Dom Watts is an unlikely consumer champion. Yet, the dad of three from Croydon took on the power and might of Kodak – and won.
His Kodakcamera protest Web site became the focus for a month-long campaign by consumers in search of fair play.
Yesterday, Kodak caved in to pressure and agreed to honour a deal for a cut-price digital camera – even though it maintained that the price tag of £100 was a mistake.
For Dom, Kodak's capitulation proved to be the start of a busy round of newspaper and TV interviews for the IT contractor.
The win for ordinary consumers has been described as a "victory for people power" and his site has come to epitomise how the Internet can be used for common good.
However, it didn't start like that. Dom admits that when he bought the domain, Kodakcamera.co.uk, for just £6.79, he did it for "a bit of a laugh".
"Although it started as a joke," he explained, it quickly spiralled into something altogether more serious.
And as one of the 5,000 people to buy the camera, Dom admits: "This Kodak thing enraged me."
Just as news of the original knockdown camera offer swept through the Net, so too did word of the protest site.
In the last month thousands of people have visited the site – including people from Kodak checking up on the growing protest.
However, while people celebrate, Dom is keen to see that pressure is maintained on Kodak concerning compensation.
Some people took Kodak at it word and bought digital cameras elsewhere when the company insisted it would not honour the £100 deal.
And there are others who have pursued legal challenges against Kodak.
There's a feeling among campaigners that these people deserve compensation.
A spokeswoman for Kodak told The Register this morning that people should contact Kodak and that enquiries will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Dom welcomes Kodak's willingness to talk. He just hopes they’ll listen. ®