canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Reviews => Topic started by: natureshots on June 04, 2013, 02:03:56 PM

Title: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: natureshots on June 04, 2013, 02:03:56 PM
I placed a very large order with Adorama on Wednesday the 29th of May. I had never made a purchase that large and was informed by my bank that I would not be able to transfer the funds until Friday.  I received several calls and emails from a sales associate named Israel pressuring me in a rude way to verify information.  He called twice on Friday morning and I was unable to answer the phone during the morning. I transferred the money to their account at 2:30 on Friday and immediately returned Israel's phone call. He had left for the weekend. My bank had told me that the money would be in their account no later than Monday. I spoke to Israel and sent him verification of the money order. I spoke to my bank and they told me it would be available no later than 5 PM. I called Adorama at 6:15 Monday and was transferred to a call center who told me that I would be receiving verification of the transfer. They never returned my call. I called several times today Tuesday and sent emails to verify receipt of the money. No one was able to get in touch with the account team until I started getting angry and wanting to talk to managers. They then told me that they had refused the wire transfer because there was no address associated with my account. Instead of taking the time to work things out they simply refused it out of pure laziness. I understand fraud is a big problem but it does not mean that everyone should be treated like a criminal. I then asked them to return the $25 fee for wire transfers. They told me that the bank assessed it and therefore they are not responsible for it.

I have wasted hours on the phone, $25, was treated very rudely and I have delayed receiving my equipment for about a week depending on how fast they return the money and the bank can verify the reverse. I am very dissatisfied as a consumer and I encourage everyone not to choose Adorama especially for larger orders. I'm going with B and H, the only reason I didn't initially is because they were showing backordered at the factory on the 600mm F4 and I had no idea how long it would take to come back in stock (it was back in stock the following day, man am I kicking myself for that decision). I will write back with further updates.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: tpatana on June 04, 2013, 02:17:37 PM
Why not use plastic? Never had problems with that, save few rare occasions.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 04, 2013, 02:27:01 PM
I had no problems ordering my 600/4 II from B&H.  They did have three different people count the stack of $100 bills that I brought to their NYC Superstore, though...   ;)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: natureshots on June 04, 2013, 02:28:08 PM
My bank is very cautious about fraud and they explained to me that they would have to raise my transaction limit and it would take some time. My bank has sent me new cards simply because I have made many online purchases in the past which surprised me. Israel suggested the wire transfer as an alternative. I understand the paranoia on the bank and Adorama's part about online fraud. The point is the way that Adorama is going about it is irresponsible and unfair to consumers so make your choice wisely.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: distant.star on June 04, 2013, 03:43:58 PM
.
If your intention is to convince me not to do business with Adorama, you have not succeeded. My experience, and that of everyone I know, with them has been excellent. They go out of their way to satisfy customers.

Your transaction seems complicated, and such complications rarely provide a smooth path to satisfaction. You have to expect some inconveniences along the way. I suggest if you want to complain about something, complain about the criminals who prey on credit card accounts, bank accounts, etc. They're the creeps causing trouble for everyone.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: tpatana on June 04, 2013, 03:47:21 PM
.
If your intention is to convince me not to do business with Adorama, you have not succeeded. My experience, and that of everyone I know, with them has been excellent. They go out of their way to satisfy customers.

Your transaction seems complicated, and such complications rarely provide a smooth path to satisfaction. You have to expect some inconveniences along the way. I suggest if you want to complain about something, complain about the criminals who prey on credit card accounts, bank accounts, etc. They're the creeps causing trouble for everyone.

Exactly my thoughts. Even more so, hearing only one side of the story in these cases rarely give objective description what really happened.

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Vivid Color on June 04, 2013, 04:01:10 PM
To the OP: am I correct in understanding from your description that you placed a high dollar order with Adorama without either knowing your credit card limit or knowing you were over the limit at the time you placed the order and figured you could sort it out later? If that is correct, then I think you need to reconsider where you are placing blame. If my understanding is not correct, then please clarify.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: infared on June 04, 2013, 04:11:07 PM
They are not my favorite either...I had incredibly rude treatment in their store 20 years ago...it was so rude I never went back.
I did nothing to be treated the way I was but walk in the door. Truly.  I just asked if they had a couple of items in stock that I wanted to buy...which I think I did, as I was in NY, doing I job and I needed the items.  I kept thinking...Are they really talking to me like this??? Just terse, nasty and rude. Extremely. I hated to give them my money it was so bad. I was bewildered. I left the store upset that people could act like that to a customer and just chalked it up to another NYC experience. This was long before the days of the internet....but every time I saw their name after that, that bad experience just stuck with me.
Now that was a long time ago and it was just those people that were at the counter that day...we move on...I know that most people have good buying experiences there, today.
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You had a bad experience..... use your consumer power and take your business elsewhere.  Simple.   Let me tell you ...over the last 20 years I have spent many tens of thousands of dollars on photo equipment...THANK YOU for reminding me that Adorama got none of it!   Their loss.      :-)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: gary on June 04, 2013, 05:02:41 PM
I have to say that I have used both Adorama and B&H and have been completely satisfied with both and would have no hesitation to recommend them. They are much better than my local camera shop who tend to treat me like any idiot, which of course I may be, but I object to being treated like it. 
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Greatland on June 04, 2013, 05:27:52 PM
You should deal with Gary at Hunts.....
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: rang on June 04, 2013, 05:49:42 PM
The worst shipping I've seen has come from orders with Adorama. I've paid for next day and it takes them two days just to get an order out the door. And that's with nothing complicated like wire transfers etc....Just plain old plastic and the item(s) in stock.

On the other hand the largest total order I did with Amazon was $31k USD. And it involved a number of different vendors. The very cool thing is that I was designated a "Camera Concierge" by Amazon due to very tight delivery times. And that worked! The bodies, the glass, all the extras down to little details like memory card, batteries etc. Everything showed up within my time frame for testing, rejection if bad, replacement if bad, with replacement shipping overnight. And vendor swaps if necessary to meet the tight time frame.

Could not have been happier.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: MrFotoFool on June 04, 2013, 05:52:31 PM
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You are not going to buy from them because they support your local economy???  Funny how nobody wants to pay tax and yet everyone wants to have their streets paved or to have the police come when they call 911.

As for the big NYC stores, I doubt you will get better service from B and H than Adorama.  I called the former many years ago to ask questions about a lens (I was a newbie at the time) and they cut me off because they did not want me tying up the phone asking questions - they said phone calls are just for placing orders.  I switched to Adorama and have had no issues since.  I should say I use Adorama ONLY when I cannot find it in my own state of Arizona, otherwise I shop local as implied in my initial response.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: RGF on June 04, 2013, 06:00:24 PM
Never had a problem w adorama but then again never wire funds except for international travel.   I am surprised that your bank did not have your name and address on the transfer.  Perhaps they only had your name?? 

I wpuld talk to your credit card co (bank?) and offer to prepay them item.   Your credit balance will be negative so you won't be above your credit limit.   Or you could split the payment acress several cards
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: jhanken on June 04, 2013, 06:09:25 PM
Not to devalue your frustration at all, but wire transfers are very finicky things. The slightest irregularity perceived on the receiving end by the receiving bank and the transfer is refused. The fault was probably not Adorama's, I doubt they have a wire house on site.  It was likely the sending bank didn't coordinate properly with the receiving bank, or they would have known that an address was required.

I hope you get your gear soon. Tell us, what did you get? That is the fun stuff!
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: unfocused on June 04, 2013, 06:29:22 PM
I guess this can happen to anyone, but I have to say, I have been an Adorama customer since the 1970s (Back in the day when you had to go to the bank, get a certified check and mail it in) and have always had good experiences.

I've also used B&H, with no complaints there. This does sound like the transaction was a little complicated and keep it mind that the sabbath begins Friday evening, making a transaction on Friday afternoon even more difficult. Sorry you had a bad experience.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: infared on June 04, 2013, 06:54:14 PM
I have to say that I have used both Adorama and B&H and have been completely satisfied with both and would have no hesitation to recommend them. They are much better than my local camera shop who tend to treat me like any idiot, which of course I may be, but I object to being treated like it.


