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Topic ClosedSONY Style Stores ... not worth the gas

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D-Schap View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: SONY Style Stores ... not worth the gas
    Posted: 14 July 2009 at 08:12
Let start off by saying I am not going to make a lot of friends bringing this problem up ... but, it needs attention, badly:

I have one major complaint that I have been living with, concerning SONY DSLRs (regardless of the model), because it is not the camera that is the problem. It is the god-awful support! There just isn’t any to speak of.

For example:

You go into a SONY Style store and ask for the camera counter. They direct you back to a glass display containing the cameras and a few (meager) selection of their lower end lenses. When you get back there, you expect to find a reasonably informed sales person that knows something about what they are selling.

That is mistake #1 , because in the entire store, manager included, there is not one person that can tell the difference between what an APS-C and FF can do, other than what is written on the small card in the card holder. Folks, I can read, too. There is no “expert” for the camera department, not even its manager. Most of them have not even seen a Carl Zeiss lens, other than the CZ 16-80mmm f/3.5-4.5 kit lens.

Going further, you would hope to be able to properly demonstrate the A900 to yourself. Mistake #2! The only lenses the SONY Style stores have that are “full frame” in design are a couple of primes, the 50mm f/1.4 and the 100mm f/2.8 MACRO. No serious zoom lens. Everything else is “DT”. I’m sorry, but if I am going to plunk down $2500 for a new camera body, you had better have a CZ 24-70mm f/2.8 and/or a 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM lens to make it sing. It is pointless to try and examine that camera with anything less to understand its capability and change in visual aspect from that of an APS-C sensor.


So, we have:

   1. effectively useless support staff (I mean, this is THEIR store, not Best Buy or some such place) and
   2. a severe lack of available equipment (lenses, flashes, whatnot) for the cameras.


I’m just pointing out a couple issues that are, in my opinion, “sales killers” and a real disappointment to people who have already purchased their new SONY DSLR and are now looking to add to their lens bag. Plus, other SONY-mount manufacturers (TAMRON & SIGMA) are not even carried in the SONY Style stores, so those sales and demonstrations are lost, completely.

Man … the SONY DSLR marketing plan is a complete failure, in my estimation, and its director/VP should be fired for malfeasance and a lack of vision. It truly needs to change, before everyone finds out and just blows SONY off as a “non-player.” Invest in your future, SONY. I mean it. Just advice that really needs some attention from a concerned fan.

I know we all have an allegiance to the brand, but they need to respect the customer base a lot more than the truly pathetic method currently employed.

"Photography ain't like buying television sets, boy!"

Edited by D-Schap - 14 July 2009 at 08:23
Don Schap - Des Plaines, IL
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keith_h View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 08:18
I think you answered your own question. Time to find a good camera store in your parts I think. One that understands photographers requirements and actually carries some stock.

Just for a laugh, next time you go back to SS, ask them to demonstrate the flash and see how long it takes them to get it on and off the cam.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 08:25
@D-Schap : complaining on Dyxum won't get you very far, I think most people here will agree, allthough there have been differences seen between different Sony-Style stores. I would recommend you write this essay to Sony.

Btw, I don't think any sole Canon or Nikon shops (if they exist) would carry Tamron or Sigma either, so I think for those you'd have to go to a photo store that carries multiple brands.
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D-Schap View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 08:39
Look, this is a forum. It's mission is to share difficulties and advances with our photography. On these forums, I believe that if we speak with a strong enough voice, we can be heard in the halls of the SONY monolith.

If nothing more, not only can I write a rather definite-sounding need for a change, but you all can back that up by ALSO jumping on the bandwagon and promoting the cause (by writing to them of your own disappointing experience @ Sony Style) that would benefit us all and the many SONY DSLR users yet to come join the ranks.

Hear me, on this. We need to improve the experience, or we all lose.

It's your choice, but I need to remind you ... YOU CHOSE SONY.

Pick your battles, if you must, but we really need to win this one.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 08:47
This has been an issue from Day 1 (6/6/6).

Still, a few key things. A Sony Style is not really a store. It's a showroom. They just happen to sell some things.

Your description is pretty spot on. They might have 2 cameras in one spot, then maybe a second case someplace else. There they may have all the bodies, but very basic lens line. And of course there will be an APS lens on the A900. The one I was last at had the 18-200 of all things on the A900.

There is bright spots. While your staff description is 95% accurate. My last visit, the guy who stood there with the keys while I checked things out was pretty good. Friendly guy, by the sounds of things he understood the basics, said he recently bought an A700 and was learning. And that's what I want to here. A guy who works there who is learning, is a good thing, as most customers will be in the same boat, and he can give his experience.

Sony has a ways to go. But, keep this in mind. How was the service when you went to the local Nikon Style, or Canon Style? oh wait, they have no such thing.   So Sony Styles might not be great, but they are infinitely better than the non-existent Nikon and Canon equivalents.

Still, even at stores that are full up camera shops, Sony faces ignorance by staff.

I think Sony really needs to get it together and realize they need to put every single lens they make in a case in every sony Style. Heck, go one step further, put every lens they make in a case in a kiosk in the middle of the mall floor. Every person walks buy and sees "SONY" and all those lenses, including some Big telephotos. Have 1 well versed person working it.   Basically be a billboard first and foremost.

If you want to try sony gear on first hand, go to a Fry's if you have one around, they carry almost ever single lens Sony makes.

