I hate Henry’s Waterloo store

I hate Henry’s Waterloo store. Why? Let’s review the security camera footage…

A man walks in, approaches the Canon counter, sets down a camera bag, and waits to be helped. He dinks around with the iMac on the counter for a while. Looks over the lenses behind the counter. Checks his Blackberry. Takes a couple steps over to the studio strobes and look at them for half a minute. Comes back, checks his Blackberry again. Looks at the point-n-shoot cameras in the display case. Checks his Blackberry again. 45 minutes pass in this way. He picks up his camera bag and leaves. Not once in this entire interval did anyone approach him, ask what he wanted, or even glance at him. He was invisible. He seemed accepting of this. Perhaps it’s not the first time he’s had this experience at Henry’s.

Was he a ghost that only the security camera could see? What did he want? Was he just standing there to keep the carpet from curling up? Was he there to buy a $2 pack of lens tissues? Or maybe he was going to drop a couple Gs on another Big White Lens. I guess we’ll never know.

72 Responses to “I hate Henry’s Waterloo store”

  • I went to the one in Cambridge, and it was never busy and found a mix of snob and helpfulness . I phoned till I got an employee that was helpful on the phone and went in and saw her and bought my camera from her..she showed me all the things I needed to know.

  • Im confused to read this blog as my experiences at Henrys have all been great! I bought a D7100 from Andy before Christmas on his suggestion, my wife and I love it. I wasnt rushed or pressured and left feeling informed about the new camera.

  • Henry’s in Ottawa is brutal. I spent thousands there over the years. My last transaction was buying an expensive lens only to see it on sale less than a week later. Despite my purchase history they laughed at the prospect of even giving me a store credit for the $200. I just drove past their Orleans location and it shuttered! Good riddance.

  • I walked into Henry’s on Church st., Toronto earlier today looking for a color enhancement filter. And wouldn’t you know, he wants to sell me a warming filter, then tells me there’s no such thing. After wasting sometime in this useless store, I proceed to Downtown Camera; as it turns out, these filters are not available in Canada, so imagine my dismay. Is it just me, or is Canada like Henry’s totally……useless?

  • Brian:

    I’m thrilled beyond compare you have had good experiences with Henry’s, but unfortunately, there is no easy way of saying this: Your day is coming, like so many others that have at one time or another, foolishly gone into that store, and have found they have been lead down the garden path of stupidity by Henry’s. Believe me, I have had more than one titillating experience with them.

  • I rushed to the Cambridge store and arrived 10minutes before closing and the front door was locked… I waved at the girl at the back and she came to the door and said sorry we’re closed. I said but don’t you close at 6? And she said yes… And I said wel it’s 5:50… And she said sorry and shut the door.
    I was shocked as I got back into my car and still wasn’t even 6pm.
    I have also seen her before in the store and she is very monotone and rude.

    I have had a okay experience with the Wateroo besides a time I called Waterloo and put a lens on hold and then called Cambridge and did the same thing because it was closer and then I got yelled at and spoken to so rudely. Before I could say I live in Cambridge and it was closer for a pick up.

  • I have learned to just always ask for Ron at the Waterloo store. I have purchased all my equipment from him over the years and he is both helpful and knowledgeable. Of course that means Ron is really popular in that store so I will often phone ahead to ensure he is working and sometimes book a time with him when I will be in the store.

  • I loathe shopping at Henry’s and do everything possible to avoid the Waterloo store. Any time I want to buy even the most minor accessory, I have to fight for attention from sales associates trying to sell products to other customers, then wait around for ages while they enter the order in their system and finally let me pay and leave. I just want to be in and out and buy a $15 accessory, but it’s like trying to buy a car!

  • If anyone is interested, I deal with one person at the Henry’s Waterloo store. His name is Andy. I just email him and tell him what I am interested in, he will bring it in for me or hold it for me. I have spent hours in the store just chatting about camera related stuff and he is pretty knowledgable. Poor customer service is at the top of my pet peeve list and dealing with him in particular for the past little while has been pleasurable. However, I have experienced the cold shoulder treatment at Henry’s Waterloo both before meeting Andy and when he is not in.

  • Has anyone tried a fotosource store they have 1 in Guelph, Burlington,Stratford, Hamilton and I believe all over the country. They are independent and very helpful.

  • Well, all I can say about this is, staff are untrained in both sales and lack knowledge and that
    is very true for Henry’s. Vistec used to be better but they are box kickers too. Even Canon actual has no understanding of their own pro gear. It’s stupid, unprofessional and simply dumb to employ people, not train them and put them in from of customers. Pointless.

  • i experienced the same thing. However they would look at me until i looked at them. I was not accepting of this. They either dont care or are intimidated of people and work. They are jerkoffs

  • I’ve been a fairly regular customer @ Henry’s Waterloo since 2005 and dealt with the long-time staff mentioned and the more transient PT students as well. Many staff are pro or student photographers and generally know their stuff in my observation. I’m a busy pro and don’t seek hand holding or my ego stroked but I think many customers that visit there do and expect many staff @ Henry’s have probably spent hours with newbs, tire kickers and enduring blowhards only to have them leave and eventually pickup their next box at Costco, Best Buy, etc with all the free advice, tech support and such. As their sales are presumably tracked and commissioned, a few shifts filled with time wasters leaves them with just minimum wage that week. No excuse for bad customer experience but I think that’s why you see some staff pick their customers.

    Personally, I’ve received good service there. I buy a fair bit on an irregular basis and price and availability is my main concern but my questions about new products, what’s selling, etc are well handled. I trade stuff in too if their offer is palatable and this has always been handled pretty well.

    I buy gear at shops all over North America and (most) frequently online too. Locally, BJ Photo is the only real competition for prosumer+ gear and has been better for price in occasion but can be a long wait if you’re not the only one in the store. Vistek (Mississauga) has diminished IMO and is now just equivalent to Henry’s Waterloo and B&H (NYC) is comparatively amazing if you go (sheer size, full lines in stock w/demos avail, alt brands, etc) and staff are abundant and attentive. Read about B&H’s employee-related legal woes and prefer not to patronize but they are the best when the CAN$ is higher though non-CAN warranty occasionally needs extra ‘stickhandling’.

    I recently heard the Henry’s store in Cambridge was closing and perhaps the one in Waterloo might soon also. Nothing new in the current retail environment but sad nonetheless.

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