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Messages - Helen Oster

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:03:21 AM »
Chances are, things will be fine with both companies...IF things go well.

I know somebody who is currently in limbo due to Adorama's suboptimal packaging and expensive Zeiss lens arriving damaged, involving multiple returns to get the same lens in one piece.  The lens is now stuck in UPS-claims-denied world with no end in site and no help from Adorama. 

We actually pack above and beyond the industry standard.  Most packaging companies that come in and see our operation are taken back by the amount of pillows we use in one carton.  They actually drool to try and get our business, because it is not the norm. 
The industry standard is to put the item in the box to one corner and then fill the void with dunnage whether it be peanuts, pillows, foam, or paper.  Our standard is to blanket the bottom and the sides of the box and then place the item in the middle - and then fold over the pillows and add more to fill the box where needed. 
The only thing we don’t add any pillows to are items that ship in the vendor box, and soft goods (t-shirts, backpacks, hats, etc).

As soon as we are notified that an item is MIA we open a trace with UPS. UPS requires up 'til 10 business days to complete their investigations. There isn't actually anything that we can do during this period.

However, as it sounds from your description that your friend's issue has somehow slipped 'through the cracks', can you please have him email me directly: with his order number and I will see what I may be able to do, to help.

On a personal level, remember the time Canon EOS-M/lens package was on $300 sale, and after taking a bunch of orders, Adorama unilaterally cancelled their customers' orders without any replacement or offers when the exact body/lens combo was no longer in stock.

I don't personally remember this, but if we were out of stock, and were not able to obtain any more units at the lower price, then I guess we will have had little option but to cancel the outstanding orders.
We sell across multiple platforms, eg Amazon, and many others, plus of course we are receiving orders via telephone, the website and in-store. If we are already low on stock and we receive an upsurge in orders it isn't going to be immediately obvious which customer(s) may be disappointed. This is exacerbated because we don't actually charge until an order is shipped.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 04:43:21 AM »
I've ordered many times from both companies and would recommend B&H over Adorama primarily because they ship the fastest (i.e. get your order out of their warehouse to the shipper). 

I don't think that's true, actually; Adorama orders for new, in-stock items that are placed right up until 8:00 pm ET are generally shipped the same day. As items are packed they go straight onto one of the UPS trailers in our shipping department. As soon as a trailer if filled we call for a driver to come and collect the trailer and take it to one of the UPS hubs, immediately.

yeah man, adorama is the worst.. I have experience the same thing.. Didnt get my 18 dollars refund.. support sux. by that experience no more adorama for me. sticking to bnh

Please email me:  with your order number and further  details and I will see what I  can do


He seems to have done a search for Adorama here on CR, and tried to resurrect a few old threads with duplicate posts.  Those posts were deleted by the mods.

...and other forums, & consumer shopping sites.....

....some time after ordering Canon 70-200 f4 IS, since I didn't receive shipping confirmation, I found on their web site that the order status is "canceled". Without any explanation or even notification from Adorama. I tried again with the same result. When I called their customer service, I was told, literally: "your information doesn't match... please don't order from us any more".

I am truly sorry that this was your experience.

We use an ID verification service in conjunction with our bank. If an order is flagged as suspicious unfortunately we have no way at all of over-riding that. With rampant and ever-increasing identity fraud we have chosen to work with a particularly robust system.  It may be that other retailers are using different systems from ours, with different stringencies

I think all this nonsense can still be sorted out without dragging Adorama through the mud!!

When you get a new member signing up just to complain, as often as not, they have misunderstood.  Adorama's paperwork for the combined deals involving a printer are a bit confusing, but it all makes sense if you wait for a few days and get the combined invoice before panicking.

.....and what is confusing is when customers post on 3 different forums thinking it's going to speed up the process of resolving a problem. It doesn't. It takes me away from actually getting on with it!

I don't like Adorama as well as I like B&H.  .

Any reason that I should be aware of?


They made an error, and then you compounded that error by overreacting and sending it back.

You should've just kept the items  and called them, it would've been an easy fix for them over the phone.

It wasn't an error; printers have to be shipped UPS Ground. That is why the shipment was split.

.......and my email going to (which went out 2 weeks ago with no reply as of yet...I understand the holiday...but...really) and I realize now that is the girl on the phone I talked with, not Trixie R.

What I have in my inbox from you Jon are emails that you have exchanged with Dixie, and that I was copied in on.

I don't see that at any time you wrote directly to me and asked me to get involved. I am truly sorry if you thought that I was going to be.


Nope... not referring to adorama... evidently you missed all the posts that question my moral compass or the lack there of. 

I kinda want to watch Scarface now... thre whole scene in the restaurant where Tony says... I'm the bad guy...

aaah... my apologies. I thought you were referring to Adorama's morality - or lack of it!


... but the moral/ethical issue appears to still be in play.

It does? I also sent you a $10 coupon code  by way of an apology for any disappointment caused - even though it states on our website that:

Terms & Conditions
Purchaser, by placing an order, makes an offer to purchase pursuant to these terms and conditions, which offer, if accepted by Adorama Camera, is accepted within the State of New York, is intended to be a guide only. Some item illustrations are for display purposes only, may not be exact, and are not necessarily included in the purchase price. Adorama is not responsible for typographical or pictorial errors, and specifications may change without notice.

.....I just would have asked them to pay return shipping if I didn't want it since they didn't send me what was pictured. 

I have already requested a pre-paid label to be emailed to the OP


Was there, anywhere in the add or website, the standard "items may not be as pictured" clause.... If so; sorry, no leg to stand on.....

By opening or using a product purchased from Adorama, the purchaser agrees to be bound by the term and conditions of sale as set forth below. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions of sale, please ship the product back to Adorama unopened within 5 days of receipt for a full refund (less shipping and handling charges).

Adorama Camera makes no warranty, either expressed or implied, of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose, and none shall be implied by law.

Final determination of suitability of any item sold for the use contemplated by purchaser is the sole responsibility of the purchaser, and Seller shall have no responsibility in connection with such determination.

Adorama Camera will not be responsible for any consequential or incidental damages resulting from the sale, non-delivery, use or improper function of any equipment purchased from us. The responsibility, if any is imposed, of Adorama in regard to any item purchased shall be limited to the monetary value of the merchandise purchased. is intended to be a guide only. Some item illustrations are for display purposes only, may not be exact, and are not necessarily included in the purchase price. Adorama is not responsible for typographical or pictorial errors, and specifications may change without notice.


You may be of the above you describe. But it is all too lengthy. I think shorter and to the point ROCK STAR describes you better. :)

 :-* :-* :-*


From a personal point of view, I've had the pleasure of dealing with Helen Oster and have found her professionalism to be above reproach.


Your title is aptly named "Customer Service Ambassador" because you do a very good job at it.  We, as a community are fortunate that we have someone like you looking out for us.

Helen is to PR what Magic Lantern developers are to hackers.......

Props to Helen for even entertaining a discussion over what amounts to a print error.

I just want to say thank you to everyone for all your thoughtful words and sentiments, which are so very much appreciated

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