Unique Photo purchasers, a word of caution…(long)

Started Sep 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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The_cheshirecat
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Unique Photo purchasers, a word of caution…(long)
Sep 13, 2012

Posting here because this involved a lens I wanted to purchase.

This is a word of caution to anyone contemplating ordering on-line from Unique Photo (New Jersey). Here is my experience which, after a week, I am still trying to get them to resolve.

It all started last Tuesday when I saw a lens offered on their web site at a bargain price. Because of the price and my previous desire to own that lens I jumped on the offer and placed my order, even though it was on back-order from Canon. I ordered just one and received email confirmation from Unique of my a short time after I finalized the on-line transaction. All was correct, the item number, description and the price including the tax and total (free shipping due to my choice of delivery).

Two days later I made an inquiry as to how I could track the status of my order. A simple generic question which I thought should have a straight forward answer, with or without my having placed an order. I guess the customer rep who received my email inquiry wanted to provide the best service she could. She indicated should could not find an order for me and requested the order number, which I did provide.

The response I received said “It looks like your order has been cancelled because we received a number of duplicate orders in your name.”
I then emailed back indicating:

  • I made a single attempt to purchase just one item.

  • That order was acknowledged as being received successfully when entering the transaction on-line

  • I later received a confirmation for the one order I placed

  • I have also received notification of charges from Unique, against my credit card, reflective of just the one item I ordered

I also provided the following comment in my response: “Please reinstate the order I placed, Order #: xxxxxx . If this cannot be accommodated please let me know.”

Their response to my request was ”Unfortunately, I do not have any of the order information in the system. We were having some difficulties with our website and that may have been why the order came in numerous times.” and was asked to call them. This is where it becomes he said – she said .

Here is the culmination of the phone conversations and voice mails left (on both ends) which occurred in the days that followed, included multiple exchanges with the person identified to me as the manager of Unique.

  • I was told they would NOT sell me the lens at the price at which it was advertised and was listed on my order confirmation.

  • There was but a single (not multiple, as previously stated) order recorded by Unique for me which was “cancelled the same day” I placed I placed it, and an email notifying me of the cancellation was to have been sent.(which I have yet to receive).

  • My credit card was charged with the correct amount of my intended purchase as a pre-authorization charge (pending) PLUS an additional charge of $1.01 When the order was initially placed.

  • I was told by the manager the charges to my CC were reversed when the order was initially cancelled, but the manager later confirmed that was not the case.

  • I was again told a week after the charges should have been reversed the charges were reversed, but they remain on my CC. Contact with the CC rep who checked reported they receive no request from unique.

  • There is also a discrepancy between what the manager of Unique said was charged by them, above and beyond the order price. But he never told me why the additional charge was levied.

It is now going on two weeks this issue persists and they have failed to return multiple messages left requesting information.

All the issues I experienced with my order both the manger and customer rep (independently) attributed to ongoing issues they are experiencing since implementing a new site about a month or so ago. This is supposed to be a secure website and it appears they are consciously choosing to continue operating it, when it is still not functioning properly.

My only purpose is to caution anyone considering placing an order using Unique’s on-line order system, as they may have similar experiences. And, there is still the question if the issues can carry a more severe impact (e.g. larger additional charges?) than experienced by me.

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I started in the 50's - my first picture was taken with a Leica and hooked me for life. I no longer use my Leicas, but I am still taking pictures. Some things never change.

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