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Google – Customer Service for the 21st Century

Considering I’ll have a lot more to capture on video come August, I decided to look into purchasing a camcorder several weeks ago. I read some reviews, went to a few stores and generally did my research. I ended up deciding on the JVC Enverio line of HDD products. JVC has been building hard drive based camcorders for a while (and I think they were the first) and this line seemed pretty mature. I was all set to make the purchase.

Only one problem. No local stores carried the model I wanted. They all carried the super expensive high end version which just seemed insane considering the majority of the recorded action will be burp faces and spit-up. They also all carried the low end model, which I also didn’t want to go with. No where in Calgary could I find the middle of the road, not to expensive but not terrible technology model. I called a bunch of camera/audio/video places and of course checked the big chains, but no go. I even checked the list of retailers on the website, but none of those carried the model I wanted. What’s worse, I couldn’t even find somewhere in Canada that I could order it from. There are lots of places in the US that carry the model, but I just didn’t feel like dealing with customs and duty and all that garbage.

So what to do? Obviously, the first thing to do would be to ask the manufacturer where the heck I could buy their products. Surely they would be more than willing to point me to a store (real or online) where I could give them my money. Off went an email to JVC support that said the following:

Is it possible to buy the GZ-MG255 model in Canada? None of the retailers
near me seem to carry it. They carry the 130 and the 555, but not the
255. Is there a way I can order it online from JVC?


However, we are due for a vacation in June and considering it looked like I would have to order the camcorder online, I wanted to do my best to order it so it would get here before we go away. I continued to google my way around the internet trying to find somewhere in Canada to purchase the camera. I briefly considered the possibility that JVC didn’t sell the model I wanted outside the US, but then I realized that the model was on the website, so if they didn’t sell the model in Canada, then that is getting close to false advertising. I kept looking and searching, eventually hitting the right search keywords and finding Henry’s.

Henry’s is a fairly big camera chain in southern Ontario and they apparently carry everything you could possibly want, including the GZ-MG255, the camcorder model I wanted. After a quick email to my brother in Toronto to make sure Henry wasn’t an online black market, hawking hot camcorders smuggled over the border in the fuel tank of a ’72 Impala, I placed my order.

The new camcorder arrived last night. It looked and worked great out of the box. The video quality seems good and now we have 30GB of baby video space at our disposal.

But that really isn’t what this unfortunately long post is about.

This morning I received this email from JVC support:

Hi, Tim

You will have to go to the nearest retail store in your area and see
if they do carry this model.


Ummm…gee…thanks for the help. Apparently JVC support can only hold one sentence in their head at a time, so they only grok the last sentence in the email and answer “No” to my question of whether or not I could order the camcorder direct from JVC. They completely ignore the part where I said “None of the retailers near me seem to carry it (the camera).” and apparently that is acceptable.

So let me sum up… I used Google to find a place in Canada to order the product. I ordered it online. I received it through the mail. I recorded a cute puppy eating my shoelaces for about half an hour. All done in less time it took JVC to incorrectly answer my email. Brilliant.

Great products are no excuse for poor customer service.