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H20 Photo Pros, Mike Luzansky out of business


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#1 robertsalisbury

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 05:21 PM

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone out there has had anything to do with H20 Photo Pro, with regards to ordering over the internet. There customer service etc. I'm not wanting to go into too much detail yet, I'ld like to give them another chance to get in touch (again). Anybody have any stories?

Cheers to all

Robert

Edited by robertsalisbury, 02 October 2010 - 09:35 PM.


#2 Steve Williams

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:38 PM

Hi Robert,
Mike Luzansky is the owner of H2O Photo Pros and has always been a stand up guy when I've dealt with the company. I've ordered a few small things from them and always been treated well. I've always called them though. They have been redoing their website, it was just back up Wednesday. If you had an issue recently that might have been part of it. Just guessing.

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#3 mcliffy2

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:47 PM

I recently ordered an Aquatica 7D housing, S&S 110a strobes, ports, dome, etc. from them, and found Mike to be a good guy to deal with. He was very helpful in the decision process (spent a lot of time on the phone with me), and had used everything they were selling so could give me first hand experience. He also didn't push the most expensive option, which in my book is a sign I'm getting honest advice. I have dealt with Reef Photo as well, and my impression is that they are a bit more organized than H20 (i.e., with H20, you might have to call to get your tracking number). In general, I do think calling them is the best way to make a purchase. However, there was nothing in my experience that would lead me not to recommend H20 and I would order from them again. Another big plus for H20 in my book (and the reason I went with them), was that they were willing to give me a deal when I bought a package (took a significant dollar amount off and threw in a free ThinkTank bag that I was planning to get anyway (worth $300)), whereas Reef Photo was not (this was somewhat of surprise that they wouldn't cut some kind of deal on a 6k+ package). I ended up saving about $700 by going with H20.

Edited by mcliffy2, 05 October 2010 - 10:48 PM.


#4 wommby

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:21 PM

Hi,

We ordered some equipment from them and it took nearly 2 months to get the product and numerous emails that didn't answer our questions. We are very reluctant to deal with them again.
Hope you eventually got what you were after.

Robert

#5 drsteve

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:35 PM

My experience was similar to Robert's except that after months and endless emails I never did get everything I bought from him. That is why Mike Luzansky is on my list of vendors to never do business with again.

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#6 bvanant

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:39 PM

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone out there has had anything to do with H20 Photo Pro, with regards to ordering over the internet. There customer service etc. I'm not wanting to go into too much detail yet, I'ld like to give them another chance to get in touch (again). Anybody have any stories?

Cheers to all

Robert

I think Mike is a stand up guy but for a very long time the folks working for him were not as professional as one might wish. If you keep bugging Mike directly and call and call you will get what you need. I have tried several times to get stuff by ordering from the website but that never quite seems to work as well as it does from Reef or even Divervision; I just don't think Mike is web savvy enough to make his site work well. But if you call him he is certainly willing to get stuff done for you and has even driven gear 40 miles up to our office when I needed something quickly.