My hope/thought is Sony is gearing up. They should know once they get their model line fully established and flushed out, and same for the lenses, that a giant tower of all their lenses and bodies in a towering case in the middle of a Sony Style will draw attention.   And honestly, I don't think it would kill them to have to remove 1 giant LCD tv from the store to make room for it. There is a good amount of dead space in the stores.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 08:54
Originally posted by D-Schap D-Schap wrote:

Look, this is a forum. It's mission is to share difficulties and advances with our photography. On these forums, I believe that if we speak with a strong enough voice, we can be heard in the halls of the SONY monolith.

If nothing more, not only can I write a rather definite-sounding need for a change, but you all can back that up by ALSO jumping on the bandwagon and promoting the cause (by writing to them of your own disappointing experience @ Sony Style) that would benefit us all and the many SONY DSLR users yet to come join the ranks.

Hear me, on this. We need to improve the experience, or we all lose.

It's your choice, but I need to remind you ... YOU CHOSE SONY.

Pick your battles, if you must, but we really need to win this one.


Agree, but no need for all of us to jump on the bandwagon AGAIN.

Just do a search and you'll find umpteen posts in multiple threads that will back you up.

Edited by pegelli - 14 July 2009 at 08:55
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 09:02
It's unfortunate to here the your story but I just had really good experience at the Sony center in my neck of the woods. I was able to spend an hour trying out lens (and they had a full line up of FF zeiss)and talking to DSLR specialist that is actually a working pro on his days off.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 09:06
So, I join a long line of complainers. Hmmm, that should say something quite definite about this issue, shouldn't it?

It needs a tweak, guys. We can make the difference ... we're buying this stuff.



After scurrying to three different stores around Chicago ... the experience is just as raw as the first. Maybe some guys get lucky, but the bulk of the buying public is definitely being dis-serviced by this obvious lack of attention to that particular department ... and asking another store (some third-party) to do the "expert" job seems ... well, JUST WRONG!

(shaking head in utter disgust)

Edited by D-Schap - 14 July 2009 at 09:10
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 09:11
   The only time I been to the Sony store was when I bought the a900, 50/1.4, 50/2.8, 100/2.8, 16-80/3.5-4.5 at 40% off.

   I understand what you feel, even the girl didn't know the 50/1.4 was a FF lens... She went on and on about what I already knew(She had the a900 in her hands and I couldn't take my eyes off it...) and after 10 minutes she asked if I had any questions? I just said, "Can I buy it now"??

I was thinking of working on the weekends for Sony but they were closing that store and the next one was 30 minutes away... Heck no was I going to drive down there for minimum...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 09:15
The problem is that there are many SS shops in a place. Just here in Beijing, in the Zhongguancun Electronic Area, you have whole buildings full of electronic shops. Sometimes you have 5-7 SS in just one floor. I think sony should also promote some "flagship store" approach in main cities. Shops directed to the pro-amateur up, where knowledgeable personnel is able to answer questions, and you have many lenses to see, try... A name: PSP Sony Style (Pro-Sony Photographer)

The other solution is to go to a Photographic equipment store and pray that they have abundant Sony (and sony compliant) hardware.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 09:19
I still remember "teaching" a shop assistant about photography basics, DOF, aperture, Speed, FF... She should have gave me a discount for the 1 hour free course on photography basics.

Edited by kailing - 14 July 2009 at 09:19
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D-Schap View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 09:40
You guys all make the case and I do appreciate it. I just would hope that SONY would appreciate the candor and non-combatant nature to this problem, but they have got to want to help out, too.

The incentive is better customer relations ... and I can guaranty, the one would provides that, gets my business, every time. I cannot really tolerate this continuing much longer and be a proponent of the brand. It is just getting too deep, without the support.

I can remember the difficulties of the local SONY Style store even putting the A100 on the shelf. Heck, Best Buy did a better job with promoting it.

But now, there are nine models currently in use, five actively being sold. It's not fledgling any longer. This is serious business. New people are NOT going to understand someone giving them a 'blank stare' when they ask about lenses that are available for the cameras or other important decision-making questions.

THOSE DAYS ARE OVER!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 10:21
Just think yourself lucky (or not) that there are Sony Style stores near you. The nearest one to me is a 2 hour drive away. My local city has 2 camera shops - a Jessops (whose staff can barely spell the word camera let alone sell one) and an independent who doesn't stock anything to do with the A-mount. Closer to home in the next town is a small independent who while helpful and friendly (and knowledgeable) only stock Nikon and Pentax.

Therefore, all my purchases have to come from online - sales forum here, online retailers or ebay. The only way to test a lens is when I've paid for it and it has been delivered.

I would say that Sony have to get their marketing machine moving but that is something that has been discussed again and again - dslr sales are a very small part of the behemoth that is Sony and it is the consumer electronics items that are their core sales and that is what they will always concentrate on.   To get a Sony store that has a great selection of bodies, lenses, accessories et al with knowledgeable staff will not happen any time soon - so it's something everyone will have to get used to (and frustrated with) but that is life in the big world of business unfortunately.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2009 at 13:09
The issue (in the UK at least) is that the Sony stores are, with a very few exceptions, franchises.

There is a 'direct sales channel' but this is business only.

I have ventured into my local Sony store only twice, the first time when looking for my a700, I could have been speaking fluent Swahili based on the reaction I got. They acknowledged that there was such a thing as an a700 and pointed me towards Jessops (no-nothing national photo store chain)!

The second time was out of sheer 'devilment'. As they had a small Alpha ad in the window I asked if they could demonstrate 'an Alpha' to me. Cue the Swahili reaction. Yes they 'had one', no they wouldn't open the box. When I pointed out the a200 on display they informed me that it was neither charged nor available 'to test'.

If only Sony knew how lacklustre their dealers were (yes, I did try to raise this but ended up playing voice-mail 'tennis') they might do something. I guess though if the Vaios and Bravias keep selling well, they probably don't care.
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