Monday, May 14, 2012

Now Customers Are Being Asked to Answer Questions from Other Customers -- Adorama Goes Too Far!!

OK, I post reviews on Amazon and my blog.  I am happy to say good things about products and companies that I like, and to contribute to Amazon's (and other retailers) reviews so that other customers can benefit.

But I am not willing to do what Adorama has just asked me to do.  They've gone too far.  Here's the email that I just received from them:


To help make Adorama a friendly place to shop, we enable shoppers to ask our customers questions about the products they bought - because sometimes input from a fellow customer is the most helpful.

A shopper is looking for an answer from a fellow customer about Manfrotto 2-Pack Replacement Screws (Set of 2-Viti 1/4 ) for QR Plate 501PL and 410PL. Since you bought Miller Fixed Length 16mm Pan Handle with Handle Carrier for 75mm Fluid Heads., a similar item, on September 26, 2010, we thought you might be able to help.

A shopper asked: Are these screws threads 1/4-20 ?
Answer Question
(Please click here to write your answer. Replies to this email will not be delivered.)

Adorama is too lazy to reply to questions about its products itself?  Now Adorama's customers are being asked to take time out of their day to answer questions so that Adorama can save time?  This is too much.  Me no like.  I say "Boo" to this email from Adorama.

And by the way, while I have recently purchased things from Adorama and been happy with their delivery times and service, this has not always been the case in the past.  Back in the film days, I ordered 500 film canisters from them for duping film.  They made me wait weeks and weeks and weeks.  I finally gave up on them and ordered from another source.  Soon after getting the film canisters from that second source, Adorama finally sent me my first order.  I still have the 500 film canisters sitting in my garage.

I heartily recommend B & H Photo for anything photographic.  They've never let me down.  And I've never gotten the kind of email from them like the one above.   The other retailers that I recommend are Allen’s Camera in Levittown, PA and Reef Photo in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  


Anonymous said...


I found your blog after googling this very same question. I too recently received, from Adorama Camera, one of THEIR customer questions, asking me to answer it for them because I had purchased the item in question a year and a half ago.

Frankly, I was appalled. Lazy lazy lazy -

Shame on you Adorama for using my purchase history to contact me and have the gall to send your customer question in an email asking me to answer the question for you! Unbelievable. But all in the name of making Adorama a 'friendly place to shop.' O please. Whoever thought this one up should be fired. I'll be sending an email to them or a phone call to tell them of my displeasure and let them know that I will no longer make any purchases at Adorama because of this. I usually purchase at a better known store anyway.

I purchased a Leica lens hood & cap and now I'm being 'asked' by the seller to answer the seller's customer inquiry about this item. I can't stop shaking my head thinking about it. What is wrong with people.. what's wrong at Adorama..

Norbert Wu said...

Hi Anonymous -- I agree with you, but I think it is a fine line. We're all fine with leaving reviews on Amazon but it is our choice. When a vendor goes to the extent of calling on its customers to answer another customer's specific questions, then that's going to far.

I guard my inbox jealously. Some companies are smart enough not to bother me too much. I'd say Amazon is like that. Other companies deluge me with unnecessary marketing stuff that is way out of my interests. All lines that are a bit hard to figure out.

Some companies refuse to allow me to unsubscribe easily from their emails! I read recently that this, too, was a marketing tactic. I then have to filter them out, but there's no way I am going to patronize them again.

Thanks again for your comment.


Anonymous said...

Hi Norbert,

It's 'Anonymous' here.

I too write reviews at amazon and sometimes add photos (to be helpful for other customers). 9 times out of 10 amazon is where I go to find info and reviews on items I'm interested in. It's a wonderful way for people to communicate about an item as well as discuss what's right or wrong with it.. I'm all for that.

B&H is also a place I stop by to read reviews and occasionally write one (but often the item is well reviewed already) as a frequent patron of that establishment. I've always been happy with them and amazon and a couple others for price, reliability & customer service.

My original comment was, well, a bit fiery - but it's true, I was not happy with Adorama and their bold tactic that seemed more like an invasion of privacy than, say, a request to write a review of a product I purchased.

So I googled this issue/topic (what can't you google?) and your blog came up.

I too guard my inbox, as best as I can. But to me, this isn't really a fine line. If I want to answer somebody's question posted somewhere, that's up to me to initiate that. It is completely inappropriate that a seller or vendor (Adorama) sends me a customer's question to answer. It is a misuse of what business relationship they have with me.

I've not had any other businesses do this - have you?

Alas, there are more important issues in the world than this.

Norbert, glad you had written something. Nice to commiserate with you..

Best Regards.