Bill

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#7 robertsalisbury

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:57 PM

Ok this is what has happened to me.
Back on 9 July I ordered an Aquatica 5DMKII housing with H2O. Up until placing and paying for the item communication by e-mail was fast and helpful. I was unable to spend $5000+ on a complete kit in one go so ordered the housing first with the ports to follow the next month. Mike told me he had a bunch of housings coming in and my name would be put on one of them. It took nearly 8 weeks for it to arrive in Australia. I had e-mailed a few times to check on it and responses were a little scarce. After about 4 weeks I was informed that they were made to order. The housing I ordered was to come with an Ikelite bulkhead. On my account on there site it was listed as having a nikonus head and when I questioned this I was assured that this is how there system handled it, but an Ikelite head was what I would get. Because I live in australia I asked before it was shipped that it would be double checked and tested which again I was assured would be the case. When it turned up of course it came with a nikonus head and some strobe arm adaptors were missing as well. Mike was very apologetic and said this would be sorted and sent out with my ports.
I placed the order for the Mega dome and macro port + extension. I was told it would be around 2 weeks . After 4 weeks and hardly any response to emails I phoned . Mike said they had been waiting on the bulkhead which had arrived that day and the order would be shipped that day. Based on this information I booked a trip out to Ningaloo 4 weeks after the day of shipment which would give plenty of time for the package to turn up. On average it's about 1 1/2 weeks for things to arrive from the US. After 2 weeks I asked for a tracking no. No reply. I called OZ post and customs to see if they had it. No joy. I phoned again and spoke to Mark one of his employees who said he would look into it. Still no reply. Called again only to find out that it had never been posted and they were now waiting on the megadome which I thought they already had.
The megadome was about a week away. My trip was getting closer. I then gave them a couple of choices of, either give me my money back, send the items they already had with the dome to follow or give me the money back for the dome and I could get one from backscatter who had one in stock. Mike said he would send the items they had by express with the dome to follow. This should have arrived 2 days before my trip. No joy. I phoned again only to find out it had been left in the back room. More apologies and $450 waisted plane tickets! This went on and on. Finally my dome arrived and it would go by express shipment that day, which I now think means sometime in the following week. Just before it was sent I phoned, and sent a check list of the items I was expecting to receive and was promised by Mike they were all in the box. I also ordered a 180 viewfinder and payed by credit card over the phone. When you do this over here you have to notify the bank of an international transaction so it's not declined and they only have about 4 days to process it. This is how slack they are because after 2 weeks they tried to take payment and it was declined. This happened this Wednesday 3 NOV which was the same time my package turned up with guess what, no Ikelite bulkhead or strobe adaptors. I had converted over from an Ikelite system so this is why the bulkhead is so important as all my leads are Ikelite. It's now beyond a joke as after 4 months i'm still left with a system that won't work properly. I've given them every chance to put things right, with still no response to my last e-mail informing them I won't pay untill my order is completed. I've been informed by Scuba pix that a bulkhead will cost me $350+ to buy from them!
My advice to anyone thinking of using H2O Photo Pro ( what a joke) is unless you live in LA and you can walk into the shop and pack your own order, then go else where. They are a complete nightmare to deal with. I don't mean this as a personal attack at Mike, just the company as a hole as they all seem to be muppets!
Sorry Mike but you've had plenty of chances.

#8 aussie

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 12:22 AM

Sounds like a pretty good reason to use your local distributor to me.
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#9 robertsalisbury

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 12:43 AM

just depends how much over the odds you want to pay though.

#10 pmooney

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:21 AM

Ok this is what has happened to me.
Back on 9 July I ordered an Aquatica 5DMKII housing with H2O. Up until placing and paying for the item communication by e-mail was fast and helpful. I was unable to spend $5000+ on a complete kit in one go so ordered the housing first with the ports to follow the next month. Mike told me he had a bunch of housings coming in and my name would be put on one of them. It took nearly 8 weeks for it to arrive in Australia. I had e-mailed a few times to check on it and responses were a little scarce. After about 4 weeks I was informed that they were made to order. The housing I ordered was to come with an Ikelite bulkhead. On my account on there site it was listed as having a nikonus head and when I questioned this I was assured that this is how there system handled it, but an Ikelite head was what I would get. Because I live in australia I asked before it was shipped that it would be double checked and tested which again I was assured would be the case. When it turned up of course it came with a nikonus head and some strobe arm adaptors were missing as well. Mike was very apologetic and said this would be sorted and sent out with my ports.
I placed the order for the Mega dome and macro port + extension. I was told it would be around 2 weeks . After 4 weeks and hardly any response to emails I phoned . Mike said they had been waiting on the bulkhead which had arrived that day and the order would be shipped that day. Based on this information I booked a trip out to Ningaloo 4 weeks after the day of shipment which would give plenty of time for the package to turn up. On average it's about 1 1/2 weeks for things to arrive from the US. After 2 weeks I asked for a tracking no. No reply. I called OZ post and customs to see if they had it. No joy. I phoned again and spoke to Mark one of his employees who said he would look into it. Still no reply. Called again only to find out that it had never been posted and they were now waiting on the megadome which I thought they already had.
The megadome was about a week away. My trip was getting closer. I then gave them a couple of choices of, either give me my money back, send the items they already had with the dome to follow or give me the money back for the dome and I could get one from backscatter who had one in stock. Mike said he would send the items they had by express with the dome to follow. This should have arrived 2 days before my trip. No joy. I phoned again only to find out it had been left in the back room. More apologies and $450 waisted plane tickets! This went on and on. Finally my dome arrived and it would go by express shipment that day, which I now think means sometime in the following week. Just before it was sent I phoned, and sent a check list of the items I was expecting to receive and was promised by Mike they were all in the box. I also ordered a 180 viewfinder and payed by credit card over the phone. When you do this over here you have to notify the bank of an international transaction so it's not declined and they only have about 4 days to process it. This is how slack they are because after 2 weeks they tried to take payment and it was declined. This happened this Wednesday 3 NOV which was the same time my package turned up with guess what, no Ikelite bulkhead or strobe adaptors. I had converted over from an Ikelite system so this is why the bulkhead is so important as all my leads are Ikelite. It's now beyond a joke as after 4 months i'm still left with a system that won't work properly. I've given them every chance to put things right, with still no response to my last e-mail informing them I won't pay untill my order is completed. I've been informed by Scuba pix that a bulkhead will cost me $350+ to buy from them!
My advice to anyone thinking of using H2O Photo Pro ( what a joke) is unless you live in LA and you can walk into the shop and pack your own order, then go else where. They are a complete nightmare to deal with. I don't mean this as a personal attack at Mike, just the company as a hole as they all seem to be muppets!
Sorry Mike but you've had plenty of chances.


