Here is my Leica HORROR story. The Leica story that Leica and Red Dot Cameras would not like you to hear.
I have tried to be patient and forth-giving with no apparent results.
so here we go…
On Jan 2nd 2016 I brought my Leica M-E To Leica Mayfair to have the sensor replaced as part of their sensor replacement program for the M-E Camera. Apparently the sensors on M-9’s and M-E’s started to rot so they replaced them. No problems.
On Jan 4th or 5th I was woken up at 8 am by 3 police officers at my door wanting to come inside my home. I said no and wanted to know what they wanted. I was told that if I did not let them in I would be arrested right then and there. I naturally asked why?
I was then told that The Leica M-E I had saved up for 3 years and bought with my hard earned money was on a stolen list in Leica Germany. Apparently Red Dot Cameras who I bought the camera from had a break in a week before I bought my camera and things where stolen. My Camera was on this list even before I bought it. (something not right there)
I have brought my camera several times over the past 3 years to Leica Mayfair to have the sensor cleaned so this camera was not unfamiliar to Leica itself. But when my camera had to go to Germany to have sensor fixed the cameras serial numbers came up as stolen. (three years for a red flag to come up?)
So The police are at my door wanting to arrest me for stealing my own camera.
I told them that I did have a receipt for the camera and would just go get it.. They would not let me do this. as far as they where concerned I was under arrest . I told my son what box to get in the closet that contained my Leica camera box and receipt. He came back empty handed with a look on his face like I could not see it! Then I told the cops I would go and get it. This is when everything went wonky for about 2 mins. The police practically tackled me in my own hallway trying not to let me go further into my own home. ( Not trying to escape in my P.J’s) Just trying to get to the closet. All this happening with my front door open and neighbors gathering to watch. Embarrassing? Just a tad! to say the very least.
I was able to get away from the grip of 3 teenage type officers and just went to the closet and pulled the box I wanted out. This is when there aggression stopped. (It must be said that I was not impressed with the way the police dealt with this situation.These new kid cops think there cowboys! ) I also understand that the police went to Leica Mayfair to investigate this apparent theft and was told by the staff there that they did not think I was a thief as they knew who I was from me bringing the camera in to have the sensor cleaned several times over the past 3 years. (What thief brings the stolen item back for servicing several times over the coarse of 3 years??? )
After the police saw the receipt I scanned them a copy of it as I was allowed to walk around my home again. They apologized and left. I then got a call from the chief of police at Holburn station to apologize for what had happened.
I called Leica Mayfair to find out what had happened. I then called Red Dot Cameras and talked to Ivor Cooper. Everyone was very sorry for what had happened .
later that afternoon I received a call from Jason Heward the managing director of Leica UK. He too apologized for what had happened and assured me Leica did not treat it’s customers this way. He also assured me I would get my camera back asap Funny!
I let things go at that point as I was just sort of drained ..
a Few weeks ago I went up to Birmingham to the Photo show.
I walked past the Leica booth a few times before I got up enough nerve to approach I recognized a worker from The Leica Mayfair store, in fact the worker who took my M-E to have the sensor replaced. He did not recognize me. I reminded him who I was and what had happened to me He then looked nervous. I asked if Jason Heward was around at the show and he pointed Jason out to me. Jason then came over and asked me if he could steal the salesman from me for just a moment.
They went off and I was left. I waited about 20- 25 mins with two of my friends with me until one of my buddy’s just said they are avoiding you. I also felt it as well. so we left.
I did come back several times during the day but never got a chance to speak with Jason until the end of the day. By accident I was in back of the Leica booth at another booth and I ran into Jason who was very nice ..he acknowledged who I was but did not know who I was until I reminded him. I asked him the status of my camera and would he push it through as its over 3 months now..
Lets step back a bit now to when I first brought the camera to Leica Mayfair to have the sensor replaced. That was Jan 2 2016 I was told that it could take from one to 3 months. No worries..
Now we are going into the 5th month of no Leica for me. I did get a loaner from them when I brought my camera in for repair but not comfortable using a camera that is not mine. I don’t want to be responsible for it.. so not really using it Outside at least.
Here is my beef. 5 months without my camera. My neighbors think I am a thief with a police record. and I really do not feel anyone has gone the littlest out of their way to make me feel better about dealing with Leica on this. Sorry s are nice lovely in fact , But actions always speak louder that words in my opinion.
I feel that by posting this story across all Leica forums and social sites might get me my camera back..
Also This will probably be the last camera I buy from Leica as the whole thing has sort of turned my stomach by this point.
Big business v The little guy!
You guys win for now but in the long run with customer service like this you will loose…
I have run my own business for over 20 years and know how to deal with customers.. and I also know how to deal with my own screw ups. You bend over backwards and give em anything they want to keep that customer. Leica obviously does not approve of this method of customer service and this is why I will be selling my Leica gear after I get my camera back.
The £10,000.00 I have spent with them over the past 3 years will have to be chalked up to a lesson learned.