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04-06-2012, 01:38 AM   #1
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Pentax Webstore Employs Robots

Just thought I'd have a look what the price for a K-5 is at the so-called Pentax Webstore and whether it could be shipped to New Zealand.

Once I reconfirmed that shipping is to the USA and Canada only I left the store. A window popped up and informed me of a once in a lifetime opportunity to get free shipping and the opportunity to chat to an agent.

I asked why the webstore isn't called "Pentax Webstore USA" and some other questions. At one point I was pouring my heart out about the situation in New Zealand enquiring why the store cannot sent to international locations and got an answer that started "Understandable, ..." but then went on about return policies. My feeling that the agent was issuing canned answers increased. I hence typed "Can I return Jesus to God if I'm not happy?" and sure enough
Julie Says: Please accept my apologies, I am just a virtual agent with limited information. For more questions or information, please ...


BTW, the whole session was provided by a URL starting with "www.upsellit.com". Hmmh, a bit upfront isn't it?

EDIT: I'm mainly just reporting about the use of automated responses without judgement. The "upsellit" bit is not good, though.


Last edited by Class A; 04-07-2012 at 03:37 PM.
04-06-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
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Perhaps you were talking to one of these Pentax robots:
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04-06-2012, 04:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Snip

BTW, the whole session was provided by a URL starting with "www.upsellit.com". Hmmh, a bit upfront isn't it?
After I found a Denver Post article trumpeting the fact that Pentax had moved its 50 employees back to Denver from Golden, CO I had earlier this year posted that Pentax USA seems to have outsourced virtually all business functions and P-USA really did nothing but manage the contracts. But there was of course no real way to know for sure. Now we know.

This is a peek into how much rebuilding Pentax must do in the US.
04-06-2012, 05:05 AM   #4
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Outsourcing stuff like this is actually nothing unusual in industry. Whilst it'd be lovely to always talk to a knowledgable person, this costs a tremendous of money to staff - and this is just an eCommerce site, not even a service or repair site (is that right?). In fact I'd personally rather they outsourced stuff like this (which is outsourcable) and spent proper staff money on the finest camera/lens R&D engineers and technicians that money can buy. That said... being directed to "upsellit.com" is pretty crass and clunky, this service should at least seamlessly be part of the Pentax webstore URL.

04-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Outsourcing stuff like this is actually nothing unusual in industry. Whilst it'd be lovely to always talk to a knowledgable person, this costs a tremendous of money to staff - and this is just an eCommerce site, not even a service or repair site (is that right?). In fact I'd personally rather they outsourced stuff like this (which is outsourcable) and spent proper staff money on the finest camera/lens R&D engineers and technicians that money can buy. That said... being directed to "upsellit.com" is pretty crass and clunky, this service should at least seamlessly be part of the Pentax webstore URL.
On the flip side of that, we are talking about a brand that is more like a boutique brand here in the U.S.A. The fact is, there are very few people in the whole country that know jack about anything Pentax. I usually contact somebody 1000 miles away like Henry at BH or Helen at Adorama for a more specific question about current Pentax gear. If you can't talk to someone at PentaxImaging (Pentax USA), who can you talk to?
04-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
If you can't talk to someone at PentaxImaging (Pentax USA), who can you talk to?
When the virtual agent revealed itself, it provided several ways of contacting real people.
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