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Adorama has agreed to refund the $15 for shipping, and pointed out to me that the auction does mention that the item pcitured may not be the same as the item shipped. As a result, I feel strongly that a retraction of my accusation and an apology is in order. While I looked again at the page for anything like this before writing, I managed to miss that clause. Adorama has truly impressed me with their willingness to refund the money — I had truly given up and was just going through the “due dilligence” motions before filing negative feedback. However, they responded productively and I have to give them a lot of credit for that.

I will keep the post below, just to remind me that I shouldn’t judge too quickly (wasn’t I supposed to learn that during the Super Bowl?)

I have had bad luck with my online purchases recently. A couple months ago, I made the mistake of purchasing some laptop power adapters from Priority Electronics. Last month, I made the mistake of purchasing a camera from Adorama over Ebay.

Now, the Adorama Camera Company (ebay id adorwin) has a hugely positive feedback score — over 5000 positive, with a low percentage of negative feedbacks. I thought I was safe. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

“Take a look, good condition and works fine. Please see photos and place a bid. Has eye control. Good luck, no reserve. ” the ad boldly stated. I had been flirting with the idea of purchasing the same camera without eye control from a local seller for aout $100. On Ebay, I was able to get it for $80, shipped. I thought I would be happy. The camera arrived, bare bones as expected, and I began using it the next day after picking up (expensive) batteries at Radio Shack.

In attempting to become familar with the camera, I noticed that some of the icons below the left dial were rubbed off. Since the camera came with no manual, I would have to surf the net to find out exactly what those icons were. I was, however, undeterred. After all, everything went fine… until that first evening, then I turned the camera on and it reported “no battery.”

Strange, I thought. On the other hand, ocasionally on my Rebel G, a low battery icon will show up when the camera is cold. However, the camera wasn’t cold, and this was showing No battery left. I cycled power a few times, and then the camera came back to life. That left me undaunted, but I soon ran into another problem: after taking a picture, the viewfinder remained blank. Upon further investiagtion, it became clear that the mirror was not returning after the picture. Cycling the camera’s power resolved this issue. However, at this point it was clear to me that I had a defective camera.

So I began a little more in-depth research. I double checked the ebay listing to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything. Sure enough, the ad said that the camera worked fine. And it included this photo:
Adorama's Photo of the Camera

I quickly compared that photo to my camera, and came to the unhappy realization that I had just become the victim a bait-and-switch routine. Here are some pictures I took of the camera sent to me before I sent it back:

Front view of the camera

Back view of the camera

If you look closely at the left dial, you will see that the icons that are missing in the pictures I took are very much present in Adorama’s photo. They had cheated me. The images below highlight the area in question:

Adorama's Photo (highlighted) The camera I got (one of two) The camera I got (two of two)

Had I simply recieved a intermittently broken camera, I would hae been very understanding. Adorama has, after all (about three weeks later), returned my money, except for shipping costs. I understand that they can’t catch every intermittent problem, so I am willing to deal with that. However, the icon business convinced me that they had intentionally shipped me a camera other than the one advertised. So now the shipping costs kinda piss me off, a lot. I’m out $21 bucks — $15 to get it here, $6 to get it back — and Adorama gets that $15, and the camera, and a lot of my time and energy is wasted.

Thus this blog, and thus the fact that I am about to leave Adorama a hugely negative feedback. Likely, it will hurt me more than it hurts them — they have a +5000 rating and I have a +2 rating. However, I would be remiss in my Ebay duties were I to let this fraud go unchallenged. So I will take the hit and let the world know what Adorama can do to you.

4 Responses to “Adorama”

  1. Dan M Says:

    For that reason I am scared of eBay. Good job with the images.

  2. Daniel Marsh Says:

    Just to clarify, the previous poster is likely Dan Moretti and not myself (Daniel Marsh), who also likes to pop up on Ryan’s blog now and again and tell him what an idiot he is being.

    All I got to say about eBay transactions is Caveat Lector! There is often stuff like this mentioned in the fine print. We should have a conversation about how not to get bit by sellers on eBay. I generally purchase several items a week on eBay and feel I am pretty well versed on the ins and outs of transacting business on eBay.

  3. Dan Moretti Says:

    Ryan isn’t being an idiot… Never said he was.

  4. Ryan Says:

    It was meant in jest, and taken as such.

    The crucial point here isn’t that I didn’t read the fine print — I often don’t. The key point here is that the company, by agreeing to refund my last $15 (for shipping and handling) showed “good faith” — that they were not, in fact, trying to screw me over, but genuinely made a mistake, and wanted to correct it. That means to me that they are not trying to shovel broken cameras back and forth, skimming $15 off the transaction each time, but they really wanted to sell me a good camera, and it didn’t work out.

    I also felt it neccesary to retract the accusation of fraud because of the small print, but that is not the key point of the shift in direction — rather, it is the good faith put forth by Adorama.

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