New info on Light Impressions!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Dan Dozer, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    So I used to order a lot of stuff from Light Impressions several years ago. I was always happy with their products and their service used to be good. As you all know, their service became "less than satisfactory" and a lot of us, including me, looked for and found other sources.

    Today I got an E-mail from them about something that I ordered in December 2009 that was back ordered. They said that they wanted to let me know that they were on top of the situtation and were expecting to be able to send it out to me in 4 - 6 weeks. Note that I have had no communications with them since that time and don't even remember what i had ordered back then (I think it was probably some picture frames).

    I wonder way they think that with no information on that order from them for a year and 4 months, that I still might be interested in what I ordered way back then.

    I "politely" told them that I wasn't interested in the order anymore.

    A year and 4 months - is that some kind of a record! I guess I have to give them credit for staying with it for so long.
     
  2. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    On top of the situation---hahahahah. Reminds me of the old joke--A traveling salesman drops off a suit to be dry-cleaned while on a trip to St. Louis. He completely forgets about the suit until his next visit to St. Louis--one year later. Sure enough, he finds the claim ticket in his wallet and goes back to the cleaners. He hands the ticket to the man behind the counter--who looks at it and says--"That'll be ready in about a week."
     
  3. Robert Hallock

    Robert Hallock Member

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    Light Impressions

    If you are having trouble with Light Impressions, welcome to the club. To report any bad or fraudulent business practice that you encounter from any company, you should notify the California Attorney General (if the company is in California) and the Federal Trade Commission. Each notification is easy on the web and will take about 5 minutes.

    Attorney General: Search for California Attorney General.
    This will get you to the office of the Attorney General. Then, on the page that loads in the upper right section you will find a click-able link that reads [Consumer Complaint Against Business/Company] and when you click that you will be in business and can easily file your complaint.

    Federal Trade Commission: Search FTC complaint.
    This will get you the Complaint Assistant (click on the upper right) and you will be led to a clear set of pages to file your complaint.

    My most recent story: On 7/3/2010 I placed an order for $192.40 on the LI web page, was not advised that something was not in stock, and my credit card was promptly charged. After a long wait (months) and several phone calls, half of the order (one set of things out of two sets) arrived. I called about the rest and was told it was on back order. On 4/22/2011 I was sent an e-mail and advised that it was on back order and would be shipped in 4-6 weeks. I was also given a code to be used to save 15% on a next order. I did not send another order. On 5/25 I received an identical e-mail and today on 6/29 I received another such identical e-mail. I still am out the $98.50 that represents the part of the order that I did not receive. They do not seem to respond promptly to phone calls any longer, but if you wait long enough (and have actually pressed the number to place an order as opposed to the number to talk with customer service) I found today that someone will come on the line and talk with you. Today I did just that and after about 5 to 7 minutes of wait a person came on the line. I was asked what the story was with the rest of my ancient order and was told that many things were on back order and they had had big supply problems, change of location (or something like that, perhaps bull) with the supplier, and some items were not yet given production dates from their source. But, I was told that the item I had on back order had actually recently been given a production date from the source and that I could expect to receive it sometime after mid-August. I was told some other things on back order from the source did not have production dates, but the thing I ordered did and so did some other items. The person I talked with sounded genuine and probably was. Since the credit card used to charge it was no longer an active card, I could not readily cancel since refund to the same card was not an option. I plan to wait and hope for the best.

    But, in the meantime since I have had such spectacularly bad service and had my card charged well prior to shipment, I decided it was time to file a complaint. So, I used the web sites listed above.
     
  4. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    I know about dozen people, myself included, who have ordered from Light Impressions, only to be billed but told the item was on back order. I can't imagine they will survive for much longer with their current business practices. There is a an outfit called Talas, who have much of the same products.

    http://www.talasonline.com/
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I reported them to the Attorney General office and just this week got a letter from that office. Basically, they will write LI and "reguest a reponse regarding my concerns".

    They will retain my complaint as "at some further date, legal action could be taken against this company by our office".

    I am sure the more written complaints they receive the spot light will get brighter.

    It was very simple to go online and fill out the necessary paper work and I like others here want to encourage all to file a formal complaint.
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Light Impressions is not unique in their market place. Non of the other vendors seem to have such problems with backorders that take months or years to fulfill. Sounds to me like they are feeling some heat from somewhere and making some communication so they can pretend they're doing something to resolve issues. I've not ordered from them in years (and have no pending backorders). But informing the AG seems like the very best thing for those whom they've taken.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    At this point, it seems like from that letter Ann got, the California AG is not putting very much effort behind dealing with Light Impressions. If someone participating in this conversation is a California resident, my recommendation would be to call your California State Senator/Representative and have them put the prod to the AG. Show them all the discussion threads here and on Large Format Photography Forum. And check and see if there are others as well on Photo.net and some of the other large forums like RangeFinder Forum.
     
