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: Helen@adorama.com 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, Buy.com 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.