Review Bristol Cameras - one to avoid

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#1
The reviews on google for Bristol Cameras are mixed. They have a store in Bristol as well as the ability to order online. Having seen that the main complaint in reviews was that they tend to claim to have stock when in reality they don't, I proceeded with caution buying on credit card. I also rang the store specifically and asked if they had any of the particular lens I wanted in stock. "Yes sir, we have one left". So I ordered last week and was told it should be with me no later than the end of this week. Well it's Saturday today and guess what...

I rang them up and asked where my order was and the response was basically that the guy "didn't know" and could not help me today (Saturday) because he cannot speak to "the supplier" today. I've had no email update or phone call about this. I would have basically have been expected to wait until the lens got shipped by said supplier, and then on to me.

Now there are a couple of reviews on google which basically call out that this company seems "shady" and that they may order in from China/Hong Kong or wherever, wait for that time period stringing the customer along, and then ship on to UK customers. I have no proof what so ever of this and I'm not saying they do, but perhaps that is what is happening I don't know.

So I complained that I specifically asked if they held stock and was told last week that they did and that it would be merely a few days for it to arrive. The guy didn't apologize once - not that I care - but instead kept on repeating that it should have been quicker and the supplier was taking longer than expected. I reminded him that I ordered the lens FROM Bristol Cameras and that it was their responsibility to ship it to me. Silence. I asked when it would arrive....excuses. "I will have to ring them on Monday". I thought it would be easier to cancel at this point and go elsewhere so I said please can you cancel the order. The response... "if you wish yes..." then immediately hung up on me! lol Nice.

If you wish to contact them via email I am absolutely not joking when I say they don't do email. No really. They fully admit on their website that they don't. All they do via email is confirm order receipt and acknowledgement. They also send a bizarre set of terms and conditions through after ordering which I found conflicted in places with current distance selling regulations, making what I believe to be illegal requirements on the buyers side such as accepting the goods having to mark them as "not checked" and notifying them within 48 hours of a defect etc. All very protective and aggressive.

You have to ring the store if you have an issue. Good luck getting through as you might need it.

Overall I feel I dodged a bullet here and I'll be happy to get my money back in time. I only went there since they had the cheapest price of a lens I was after. I'd not heard of them before.
Should have just bought from one of the better places and paid more.
 
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Pete
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#2
As I have brought from Bristol Cameras at least twice before, this afternoon I ordered a silicone cover for my D850. Hopefully it will be fine.
 
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#3
Bristol Cameras used to occupy a reasonably large property in Bristol but a few years back they halved in size and more recently closed down the ground floor and now occupy a small area upstairs. There is a long history of them not having goods in stock when they say that they do (a search here will throw up some threads).
 
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Tommy
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#5
I have used them a couple of times and had great service.

Found them great to deal with and was very happy both times.

Maybe I was just lucky but I never had any problems contacting them by telephone and they even called me to confirm delivery etc which I thought was a great personal touch.
 
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Lee
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#6
I have ordered from them a couple of times in the past and each time ended up asking for a refund due to the length of time waiting for delivery.

Not bothered with them since.
Exactly the same here. On several occasions. Last time was for a Hitech filter holder set up. They sent the adapter & the CPL ring....... When I queried about the actual holder - It's on order. 3 days..... A week...... It's on order. 10days.... Should be in tomorrow. My other half was in town the following day so asked her to pop into the store. "Nah, it won't be here yet..." She phoned me, I cancelled it, ordered it from Teamwork or something on eBay & it turned up from them the next day delivered to my work......
 
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Darran, Daz or ****
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#7
In this day and age there are no excuses for live stock on a website.
In 2008 I got caught in a similar posistion as you from an e-tailer whose name I can't remember.
If a website doesn't show live stock I simply move onto another and if it costs me a few quid more I don't mind as long as it's a smooth transaction.
I've previously noticed on camerapricebuster that Bristol cameras were cheaper on lenses I wanted but as there was no live stock I went elsewhere.
 
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Steve
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#8
I'm still struggling with the "delay with the supplier" bit.... It was in stock, you ordered it from them, THEY are the supplier...... I'm not a genius but worked that one out......
 
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Darran, Daz or ****
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#9
I'm still struggling with the "delay with the supplier" bit.... It was in stock, you ordered it from them, THEY are the supplier...... I'm not a genius but worked that one out......
I get the feeling that when a customer calls them to place an order, they have live stock at their supplier rather than there own physical stock.
I know Ebuyer show live stock at their suppliers and I expect they ship directly rather than Ebuyer themseleves in such cases.
I believe the term for this is 'drop shipping' and I've know some companies on ebay doing the same thing.
 
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Steve
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#10
I get the feeling that when a customer calls them to place an order, they have live stock at their supplier rather than there own physical stock.
I know Ebuyer show live stock at their suppliers and I expect they ship directly rather than Ebuyer themseleves in such cases.
I believe the term for this is 'drop shipping' and I've know some companies on ebay doing the same thing.

In which case they would be a "distributor" rather than a supplier (as the stock has already been ordered, or at least put to one side for the so called shop). One may expect this behavior from an Ebay front, but not from a specialist retailer, or maybe I'm just old fashioned.....
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#11
Some years ago I wanted an underwater digital camera and Bristol cameras were the cheapest and had the one I wanted in stock. Allegedly! Since it was 2 weeks before we were off on holiday, I ordered it (over the phone) and took the opportunity to check that it would be here in plenty of time. Well, if 30 minutes before we set off for the airport is plenty of time, it was here in plenty of time but I had to charge the battery when we arrived at the hotel. About as much use as a chocolate teapot/fart in a wetsuit when the thing leaked after a few months too (BC, as well as the manufacturer.) Haven't used them since and wouldn't unless I absolutely had to.
 
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Rich
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#12
I ordered something they allegedly had in stock, rang to confirm too.
No joy after a week and asked for a refund which I duly got.
 
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Robert
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#14
I ordered a firecrest filter from them before christmas.
It was a great price.
It stated on the website "available to order"
I did think the price was too good to be true, and expected the order to be cancelled, but they got one for me and I had it within 10 days.
 
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Tim
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#15
I’ve ordered a few things recently, and yes they’re slow. But both turned up without issue and were cheapest around.

I need another of what I ordered but I’ll just use amazon for a few quid more.
 
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Chris
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#16
I have ordered from them in the past - they are slow - but cheap. They might actually be more successful if they advertised themselves this way - 'Hey we're cheap - but we're a bit slow - if you want to save money - but are not in a rush - we are for you!!'
 
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Tony
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#17
Whilst I'm not referring to Bristol cameras, the thing that gets my goat is when I buy something in store as new and then watch the assistant take a display model and cram it back in a box.
As far as I'm concerned that's ex demo equipment.

This problem is particularly prevalent at London Camera Exchange.
 
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#18
Used them one before and had to cancel after 2 week wait. Seems they hardly hold any of their own stock.
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#20
Whilst I'm not referring to Bristol cameras, the thing that gets my goat is when I buy something in store as new and then watch the assistant take a display model and cram it back in a box.
As far as I'm concerned that's ex demo equipment.

This problem is particularly prevalent at London Camera Exchange.
I've had it twice at Jessops. In one instance it was the only one they had so I asked for (and got) a discount and in the other, they got me the sealed box one (grumbling).

I have ordered from them in the past - they are slow - but cheap. They might actually be more successful if they advertised themselves this way - 'Hey we're cheap - but we're a bit slow - if you want to save money - but are not in a rush - we are for you!!'
Works for 7dayshop!!!
 
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