That's funny!!!!!! LOL!
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: brett b on June 04, 2013, 06:56:52 PM
Not to devalue your frustration at all, but wire transfers are very finicky things. The slightest irregularity perceived on the receiving end by the receiving bank and the transfer is refused. The fault was probably not Adorama's, I doubt they have a wire house on site.  It was likely the sending bank didn't coordinate properly with the receiving bank, or they would have known that an address was required.

I hope you get your gear soon. Tell us, what did you get? That is the fun stuff!

+1
Wire transfers really can be a pain.
I've never had a problem with Adorama...or B&H for that matter
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: infared on June 04, 2013, 06:57:08 PM
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You are not going to buy from them because they support your local economy???  Funny how nobody wants to pay tax and yet everyone wants to have their streets paved or to have the police come when they call 911.

Governor Christie would just buy some more cheese burgers with my stipend!  :-)
(BTW...I pay PLENTY of taxes...i live in NJ ..we are taxed to death here..toll roads, bridges, tunnels, pay beaches, etc..etc..etc...I do not need to be chastised for making a perfectly legal choice to keep more of my hard-earned cash in my pocket..just like Apple or Mitt Romney..It's the USA..I look for loopholes...I take my power back wherever possible!)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Cptn Rigo on June 04, 2013, 07:20:27 PM
Never had a trouble with Adorama... even once they give me a $200 dlls gift card for price protection (Bough a $1999 85L and 3 weeks later it was at $1799).

If you are reading this Helen Oster...  :)

you Rock!
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: natureshots on June 04, 2013, 07:48:11 PM
Not to devalue your frustration at all, but wire transfers are very finicky things. The slightest irregularity perceived on the receiving end by the receiving bank and the transfer is refused. The fault was probably not Adorama's, I doubt they have a wire house on site.  It was likely the sending bank didn't coordinate properly with the receiving bank, or they would have known that an address was required.

I hope you get your gear soon. Tell us, what did you get? That is the fun stuff!

+1
Wire transfers really can be a pain.
I've never had a problem with Adorama...or B&H for that matter

I decided to take my business elsewhere (B&H). The biggest frustration truthfully was nasty phone calls Friday morning from the sales representative Israel. I told him I would wire on Friday and I get calls which I could not answer at the time saying that the order shouldn't be in if I'm not going to pay for it. Who does that? Then I leave him a message and say the transfer will be completed on Monday and I get the same obnoxious phone calls Monday and he's demanding to see a receipt not just the transfer papers. Then I call up that evening when the money was transferred and I was referred to a foreign call center (not sure where) who can't get in contact with their accounting. I had to call several people who promised return phone calls that never came until I got annoyed and demanded to speak with someone who could tell me where the money was and what had happened. The failure of the transfer was just the icing on the cake. I am fairly ignorant to financial matters but I really don't see how they can refuse a transfer without any attempt to verify information and then refuse to take any responsibility for their actions. I'm getting a 600mm f4, 70-200 f2.8 IS, 1DX and a sizeable amount of less notable purchases.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: eml58 on June 04, 2013, 08:11:34 PM
To the OP: am I correct in understanding from your description that you placed a high dollar order with Adorama without either knowing your credit card limit or knowing you were over the limit at the time you placed the order and figured you could sort it out later? If that is correct, then I think you need to reconsider where you are placing blame. If my understanding is not correct, then please clarify.

Try reading what the Op has actually said before Pontificating, The Guy "wire" Transferred the Money, it arrived 24 hours late, Adorama Personnel got "Rule Bound" and effectively told him to take a hike, unless I've read it wrong, and I think I read it right.

Well Natureshot, welcome to the world of Big Business, and the Bigger Egos that work for Big Business (and generally don't much give a hoot about Adorama, as long as the Pay Checks in the Mail), I at least appreciate your frustration and your attempt to warn us of your treatment & frustration with Adorama, situations like this do colour my future decisions on purchases.

As has been suggested in previous Posts, at the end of the Day you control the situation, albeit with some time delay, take your Business else where, hopefully B&H will appreciate you more as a customer, if they do, they get 20k in Business right now & the distinct possibility of another 20k over the next 10 years, we are Photographers, it's almost a Guarantee.

Then, when you get your Lovely new 1Dx, 600f/4 & 70-200f/2.8, sit in the bright sunshine and just, enjoy.

In a day or two you wont give a Flying Frog about Adorama.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Swphoto on June 04, 2013, 08:36:56 PM
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You are not going to buy from them because they support your local economy???  Funny how nobody wants to pay tax and yet everyone wants to have their streets paved or to have the police come when they call 911.

Governor Christie would just buy some more cheese burgers with my stipend!  :-)
(BTW...I pay PLENTY of taxes...i live in NJ ..we are taxed to death here..toll roads, bridges, tunnels, pay beaches, etc..etc..etc...I do not need to be chastised for making a perfectly legal choice to keep more of my hard-earned cash in my pocket..just like Apple or Mitt Romney..It's the USA..I look for loopholes...I take my power back wherever possible!)

In this case it's not a loophole - you are legally required to pay taxes on those purchases, whether the business collects it at the time of sale or not. Very few people do, though, so the Marketplace Fairness Act has been created so that out of state businesses will have to collect it up front.

Here's the specific (current) law in NJ: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/su_5.shtml (http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/su_5.shtml)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: risc32 on June 04, 2013, 08:43:37 PM
sorry but i side with adorama on this. you ordered something without having the funds to cover it until days later. man,they get stuff cleared and out the door very quickly, you have to be ready to go when you order something. it used to be with them and B&H if i ordered stuff from them before about noon, i would have it in my hands the next day. for whatever reason adorama and B&H aren't that fast anymore, so it takes an extra day, but either way they are both fantastic. I have a good friend that had a similar exp with amazon. I blamed him too.  but no big deal, you got your stuff, and all is now well. looks like you're loaded for bear, have fun.

My Berlebach (B&H) just arrived today.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: DJL329 on June 04, 2013, 09:24:04 PM
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You are not going to buy from them because they support your local economy???  Funny how nobody wants to pay tax and yet everyone wants to have their streets paved or to have the police come when they call 911.

Governor Christie would just buy some more cheese burgers with my stipend!  :-)
(BTW...I pay PLENTY of taxes...i live in NJ ..we are taxed to death here..toll roads, bridges, tunnels, pay beaches, etc..etc..etc...I do not need to be chastised for making a perfectly legal choice to keep more of my hard-earned cash in my pocket..just like Apple or Mitt Romney..It's the USA..I look for loopholes...I take my power back wherever possible!)

In this case it's not a loophole - you are legally required to pay taxes on those purchases, whether the business collects it at the time of sale or not. Very few people do, though, so the Marketplace Fairness Act has been created so that out of state businesses will have to collect it up front.

Here's the specific (current) law in NJ: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/su_5.shtml (http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/su_5.shtml)

Quite right.  In any case, Adorama has a warehouse in NJ -- I've had items shipped from it -- so they are legally bound to collect taxes for all orders shipping to NJ.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: infared on June 04, 2013, 09:51:39 PM
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You are not going to buy from them because they support your local economy???  Funny how nobody wants to pay tax and yet everyone wants to have their streets paved or to have the police come when they call 911.

Governor Christie would just buy some more cheese burgers with my stipend!  :-)
(BTW...I pay PLENTY of taxes...i live in NJ ..we are taxed to death here..toll roads, bridges, tunnels, pay beaches, etc..etc..etc...I do not need to be chastised for making a perfectly legal choice to keep more of my hard-earned cash in my pocket..just like Apple or Mitt Romney..It's the USA..I look for loopholes...I take my power back wherever possible!)

