Oh Lord (not ANOTHER Adorama horror story?)

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Icicle84 New Member • Posts: 22
Oh Lord (not ANOTHER Adorama horror story?)
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Backstory: I've developed several physical pain issues that necessitated me having to sell my absolutely beloved DSLR kit and switch to mirrorless.

So I've got a Nikon D810 (light cosmetic wear, cared for well), two Sigma ART (85 and 20, both in excellent condition) lenses and a 300mm 2.8 VR I (significant cosmetic scratches but optically and mechanically sound - possibly a very small scratch on front element).

Tried to sell the kit all together locally, got lots of scam inquiries. I was about to piece it out on eBay, when the thought hit me that maybe Adorama or someone similar would take the whole kit. I'd take a little bit of a hit, but with eBay selling fees and all, I'd still come out probably within $500 of my net take on eBay.

Surprisingly, I was right, at least considering they told me on the first call that based on my representation they'd probably value it around $3500. I was assured that the package was "fully insured," though in retrospect I should have asked if they were actually insuring the package or using UPS "declared value." No packing instructions were provided to me, but I wrapped each piece individually in multiple layers of bubble wrap and added more to fill the top of the box, making sure everything fit snugly so it wouldn't be jostled around.

I had taken pictures of all the equipment before I packed it up to sell however it ended up happening. Nothing changed and the package didn't move from the time I took the pics, which was two days before I called Adorama (I dropped off the package 9 days later).

Got an email August 29 saying the package was delivered and I should be getting a call. Two weeks later I was called regarding the package, and given a quote of $1,000, that could possibly be upped to $2,000 in trade-in value due to the "condition of the items." I wasn't given the specifics of any damage, and not told that the packaging (either internal or external) had been inadequate or damaged, and I just assumed that it was a bait-and-switch where the items would be overvalued initially to convince you to send it in, then dropped from there. I said that wasn't satisfactory and they said they'd send the items back.

Well, when the package arrived back on Sept. 17, I opened it and was shocked at the condition of the items. The tripod foot on the 300mm was cracked all the way through, and each of the Sigma lenses sustained significant scratches to the metal and gouges to the rubber focus rings.

Naturally I emailed Adorama immediately, with pictures showing the damage sustained.

In a follow up call, I was told that the items were damaged in that way before they reached the store (I'm especially unsure how the scratches could have been sustained even if the bubble wrap hadn't held up - again, I had been given no indication that the bubble wrap had failed). I immediately asked to start a claim considering that the items had not been damaged before I sent them.

It's been several weeks of back-and-forth emails and calls, multiple assurances that a meeting would be held involving my case "the next day," then delays and assurances and more delays.

I was finally informed on Oct. 21 that my claim was denied: "Because the box was not damaged upon arrival the UPS department refused the claim and confirmed that any damages must’ve been present before shipment.

Since there is basis for a claim, should you choose to make any future purchase please call [trade representative] and he will accommodate the prices as best as possible."

I responded that wasn't an acceptable solution to me, re-sent the picture of the condition of the items before shipment, and today had a follow-up call with the representative. He said he could potentially offer $2,500 for the whole kit but could go no higher, as the company "will not take a loss" but wanted me to be a happy customer (ummmm, taking a $1,000 hit for damage sustained during a "fully insured" shipment doesn't really make a customer happy, but okay ...).

Obviously, this situation isn't acceptable to me, considering the assurances I was given about "fully insured" shipments and not provided with any instructions regarding packing, and considering I wasn't given detailed information about the damage or any indication that my packaging had been inadequate before the equipment was returned to me damaged.

I'm not sure how much recourse I have, but looking on here (after the fact, of course - I should have searched these forums before considering sending my equipment in the first place) I saw something about a customer care ambassador who might be helpful?

If there's anyone who can tag that representative, I certainly would be interested in talking to someone on the customer care side of things.

 Icicle84's gear list:Icicle84's gear list
Sony a9 Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN
Nikon D810
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