Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Fool Me Twice, Adorama Camera!

Battery via Snail Mail

I guess it really is my fault.

Last month, I had an online “disagreement” with an Adorama Camera representative. When I explained to her that Adorama’s shipping choices were deceptive, because I was charged more for 3-Day “Expedited” shipping than for the faster “Two Day” option, it took her awhile to understand what I was talking about. Frankly, I’m not sure that she ever truly understood my issue, but I appreciate that she tried.

Since that time, however, I have shied away from ordering merchandise online, opting instead for brick-and-mortar purchases, in the case of camera equipment, at Glazer’s Camera in South Lake Union. Unfortunately, for the past month, Glazer’s has been out of my camera’s battery.

Therefore, when I returned to Amazon to try my luck for this particular accessory, I noticed that they were once again going to route my order through Adorama. The very company which admonished me NOT to use them via Amazon should I expect any level of accountability.

Ever the optimist, I figured it was just a fluke.

“What are the chances they would disappoint me twice in a row?”, I asked myself.

In retrospect, I probably should have known the answer.

This time, instead of ordering “Expedited”, I plunked down the cash for “Second Day Air”.

See, I learn.

A few days later, my order was marked “Delivered” by Adorama, but … oh no, here we go again … I still didn’t have my battery.

Now, look, I’m a reasonable guy, and I’m also fairly ambitious. When I realized that something was awry, I immediately set out to solve the problem for Adorama. I did my best to track down the package, going so far as to literally call and visit adjacent businesses.

When I learned that there was an employee with a similar name to the person that had signed for my package, who had recently worked at a nearby business, I decided to forward this information to Adorama, so that they could forward it to UPS.

When I emailed them with my findings, however, Adorama replied with the following:

Hi Rex,

Your package shipped via UPS and the tracking number is XXXXXXXX. Current online tracking shows this package was delivered on 05/09/2014 at Front Desk and signed for by XXXX.

Please check at this location and/or with the signee to retrieve the package. If you are still unable to locate it, please let us know as soon as possible.

If you have any further questions, or require additional assistance, feel free to contact us. You may reply to this e-mail or call our toll-free phone number: (800)223-2500.

Thanks for Shopping with Adorama.

Customer Service Specialist – More than a Camera Store

Uh …


Uh …..


Somewhat daunted, I replied to Adorama’s email, explaining that I was already aware of my tracking number, and pleading for them to actually read what I had sent them.

I sent the last email at 10am yesterday morning. It’s now 9am the next morning. I have received no reply.

And so, once again, I paid for fast shipping from Adorama, and once again, I got nothing for paying that premium. It was last Wednesday that I ordered my battery “Two Day”. Today makes 7 days, and there’s no telling when or if I will ever receive my order.

Frankly, I’ve just waved the white flag. I’ve gotten so used to this kind of experience that I’m no longer even slightly surprised by any of it. In fact, I’d be surprised if I just paid for my merchandise, paid for the shipping, and got what I ordered in a timely manner. There’s always something that prevents that from happening.

I sit here in Downtown Seattle, Washington, tech center of the USA, unable to purchase an extra battery for my camera. The local camera store doesn’t have it, and the online store can’t get it to me.

The saddest part of it all?

I expected nothing more.

It’s hard enough for one company to get things right these days. Knowing that I would once again have to go through Adorama, Amazon, and UPS, I was aware that the chances of all three of them getting it right was pretty slim.

Frankly, I blame myself.

Based on my conversation with customer service last month, so does Adorama.

Update: I finally got a reply this morning at 11am, only 36 short hours after notifying Adorama of the problem.

Hi Rex,

Thank you for your email notifying us that you did not receive your package.

On behalf of UPS, we are sorry for the error and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

I have put in a request for a Lost Package Tracer to be issued with UPS for the lost shipment. Please allow up to 10 business days for UPS to investigate this matter.

As soon as UPS accepts responsibility for this, we will contact you and provide you with your order options at that point. As UPS is our shipper of choice, and this sort of thing rarely happens– we apologize for them, yet we still have to work within our contract with them.

You can read more about the UPS claims process at:

Once again, we sincerely apologize for this delay and appreciate your patience as the trace is investigated.

If you have any further questions, or require additional assistance, feel free to contact us. You may reply to this e-mail or call our toll-free phone number: (800)223-2500.

Thanks for Shopping with Adorama.

Customer Service Specialist – More than a Camera Store


So, to summarize, what does $20 2nd Day Air get me from Adorama?

Why, it gets me 30 Day Air, of course!

Such is life in a Third-World Consumerist shithole.

6 comments to Fool Me Twice, Adorama Camera!

  • Ron Riddle

    Save yourself a lot of grief next time:

  • Hi Rex

    I do wish you’d emailed me directly instead of the CS Call Center! You’d have had a same day response.

    Please accept my apologies for the disappointment and frustration caused, and I very much look forward to hearing from you, [b]with your order number[/b], so that I can address this.

    Best wishes
    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

    • Hi Helen,

      Sorry, I’ve always assumed that the number of Rex’s in Seattle who placed a given order on a given day had to be unique enough to be obvious, but I may be under-estimating your volume. I emailed you the order number. That said, it’s a bit of a moot point.

      I was FINALLY able to track it down. UPS delivered it to a completely different address, apparently to an employee who was no longer at the company to which they delivered it.

      That employee left the package in a back room of the business, and when they found out this week, they were kind enough to bring it over to me. Were it a more expensive item, I’m guess it would have been long gone, though.

      Wow, all that for a battery.

      I know the mis-delivery was not Adorama’s fault, but if they’d read my first email when I sent it to them, instead of replying with something silly, there’s a chance it could have been found sooner.

      In retrospect, I wish I had contacted you directly, but I used the “Contact Seller with a Problem” button on the Amazon thing, which I assume routed the issue to the appropriate place. In all honestly, I am far from a “power buyer” on Amazon. I don’t know the drill. I’ve made perhaps a dozen orders through them in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m going to have to use them more going forward, because local and small businesses now have service which is arguably worse, at selections which are much slimmer. 2 out of 3 times I look for something locally, I’m told that they can “order it for me”.

      Gee, thanks, but you know who else can order it for me? Me. And at a significantly reduced price.

      So far, my foray into the Amazonian behemoth has not been smooth. It’s not because of any one particular company, rather, the more companies that are party to a transaction, the greater chance that it will be @#@$ed up.

      And I do get what you are saying about going directly to the company instead of Amazon, but I have to tell you … the last thing I need right now is yet another account to manage. I just culled my password database last weekend, and in the process, realized that I have over 200 individual usernames and passwords. 200!

      I guess there’s not much difference between 200 and 201, though, eh?

      Anyway, thank you for your help, Helen. I do appreciate it.

  • K. Rockwell

    This is disappointing to hear. Adorama should immediately send out a replacement battery. I can’t believe they’re going to make you wait ten days before doing so. Not sure what they are thinking here but sounds like business suicide. How much are they saving vs. how much will they spend in lost business when people read about these shenanigans.

  • David Sherman

    Since you paid for 2 day shipping and your package did not arrive on schedule, I don’t understand why you being punished by having to wait 10 more days? The customer doesn’t choose the shipping company so if they lose your package, that’s between them and Adorama. Under no circumstances should the customer be further inconvenienced because the retailer or their delivery contractor dropped the ball.

    I stopped using Adorama specifically because they only use UPS for delivery and Big Brown just doesn’t cut it these days.

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