In this case it's not a loophole - you are legally required to pay taxes on those purchases, whether the business collects it at the time of sale or not. Very few people do, though, so the Marketplace Fairness Act has been created so that out of state businesses will have to collect it up front.

Here's the specific (current) law in NJ: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/su_5.shtml (http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/su_5.shtml)

Ok..I misspoke (knowingly), it is not a loophole...But it is a law that is NOT enforced. i am just speaking frankly. Since you have gone out of your way to specifically point this out to me...do you pay your state sales tax on ALL of your Internet purchases??? (If you say yes...I will not believe you),  I do not know one person who does, nor has anyone paid state sales tax on OOS catalogue sales for many, many years. As I said ...I live in a state where we are oppressed by taxes. It's truly obscene.
The Marketplace Fairness Act has not been enacted yet..so I will continue to enjoy purchasing online tax free with a clear conscience for as long as I can...like everyone else. I am just being honest.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on June 04, 2013, 10:18:38 PM
Paying by wire transfer is a problem, particularly if your bank is slow or unreliable.  I do a lot of wire transfers to buy things for my business, and it usually takes a minimum of three days to arrive in the sellers bank account.  Promising someone a wire transfer in one day is  something that isn't going to happen. A bank agent takes the info for the transfer, then it goes to a wire room, where it must wait its turn to be sent, which may happen the following day (Unless you try to send it on Friday)  Then, it takes a day to show up in the other account.  If your account does not have the funds, its another delay to transfer them.
It does sound like you need another bank, if they did not transmit any information about who was sending the money.
 
 
Sending one without a name and address as well as contact information should result in it being refused, there are just too many fraudsters, and Adorama does not know you.
 
I've bought a lot of equipment from them and B&H as well as others, no problems.  But then, I never bought 100K worth of equipment that justified a wire transfer, my CC seems to work, its technically unlimited.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 05, 2013, 02:21:47 AM
I placed a very large order with Adorama on Wednesday the 29th of May. I had never made a purchase that large and was informed by my bank that I would not be able to transfer the funds until Friday.  ..........I will write back with further updates.

Firstly, please accept my apologies for your frustration and disappointment with this order.

I'd welcome the opportunity to investigate further, but will need your order number. Can you please email me directly: Helen@adorama.com and I will  give it my immediate attention.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Forceflow on June 05, 2013, 02:51:50 AM
Paying by wire transfer is a problem, particularly if your bank is slow or unreliable.  I do a lot of wire transfers to buy things for my business, and it usually takes a minimum of three days to arrive in the sellers bank account.  Promising someone a wire transfer in one day is  something that isn't going to happen. A bank agent takes the info for the transfer, then it goes to a wire room, where it must wait its turn to be sent, which may happen the following day (Unless you try to send it on Friday)  Then, it takes a day to show up in the other account.  If your account does not have the funds, its another delay to transfer them.

Sorry for going OT, but holy crap!
Is it that complicated to wire money in the US? Here in Germany the banks are legally required to wire the money within no less than 1 working day. And if you wire money within the bank from one account to another one it's usually there within minutes. Sometimes even if you wire money across banks. (Seen this happening when I wire some money to my dad or he wires money to me)
No wonder you guys pay everything with plastic.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: tpatana on June 05, 2013, 03:39:19 AM
Paying by wire transfer is a problem, particularly if your bank is slow or unreliable.  I do a lot of wire transfers to buy things for my business, and it usually takes a minimum of three days to arrive in the sellers bank account.  Promising someone a wire transfer in one day is  something that isn't going to happen. A bank agent takes the info for the transfer, then it goes to a wire room, where it must wait its turn to be sent, which may happen the following day (Unless you try to send it on Friday)  Then, it takes a day to show up in the other account.  If your account does not have the funds, its another delay to transfer them.

Sorry for going OT, but holy crap!
Is it that complicated to wire money in the US? Here in Germany the banks are legally required to wire the money within no less than 1 working day. And if you wire money within the bank from one account to another one it's usually there within minutes. Sometimes even if you wire money across banks. (Seen this happening when I wire some money to my dad or he wires money to me)
No wonder you guys pay everything with plastic.

Yea, that was one big culture shock for me when I moved from Europe to Usa. And there's still checks around everywhere. Too often at a grocery store someone pulls out the check book and starts writing a check. That's one reason why I like the self-service lanes as people with checks don't ever use those.

Also some years ago I tried to transfer funds between mine and my wife's account, in the same back. I initiated a payment, then the system sent email to her 3 days later (or any email I would have provided), then when she received the email, she clicked a link and 3 days later the money arrived to her account. I chatted with the CSR, and they confirmed that at the time that was the best they could do online transfers. By far the best way was to write a check and drive up to the bank to deposit it.

Fortunately they've gotten bit better over years, but I'd say many of the services are still some ~10-15 years behind compared to Europe.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 05, 2013, 03:40:01 AM
They are not my favorite either...I had incredibly rude treatment in their store 20 years ago...it was so rude I never went back.......................

I can appreciate why you may feel this way, but in all fairness, the Adorama management team today is not the  same as it was 20  years ago



...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days..............

Actually, Adorama doesn't charge  sales tax; the state of NJ charges it and for NJ residents we are legally obliged to collect it.
There is a provision on the NJ income tax forms for you to declare out of state purchases that are subject to NJ state sales tax; many  NY / NJ  residents actively choose to  purchase from  retailers who collect on their behalf,  as  it saves them  the  bother - in any case, you really do need to pay that tax when filing your state income tax return.

As an example, if the state rate is 5.5% and you purchase $5,000 worth of equipment from an online out of state retailer that doesn't collect sales tax on orders shipped to you, it is your responsibility to send in 5.5% of that $5,000 ($275) to your state Department of Revenue. 

Fines for tax evasion can be very high, and it adds up quickly with fees, interest etc added onto the tax owed. If you're ever audited you'd be very happy that you have been taking care of this year by year. The best thing to do is to ask your local tax agency as well as a good local CPA.

[It is probably not a good idea for anyone to even suggest on an internet forum that they don't pay sales tax on out of state purchases.
With the financial crisis that NJ and many other states are in, it is only a matter of time until they start cracking down on this].

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 05, 2013, 03:44:35 AM
The worst shipping I've seen has come from orders with Adorama. I've paid for next day and it takes them two days just to get an order out the door.....

.......it used to be with them and B&H if i ordered stuff from them before about noon, i would have it in my hands the next day. for whatever reason adorama and B&H aren't that fast anymore, so it takes an extra day.....

Adorama ships SAME DAY on all orders for new, in-stock items, provided the order has cleared ID verification by 8:00 pm ET, Monday to Thursday (and up 'til 1:00 pm ET on a Friday).
If that has not been your experience, please email me the details so I can look into it for you: Helen@adorama.com

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 05, 2013, 03:48:50 AM
Never had a trouble with Adorama... even once they give me a $200 dlls gift card for price protection (Bough a $1999 85L and 3 weeks later it was at $1799).

If you are reading this Helen Oster...  :)

you Rock!

I am!! Thank you!!!

Helen  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: barracuda on June 05, 2013, 04:46:12 AM
I have nothing but good things to say about Adorama. The one problem I did have was graciously solved by Helen Oster who provided great customer service. Another "You Rock!" endorsement for Helen!
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: AlanF on June 05, 2013, 05:17:33 AM
From many of the postings in other threads, it seems that some buyers are far less principled than the retailers. Particularly selfish was the report about someone who would order from different vendors several copies of a lens so he could choose the best and send the rest back. To order one copy and send it back because it is unsatisfactory is perfectly reasonable, to order several with the deliberate intention of sending all but one back is simply unfair by wasting other peoples postage, time and possibly lowering the value of the goods for subsequent sale.

The response in this thread is overwhelmingly annoyance with the OP who is getting pretty close to trolling by mentioning names etc.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: infared on June 05, 2013, 05:54:41 AM
They are not my favorite either...I had incredibly rude treatment in their store 20 years ago...it was so rude I never went back.......................

