Today’s Tirade: The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

Nikon D5200 DSLR
150-500 mm Telephoto Lens

As mentioned previously in a prior entry, I bought a new DSLR camera and have been learning to use it, along with the various lenses acquired, how to use the manual adjustments for picture size, ISO, AV, EV, F-Stop, AF, VR, long exposure and sequential shots, rapid shuttering, time delay, and my pride and joy: a 150-500 mm telephoto lens. Stocking up on other goodies, I shopped around on Amazon for most of my additional, optional equipment, and noticed a special sale on a kit that included a tripod, wireless remote (shutter release), a starter cleaning kit and soft cloth from the distributor. Needing another tripod anyway, and especially wanting the remote, I ordered the items and received them two days later from an outfit on Long Island, NY. Pretty good service, I thought, when the parcel was delivered by UPS to my front door.

Pulling out the tripod first and setting it up, I noticed how delicate it was, mounting my camera which caused the contraption to almost tip over, had I not been holding onto its neck. Oh well, so it goes. “You get what you pay for,” as the adage states, having paid just $21.49 for the complete kit; thinking afterward I could use it for my wireless flash, or one of my smaller cameras.

Flimsy Tripod

Next in the box was my wireless remote. The packaging read, “For Canon and other similar cameras.” Maybe it was a generic product, I surmised and tore open the clear-plastic wrapping surrounding the electronic device, needing surgical scissors to cut my way through the pack. Setting my camera for remote operation, I pointed the tiny gadget at the Nikon’s infrared sensors as instructed; but nothing happened: not a click, no beep, nor any flash. “WTF,” I said while pushing harder and harder on the remote’s little button, multiple times, only getting more frustrated and angrier as the result. Assuming perhaps the circular battery inside the accessory was dead, I considering my luck and found an e-mail address on Amazon for contacting the seller, sending them the following, leaving out the headers:


    I just received my tripod and wireless remote control ordered on Amazon. On
    the packing slip, it specified for the Nikon DSLR cameras, yet on the Vivitar
    package itself, it says: fits Canon 5D M, ll/7D60D/T3i and all similar
    cameras. It doesn’t work with my Nikon D5200 camera at all; and yes, I had it
    set up in the remote mode. Is it possible that you sent me the wrong wireless
    remote, or the internal battery is dead? Also, I didn’t receive, as specified
    on the Amazon ordering page, a 6-Piece Cleaning Kit and Micro Fiber Cloth.

    I am very dissatisfied and would like a response.

    Please advise,
    Mike Slickster

After two days and not hearing back from the supplier, I fired them another e-mail, not as cordial this time:


    Thanks for your succinctly nonexistant reply. I’ll be sure to mention it when
    I make my review on Amazon about your products and lackluster customer

    Mike Slickster

Figuring I’d give the outfit another day to respond but not hearing back from them, I wrote a review of what I thought of the particular kit ordered on Amazon, expressing my displeasure in my diatribe about the products and the distributor, after selecting “One Star,” which meant I thought their service was “Awful,” and explaining my reasoning for that choice:

    The tripod received was totally flimsy. The wrong remote was provided,
    stating on the package it was for “Canon,” when I ordered it for “Nikon,”
    as printed on the packing slip. Specified as inclusive on the advertisement
    for the kit, the 6-piece cleaning paraphernalia and micro-fiber cloth
    weren’t shipped with my order. After two e-mails sent to them, I’ve yet
    to receive a reply. If “0 Stars” would have been an option, I would have
    chosen it for my rating this transaction. I will never buy from this
    outfit again.

Although very unhappy and quite annoyed, I chalked this episode up to experience, for reminding me not to fall for a cheap price again; yet I felt better with myself for having vented my dissatisfaction in the blunt review. The next day, I received the following e-mail:

    Hello Mike Slickster,

    My name is Eric. It is my job is to review seller feedback so we can make
    improvements and correct mistakes that were made. After reading your review
    I see we sent you the wrong remote and you didn’t like the tripod. I only
    wish you would have contacted me first. I did not see any emails from you in
    the amazon log.

    What I propose, is to send you a better tripod and the correct remote control.
    You also mentioned a cleaning cloth and the starter kit. I hope this will
    persuade you into removing (you can’t change) the negative feedback. Please
    afford us a second chance and you will be helping all the hard working, tax-
    paying people that work here. Thank you.

See that? The pen is mightier than the sword, or in this case, my laptop’s keyboard took the place of the plume. I e-mailed Eric back, saying I had thrown the original packaging away and asked if they wanted their first shipment back, for which he informed me straightaway that I didn’t need to return anything; and I would be notified on the following day with the UPS tracking number of the corrected order, if I removed the negative feedback on Amazon, which I did and notified Eric the comments were deleted in good faith. He responded later, saying the items would be going out first thing in the morning. The next day arrived (Thursday) and no correspondence from my favorite distributor was sent to me at all. I fired back these remarks on Friday afternoon after not hearing from him still, with a copy of the customer-service rep’s redeeming offer:


    I hope you haven’t forgotten about this, as I haven’t received your reply
    with the tracking number of the sent shipment. Just a reminder that my
    removed comments on Amazon can be easily reinstated.

    Thank you,
    Mike Slickster

Not more than ten minutes later, the following was sent my way:

    Hello Mike Slickster,

    The order was shipped with UPS, and tracking number is 1Z5386R-blah-blah-blah.
    The package is scheduled for delivery today.

    Best Regards,

    Customer Service

Heavy-duty Tripod

My corrected order did indeed arrive at around 5 PM last evening, with all that was promised. The new tripod is sensational, extending to a height of 72 inches (183 cm), as opposed to the previous tripod’s reach of 57 inches (145 cm); the wireless remote works splendidly, and the other items were packed correctly as well, making this photographer a happy camper. I went back to Amazon and gave a stellar review this time for my complete satisfaction with regards to the latest order and service rendered by the distributor, a testament to the ancient proverb, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” rather than my usually self-applied aphorism, “The empty wheelbarrow makes the most noise.”

Disclaimer: all materials, written content and pictures contained in this journal are the intellectual property of Mike Slickster Syndication and may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or displayed without Mike Slickster’s express, written permission. Any similarities of the characters presented on these pages, to any person or persons alive or dead, are purely coincidental.


About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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One Response to Today’s Tirade: The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hot Air Balloons

    Ha-ha, very well put, but that’s the beauty of this journal: one can make comments anonymously and not have to worry about losing their prestige.

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