Sunday, July 17, 2011

How is Adorama closed on Saturdays? It makes me mad!

At Adorama we do appreciate that our closing times can be inconvenient to some of our potential customers.
Adorama's owner is an observant orthodox Jewish gentleman, whose beliefs prohibit him - his family and his business - from operating on the Sabbath and on many of the religious holidays (which all begin an hour prior to sunset the evening before the day of the holiday, which is why we close early on Fridays).

We can't employ non-Jews here during those days, because to do so would involve the company conducting business - which is forbidden in Jewish Law.

Most holidays are actually only one or two days; two are week-long holidays. We do try to minimize inconvenience to our customers, by publicizing our closing dates well in advance.
After the holiday(s) end(s), we do reopen our sales and shipping departments as soon as possible in order to deal with the inevitable backlog of orders.
We would also take on add additional staff in the customer service, sales and shipping departments if necessary to help reduce backlogs and speed up the service to our customers.

In this era of 24-hour commerce, I guess it's unusual to find that there really are still people who consider their spiritual duty to be more important than squeezing money out of our customers at every opportunity. I receive frequent emails from customers who state that in this day and age it is comforting to know there are people around who do not place money before all else.

Many businesses in the US and elsewhere in the world force employees to work on holidays when the time is better spent with their friends and families - or just relaxing by themselves.

We are grateful for the understanding of our customers that this is an important element of our owner's value system. Perhaps the following links to articles in the Washington Post & the New York Times will help to make some sense of our closure policies:


http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB109269113906892796-IVjg4NnlaJ3o5yubXSHaK6Jm4.html


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/09/technology/09ecom.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

I hope this helps

Sincerely

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

helen@adoramacamera.com
http://twitter.com/HelenOster
@HelenOster

www.adoramacamera.com

11 comments:

  1. I'm one of those who applauds these business practices -- even though I don't follow any myself. Just the idea that a person's beliefs come before the Almighty Dollar speaks of integrity and with the lack of integrity that is commonplace in business and industry today, I appreciate it even more.

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  2. Personally, I don't see it as not wanting to "place money before all else", I see it as poor customer service if a business isn't available to take care of customers. It's a great way to drive customers somewhere who is willing to take the business.

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  3. That's something I learned growing up in culture rich NYC. The most ethical business were closed Saurdays, So do you squeeze money out of us the rest of the time

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  5. I think it's great! More businesses should close like this, it gives people time to be with their family.

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  6. Great explanation! Every once in a while I see someone post this question on one message board or another, and even though I usually assume the person posting it is only doing it to mock, I appreciate this explanation and way of handling the question.

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  7. I think it says a lot about a company that abides by a spiritual and moral code, no matter what it might be. I work at a company guided by a religious directive and it definitely makes for a caring and more open-minded culture at the office.

    And, to be honest, it doesn't matter since Adorama does more for customers in 5 or 6 days than most companies do in a year.

    Thanks again for all you do!

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  8. re: "I see it as poor customer service ....It's a great way to drive customers somewhere who is willing to take the business"

    We regret the inconvenience our policy of closing one day per week may cause to some of our customers, and we recognize that there are many other reputable photographic retailers that our customers may choose to patronize on this day

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  9. re: shipping to Adorama:

    We have only our store in NYC, which is a family-owned and managed business. We ship 10s of thousands of packages every year and the percentage that are affected by damage in transit is miniscule - and are always covered by insurance.

    If you have specific queries the best solution is to email me directly: Helen@adorama.com

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  10. My problem is not with you closing on Saturday, it is with your refusal to process any order after noon Thursday for Saturday delivery. Its your religion, not that of FedEx, UPS, Or USPS and you have no right to force your religion on them or your customers.

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  11. That is actually incorrect; as per our website: http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=faq#SHIPPING Orders for in-stock items placed on business days up to 7:00 PM ET (Eastern Time) are generally shipped the same day (subject to verification.
    Orders for Used items placed on business days up to 1:00 PM ET are generally shipped the same day (subject to verification, as described below). Please note weekend orders, placed on Fridays after 9:00 AM ET will be processed on Monday.


    While we will be sad and sorry to lose your business, we appreciate that there are many other photographic retailers whose policies and procedures are more to your liking.

    Adorama is a family-owned business and to not have his company involved in any kind of commercial activity on Saturday, the Sabbath, is our owner’s decision – just as Chick-fil-A founder has made a decision to close on Sundays: http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Company/Highlights-Sunday

    The used department doesn't actually close any earlier on a Friday than the rest of the business; the earlier cut-off for shipping is because merchandise is warehoused in NYC and has to go by road down to our main Distribution Center in NJ for shipping out.

    Once again, my apologies that we were unable to agree to your request.

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