I can appreciate why you may feel this way, but in all fairness, the Adorama management team today is not the  same as it was 20  years ago

 I mentioned that my experience was in the past and that the majority of your customers have positive experiences today, in my complete statement. I believe that you may have quoted me out of context?


...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days..............

Actually, Adorama doesn't charge  sales tax; the state of NJ charges it and for NJ residents we are legally obliged to collect it.
There is a provision on the NJ income tax forms for you to declare out of state purchases that are subject to NJ state sales tax; many  NY / NJ  residents actively choose to  purchase from  retailers who collect on their behalf,  as  it saves them  the  bother - in any case, you really do need to pay that tax when filing your state income tax return.

As an example, if the state rate is 5.5% and you purchase $5,000 worth of equipment from an online out of state retailer that doesn't collect sales tax on orders shipped to you, it is your responsibility to send in 5.5% of that $5,000 ($275) to your state Department of Revenue. 

Fines for tax evasion can be very high, and it adds up quickly with fees, interest etc added onto the tax owed. If you're ever audited you'd be very happy that you have been taking care of this year by year. The best thing to do is to ask your local tax agency as well as a good local CPA.

[It is probably not a good idea for anyone to even suggest on an internet forum that they don't pay sales tax on out of state purchases.
With the financial crisis that NJ and many other states are in, it is only a matter of time until they start cracking down on this].

Helen, while your statement is politically correct it is certainly not connected with the reality of the way that average consumers actually shop in the NY/NJ region. It's a red herring, so I made the type red, too. :-)
At any rate, you appear to be proactive in helping the consumer have a positive purchasing experience at the establishment that employs you. Please, keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: sanj on June 05, 2013, 06:33:12 AM
I have mostly had excellent experience at Adorama. Sometimes they get a bit rude, but overall they are great. (I do not remember her name). But Mike Fisher is a nice salesman. Helen is helpful.

I am not sure if I think Adorama was at fault this time: Most establishments cannot accept money without address.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: AlanF on June 05, 2013, 06:49:41 AM
...I live in NJ and they charge NJ sales tax on all orders, so I also have a financial reason not to buy from them online these days.

You are not going to buy from them because they support your local economy???  Funny how nobody wants to pay tax and yet everyone wants to have their streets paved or to have the police come when they call 911.

Governor Christie would just buy some more cheese burgers with my stipend!  :-)
(BTW...I pay PLENTY of taxes...i live in NJ ..we are taxed to death here..toll roads, bridges, tunnels, pay beaches, etc..etc..etc...I do not need to be chastised for making a perfectly legal choice to keep more of my hard-earned cash in my pocket..just like Apple or Mitt Romney..It's the USA..I look for loopholes...I take my power back wherever possible!)

Bob Dylan wrote about the morals of NJ in Tweeter and the Monkeyman

Jan had told him many times "it was you to me who taught:
in Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught"
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: infared on June 05, 2013, 06:53:40 AM

Bob Dylan wrote about the morals of NJ in Tweeter and the Monkeyman

Jan had told him many times "it was you to me who taught:
in Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught"

Alan...thanks for the humor! (BTW...Good song!)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: JonAustin on June 05, 2013, 09:12:48 AM
About 10 years ago, when I was first getting into SLR photography, I was planning a last-minute road trip, and wanted to pick up a couple of lenses for the trip (a 17-40 and a 70-200/4). One or the other was out of stock at B&H (probably the 17-40, since it was a new model back then), so I called Adorama. It was early in the day, and they claimed to have both lenses in stock. So I placed the order with them, used a credit card with plenty of available credit line, and paid for next-day AM delivery. According to the phone rep, all was well, and I would receive my order the following morning.

The next day, morning came and went, and no delivery. I called Adorama and learned that my order had been processed, but hadn't shipped yet. I was leaving later that day, so I cancelled the order, and did a phone search to find the lenses locally. I had to go to two different stores to buy both lenses, literally on my way out of town.

Since that experience, I have continued to do business with Adorama, but only if I can't find what I want elsewhere, and only if I'm not in a hurry to get what I ordered.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 05, 2013, 09:27:09 AM
About 10 years ago, when I was first getting into SLR photography, I was planning a last-minute road trip, and wanted to pick up a couple of lenses for the trip ......
Since that experience, I have continued to do business with Adorama, but only if I can't find what I want elsewhere, and only if I'm not in a hurry to get what I ordered.

As I noted above, Adorama has a completely new Management structure - since 2007, actually.

We now do not charge a credit card until an order actually ships, and as per our website:

http://www.adorama.com/help/shippingAndDelivery (http://www.adorama.com/help/shippingAndDelivery)


Adorama Camera makes every effort to get your order to you as soon as possible. Orders for in-stock items placed on business days before 8:00 PM ET (Eastern Time) are generally shipped the same day (subject to verification, click here for details). Please note weekend orders, placed on Fridays after 1:00 PM ET will be processed on the following Monday. If there is a problem with your order, you will receive an e-mail within one business day to advise you about the situation.

Used items:
We guarantee next day delivery for orders received, processed and verified by 1:00 P.M. ET (Eastern Time) Monday - Thursday, and before 8:30 A.M. ET (Eastern Time) on Friday. Orders received after these times or those which require verification (see below) will be processed the next business day.

Delivery of TVs and other oversized items:
Oversize items like large televisions, which ship by truck, might ship a day later.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: unfocused on June 05, 2013, 09:28:09 AM

Actually, Adorama doesn't charge  sales tax; the state of NJ charges it and for NJ residents we are legally obliged to collect it.

There is a provision on the NJ income tax forms for you to declare out of state purchases that are subject to NJ state sales tax; many  NY / NJ  residents actively choose to  purchase from  retailers who collect on their behalf,  as  it saves them  the  bother - in any case, you really do need to pay that tax when filing your state income tax return... 

As I've said before, I'm a long time customer of Adorama (since the 1970s) and they are my preferred retailer for photographic supplies. I also appreciate that they pay Helen to monitor and respond on this forum.

But, I have to say, on the tax issue, the comments are a bit disingenuous. Adorama (As well as B&H, Amazon, eBay and many others) choose not to collect the sales tax on orders in states where they are not legally required to collect the tax. They could do so voluntarily, but they don't. So, to suggest that collecting the tax on behalf of New York or New Jersey is a great service they provide to their customers in those states, raises the question – why aren't customers in all the others states they serve worthy of the same service?

Hopefully, in a few months Congress will take action to assure that all online retailers with more than $1 million in annual sales must collect sales taxes on behalf of their customers.

Judging by Helen's remarks, I must assume that Adorama is in favor of the proposed federal law. I would be interested in knowing if that is the case.

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 05, 2013, 09:39:25 AM
......Adorama ......choose not to collect the sales tax on orders in states where they are not legally required to collect the tax. They could do so voluntarily, but they don't...... why aren't customers in all the others states they serve worthy of the same service?

No idea; but of course, we need to employ someone to take care of this so to do something additional that we are not legally obliged to do would increase our costs - which I assume would almost inevitably be passed on to the consumer.

Hopefully, in a few months Congress will take action to assure that all online retailers with more than $1 million in annual sales must collect sales taxes on behalf of their customers.

Judging by Helen's remarks, I must assume that Adorama is in favor of the proposed federal law. I would be interested in knowing if that is the case.

I was simply stating the law as it stands!
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on June 05, 2013, 10:55:04 AM

[It is probably not a good idea for anyone to even suggest on an internet forum that they don't pay sales tax on out of state purchases.
With the financial crisis that NJ and many other states are in, it is only a matter of time until they start cracking down on this].

Yes!  Washington State went after people who were not declaring their state tax, it took a while to work down thru the courts, but it cost them a bundle.  Advertising that you do not pay sales tax on a fourm is like begging them to come after you.
 
