most expensive lens I own, it will also have taken the most effort to get.
I ordered this lens through Amazon.ca on 28 July. No doubt the price was a little too good to be true ($400 under retail), but it was being sold by Amazon directly, who I already knew were an authorized Tamron Canada retailer. The lens arrived on 4 August, and I picked it up from the Post Office the same day. When I opened the box, I was saddened to see this was a US lens, and I’d read on the Amazon product page from another buyer, that this meant the Canadian warranty was invalid.  I contacted Tamron Canada, who confirmed that not only did it not have a Canadian warranty (which by the way is six years, and therefore well worth having!), it didn’t have a US one either because Amazon.ca is not a US authorized dealer. Not only this, but Tamron Canada say they would not service the lens either in or out of warranty. That means that in the event of needing service, I would need to mail it to Tamron in the US, pay for the repair, shipping, and likely a brokerage charge for getting through customs. Having this strange border between a US and Canadian version shows bad customer service on behalf of Tamron. I see why they do it – attempting to prevent grey market products in their area, but since I purchased from an authorized dealer, this is something that should be between the manufacturer and the retailer – the customer shouldn’t be punished for it.
Anyway, I contacted Amazon, who agreed to send out a replacement with a full Canadian warranty. Awesome I thought, though the Amazon customer service rep did say “sure” when I asked about whether the warranty would be full Canadian, which left me with more than a little doubt.
Less than a week later, I started getting harassing emails from both Canada Post and Amazon, for me to pick up the first lens…  the one I’d picked up the week before and already returned to Amazon. At the same time, I watched in anticipation for the replacement lens. It arrived in St. John’s on 9 August, but on 11 August, I still hadn’t received it (the Delivery Standard was 11th) so I called Canada Post. They advised me to contact the seller (ie, Amazon) to initiate an investigation (in other words, we’ve lost it but aren’t going to deal with you, the end customer). I contacted Amazon who contacted Canada Post while I was on hold.  Apparently they knew where it was and would be delivered by the end of the week.  The end of the week came, and not only was there no change in the tracking, there was no delivery.  I contacted Amazon who spent more time on with Canada Post.  They confirmed the lens was lost and asked if I wanted a replacement.  I explained that I was a bit dubious about the warranty, and would only like a replacement if they could guarantee a full Canadian warranty.  They told me that no, it would have a US warranty.  I explained that a US Tamron lens sold by a Canadian but not US authorized retailer actually had no warranty.  The customer service rep was understanding, but it didn’t make a difference.  I cancelled my order and they authorized a full refund (which also required an extra call to Amazon to get – they refunded just $13 the first time round).
I thought for a while whether I wanted to purchase a Tamron replacement, you know what with them thinking that the customer should be punished for issues between them and their authorized retailers. But this was as good a lens in this category as I could ever reasonably justify.  The Nikon version, which reportedly is a tiny bit better in one respect, and worse in others is close to $1,000 more. There is nothing else that competes.
I sucked it up and ordered the same lens from Vistek in Toronto, paying $350 more than the Amazon version. I ordered on 19th August, and on 24th, according to the tracking, it had been processed in St. John’s.
Today is the service delivery standard day, but the tracking hasn’t budged. It still shows Item Processed 24 August. Getting a feeling of deja vu, and worried of the impending strike, I contacted Canada Post and asked what would happen if they went on strike on Monday. I was PM’ed and told to contact the sender to start an investigation. And here we are. Canada Post has lost the last two of my packages.
Sadly, because Canada Post won’t deal with the party motivated to receive the package, I can see this dragging on.  I contacted Vistek this afternoon, and while they were helpful, they didn’t see any real cause for concern. I’ll call again in the morning since they haven’t given an update, and will file a dispute with my credit card company if I don’t have any action by Monday.
UPDATE 29/8/16 – Wonders will never cease.  Canada Post found my lens, and I got it today.  Shame the weather isn’t like it was last week.