Saturday 31 August 2013

Nikon- Customer Satisfaction

As most of you know I'm an avid amateur photographer. Last September after a lot of research I "jumped ship" from a Sony DSLR(Digital Single Lens Reflex) to Nikon, this was a major purchase because not only did I need to buy the camera body but lenses as well, you can't just swap glass between brands. I also purchased a few "necessary" extras.

I'm now officially poor but boy did I have fun!! :) by flyingkiwigirl

But this post isn't about what I bought last year, it's also not about the customer satisfaction of purchasing Nikon (although I am completely & happily satisfied with my choice) This post is about the excellent customer PR I received from the camera shop I dealt with. And what they did to retain my custom.

I became aware through various means that the D7000 body I had purchased new was in fact not, it had just over 2000 clicks(shutter count) already on board when I opened the box(which in the scheme of things isn't that many, but still, it was not new). And it wasn't as straight forward as it sounds but it took me a few months to query it with the shop. I sent an email to the manager/owner outlining the issue & almost immediately got a personal call back from him.

He was very, very apologetic & explained to me what he had found out. Basically without going into too much detail, the camera had been returned to the shop after about 2 weeks use by a long term customer  and had been left on the stock desk in its packaging with a note indicating it was second-hand and that's the last anyone can recall it. It went into the computer stock system as second hand & was in fact still showing as being in stock. It would seem that somehow the note went missing & it was placed in the new camera stock & it was picked as new. I was happy with the explanation & believe it to be genuine. The manager was unsure why it hadn't been picked up in the stock take that it was missing & has apologized but assures me it was a genuine mistake.

And now for the PR & customer satisfaction. He offered me a number of options to rectify the problem; a new replacement, return of my money, an upgrade with a price difference or discount off other goods. I decided to upgrade my D7000 to the D7100 body which came out in April. I had to pay the difference between the price I paid back in September & the D7100 retail price, this I was more than happy with. I also received some discount off another lens I required & when I opened the box they had thrown in a free 8gb memory card too.

Now that is the way to keep customers happy & returning. I won't mention the name of the shop because I don't believe it serves any purpose but it was a large well know shop in NZ's biggest city. It's pleasing to know that there are still businesses out there that are prepared to accept their mistakes & look after their customers 100%.

Taken with my phone & out of focus!  

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Take Two

Here we go again. Our second attempt at throwing off the shackles of suburbia.

If you have been following along from the beginning you'll know that way back in May last year we sold our lovely home overlooking Tauranga harbour in preparation for when our fifth-wheeler arrived & we'd be able hit the road full time. When we finally sold our home the deal included a house which we knew would be fairly easy to move on after a little bit of a tidy up. As it has turned out we've held onto the house a little longer that we originally planned to. Our plans over winter changed due to some unforeseen circumstances, namely my father having a heart by-pass & me having surgery on my feet. I'm now into my seventh week post surgery & I've been very pleased with my progress, my feet are still quite swollen & I can't stay on them for too long but I can move about at a reasonable shuffle keeping the weight to the outside edges of my feet. I still can't wear any usual shoes so the black strappy number I came home from the hospital with are still in use. They weren't kidding with the three months recuperation.

Now that we are out the other side of winter we're both getting itchy feet (excuse the pun). Our tentative plan is to head to the South Island by no later than the end of October as we want to be in Invercargill by early December as we have a Christmas date with David's daughter & family. Then we'll stay in the southern part of the South Island over summer & move north as autumn & winter approach. We expect to be down south for at least 18 months to two years & do a number of circuits & a few criss-crosses of the island before we are done.

So we decided to get the house on the market as soon as possible and during the past couple of weeks we've been cleaning, polishing, gardening & part-packing the house in preparation for sale. Photos have been taken, ads are ready & the first open home is happening this weekend. And we're hoping for a quick sale although we've already decided that if it's not sold before the end of September, we'll pack up our personal gear, put that into storage & leave the house furnished & still on the market with our agent & we'll head off. When it does sell we can fly back from the South Island,  pack & store the remainder of the furniture & tie up the loose ends before returning down south.

Already we've had a steady stream of people through the house so things are looking good. Fingers crossed.

We'll certainly miss the great outdoor area of this home

Saturday 3 August 2013

Heat, Glorious Heat

This down time we've had in Tauranga has had a few benefits; David has been able to carefully research a few things that need to be done on the fifth-wheeler & ute before we are back on the road. First up and most importantly (after spending a cold night at Lake Okareka) was the heating system in the van for when we are off the grid.

The two choices were LPG or diesel. One of our concerns with LPG was the effect very low temperatures can have on the bottled gas & also we would be putting all our eggs into one basket by relying on one energy source for cooking, hot water & heating. On the other hand, diesel offered a considerably lower running cost albeit a more expensive installation & especially now that we have elected to run with two smaller units instead of one big unit.  After a lot of thought & discussion we now have two  Eberspacher Airtronic D2 (2.2KW )diesel heaters fitted.

Underneath inlet & exhaust installation

One has gone under the stove & vents out under the fridge to heat the galley & lounge area & the other is located in a below floor compartment under a side cabinet in the bedroom.

It vents out through the shoe storage box which forms the step up to the bed. We have lost a small amount of storage space but gained a drying container for the shoes from the small amount of transferred heat as it passes through the hose to the vent.  But best of all, we can use the shower box as a drying room by opening the door & directing the vent straight in there. In the future we may need to add a flexible hose to the vent & run that into the shower depending on how quickly things dry.

The heaters run independently so we only need to use them as & where we need the heat. There's a small amount of noise in the initial start up but nothing compared to the heater on the air conditioning unit when that is on and once the heater has reached temperature they are very quite.

The only area of concern for me so far is the small ticking noise as the diesel is pumped through, it's hardly heard when you're up and about in the van but I think you will be able to hear it in the dead of the night if the heater is running. Like a rain drip.......drip.......drip...... Maybe it'll put me to sleep, who knows but it'll be a small price to pay to have glorious warmth on tap! Especially next winter. Down south.

There is no noticeable diesel smell outside & again just a small amount of noise that drops right off once the temperature has been reached. A 20lt tank has been installed into one of the outside forward side storage cabinets & this can easily be filled each time we fill the ute.