They find you by going after a seller with a court order to divulge their sales to customers in the state.  Lots of legalities are involved, but, if they are determined and get the information, they will find you.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: dlleno on June 05, 2013, 07:12:05 PM

As I noted above, Adorama has a completely new Management structure - since 2007, actually.

We now do not charge a credit card until an order actually ships, and as per our website:

http://www.adorama.com/help/shippingAndDelivery (http://www.adorama.com/help/shippingAndDelivery)


Adorama Camera makes every effort to get your order to you as soon as possible. Orders for in-stock items placed on business days before 8:00 PM ET (Eastern Time) are generally shipped the same day (subject to verification, click here for details). Please note weekend orders, placed on Fridays after 1:00 PM ET will be processed on the following Monday. If there is a problem with your order, you will receive an e-mail within one business day to advise you about the situation.
...

A +1 vote from me on Adorama.  And Helen this is good to know (about the management change).  In the late 1980s I ordered a lens specifying U.S. warranty and Adorama shipped a grey market instead.  While the experience itself was inconvenient, even back then the return was accomplished satisfactorily. 

and by the way congratulations on a the 5D3 bundle, 'power up for free'.  nice job including the grip and an extra battery AND the 2% rewards!   effectively, this makes the purchase price close to what it was  a few months back before Canon started protecting MAP and one could easily find a 5D3/24-105 kit for $3500.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: John on June 05, 2013, 08:39:15 PM
i just thought that i would chime in to defend adorama. i have dealt with the company on a number of occasions and i am always impressed with their level of service. i recently had a print order from their printing division that arrived damaged by UPS. i called them about the damage which occurred while the prints were in transit to my house. they asked me to take a photograph of the damage and send it them by email - which i did. they promptly sent me a replacement set of photos at no cost to me. obviously, we would all expect a company to do this but i was impressed with the concern they showed for me and the rapid response that they gave to my issue. i have also bought from their camera store and found the level of service to be exemplary.

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: JonAustin on June 05, 2013, 11:56:11 PM
Hopefully, in a few months Congress will take action to assure that all online retailers with more than $1 million in annual sales must collect sales taxes on behalf of their customers.

Hopefully, in a few months Congress will take action to assure that no online retailers will be required to collect sales taxes on behalf of their customers.

And why only those online retailers with $1M+ in annual sales? I just love these arbitrary discriminators ...

The government's problem (both state and federal) isn't too little revenue, it's too much (wasteful) spending.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: RC on June 06, 2013, 01:25:58 AM
Of the 3 big online (photo) retailers B&H, Adorama, and Amazon, I've had multiple problems with one and zero problems with the other two.   So now I only do business with two of the three.  Although it may be tempting to call out a lousy customer service experience over the Internet (and I do understand the OP frustration), I think the best revenge is just to walk away and take your money and business else where.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Hillsilly on June 06, 2013, 05:22:01 AM
Sorry for going OT, but holy crap!
Is it that complicated to wire money in the US? Here in Germany the banks are legally required to wire the money within no less than 1 working day. And if you wire money within the bank from one account to another one it's usually there within minutes. Sometimes even if you wire money across banks. (Seen this happening when I wire some money to my dad or he wires money to me)
No wonder you guys pay everything with plastic.

Getting of topic too, but I don't quite get it either.  And I'm curious about banking systems.  Are you people saying that you have to physically go to a bank if you want to transfer money to someone?  And then your bank has to add a lot of details about the sender.  And if the recipient bank doesn't like the details entered, they refuse it?  Seriously?  If so, I'm less worried about Adorama not returning phone calls instantly than I am about the antiquated banking system.  No wonder problems like this arise and everyone gets frustrated. 
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Jglaser757 on June 06, 2013, 06:20:05 AM
I also had terrible time with Adorama. I was buying a gift for my wife's birthday and it was about $2000. I placed the order a week early and paid extra to get items on time. My shipment got lost and when I called customer service, I got a rude arrogant pr!ck on the phone that couldn't help me locate a package. She then told Me to call back in 45 min when they get updated information. this was of course after 30 min waiting for help in the first place. When I called back they were closed .. I found another number for the floor and called back. Another rude person told me that my shipment was delayed before it shipped out. Well , my wife's new camera and lens arrived two days late. And I was refused credit for delay in shipping.

Well, since then I order from B and H exclusively and have purchased well over $20,000.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Northstar on June 06, 2013, 06:42:30 AM
Regarding wire transfers....I've had plenty of experience with these, you have to have all the info correct and clear on both sides or the transfer has a good chance of not going through.   

My experience with Adorama is that they'll go out of their way to make it right.

OP, if you didn't like the way the salesperson spoke to you, then ask to speak to the sales manager because you are right about one thing, when spending that much money, they should be bending over backwards to make you 100% happy with the experience.. This isn't a $100 or $500 net profit transaction, this is a $7000 (ballpark guess) net profit deal....the managers/owners would WANT you to hear from you if you were not 100% happy.

I know hindsight is 20/20, but you should have gone right over the salesperson's head in this situation as soon as you felt mistreated...Everybody would have benefited, Adorama owners, managers, and most importantly - YOU (everybody except that salesman)


Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Casey on June 06, 2013, 07:18:36 AM
There are a few postings about the sales tax and whether the company collects it or not.  You always owe states sales tax whether you buy locally or buy it on line or mail order and have it shipped to your house. 

If the company has a "Nexus" or business presence in your state then they will collect the sales tax as an agent of the state.  If they do not have a nexus then they will not collect it, but you still owe it.  The reality is that most people don't know this, and even if they do then they figure that the state does not know about it and they can get away with it. 

States are pushing Congress to pass laws that require big retailers, such as Amazon, to collect for them because they are losing so much revenue.  So far that has not happened.  A few states (New York and New Jersey) have been going after some retailers to find out what was shipped into the state so that they could go after the customers for tax evasion. 

Taxes are needed to be paid for services, as well as to pay people who are paid to keep the demand for jobs lower.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 06, 2013, 07:20:40 AM
I also had terrible time with Adorama....... I was refused credit for delay in shipping.



I can't identify your order from your feedback, or how long ago this took place, but from the description of your experience we did not handle the situation as we should have done.
If you can contact me with the order number I can certainly see if I can get the shipping costs refunded right away: Helen@adorama.com
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Northstar on June 06, 2013, 07:48:16 AM
I also had terrible time with Adorama....... I was refused credit for delay in shipping.



I can't identify your order from your feedback, or how long ago this took place, but from the description of your experience we did not handle the situation as we should have done.
If you can contact me with the order number I can certainly see if I can get the shipping costs refunded right away: Helen@adorama.com

Helen...I've read some of your replies and I must say I'm impressed, it begs the question "who is this Wonder Woman?"  ;D 

Adorama is lucky to have you.

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: J.R. on June 06, 2013, 08:24:36 AM
Sorry for going OT, but holy crap!
Is it that complicated to wire money in the US? Here in Germany the banks are legally required to wire the money within no less than 1 working day. And if you wire money within the bank from one account to another one it's usually there within minutes. Sometimes even if you wire money across banks. (Seen this happening when I wire some money to my dad or he wires money to me)
No wonder you guys pay everything with plastic.

Getting of topic too, but I don't quite get it either.  And I'm curious about banking systems.  Are you people saying that you have to physically go to a bank if you want to transfer money to someone?  And then your bank has to add a lot of details about the sender.  And if the recipient bank doesn't like the details entered, they refuse it?  Seriously?  If so, I'm less worried about Adorama not returning phone calls instantly than I am about the antiquated banking system.  No wonder problems like this arise and everyone gets frustrated.

Wire transfers within the country should be pretty easy and settled within the day - I don't think it should take 3-4 days unless it is a cross-border transaction. International transfers usually do take at least three working days because of verifications that the banks have to carry out. Banks are increasingly touchy regarding where the money is coming from. The OP doesn't mention whether he was ordering from the US or another country.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 06, 2013, 08:47:39 AM



Helen...I've read some of your replies and I must say I'm impressed, it begs the question "who is this Wonder Woman?"  ;D 

Adorama is lucky to have you.

