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Author Topic: Light Impressions-- HEADS UP  (Read 16284 times)
bellimages
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« on: July 05, 2011, 10:42:41 AM »
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This is a heads up if you are thinking about placing an order with Light Impresssions.

I have ordered from them for years. It has always been a good company to do business with (for archival products). I placed two orders in early May, and noticed that my credit card was charged for the purchase BEFORE the order shipped. One month later, I still had not received my products so I requested a refund. This is the first time that any company has ever charged my debit card BEFORE they shipped an item. I was told that my card could not be credited .... that I'd have to accept a refund check .... and that it would take four weeks. That was six weeks ago.

i was given the email address of the CEO. He has not answered my emails (not surprising). From what I have read online, Light Impressions is in bankruptcy. They tell me otherwise. They say that their warehouse was destroyed, and that they are reorganizing and just beginning to see product again.

Any suggestions for stringing this guy up by his .... you know whats?
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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howardm
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 11:05:41 AM »
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Unfortunately, LI has been problematic to deal w/ for quite a long time (since their exit from Rochester, NY) and I hear lots of complaint regarding lack of product shipping, etc.

At this point, they aren't on my vendor list.  Check 'Archival Methods Inc'
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Gary Brown
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 11:31:47 AM »
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Here's the BBB review of Light Impressions. On a scale of A+ to F, they get an F:

“This company has a pattern of serious complaint allegations relating to billing, shipping, and refund issues. Customers complain the company charges their credit or debit card, but fails to ship ordered merchandise. Complainants report when they contact the company to inquire on the status of their order, they are repeatedly told the items are on back order, or that a refund is in process. Complainants report they receive neither a refund or their ordered products Some complainants allege they have been trying to obtain thier pre-paid orders or a refund for as long as a year with no success. Many customers claim they are unable to reach a live person at the company, or if they do, they are repeatedly stalled with promises of deliveries or refunds which never materialize. Although in a few cases complainants have advised the BBB they finally received a refund, the company has not responded to BBB mediation efforts.”
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bellimages
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 11:43:15 AM »
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It's just appalling that this is allowed to continue. Someone, some agency, something should be done to shut them down.

I'm talking with my bank today to see if they can do anything. I doubt that anything can be done, since I used a debit card.
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."  –  Charles Mingus
AFairley
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 01:06:46 PM »
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It's a real shame, the company was a class act Back When.  

Thanks to the OP for starting this thread -- I cancelled an order this March after it had not shipped for a month, and upon re-checking my CC statements just now, found out they had charged the card when I placed the order but never gave a credit back when I cancelled.  I have filed a dispute with my CC provider.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 06:28:36 PM by AFairley » Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 01:42:14 PM »
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I had a similar bad experience with them several months ago, but before I had heard about others' problems. Fortunately I used a credit card, and after several attempts to straighten it out directly with LI (both by emails and phone calls), I disputed the charge on my credit card. The crdit card company (or bank, I'm not sure which) investigated and credited my account, so it all ended OK for me.

I have since moved to Archival Methods for similar stuff, and they seem to exist and do business properly.

I guess one should never use a debit card for an Internet purchase, even from a previously respectable outfit (as LI was at one time).

Eric
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 02:26:41 PM »
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Most bank debit cards are administered by VISA (and it looks just like a normal VISA card)  and you can use it exactly as you would a credit card.  I believe all of the VISA standard procedures regarding disputes would apply.
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neile
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 05:41:13 PM »
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Yup, to give you an idea of how long they've been this bad and pulled the same "charge then ship sometime... never" stunt, check out this thread started back in January on the very same topic: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=50820.0.

And as to what Alan said, I agree. Even though it may be a debit card if you did an online transaction it was almost certainly processed as a credit card. Call your bank and dispute it.

Neil
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mcbroomf
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 07:48:59 PM »
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Thanks for the heads up.. I bought items from them many many years ago.  Nothing for a long time as their prices don't seem competitive for what I'm interested in, but I still get their catalog and might have bought some items unaware of this issue.
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Peter Mellis
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 08:05:22 AM »
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There is long discourse about this company over on the APUG site. After some good experiences with them (when based in Rochester, NY), I stopped buying from them several years ago after waiting some months for an item that I had ordered (actually forgot about it). If you are in California, I would suggest contacting the State Attorney or whomever deals with consumer fraud.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 08:11:24 AM »
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You know, I assume, that you can re
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Peter
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 08:12:59 AM »
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You know, I assume, that you can request a chargeback thru your card provider. Do it quickly while LI still has money in their account, and be sure to follow the specified procedures exactly - usually requiring a written letter.
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Peter
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 11:26:08 AM »
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Another good source of archival supplies:

http://www.universityproducts.com/
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Jeff Magidson
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 12:26:49 PM »
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Yes... the #1 protection that you have when using a major CC, is that you can request a refund for goods or services that where never rendered. My question is how LI can continually do this and retain their merchant acount?! 
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deanwork
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 11:25:34 PM »
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Yes, stay away from them. Evidently they sold out to some new outfit some time ago and they have totally wrecked the company.

I ordered one single 13x19 clam shell limited edition portfolio and they can't even fill that order. It's already been two months. They say they didn't have the fabric and are waiting on it , really.

If you are looking for a great value on mat board, storage boxes, tissue, etc. try the Hollinger Corporation. They've been supplying museums for longer than Light Impressions and have much better prices and excellent service. Always have used them since my days in art school in the 70s.

http://www.hollingermetaledge.com/.

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bellimages
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2011, 02:13:32 PM »
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Thanks for all the information. My bank said that they will get back to me on the outcome of my dispute. Sounds like it should be okay.
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."  –  Charles Mingus
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2011, 02:42:32 PM »
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In the past...and I emphasize PAST...I was one of Light Impressions most loyal customers... I gave up a couple of years ago... Company has had serious issues and is far far from what it once was..unfortunately for all of us. Eleanor
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2011, 09:37:55 PM »
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Light Impressions was for years a very reputable and well-run company in Rochester NY, specializing in darkroom, framing/matting and similar supplies. I lived close enough that I bought directly from their retail storefront for years, since I could actually see and handle the merchandise.

When the business was sold I feared the worst, and apparently the mail order experience has not been good.

On the other hand, Light Impressions' founder and some of the original retail staff reconstituted at the same location as Lumiere Photo, emphasizing direct retail sales, custom mounting/framing and service bureau-type large format inkjet printing. They now also do mail order stuff through their website. The manager Bob Alles is a genuinely great guy, and they've always provided excellent service. They mount my large panoramics for me and do a consistently fine job. They just moved about 8 blocks into a much larger industrial space, and appear to be expanding the range of services they offer.
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zombywoof
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2011, 12:22:12 PM »
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I haven't been able to connect to the Light Impressions website for about a day, perhaps they are out of business for good.
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AFairley
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2011, 01:41:42 PM »
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My CC chargeback for the unfilled order from March came through, so I'm done.
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