Negative Experience with Adorama

I ordered a camera bag from Adorama Camera through I got the bag later than expected (though before the absolute latest delivery date). The bag was fine, but it didn’t meet my expectations in terms of size and what it offered.

I couldn’t find a specific email or department for returns, so I emailed Adorama’s general customer service email address. The next business day I heard back from them. The company basically ignored all of my specific questions and gave me the FAQ from their web site about returns (which I mentioned I had already read).

Since I couldn’t get much help with email, I decided to give them a call. The first time I press the extension for customer service, I am informed call volume is high and I should call back later. No option to hold, nothing. I call back and press the number for sales. I’m connected right away. I mention the message and the sales representative connects me to customer service (he said they should definitely be open – but it was an hour after they were supposed to open?). I am then connected to customer service and wait on hold for 10 minutes.

After the waiting on hold, I am connected to a lady who doesn’t seem very happy to be there. She’s kind of rude, can’t seem to hear me, and is short. The lady just wants to send me the same FAQ. She was even kind of pushy. Needless to say, the experience was disappointing.

The whole customer service experience was much different than I expected. I had heard and read plenty of good things about the company. Plus, when I emailed them to check on the status on my order, I got a very nice, helpful, and friendly response. I even got a follow up a few days later.

This was much different than my return experience with I recently had to exchange something at, and was pleasantly surprised by how simple and hassle free that was as well.

Some lessons from this:

  • The return experience should be a good one. If Adorama handled this experience better, I would still have considered using them for future purchases. The bag not meeting my expectations wasn’t their fault. The negative customer service experience was.
  • Don’t lose a customer over a bad experience. Because of this one negative experience, I won’t buy from Adorama again. Invest resources (money and people) into dealing with returns and exchanges. They make a big difference.
  • You can recover. If you do mess up at one point and the customer makes you aware of it (I told them in a response to my email that I was basically ignored) – you can recover. The response to me telling them they messed up – a one liner answering one question.
  • Don’t make people call back. I can’t stand calling a company and getting a message telling me to call back. Unacceptable!

What have your experiences with Adorama been like? Like I’ve said, I’ve heard mostly good things, so this was surprising to me.

2 Responses to “Negative Experience with Adorama”

  1. Jerry Greenbaum said:

    Aug 09, 07 at 4:20 pm

    Adorama regrets your dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, I was notified of this blog just today, and though a month too late, I’d still like to reply. We pride ourselves as having one of the best Customer Service in the industry. See our ratings on Reseller Ratings, Bizrate and many other review sites. After reading your feedback, I see we failed here, and for that I truly apologize. As you yourself noted, you had previous experiences with us and you were very satisfied. I hope you will give us another chance.


    Jerry Greenbaum
    Adorama, Inc.

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Aug 09, 07 at 8:40 pm


    Thanks for your comment. I’m glad to see that you are following the blogosphere. Adorama is well recommended by most people, but unfortunately, my experience was disappointing. I am sure I will give you a try in the future, though.

    Thanks again for your comment.