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Adorama Strikes Again

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by michaelnel, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Late last week I emailed sales@adorama explaining that I wanted to order some stuff that was showing as in stock, and although I had not done business with them before, I would be shipping to the billing address of my card.

    I further emphasized it was critical that the stuff be shipped out TODAY via UPS Next Day Air, and that I would be home to meet the driver tomorrow. I specifically asked if there would be any delay for "verification", and was assured there would not be because I was shipping to the billing address. I
    received an email saying, "no problem".

    I called them about five minutes after Adorama opened this morning to place the order. I called rather than placing the order online because I wanted to talk to a human and make SURE there would be no delay. I again repeated my concerns to sales person Frank B and was assured that there would be no
    problem or verification delay, and that the order would go out today via UPS Next Day Air, and I PAID for UPS Next Day Air.

    I placed the order with them and I arranged to take a vacation day to meet the driver at my home tomorrow (Wednesday).

    Frank emailed me a copy of the order this morning and I heard nothing further until I got home and read this email saying:

    "Hi Michael Nelson,

    Thank you for placing an order with Adorama.

    We would like to inform that your order is being held
    for the following reason.

    Your order is being held for shipping address verification.
    Please contact us with the above order number, so that we may
    your order.

    Thank you for your patronage.

    Adorama Verification Dept.

    So naturally I called the numbers listed in the email and they were closed. I left a blistering message for Tobias.

    What is the problem with these people? Shipping and billing are THE SAME ADDRESS. It is all as my bank (Citibank) has it on file, including the first of two phone numbers I gave (my cell phone). They wanted a number other than the cell, so I gave them the only other number I have, which is a
    Vonage VOIP number. It is NOT listed with directory assistance, nor is my cell number. I suspect this is the issue, although they had the entire working day to ask me, they didn't send their verification email until 8:30PM their time.

    So now, even though I did everything I could to ensure this would not happen, it has happened, and I am wasting a vacation day to meet a driver who will not show up in spite of all assurances from Adorama to the contrary.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2007
  2. Well I have never bought from them, sorry to hear this nightmare of a story, I do hope it works out. I have purchased from B&H and they are from NYC and quite reliable. Even when they have to ship up to Canada.
  3. On the other hand

    I called B&H yesterday (about 12 noon EDT) to place an order for a few things. The sales person promised me that they would make every effort so that the shipping department ships out the packages by Tuesday but they can't promise because they don't guarantee shipping date for anything other than next day delivery. Net-net, with "3 day select" shipping, I would likely get my stuff by Friday - though he couldn't promise. Having bought from them scores of times, I was confident, I would get it by Friday.

    But B&H surprised me by shipping out Monday itself. So, now I will get the shipment on Thursday instead of Friday. Well, I won't complain:cool: .
  4. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    B&H > Adorama
  5. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Sorry to hear that. Adorama used to have a great reputation, right up there with B&H. But they've really declined in recent years. I've found that they're just not as reliable as B&H.
  6. joe_boyd


    Aug 10, 2006

    I believe this is more an indication of the extent that Adorama and B&H go to to prevent credit card fraud. I've had to wait for orders from B&H in the past due to verification even though I've been a customer since 1989. They both have a variety of items that will raise a verification flag including amount of the order, length of relationship. Their automatic verification principally relies on a land-line phone number traceable to the billing address. In the past, you had to call them back from your home phone that would show up on their caller id as the billing phone number to validate the order. Cumbersome.

    It is unfortunate that they didn't explain it thoroughly enough (i.e. the phone number needed to be a land-line) when you placed the order, but that's the difference between the Sales department and Customer Service. I don't think you would have had any different experience at B&H, if that's any consolation.

    Good Luck,
  7. The fundamental difference is that B&H sales reps are more realistic and set expectations properly so that they can beat expectation. Secondly, their sales department does follow up with the customer service department for specially requested fulfillment orders so that they can operate in tandem as opposed to sales and customer service working in an isolated fashion.
  8. michaelnel,

    Sorry for your experience with Adorama. I've purchased from them several times and have never had anything but exemplary service, both on-line and through the telephone. I'd venture to say this is just one of those things which is going to happen when humans are involved.
  9. I think one guy in Adorama is driving everyone nuts.

