Ritz Camera: Home to People Who Don’t Know Photography

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Ritz Camera seems to be a haven for people who don’t really know anything about photography? I have been to stores in at least three states and am consistently disappointed. Maybe it’s their hiring practices but they seem to select for the choice combination of lack of knowledge and determination to belittle customers.

My most recent incident came this past week at the Ballston location, where a clerk told me I wanted something other than what I came in for.

“Trust me,” he said after a few minutes of going back and forth, “what you need is an IR transmitter.”

“Trust me,” I replied, “I know what I need and it’s nothing like an IR transmitter.” I suspect the guy just learned about IR transmitters and wanted to impress someone with his new vocabulary. I don’t claim to know everything, but I am a professional photographer, know what I need, know IR and the differences between the two.

After a few more minutes of being talked down to by someone who didn’t know much, I finally left, saying that I would rather go out to Penn Camera at Tyson’s than continue the conversation.

To any Ritz Camera representatives who might read this: hiring people who can dust shelves is not enough. You have to train people as well or else select for existing knowledge. It’s expensive but a good investment that can pay back quickly if you implement it the right way.

A lesson in customer service wouldn’t hurt either.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Carl Weaver is a writer and brewer for RealHomebrew.com and has been making beer and wine for more than 20 years. He is also an avid photographer and writer and just finished his first book, about a trip he took to Thailand to live in Buddhist monasteries. He considers himself the last of the Renaissance men and the luckiest darned guy in the world. Follow him on Twitter.

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