Ilford Film Order, Who's in Charge Here?
The deadline for the Ilford sheet film special order is nigh and the presumed main player in all of this, JandC Photo, remains completely incommunicado. Yes, yes, I know all about their move. But I am the customer here. I am the one footing the bill and I can't get the time of day. All I would like is some reassurance that everything is on track. But everything I observe indicates otherwise.
JandC Photo announced their move to new quarters and on their website state that they plan to return for business on January 15, 2007. This is coincidentally the same day as the deadline for the Ilford sheet film offer. That leaves damn little time - as in none - for customers to resolve any issues or questions they might have about ordering. JandC Photo does not answer emails, PM's or [attempted] telephone calls. Some six weeks ago I wrote a post inquiring as to how I was to place an order with a company which wasn't answering emails and had disconnected their telephones. That thread has since disappeared from the Sponsors Forum and I was able only to find it by doing a search. Not really surprising then that no one, including the firms who will profit by my expediture, has bothered to answer.
And where did the thread go? Why is it not still in the Sponsors Forum? The deadline for this has not yet passed. It is still germane. Why has it been removed from public view? Sean?
To further complicate matters, there is this thread, opened by Simon Galley who states that Ilford's distributor in the U.S. will be Wynit, Inc. What makes this disturbing is the last post (as I write), from Fred Newman/The View Camera Store, himself a sponsor of APUG, in which he states that Wynit, Inc. is not aware of the Ilford sheet film offer.
Are you kidding me? Wynit is not aware of the film offer? If this is true, then who is handling this? Here I am, poised to spend hundreds of my hard-earned dollars to purchase film and the supposed U.S. distributor for Ilford doesn't know anything about it? And the key player in all of this isn't answering emails; isn't updating his web site; and has disconnected his telephone lines? And pertinent APUG threads are disappearing from the forum?
I can tell you right now that none of this fills me with confidence. Understand that I would be happy (and I want) to purchase film. And I'm happy to support the businesses involved. But the customer is just being left completely in the dark here with his wallet open. Could somebody please step up to the plate and give us the facts?
I mentioned this in Galley's earlier thread before Christmas and received no response. I think the whole thing stinks.
Originally Posted by wfwhitaker
Golly fellas, sounds like you both need to set up your own business and make the order work out on your own.
I can't and won't apologize for J&C's lack of communication, but I can say that they have a full plate and are hard-pressed with the move, inventory, ordering and bills to pay like we all have. Add to this a new building, construction costs, schedules, staffing and hopefully you can see the other side of things. If John is putting the order together, I imagine he will be back in communication, once the dust from the move settles. He has done a lot to help us all with our film needs, perhaps it is time to allow him a bit of leeway to get the business up and running again.
When I had a problem with some 8x10 sheet film (which was cut incorrectly at the factory) a few years back, he was right there and no questions were asked as it was replaced at his cost. It just seems to me that we might try to extend the same courtesy when he needs a bit of time.
I suggest you both invest in a large walk-in freezer and then stock up, once the order gets placed. In the mean time, 35mm is cheap to buy and shoot. Why not polish up those ULF skills with a 35mm camera? tim
P.S. Sorry to twist a nose or two, but life goes on.
No. This is business and there needs to be accountability. And besides, I have been patient until now. If I am being asked to ante up a large amount of money, I need some reassurance that the mechanism is in place to produce the goods. I sat down to the computer last night with the credit card out and was ready to place an order until I saw the post claiming that the U.S. distributor is not even aware of the sheet film offer. If true, then that is simply inexcusable.
Originally Posted by noseoil
I honestly hope I'm getting worked up over nothing. I need film. And I'm willing to pay for it. But until I have something more to go on than sheer speculation ("I imagine..."), I'm not putting one penny on the table.
My remarks were mainly aimed at Ilford who are not responding to genuine concerns. Its not Ilford moving, Galley could answer these questions but obviously chooses not too. Do Ilford really want to cut ULF Film? Does not look like it to me.
Originally Posted by noseoil
As far as J&C are concerned, I have had good service from them in the past, even living here in the UK. However, in my opinion they should have someone available at the end of a telephone line answering queries, no matter how busy they may be. Its extremely bad business to be out of communications totally for around two months.
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We all "vote" with our money. I can understand the sense of frustration, but there seems to be a lack of communication in several directions here. When I bought my 4x5 Shen Hao, Badger was the "only" distributor in the US. It turns out that the camera was also marketed by others here in the states. Was there an exclusive distributorship, or was it just what Badger was told by Shen Hao?
It seems possible that in the interim, Ilford has made other arrangements for distribution of their products. There may also be several distributors who deal with different segments of the US market. This seems unlikely, but markets and trends change rapidly in today's world. Sounds like wait and see is about the best we can do at this point. Best, tim
I sent a PM to Simon last evening (EST) with a link to this thread and a request for clarification.
Originally Posted by BarryWilkinson
Since everyone is stirring up the pot, I'm an APUG sponsor.
I just order Ilford film from Wynit and they send it over. They've never asked me about special cutting in the ULF sizes but I do have some stock in HP5 in the following sizes... 4x5, 8x10, 11x14, 7x17, 8x20, 12x20. I usually have 5x7 as well but Tony Hauser bought all my stock yesterday.
In case your desperate.
I've placed a call to our Wynit rep this morning and he still hasn't heard anything. He gave me the number for someone with Harman (Ilford) here in the States and I've left a message.
Also forwarded a link to this thread to Simon at Harmon UK so I hope we'll get an answer soon.
There appears to be several sources for the Ilford special order. Hunts PhotoVideo has listed on their eBay Store the Ilford ULF film sizes available. I talked to Chris who confirmed that they are participating in the order thru Wynet.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"