Is customer service a dying breed nowadays? With so much moaning and groaning about people buying online etc, you'd think that suppliers/distributors would happily go that extra mile to help you out. Alas, it seems that this isn't so; and certainly *not* in my experience with a certain supplier in Australia. These guys deal with some of the big names - Bowens, LPL, Pentax. Leica and have the audacity to spout forth about *not* supporting Parallel & Grey Imports. (Really? When you won't even get off your butts to check on the availability of a requested product? And this isn't the first time this has happened!) I wanted to do the right thing and support my local retailer, who in turn, supports the distributors of the products they sell, so I asked about some parts and their availability. Well the warehouse had no stock, so that was it. No offer to order it in, no offer to check if they can get. Zero, zip, zilch. I was happy to pay for it, but they just didn't care enough to even see if they could get the parts in. So I contacted the manufacturer direct. Guess what they asked me to do? Yep, contact their AU distributor. I explained that their distributor didn't care about supplying me the parts - I'd asked them first. Upon hearing this, they happily checked their parts and availability and proceeded to give me a price. Their only major concern was the cost of shipping such a heavy item. I could select FedEx/DHL etc or sea-mail - choice was entirely mine. Well, sea-mail was the way to go (cheapest and I'm in no hurry), so that's solved all the problems. So I've had no choice, but to purchase a "Parallel/Grey Import" due to lack of customer service in AU - pretty poor when you think about it. Brickbats to the AU distributor. Kudos to LPL Japan - they have communicated with me quickly and addressed all my concerns promptly. Support your local distributor? Kind of hard when they won't support you. . . . . . . . . .