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CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 02 Jun 2015, 17:26
by Lachlan717
I've recently been trying to source some twist lock from tripod legs for a couple of weeks.


I found that Vanguard Tripods, distributed by CR Kennedy in Port Melbourne, offer replacement "quarter turn twist lock" components for their tripods and gun rests.

First, I tried the customer service contact number listed on the site. "Optus regrets that the number that you have dialled has been disconnected".

Next, I tried contacting them via the "Contact Us' link; however, this process required that I specify the product that I was enquiring about. No issue here; I'll check the model I have against the "...from the list below" link. Link broken, so I just explain in the message what I'm after.

A week goes by - no response.

So I call CR Kennedy direct and speak with their "Spare parts/Repairs" rep. I explain that I'm after the quarter turn leg locks. Although I am on the phone and can't see him, I have no doubt that his eyes have glazed over. "What are they?" I explain them to him. "You'll have to contact our Customer Service email and ask there.

Off goes another message.

That was 2 weeks ago, and no response.

All in all, a company that doesn't even reach the exalted plane of offering shit service. They offer none.

And so I end up looking off-shore and finding what I'm after at B&H. $3.50 each!! Needless to say, I've purchased 2 sets and they should be here within a week.

Gerry Harvey can piss'n'moan about overseas internet sales, but until Australian suppliers offer even a modicum of service, I will continue to look elsewhere.

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 03 Jun 2015, 07:39
by Barry Kirsten
Good on you Lachlan. I shop offshore for everything photographic except wet chemistry. Dealing with Australian companies is just not worth the breath. I've also had similar dealings with Kennedy... in the late 80s; I can't even remember what it was about now, but in desperation I threatened to dob them in to Hasselblad about their poor service, and did I get an instant response - from CR himself. More recently 2013 or 14) I emailed them about a replacement lens cap for my Pentax spot meter - still waiting for a reply. No wonder Australia is going down the drain.

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 03 Jun 2015, 10:09
by Alastair Moore
I find service here hit and miss. Service is either exceptional or absolutely crap. Very much like back in the UK to be honest - we tend to have very similar attitudes to service. I've had a few great experiences - Chris Reid at Blanco Negro is always brilliant and really helpful, a shop in Melbourne - I forget the name off the top of my head - was also really helpful and suggested a better option for some paper I bought a few months back. Vanbar was a bit hit and miss - some of the guys in the Sydney store could be helpful, others a bit less so.

What's most frustrating is the markup on products. I'm not sure who is shafting who. Obviously the consumer always gets shafted in the end. Recently bought a camera bag, which I did want to buy from my local camera shop up here. They were after $250 for it. I thought I'd have a look around and I found it on eBay for $105. I did look elsewhere in Australia for another local option but the best I could get was $200. Much that I want to support local, you can't really, not when you're saving $100.

Anyway, that's an entirely different subject!

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 03 Jun 2015, 13:22
by Lachlan717
I'm not convinced that it is a different story, Alastair; it's a subset of my whinge.

There is an economical argument to paying a premium on a product if you receive something additional to the product. In other words, if you receive premium service. Hilton hotels use this premise. Their rooms aren't much different to any other chain, but they sell you the experience of Hilton and that costs.

Too many lackidasical Australian businesses trade on the tyrany of distance model (part of the bigger "Youjack" model) and ask a premium for it.

The Internet is starting to impact that model, and I hope that one day there will be some form of parity of service as a result.

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 02 Jul 2015, 22:14
by alexgard
The only dealing I've had with CR Kennedy was to get my hasselblad sent off to some fellow in Adelaide who apparently is Australia's only certified Hassy repairman.

The customer service from the CR Kennedy end was very average. It seems they're probably used to dealing with more high-volume, industrial clients as opposed to hobbyist photographers, in any case, no justification for their total lack of helping you and giving you information when you're entrusting a prized piece of your photographic equipment into their care.

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 03 Jul 2015, 04:57
by Lachlan717
I totally agree, Alex.

Still nothing from them.

Monopolistic mentality, I guess...

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 25 Nov 2015, 14:35
by smbooth
Dont throw the tripod away. After 5 years I found a lever clamp arm for my old 055 Manfrotto. In all place the last B&H catalog..

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 05 Dec 2016, 15:58
by Vernon Howell
Hi, new here and looking for the lock myself online but I am not getting it? If I do shopping online from some other country how much tax will I have to pay? Is this product comes in homewares category?

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 06 Dec 2016, 06:14
by Barry Kirsten
Hi Vernon, and welcome to the forum. I've bought photographic supplies quite often from US, particularly B&H and have never been taxed. I *think* tax is payable on orders over $1000, but I may be wrong on that. There was talk of introducing GST on all purchases from overseas, but I'm not aware that that has been introduced yet.

Re: CR Kennedy's customer service is crap.

Posted: 06 Dec 2016, 11:14
by Lachlan717

$1000 and above. (That $1 can make the difference).

And I think it includes postage. Bastards.