Thank you!

I can tell you exactly who I am........

30 years ago, when you had a problem with a company eg with a product, policy or member of the CS staff team, you would sit yourself down and write a letter of complaint.

You could expect a nice written response within 28 days. If you weren't happy with the response, you'd probably find within that letter the details of a senior manager or another department you could write to to set out your grievance; you'd fire off another letter, and hopefully, receive a satisfactory answer - maybe compensation of some kind - 28 days later.

A decent company with a well-structured management team would employ someone able to take on board your  complaint; assess where the problem lay, ensure you were compensated and completely satisfied. He or she would then make recommendations for organizational (or personnel) change, training, or whatever might be needed to ensure that didn't happen again. And that is who I am! Except that I try and turn around complaints within 24 hours....... though it can take longer of I need to listen to recordings of 'phone calls, read through lots of notes etc.

Making changes and improvements is going to be harder if problems don't get reported any further than the person who caused them, or on photography forums.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: jdramirez on June 06, 2013, 08:55:55 AM
I also had terrible time with Adorama....... I was refused credit for delay in shipping.



I can't identify your order from your feedback, or how long ago this took place, but from the description of your experience we did not handle the situation as we should have done.
If you can contact me with the order number I can certainly see if I can get the shipping costs refunded right away: Helen@adorama.com

Helen...I've read some of your replies and I must say I'm impressed, it begs the question "who is this Wonder Woman?"  ;D 

Adorama is lucky to have you.

 Not only has Helen brought customer service back,  she has,  with the help of Justin T.,  brought sexy back as well.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Lurker on June 06, 2013, 09:39:25 AM
Helen is legend in the photo industry, if there is a photography hall of fame she should be inducted.  I've never had any dealings with her but I've read her postings and postings about her service and I don't believe there is a disingenuous bone in her body.

I've been an Adorama customer for about 14 years.  One thing that I really like about them is they are open to take my order when I can/want to shop.  I don't expect a business to have staff working 24x7, people need time off for many different reasons.  Computers don't.  Adorama, thanks for being there for me when I have the time.

As far as collecting sales taxes.  I read last night that there are over 7500 sale tax authorities in the US.  Who is going to keep track of all the rates and where to send the taxes collected?   Will the Feds do it? Some company? Who will pay for that service: the businesses, state tax payers, federal tax payers.  This is a lot easier for B&M's, they know where the store is located and can set a couple of tax rates in local computers.  Online how do you verify what tax rate should apply.  If my kid goes to school in California, uses my CC with a billing address in Wisconsin, makes a purchase from a Nevada web site, and has it shipped to Grandma's house in Oregon what tax rate applies?  The reason for the not so arbitrary million dollar limit is the cost to the business of complying with the law.  Small business would not be able to compete or comply so new web retailers would not exist and they would not grow into large web retailers.  Reality is it doesn't take all that much to be a million dollar retailer.  Of course this depends on where you live.

As far as our banking system goes very little has to do with capability, mostly it has to do with legal requirements.  If law says they have to perform a task in 3 days, they take 3 days.  They make tons of money on the float.  Most of the requirements were written when paper checks where being hand processed and physically moved between companies.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: awinphoto on June 06, 2013, 11:18:17 AM
Helen is the one reason i choose adorama over any other company, BH, Tristate, Beach, etc...  If i need anything she always has my back.  Hope she helps you out! 
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Jglaser757 on June 06, 2013, 01:12:16 PM
I also had terrible time with Adorama....... I was refused credit for delay in shipping.



I can't identify your order from your feedback, or how long ago this took place, but from the description of your experience we did not handle the situation as we should have done.
If you can contact me with the order number I can certainly see if I can get the shipping costs refunded right away: Helen@adorama.com

Helen...I've read some of your replies and I must say I'm impressed, it begs the question "who is this Wonder Woman?"  ;D 

Adorama is lucky to have you.

 Not only has Helen brought customer service back,  she has,  with the help of Justin T.,  brought sexy back as well.

Although I do appreciate the follow up by Helen to try salvage any type of relationship with previous and future customers, I for one will never use them again because its not the first time my experience was not an isolated incident. Maybe they are trying to solve this situation, but fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!

At the time I was a little fish in the pond, but after years of purchasing, I'm a bigger fish and a loyal B and H customer. I actually should probably thank Adorama for that!  I once returned an item that was past their minimum due date for refund, and they still refunded me.

Yeah, I hate their policy for closing during holidays, but I respect it and understand it. I have adjusted my buying for it, but I still hate it! :)

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 06, 2013, 01:40:43 PM


Although I do appreciate the follow up by Helen to try salvage any type of relationship with previous and future customers, I for one will never use them again because its not the first time my experience was not an isolated incident. Maybe they are trying to solve this situation, but fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!



Whether or not you choose to shop at Adorama again, the fact that we may owe you money is important to me - and I'd like to put this right.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: SPL on June 06, 2013, 01:41:25 PM
I have used Adorama for 8-9 years,.....never had an issue,...never.  They have always been very good to me.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Tabor Warren Photography on June 06, 2013, 02:32:09 PM
Man that stinks, and I can understand your frustrations. Like so many others on here though, I have had no issues with Adorama, or B&H for that matter. I just tend to go with the better buy, which often falls on Adorama. Good luck in the future though.

Cheers,
-Tabor
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: dlleno on June 06, 2013, 03:05:40 PM
first preference for me is always use a card, and I've had to negotiate higher limits on a card just to keep things simple.  To be fair, one would have to ask what other retailers would do in similar circumstances.  rude treatment is never acceptable but you have to recognize that the OP purchase details would stress any retail purchase relationship.  That said, it is a fair expectation that the retailer handle the situation gracefully.

Thanks Hellen for your contriibutions here.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Northstar on June 06, 2013, 07:24:53 PM



Helen...I've read some of your replies and I must say I'm impressed, it begs the question "who is this Wonder Woman?"  ;D 

Adorama is lucky to have you.

Thank you!

I can tell you exactly who I am........

30 years ago, when you had a problem with a company eg with a product, policy or member of the CS staff team, you would sit yourself down and write a letter of complaint.

You could expect a nice written response within 28 days. If you weren't happy with the response, you'd probably find within that letter the details of a senior manager or another department you could write to to set out your grievance; you'd fire off another letter, and hopefully, receive a satisfactory answer - maybe compensation of some kind - 28 days later.

A decent company with a well-structured management team would employ someone able to take on board your  complaint; assess where the problem lay, ensure you were compensated and completely satisfied. He or she would then make recommendations for organizational (or personnel) change, training, or whatever might be needed to ensure that didn't happen again. And that is who I am! Except that I try and turn around complaints within 24 hours....... though it can take longer of I need to listen to recordings of 'phone calls, read through lots of notes etc.

Making changes and improvements is going to be harder if problems don't get reported any further than the person who caused them, or on photography forums.


Helen...I think you should put a face with your name.....I bet you have a camera laying around sometwhere ;)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: natureshots on June 07, 2013, 01:05:41 PM
So a week after the money transfer the money is still not back in my account. This is surreal. The negligence shown by Adorama Camera is now pretty staggering. I have wasted hours of my life on this. I keep on speaking to Customer Service who is incapable of contacting the account team to find out where my money is. I am about to call my bank and place a trace on the funds. I cannot believe this. Adorama is beyond negligent.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on June 07, 2013, 01:30:28 PM
So a week after the money transfer the money is still not back in my account. This is surreal. The negligence shown by Adorama Camera is now pretty staggering. I have wasted hours of my life on this. I keep on speaking to Customer Service who is incapable of contacting the account team to find out where my money is. I am about to call my bank and place a trace on the funds. I cannot believe this. Adorama is beyond negligent.
You definitely should call your bank, Adorama is not a bank, and does not have any visibility into the banking system. 
 
