Back in December during one of their big holiday sales I purchased some film from Lomography. I was very happy at first. I was able to purchase two 3-packs of both color negative and black & white film. With the discount for the sale combined with getting points for creating an account I got the film for almost half off.
But, once I placed my order was where the joy ended and the frustration began. I received a confirmation email from PayPal about my order and that was the last I heard from them.
About a week had passed and no email had come regarding my products shipping out to me. I wasn’t that bothered by it at first. I understood the fact that I ordered during a holiday rush period and they may be having a hard time keeping up. So, I sent in an email to their customer service department inquiring about the status of my order. Looking on their website my order history had very little usable information. It basically told me what I ordered and had links to order them again. There was a link to a FedEx tracking number, but it always said that it was “processing.”
I never received a response to that email and a few days later a package arrived to my apartment. It was the color negative film sans the black & white film. On the packing slip was a highlighted and hand written note next to the black & white film saying that it was back ordered. For giggles I went back to my order page and the FedEx tracking number still had no information about where the package was even though it had been delivered to my home.
I sent in another email to a different customer service address asking about my order and when I could expect the black & white film. This email also was never responded to. Which I think is the most frustrating part of this whole process. I never even got an automated “we received your query and will respond as soon as possible” kind of email.
My frustration grew and I tried reaching out on Twitter. I thought maybe social media could help me. It got Betty White to host SNL after all.
My thinking was to ask out to people and mention them at the same time to hopefully draw their attention to my issue. You may have already noticed I am doing the same thing with the title of this post.
I also reached out to someone I follow that I know buys film from them a lot and their response did not assure me.
— Doctor Popular (@DocPop) January 19, 2013
By this point with absolutely nothing in response from them I was getting pretty mad. But, then one day as I was coming home the manager of my apartment building saw me and said that they believed a package had arrived for me. I was perplexed, but then surprised when it was from Lomography and it was my black & white film! After more than a month had passed since my order it had arrived.
Now I have it all safely stored away in my fridge waiting to be shot. Which will be this weekend, for at least the first roll. But, I just know that as I shoot with it I will be reminded of the incredibly annoying process of getting this film.
At this point there is little I can do. Also, I could have done more to find out what was going on. But, I feel that no one should have to do even the things I did to find out what is going on with products they ordered from someone.
And the thing that really bothers me the most is just the lack of communication from them. I have not received anything from Lomography except for a couple of advertisement emails about new products and coupons. Coupons I doubt I will use because to be honest I don’t think I will be ordering anything from them anytime soon or even ever again. If I do it will be with very low expectations.
So, if you’ve gotten this far in my rant I ask you, am I right to be mad? Should I ever shop with them again? Should I burn the film in protest and put a video on YouTube of it calling for a boycott? Maybe I won’t get that extreme. Oh well. Thanks for reading.
It seems that this post may have had an impact. Just the other day I received an unsolicited package from Lomography containing in it one package of each type of film that I ordered, both the color negative and the black & white. Along with them was a a Lomography sticker and a hand written note apologizing for my having a frustrating experience with them. I was even given the direct email address of the person writing the note in case I have need of contacting them in the future.
This was well beyond anything I expected, as all I really wanted was an apology for bad customer service. I got that and more. Now, the few people I have told about this all have the same opinion that it seems like Lomography is probably trying to “buy my happiness” in hopes I will spread word of their generosity. Does it seem like that to you? I would really like to trust in the good of people and their desire to make things right. But, I feel like they may have a point.
For now I am going to be happy with getting free stuff. I may purchase more products from Lomography again and if I do I will be wary to say the least. But, I don’t think I will boycott. Am I doing the right thing?