New info on Light Impressions!
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
P.O. Box 2100
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Last edited by SuzanneR; 06-30-2011 at 07:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: additional info
The Better Business Bureau has published a delightful article on the dubious business practices of Light Impressions.
After buying from LI for many years I switched to Print File an APUG sponsor and have been very pleased - prompt and friendly service.