You should e-mail Helen with the details, and she will help, that's something she is able to do.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: tpatana on June 07, 2013, 01:38:06 PM
So a week after the money transfer the money is still not back in my account. This is surreal. The negligence shown by Adorama Camera is now pretty staggering. I have wasted hours of my life on this. I keep on speaking to Customer Service who is incapable of contacting the account team to find out where my money is. I am about to call my bank and place a trace on the funds. I cannot believe this. Adorama is beyond negligent.
You definitely should call your bank, Adorama is not a bank, and does not have any visibility into the banking system. 
 
You should e-mail Helen with the details, and she will help, that's something she is able to do.

Exactly. The money is not at Adorama, it's somewhere in the banking system.

When I moved to this country, I had several bad experiences (and money loss) because I didn't know the system. At the time I blamed BoA for the losses, and switched my accounts to different bank. They did handle the matters quite poorly, but the real reason for my troubles were that I didn't know how the system works. But they didn't do anything to help either, so I'm never going back BoA. A small local bank seems to care about me, or at least they make me feel like that.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: unfocused on June 07, 2013, 01:54:07 PM
Pardon me, but what is this "wire transfer" you speak of?

That sounds like something from the 20th century. Don't most people nowadays just use PayPal? I know it can take two-three days for the transaction to be completed, but it seems to work pretty well. It even works across countries.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: natureshots on June 07, 2013, 02:00:07 PM
So a week after the money transfer the money is still not back in my account. This is surreal. The negligence shown by Adorama Camera is now pretty staggering. I have wasted hours of my life on this. I keep on speaking to Customer Service who is incapable of contacting the account team to find out where my money is. I am about to call my bank and place a trace on the funds. I cannot believe this. Adorama is beyond negligent.
You definitely should call your bank, Adorama is not a bank, and does not have any visibility into the banking system. 
 
You should e-mail Helen with the details, and she will help, that's something she is able to do.

Exactly. The money is not at Adorama, it's somewhere in the banking system.

When I moved to this country, I had several bad experiences (and money loss) because I didn't know the system. At the time I blamed BoA for the losses, and switched my accounts to different bank. They did handle the matters quite poorly, but the real reason for my troubles were that I didn't know how the system works. But they didn't do anything to help either, so I'm never going back BoA. A small local bank seems to care about me, or at least they make me feel like that.

Helen is out of the office and their outsourced customer service does not return my phone calls. Customer service has called the account team multiple times and emailed them over and over with no avail. The sales team team seemed able to get through to the account team very promptly when it was determining whether the transfer had happened. Now they are incapable of assisting me to contact the account team. If it is out in "banking land" I want to know that is indeed the case. They owe me at least that. If it was refused it should be back in the account already and it is not.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: mistabernie on June 07, 2013, 02:37:06 PM

Helen is out of the office and their outsourced customer service does not return my phone calls. Customer service has called the account team multiple times and emailed them over and over with no avail. The sales team team seemed able to get through to the account team very promptly when it was determining whether the transfer had happened. Now they are incapable of assisting me to contact the account team. If it is out in "banking land" I want to know that is indeed the case. They owe me at least that. If it was refused it should be back in the account already and it is not.

Sorry, haven't had a chance to read everything yet, but basically, if your bank put a hold on the money (i.e. treated it as if the money was expected to come out) and for some reason or another the transaction wasn't completed by Adorama, then the 'hold' on your money is almost 100% on the banking / financial side of things.

If it's a debit card, call the bank.  If it's a credit card, then call the credit card company or bank that issued.  Sometimes the holds take a while to expire - this is almost always because of an issue on the bank/card side. 
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: neuroanatomist on June 07, 2013, 02:43:41 PM
Sorry, haven't had a chance to read everything yet...If it's a debit card, call the bank.  If it's a credit card, then call the credit card company or bank that issued.  Sometimes the holds take a while to expire - this is almost always because of an issue on the bank/card side.
Perhaps you should have taken the time.  The issue under discussion involves a wire transfer...
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: natureshots on June 07, 2013, 03:36:57 PM
UPDATE: It is going into the weekend and despite 20 (not an exaggeration) angry phone calls they finally decided to "escalate" my call. I definitely will not hear back from them til Monday. One full week after they received my money. This is absurd. I understand Helen is a "legend" but why is no one available to cover for her while she's gone? Is my 27K not important to them? Why will no one give me a confirmation receipt that the money was sent back? No one in the company has been able to get a response from the account team to confirm what has happened to my money. This may be an isolated incident but it is so severely mishandled at this point that I would start asking myself if this company deserves my business. It has been days and tons of angry phone calls and I have yet to receive an email from accounting or customer service. The only recourse I have no is to continue to complain on this forum. It is the only way that I have gotten anywhere with this company.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Northstar on June 07, 2013, 04:11:23 PM
UPDATE: It is going into the weekend and despite 20 (not an exaggeration) angry phone calls they finally decided to "escalate" my call. I definitely will not hear back from them til Monday. One full week after they received my money. This is absurd. I understand Helen is a "legend" but why is no one available to cover for her while she's gone? Is my 27K not important to them? Why will no one give me a confirmation receipt that the money was sent back? No one in the company has been able to get a response from the account team to confirm what has happened to my money. This may be an isolated incident but it is so severely mishandled at this point that I would start asking myself if this company deserves my business. It has been days and tons of angry phone calls and I have yet to receive an email from accounting or customer service. The only recourse I have no is to continue to complain on this forum. It is the only way that I have gotten anywhere with this company.

it's a good lesson for everyone....use your credit card when making large purchases.  if you don't have enough buying power, call the cc company and get more, or break up the transaction into separate purchases on multiple cards.

I work at a financial services firm and I'm here to tell you, banks don't just move $27k because someone tells them to move it....they need things in writing, from the correct people, and the correct info on the receiving end....and oh yes, banks make mistakes too...all the time and it takes days to fix it....in this situation you potentially have a salesman error, an adorama back office person error, multiple people at EACH bank could've made an error.

good luck to you.




Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: dlleno on June 07, 2013, 04:30:18 PM
yea --   I have to say I think in that sitaution I think I would work things out with the retailer and banks well in advance of such a purchase, to work out all the critical timing elements etc.  And, while I would certainly expect courtesy from the retailer (as they should of me) I would not expect them to move or commit to move any merchandise without confirmation of funds and  I wouldn't hold the retailer responsible for a banking process hicup.  In that sort of situation the buyer is the only one that owns the "end to end" and rather has to manage this like a project with dependancies.  all the various players live in their worlds and are not expected to own anythign outside of it. 
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Rienzphotoz on June 07, 2013, 05:06:18 PM
Having gone through pretty much every single post on this topic and having ordered camera gear from Adorama (3 times in 2013 for a total of US$ 3981.02), this is my feedback:

1. Adorama is not as prompt or as professional as other online stores I use (i.e. B&H, Amazon, DigitalRev etc) ... when I order anything from B&H, Amazon, DigitalRevv, Yongnuostore etc, I get an email immediately after I place the order (it takes maybe 20 or 30 seconds to get an email from all the other online stores I shop from) ... but with Adorama it takes almost a day to send the email ... for my first order this year, Adorama did not even bother to send me an email with my order details till date (I had to send them 2 emails reminding them of it and finally they send an email saying "Hi, Thank you for contacting Adorama. Your package shipped via UPS International. Your package shipped out on: 2/27/13 Your tracking number is: 1xxxxxxxxxxx7859" ... for proof, see the attached pdf titled "Attachment 1" ... as you can see there wasn't even an apology for their tardiness ... I know an apology is not going to change what has already happened but for me a lack of apology from a seller, especially for their tardiness, reflects an "I don't care" attitude). 

2. Adorama does not display their items being out of stock until you add it to the cart ... B&H, Amazon and pretty much every single online store clearly state, "out of stock" info even before you add the item to the cart.

I think both of the above issues are easily fixable by Adorama but for some reason they do not and I don't understand why.

