Angry photographers have accused the owners of a photographic business, which shut down seemingly without warning after 13 years, of leaving them out of pocket.

Image: Google Street View

NEWS UPDATE: 22 JANUARY 2015

Earlier this month, one furious customer of the Norfolk Camera Centre in Dereham claimed that the shop still had possession of a Canon EOS 5D Mark III he took in for repair.

Another client yesterday told Amateur Photographer that he is owed hundreds of pounds worth of kit, after he took his used equipment into the shop to sell on his behalf before Christmas.

The photography enthusiast, who did not want his name published, said that under the arrangement the shop was due to take commission on the sale of his spotting scope and binoculars, among other items.

‘They’ve got about £400 [worth of kit] or more,’ claimed the customer who said there was no hint that the store was in financial trouble when he visited in early December.

‘I am very angry. You don’t just close a business and run away.’

He said he has been using the shop for the past 10 years and that, previously, staff ‘always seemed to deal fairly and were very helpful with repairs’.

It seems the owners have not left any contact details on the outside of the shop, at 11 Nelson Place, forcing customers to visit a nearby Nationwide building society in a desperate search for information.

A message on the shop’s website does not provide a reason for the store’s closure (see below).

Meanwhile, photographers have turned to the internet to vent their frustration.

The Norfolk Camera Centre Facebook page contains numerous complaints and warnings about alleged poor service.

One client, who gave his name as Martin Roberts, claimed he was owed ‘£8,000’ in a message he posted four months ago.

Another, writing on 4 January under the name Mark Ryde, said the shop still had a Canon EOS 5D Mark III that he took in for repair on 14 September 2014.

It is not clear whether the customers have received any of the money they say they are owed.

Neither is it clear who is responsible for the business, nor the shop’s current financial status since it closed down.

Norfolk Camera Centre is thought to have been run as a partnership.

At one time it appears, from website listings, to have traded as the Camera Repair Co, based at the same address in Dereham.

There are no details of either business names listed at Companies House.

The store’s phone remains unanswered, and AP has been unable to establish contact on two mobile phone numbers for the supposed owners, supplied by an unnamed source, despite several attempts earlier today.

At the time of writing, neither had there been any reply to a request for comment sought by AP via an official contact form on the Norfolk Camera Centre website.

A notice on the Norfolk Camera Centre website reads: ‘Regretfully we are now closed and would like to thank our customers over the past thirteen years.

‘Many of you will have become friends as well as customers and we will miss you.

‘If you have any printing work, repairs or commission sales still to pick up and we haven’t managed to contact you, please use the contact form as we will be monitoring for the foreseeable future.

‘Many thanks.’

On its first floor, the store housed a photographic studio.

norfolk camera centre closed notice.webA message posted on the shop’s website gives no reason for the store’s sudden closure

 

norfolk camera centre google maps.webImage: Google Maps

 

  • Simon

    Tony, the phone number for Spindleberry Equestrain is the same number for the shop as I think he operated his other business through the shop as well. I guess the only way to contact Chris Simpson is via email. I am very disappointed as they were gonna sort some things out for me as well.

  • Tony Court

    Norfolk Camera Centre also took in some of my equipment to sell on my behalf in October 2014. In December 2014 I decided to retrieve my gear as it had not been sold. I was able to reclaim 1 of the 2 lenses I had left with them but was told that there was a deposit on the other lens and the customer was due in later that day to make the final payment, and that my camera, an EOS 40D, had developed a fault and was being repaired.

    I returned to the store 7 days later to find they had closed down. There was no information on the window other than a message to anybody who wanted printing done to visit a nearby computer store.

    I later contacted one of the partners Mark who told me to contact the other partner Chris Simpson at Spindleberry Equestrian and he would deal with me.

    I contacted Mr Simpson and sent him a copy of my receipt as he requested but am still waiting for a resolution.

    Contact details for Spindleberry Equestrain:

    Mr Chris Simpson
    Spindleberry
    Dillington
    Dereham
    Norfolk
    NR19 2QD (Map)

    Tel: 01362693506

    Email: spindleberryequestrian@gmail.com

    Good luck.

    Tony Court

  • Simon

    If AP want to find one of the owners, Chris Simpson was one of the owners and his personal FB page is at https://www.facebook.com/chris.simpson.9469545

  • Howard Turner

    I have used this store since it opened, and they have always been more than helpful and quick too. Most recently my son had a piece of a jack plug left inside his Canon EOS M and they dismantled the camera and retrieved the part while we waited for minimal cost. We also bought a great movie camera tripod whilst we were there.

    I have never had anything but excellent service from them, and am perplexed by the bad notices on the FB page. I can only assume that nobody bothers to go there to say thank you! I know I didn’t!

    As for the sudden closure, I am pretty sure that it was out of their control, sudden as it was, and I would be incredibly surprised if the gear didn’t ultimately find it’s way back to the owners.

    We are really sad to see the place go, and I know many other photographers, from amateur to professional, who feel the same way.

  • Peter Kelly

    I can understand people are angry, but it isn’t necessarily the store who is to blame for the shutting without notice. I was once owed about £1500 by a company who agreed future financing with the bank and, while they drove back to their office, the bank changed their minds and called in the receivers!

    That said, there should be some information for those whose property is still with the camera shop to be able to get it back. Even if they have gone out of business, such items do not belong to the shop.