  8. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've gotten three e-mails in the past three months, one in April, one in May, and one yesterday telling me my order that was placed last August will be filled in 4 to 6 weeks. :mad:

    Yeah, right, and I've got a bridge I can sell you...

    Edited to add... I've filed my complaint as well. I'm pretty sure I'll never see the portfolio case or my money that I ordered last year, but I sure would like be sure others are warned about them. Here is a link to the California State Attorney's office:

    http://oag.ca.gov/

    There's a convenient "file a consumer complaint" right there. And I've included all the Light Impressions contact information in the complaint I filed along with the particulars of my order, if you want to include it in your complaint here it is:

    Light Impressions
    P.O. Box 2100
    Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
    800-828-6216
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2011
  9. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    The Better Business Bureau has published a delightful article on the dubious business practices of Light Impressions.
     
  10. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    After buying from LI for many years I switched to Print File an APUG sponsor and have been very pleased - prompt and friendly service.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  11. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    It is a sad state of affairs. I like so many others have done business with LI for many many years ; and when i place my order last August , I would have never imaged what was going to occur.

    For me, business began to slide when they moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, but not at this level.

    I don't quite understand the position that haveing issues with vendors not providing materials = not refunding monies charged to customer accounts.

    Well, i have done my foot work
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I remember when they were in Rochester and were one hell of a company and a treat to visit.. too bad what has happened.
     
  13. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    New update on my order (from a year and a half ago)! Got an E-mail a couple of days ago from Light Impressions - one of those automatic notifications. I was all excited when I saw that they were messaging me again (yeah right!). However, I'm sad to report that my order is now back ordered and won't be here for another 4 - 6 weeks. They said sorry for the delay and gave me a 10% off coupon on my next order for my inconvenience.

    They have to be kidding, right?
     
  14. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Bob,

    I was about to ask whether Light Impressions had provided good service in the past, so thanks for making this clear.

    Tom
     
  15. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Many years ago they were an excellent company to deal with.

    That was then... this is now. :confused:

    - Leigh
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Right. There is no excuse for that.

    I don't think they are telling the truth regarding difficulties with getting products from vendors. Once in a while, okay, but constant backorders? It's not like the materials are exotic, produced from substances found in just one place in the world, mined by pixies only under the full moon.
    I think it's a lie that all that stuff is backordered, or they have had to find a new vendor, or whatever else they claim. It might occasionally be true, but I think it's mostly a ruse.
    If it is true as often as they claim it to be, it shows them to be not so much victims of circumstances as inept in their business.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    When I see "difficulties with vendors" I usually interpret it to mean "difficulties with money owed to vendors".

    They are probably on a COD basis with their suppliers. Some or all of those suppliers may also be unwilling to sell them anything new until they have paid for past outstanding orders.
     
  18. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I think it's more likely they're not ordering anything from the suppliers in the first place.

    They just take your money and put it in their pocket.

    Mind you, this is just a personal opinion (disclaimer for the benefit of their lawyers).

    - Leigh
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I thought it was actually illegal to charge for an item that either was not in stock or not expected for more than thirty days.
    Wrong again? Or should someone refer this to the CA states attorney?
     
  20. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    Since LI was purchased by New Century Direct which touts its Santa Fe warehousing and Tijuana, Mexico manufacturing facilities (where LI's stuff is made? where is the break in the supply chain?) as great assets, and NCD was merged with Corvest - a promotional products firm - and they all were then bought by Siglo Investments - and all of these seem to be run by the same group of people - sounds like we are seeing the collapse of a pyramid scheme. It appears that LI (and Century Photo as well) unfortunately fell into the hole dug by all these round about dealers. I haven't dealt with them in over 20 years.
     
  21. Dana Davis

    Dana Davis Member

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    We will see about my refund!

    Just got off the phone (after 1 hour on hold) with customer "service" at LIMP and was told that my request for refund of $370 (in the form of a check) would be forthcoming in 10 days. I had cancelled the order (backordered 3 months at the time)and requested my credit card be refunded 9 months ago. Only just now noticed that there was no credit card credit from my old Rochester friends. I have loved their Westminster board and will be sad if I have to find a replacement but this is a bad way to do business and a sad time for an historically important resource. I will let you know in 10 days.
     
  22. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Did you file a complaint in writing with your credit card company?

    - Leigh
     
  23. Dana Davis

    Dana Davis Member

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    one institution at a time

    I will give LIMP the 10 days they claim will make it all better. After that, it's personal!