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Messages - Helen Oster

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Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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.

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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.

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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.

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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!

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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:


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.

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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].

Reviews / Re: Horrible experience with Adorama camera
« 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

Canon General / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x in Stock at Adorama
« on: June 03, 2013, 10:05:54 AM »

Thanks, Helen.  However, in this case I have to disagree.  'In Stock' generally means that it's available for immediate shipping, not that my order will put me at the back of a queue for shipping once it's really available.

Stating, "Adorama is receiving the lens and fulfilling preorders," would be an accurate statement.

Agreed, sort-of........ with the exception of when the quantity of units in any single delivery enables us to fulfill all pre-orders/back-orders, AND we  still have some over for orders placed more recently. However, as we won't usually know how many units are going to be allocated to us within a single delivery - or how regularly we are going to  receive them - we would never want  estimate the likelihood of  an order placed today being fulfilled within the following day or two. Especially if you add to the  mix cancellation by customers of back-orders!

Canon General / Re: EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x in Stock at Adorama
« on: June 03, 2013, 09:16:52 AM »
I wonder why this post is still up as we all know Adorama does not have this lens for shipping.

Probably because we have been shipping - albeit limited - number of units?

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

To me it was an international purchase so first of all I have to pay 50 bucks just for their mistake.
Second, BH and Adorama lately are showing one price and then changing it in the cart to be able to sell at lower prices, as it happened with a camera I bought last week and you can try it on most canon products.
Second, I do not want or need the pixma printer nor the 40mm pancake lens.

The price is not like it should be 2400 and shows 240 dollars. A 300 dollar discount is completely plausible. Now I cannot even purchase the camera because it is not listed and my credit card is now maxed out. I am seriously in a deep problem here as I need this camera to be delivered before the 3rd of march and last time my credit card took 3 weeks to give me back my money.

I noted your comments regarding needing to place an item into the basket to see the lower price, and welcome this opportunity to explain why this is.
Retailers like Adorama have the legal right to set their own prices independently, but some manufacturers place restrictions on how those prices may be communicated.
Because our price on this item is lower than the manufacturer's "minimum advertised price," the manufacturer does not allow us to show you our price until you take further action, such as placing the item in your shopping cart, or in some cases, proceeding to the final checkout stage. The steps required depend on the details of the manufacturer's minimum advertised price policy. Taking these steps allows Adorama to show you our price consistent with our goal of always offering you the lowest possible prices on the widest selection of products.
This won't require you to purchase the product. You can easily remove it from your cart if you decide not to buy it.
We realize that this is an inconvenience and are regularly working to educate manufacturers on how their policies impact our customers.
Regarding your credit card: at Adorama we do not make a charge until an item actually ships. As this item did not ship, you have not been charged.
I hope this helps, but please don't hesitate to come back to me if I can assist with anything else, now or in the future.

Hi. I just placed an order last night from adorama.
They had a special on the 6D + 24-105mm for USD 2080 with a free pixma. I thought it was a really good deal, but not that it was a mistake, canon usually does rebates on printers.

Today I get a cancellation email.

Should I try to get something out of this or let it pass?

I'd love to be able to help, but:


Adorama is not responsible for typographical or pictorial errors, and specifications may change without notice........We make every effort to provide you with an error-free Web site. However, in the event there is a misprint, we reserve the right to correct copy or pricing to reflect the actual current status.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera customer Service Ambassador

Lenses / Re: A few words on Adorama's customer service
« on: December 30, 2012, 01:33:46 PM »

Thank you Helen!  I just received an email and they said that they were going to credit back my card.  I appreciate your concern.

You got lucky!

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