What's wrong with this picture...

>> Thursday, 15 July 2010

...metaphorically speaking, that is?

Sometimes it's painfully clear to me why our economy is in the mess it is...

Boy #2 recently dropped our 7 year old digital camera. Thankfully, it wasn't the really expensive one (the one that never gets used and which was bought more recently in a moment of unsupervised madness by Husband, which I am too scared to ever to take out of the house - for good reason, it turns out), and it still takes a decent shot, but the lens cover no longer closes when it's not in use. There's also a little teeny dent in it, but I've carried on using it and the picture quality seems fine.

Since we're staying at my parents for a week or more, however, I thought that it might be a good opportunity to get the lens cover fixed. I took it into the local camera repair shop, and after showing it them the damage, had the following conversation.

Me: "....so, can you fix it?"

Shop assistant (sucks in air through his teeth and looks doubtful): "Well, we can. But honestly, you might just as well buy a new one. Once things start to go on these cameras, you just need to do one repair after another."

Me: "Oh. Right. But it hasn't 'started to go', it's been dropped. And it still works. I just want to the lens cover to close when it's not in use."

Him: "Still..."

Me: "Well, how much would it cost to repair it?"

Him (more sucking of teeth): "Oh. Probably £60, £70?"

Me: "Right. And how much to buy a new one?"

Him: "Well, we sell the latest version of these for around £250."

Me (doing some teeth-sucking of my own): "Well, £60 to repair it does sound a little cheaper than £250..."

Him: "Yes, I suppose it does, really..."

As it happens, I didn't get it repaired; the time it would have taken was longer than we had (More tooth sucking "You've chosen the busiest time of year to bring it in, you know..."). But neither did I buy a new one. Instead I bought some cleaning papers to keep with the camera so I can make sure there's no dust on the lens when I use it. The price? £1.50.


Heather 15 July 2010 at 17:10  

you know they are trying to rip you off when they do the whole teeth sucking thing, eh?

London City Mum 15 July 2010 at 17:53  

Sounds like teeth-sucking is good for business. Or not, depending on which side of the counter you are standing.


Glummy Mummy 15 July 2010 at 17:58  

How can you possibly get a 'busiest time of year' for camera repairing? Is it something to do with Summer that kids decide to throw them on the floor and dent the lens?! xx

Home Office Mum 15 July 2010 at 18:12  

With all that teeth sucking, dentists are going to be making a fortune as people suck all their enamel off

Elsie Button 15 July 2010 at 21:33  

i agree with heather, the teeth sucking is a giveaway...

you did the right thing!

Expat mum 15 July 2010 at 21:34  

Do they think we were born yesterday? There's no comparison between the repair price and the renew price. Sheesh!

Mwa 15 July 2010 at 23:42  

Oh, I would have been taken in and gone for a shiny new gadget. You are a rock!

Smitten by Britain 16 July 2010 at 01:47  

Oh my, I can so relate to this story. I bought a $500 Sony DSLR camera especially for the UK and during our week in London it start making a strange noise when I turned it off and on. It still took photos but I was worried we would be on our tour around London and it would go out and I would miss some great shots. So I broke down and bought another Sony for 89 squid. Now I'm reviewing our photos from the trip and there is a major difference between the first shots (with the nice camera) and the second set of shots with the cheap one. Bah! Don't know what to do now. As they say, once you ship the camera to have it repaired and pay the repair cost you might as well buy another one. You're stuck.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake 16 July 2010 at 09:12  

If you keep the camera in it's case when it's not been used I reckon you've found the best solution here.

Heather Davis 16 July 2010 at 14:40  

Funnily enough I was going to write a blog post on a similar theme. "Why doesn't nothing last?" I have had several appliances etc break in the last year and it's always the same. Cheaper to buy a new one. What ever happened to those lovely little repair shops that you could rely on to fix things cheaply for you? A bit like handy men?! Disappeared. Ipods are the worst. I reckon the max any one of those has lasted in our house is 2 yrs. It's the whole throw away culture gone mad!

Hot Cross Mum 16 July 2010 at 19:09  

For goodness sake. What is the world coming to - I thought the teeth-sucking thing was only for blokes who deal with repairs to ladies cars?

Potty Mummy 16 July 2010 at 21:13  

Heather - it's a certain sign of it, you're right.

LCM - although mainly if you're a dentist...

GM, who knows? Maybe because they're all at home, bored in the holidays and think; I know! Let's throw the cameras on the floor! (actually, that IS a possibility...)

HOM, you read my mind...

EB - only the pictures will tell.

EPM, very true. Unless, I suppose, you're trying to make a sale. (Cynic - me?)

Mwa, if I had had more access to funds, who knows?

Smitten, so sorry to hear that, but I hope you had a wonderful time in any case?

Sarah, that's what I'm counting on. Oh, and keeping it away from boy#2...

HD, great idea for a post - and let me know if you write it and a whole load of repair men surface as a result, please!

HCM, no apparently tooth sucking has been franchised out to other trades nowadays...

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