    One young talent nature photographer from India had a bad experience with him as well.
  10. jln319


    Oct 12, 2005
    SF Bay area
    I've never had a bad experience with Adorama. I did have to wait for verification of my order the first time I made a purchase there. When I called to ask why, they pretty much told me if I had never ordered from them before it was policy to verify. Haven't had it happen since. I feel your pain though, been there......
  11. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I am so sorry to hear that anyone experiences a situation such as this, but we all have to remember that nothing positive can be solved within these forums. Pick up the telephone or send an e-mail to their customer service department, then you may realize some sort of satisfaction. Unfortunately, posting the details surrounding this circumstance here gets us nowhere and only sets us up for public bashing of a business.

  12. :eek:  :eek:  :eek:  That is amazing that one person could be found that many times with those types of complaints!
  13. Frank,
    You are absolutely right. From business owners perspective, there are some frauds whom make the rest suffer.
    I recently sold an expensive lens in eBay. The buyer wanted me to overnight it. I overnighted it using UPS within an hour of receiving payment. But within two days, I received a Paypal dispute about non-shipment. I could track the Delivery conf. and provided to Paypal. They ruled it in my favor but my money was held for five days.

    May be Adorama have faced these type of crooks and they are doing verification for first time orders. This is just an assumption. But I register your point here. We need to be fair to the business as well.

    Personally, I had no problem in dealing with Adorama so far.
  14. The verification is not the problem. The fact that I emailed them to find out how to make this go smoothly and asked specifically about verification delays and was told "no problem", and that I questioned them again on the phone about it prior to placing the order and was told there would be no delay is the issue.

    If their policy is verification delay on the first order, fine. But don't lie about it just to get the order. If they had told me what I had to do to verify (in this case, this morning I faxed them a copy of my bank statement showing my address), then I would have done it last week in order to preclude the delay.
  15. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    I've ordered from Adorama a number of times w/o a problem. Their service has always been first class.

    Order verifications on first orders is a rather common practice. Its a shame that they weren't clear about that with you during your discussions. Were the people you talked with aware that it was your first order with them?

    If I need something fast I will usually shop locally as opposed to having an item shipped. Even if the seller gets it out immediately there's always the chance that the shipping company will delay your item.
  16. This is explicitly untrue. I recall fussing on this forum about a problem with the Kiesel camera bag company. I soon received an email from the owner offering to set the matter straight. He did and followed up to see that I was pleased with the transaction. So, it is possible to accomplish something positive within these forums.

    Posting these details also warns others about the problem. They are then free to decide how or whether to proceed with a possible order. Personally, I appreciate this type of warning about service issues.

    Your mileage may vary . . . :smile:

  17. Andy


    Feb 13, 2006
    New York

    They are looking out for the safety of the transaction. I know B&H does the same thing.
  18. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    I personally believe the pattern /profile of the transaction (quick express overnight delivery, high value) flagged their internal people and thought they had to be extra careful. Who knows...
  19. InitialD


    Mar 12, 2007
    Yes, but I believe B&H will ask you straight up front for credit card and indentification verification. It worked out smooth for me and once they have my particulars in their system, it's has been all but smooth for me. I'm pretty pleased except that I notice USPS EMS international shipping this year has increased tremendously. :mad: 
  20. This is turning into a comedy of errors.

    Adorama shipped last night and sent me the UPS Next Day Air tracking number.

    I took another vacation day to meet UPS.

    UPS tracking said this morning it was "OUT FOR DELIVERY".

    Looking good.

    UPS driver arrived a little while ago. He says my package shows on his computer as being on his truck, but IT ISN'T THERE.

    They have no idea where it is.

    I am looking for my razor blades so I can slash my wrists.
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