On one occasion (earlier this year) Adorama website did not even mention that the item was out of stock even after I added the item to the cart ... after paying for the item it took Adorama a day to send me an email stating that one of the items I ordered is out of stock and they gave me the option to cancel the order (... for proof, see the attached pdf titled "Attachment 2"). This may seem like a small issue but for people like me, who are ordering from another country (in my case Qatar), banks hold the full purchase order price as soon as we order the items and if I cancel the order (even it is on account of the seller's fault) it takes a long time to get the money credited back to my credit card (in Qatar it takes minimum 45 days to max 90 days), meanwhile we have to pay interest for the money we did not even spend ... if we don't want to pay interest we have pay up the full ordered amount to the bank i.e. make double payment for an item we did not even get.

Having said that it is heartening to see Helen (from Adorama Customer Service) is actively participating in this forum and addressing customer complaints ... I hope she will be successful in fixing the above two issues, i.e.:
a. send an email (with the order details) to the customer as soon as a purchase has been made.
b. display out of stock items clearly even before it is added to the cart (but for God's sake definitely before the purchase is made).

PS. In my case I do not consider my experience with Adorama "horrible" but definitely not up to the mark as other online stores I use, not even those that are much smaller than Adorama ... so I now only use Adorama for Nikon or any other gear that is not available (or not shipped to my country) from my preferred stores  such as B&H (USA), DigitalRev (HKG), Amazon (US, UK & Japan), Yongnuostore (China) etc.

But I've never had any problems with any of the items I received from Adorama ... so not complaint there.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: dgatwood on June 07, 2013, 10:23:56 PM
On one occasion (earlier this year) Adorama website did not even mention that the item was out of stock even after I added the item to the cart ... after paying for the item it took Adorama a day to send me an email stating that one of the items I ordered is out of stock and they gave me the option to cancel the order (... for proof, see the attached pdf titled "Attachment 2"). This may seem like a small issue but for people like me, who are ordering from another country (in my case Qatar), banks hold the full purchase order price as soon as we order the items and if I cancel the order (even it is on account of the seller's fault) it takes a long time to get the money credited back to my credit card (in Qatar it takes minimum 45 days to max 90 days), meanwhile we have to pay interest for the money we did not even spend ... if we don't want to pay interest we have pay up the full ordered amount to the bank i.e. make double payment for an item we did not even get.

That should not be an issue anymore.  Currently, most credit card companies require merchants to comply with certain rules, one of which is that no company may charge your card until they are about to ship the product.  A merchant who charges your card for a product that is not in stock can lose their ability to take credit cards if you complain loudly enough.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: serendipidy on June 07, 2013, 10:30:33 PM
Natureshots,

Sounds like a horrible situation (especially when it involves so much money). However, I'm 100% sure that Adorama is not a sham operation that deliberately steals peoples' monies. It will eventually all be straightened out and hopefully soon. In the mean time, as much as humanly possible under these circumstances, try to relax so you don't have a heart attack or stroke due to high blood pressure. If that happens, they win and you lose.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: RGF on June 08, 2013, 02:38:08 AM
Good luck - please keep us informed how the situation is resolved (not resolved)

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Rienzphotoz on June 08, 2013, 04:38:09 AM
On one occasion (earlier this year) Adorama website did not even mention that the item was out of stock even after I added the item to the cart ... after paying for the item it took Adorama a day to send me an email stating that one of the items I ordered is out of stock and they gave me the option to cancel the order (... for proof, see the attached pdf titled "Attachment 2"). This may seem like a small issue but for people like me, who are ordering from another country (in my case Qatar), banks hold the full purchase order price as soon as we order the items and if I cancel the order (even it is on account of the seller's fault) it takes a long time to get the money credited back to my credit card (in Qatar it takes minimum 45 days to max 90 days), meanwhile we have to pay interest for the money we did not even spend ... if we don't want to pay interest we have pay up the full ordered amount to the bank i.e. make double payment for an item we did not even get.

That should not be an issue anymore.  Currently, most credit card companies require merchants to comply with certain rules, one of which is that no company may charge your card until they are about to ship the product.  A merchant who charges your card for a product that is not in stock can lose their ability to take credit cards if you complain loudly enough.
What you are saying is correct only if it is domestic orders/payments ... but for international orders/payments, the full purchased amount is authorized as soon as the order is placed, putting a "temporary" hold on the funds, in the credit card, until the time of actual shipment. If you cancel the order, even it is  on account of the seller's fault, (depending on the country), it takes minimum 5 days to 90 days (that too from the time of the seller confirming the cancellation to the bank), but in the case of countries such as Qatar it is minimum 45 days to maximum 90 days. While one can "complain loudly" resulting in the sellers ability to take credit cards, we still have to pay interest or pay the full amount on funds that were technically never used.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: eml58 on June 08, 2013, 07:11:01 AM
You have to feel for the Op, 27k in the Hole, no ones taking responsibility.

I've been reading this whole thing with interest, still waiting for "Wonder Woman" Helen to pull the Ops cherries out of the Fire, hopefully it'll happen after the Adorama People have had a relaxing weekend, hate to think of the Ops weekend, 27k in the Wind.

You can imagine the reaction after this experience if anyone mentions "Adorama" to the Op, better be wearing a Flak Jacket.

The Op mentioned wether or not his 27k was important to Adorama, clearly the answer is No, this whole experience has certainly hardened my attitude to ever buying from Adorama.

Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: dgatwood on June 08, 2013, 01:57:27 PM
What you are saying is correct only if it is domestic orders/payments ... but for international orders/payments, the full purchased amount is authorized as soon as the order is placed, putting a "temporary" hold on the funds, in the credit card, until the time of actual shipment. If you cancel the order, even it is  on account of the seller's fault, (depending on the country), it takes minimum 5 days to 90 days (that too from the time of the seller confirming the cancellation to the bank), but in the case of countries such as Qatar it is minimum 45 days to maximum 90 days. While one can "complain loudly" resulting in the sellers ability to take credit cards, we still have to pay interest or pay the full amount on funds that were technically never used.

That can happen for domestic charges, too, depending on the company, but there's a big difference between a hold and a charge.  An authorization hold affects only availability of funds.  Your credit card company is not supposed to include unsettled transactions in your monthly bill; if they do, then your bank is violating the CC company's rules, not the merchant.

Add up the charges on the credit card statement, and you should find that those authorization holds are not, in fact, reflected in the total.  The only impact they should have on you is reducing the amount of credit that you can spend on other things.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 08, 2013, 02:10:57 PM
You have to feel for the Op, 27k in the Hole, no ones taking responsibility.

I've been reading this whole thing with interest, still waiting for "Wonder Woman" Helen to pull the Ops cherries out of the Fire, hopefully it'll happen after the Adorama People have had a relaxing weekend, hate to think of the Ops weekend, 27k in the Wind.

You can imagine the reaction after this experience if anyone mentions "Adorama" to the Op, better be wearing a Flak Jacket.

The Op mentioned wether or not his 27k was important to Adorama, clearly the answer is No, this whole experience has certainly hardened my attitude to ever buying from Adorama.

Adorama does not have the OP's money. We do not charge until an order ships. The order did not ship and therefore we did not take the money.

 The hold has been placed on the OP's account by the OP's bank and he needs to contact the bank to get the hold released.
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 09, 2013, 11:30:49 AM


Helen...I think you should put a face with your name.....I bet you have a camera laying around sometwhere ;)

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3089/2545109618_5821b638f8_m.jpg (http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3089/2545109618_5821b638f8_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
Post by: Helen Oster on June 09, 2013, 11:32:52 AM

I've been reading this whole thing with interest, still waiting for "Wonder Woman" Helen to pull the Ops cherries out of the Fire, hopefully it'll happen after the Adorama People have had a relaxing weekend, hate to think of the Ops weekend, 27k in the Wind.



According to the OP's bank, the money will appear back in his account tomorrow. A check for $25 is on the way to him, from Adorama,  to cover his wire costs.