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Michel Charbonneau mcharbon at ens.ens-lyon.fr
Thu Dec 8 10:03:21 EST 1994

Hi everybody,
	Want to buy an ascospore microdissection system? DO NOT BUY LAWRENCE
INSTRUMENTS AND MANUFACTURING. I will tell you why in a moment. It is a
real nightmare. The guy gives you his old address that he forgot to change
for his new one on his invoice form, still is surprised when he does not
get his check (first 10 week delay!!!), stops all the work he started on
your microscope (do not forget it is your microscope, you might forget it
later; you first bought the microscope, $ 6,000, from another company and
had it shipped to that Mr. Lawrence), waits until you send the money again
(in the meantime you had all the trouble to track the check down and to
have it cancelled by the bank) this time by international wiring (usually
it is fast, a few seconds, that's electronics, but in Mr. Lawrence's case
it will take 2 weeks). This guy decidedly is not very well acquainted will
the mailman or the bank clerk or, we guess, with anyone else (he seems to
attract troubles). At this point Mr. Lawrence is decided to prompt things
up. Maybe he realized he was a little guilty in that story. No way, that's
what you thought. Not at all. Mr. Lawrence gives you an additional 3 week
delay: it is now 10 + 2 + 3. But think of it; it takes such a long time to
adapt on an Olympus microscope made in Japan a Prior micropositioner made
in England. Well, at least that's what Mr. Lawrence thinks and that's why
he is asking $ 4,100 (yes you read correctly: $ 4,100 to adapt something
you have not made on something you have not made). But wait the story is
not over. After these 3 weeks Mr. Lawrence is not home anymore. It will
take me about 5 faxes + 3 phone calls to find out that Mr. Lawrence is off
his hard task of preparing my microscope. This time the excuse is a death
in his family (this may be true but given the rest of the story we can
doubt it). Well, anyway, the result is that Mr. Lawrence has been away from
the microscope for an additional 4 weeks (10 + 2 + 3 + 4 make a total of 19
weeks). The last week the 20th was epic. I called him on the phone 5 more
times (that's expensive from France to California): he will be back in 4
days; after 4 days: he will be back tomorrow; the day after: he will be
back tonight; next day;:he is back, he will fax you tomorrow; the day
after: nothing. At this point, you have paid $ 10,000, waited 20 weeks and
you get nothing and no hope to get anything. So you get mad (that system is
indispensable as you know and can block months of experiments), you keep
calling, finally get the guy and copiously insult him (he desserves it,
does not he?) I am usually very polite, but this is just too much. The
story is over for you but not for me because I don't have my microscope yet
and am short of $10,000. So, if you happen to be about to equip your lab
with an ascospore microdissection system, FOLLOW MY ADVICE: DO NOT BUY
This is not my style to write long letters like this one, but I think this
time it is worthwhile warning you so that you do not make the same mistake
as I did, and that you can plan in advance your experiments. There are
other such companies in the US, altgough I don't know exactly their
coordinates. I don't know about Europe. I bought it in the US because I was
working there until recently.
I know other people having had trouble in the past with that Mr. Lawrence.
I should have been suspicious. Please tell me if you know people in the
same situation.
Michel Charbonneau, mcharbon at ens.ens-lyon.fr

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