Hi Robert ,

It was you that made the conscious decision to purchase such a specialist piece of equipment online and outside of your domestic market,
You made the decision not to purchase from the local dealer
Any item you require will always be available but if you need part to be flown in urgently you will need to cover the costs of the shipping - even if it some elses mistake - that just how it goes.

The best decision would have been to go to the local dealer talk about your system , order and pay for it and go diving -- happy days !!

Cheers Peter

Post edited: Admin

#11 bvanant

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:24 PM

Hi Robert ,

It was you that made the conscious decision to purchase such a specialist piece of equipment online and outside of your domestic market,
You made the decision not to purchase from the local dealer
Any item you require will always be available but if you need part to be flown in urgently you will need to cover the costs of the shipping - even if it some elses mistake - that just how it goes.

The best decision would have been to go to the local dealer talk about your system , order and pay for it and go diving -- happy days !!

Cheers Peter

Post edited: Admin

In this case, I don't think it was a matter of being far away, but rather if you look back in the threads, you will see that even if you live in LA you might get the same kind of results. I don't know who the local Aquatica dealer is in Robert's part of Australia and what prices they charge; maybe Robert can comment on why he ordered it from the States when he might have gotten it closer to home.
Bill

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#12 Drew

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:57 PM

Robert
I'm sorry to read about your order. I'm guessing you were taking advantage of the AU-US$ exchange which has been steadily moving in favor of the AU$. We all know of the confusion of international pricing of a product, with additional taxes/duties/overheads of running a business all included in the price and suddenly the difference can be big. Most times, ordering from overseas is a great way to save money. However, there's always a risk, especially when things go pearshaped, as you ozzies say. When the order is messed up, the cost of dealing with it is obviously much higher due to the distance, not to mention difficulty in communication with the time difference.
It is one of the pitfalls of buying from a dealer in another continent. Suddenly shipping costs $100 instead of $10 etc. A local dealer would be able to respond faster, although they would also be hampered by the availability of product from the manufacturer as well.
Unfortunately for you, many things went wrong and you ended up with a bad experience. I'm sorry you had to go through that but I want to thank you for giving feedback on a dealer and highlighting what can happen when things go wrong on international orders.

Bill, H2O's reputation not withstanding, I think the distance was a factor in the rectification process. As you said, Mike delivered stuff to you personally. He could've overnighted whatever product for under$30-100 anywhere in the US. Going to Australia, it would've cost over $200-500 and 4 days, and that's IF the ozzie customs don't take their time to calculate duties/GST etc. A business is out to make money on the sale, shelling out a few hundred dollars and losing money on the sale to ship parts urgently needed isn't going to happen unless they think they can make it back in future sales/advertising etc.
Even communication is easier with a local dealer, without the time zone difference. PST-EST isn't nearly as bad as 16-18 hrs time difference.

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#13 robertsalisbury

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:53 AM

Hi there,

I'm not sure if this has come across correctly. My main problem is not with how long it took for the items to arrive, even though 4 months is a bit long. Its the fact that I was told items had been posted when they hadn't. If from the start I had been told i't would take that long then so be it. I understand that part of the problem with the megadome was to do with Aquaticas supplier and they were not making any, but in the other hand apparently they did have mine at one point, so were that went I don't know. I've ordered many things internationally and never had a problem, and I will continue to do so. If 2 people are selling the same thing and you can save $1000+ then who in there right mind would pay that much more. To be fair to Mike at no point did he try and sell me anything I didn't want or need, and he's never charged me any postage for my waiting. His advice was always good and fair. The worlds not that big any more and the difference from Perth to LA's not much different to Cairns on the other side of the continent. The time difference is a pain with LA being 15 hrs behind though. I did speak to Scuba pix over here who are the main and ONLY dealer in OZ both for Aquatica and Nauticam which gives them the monopoly on a whole continent. At the time I was toying between a 7D and 5DMKII. Not only was the price more to start with, they weren't open to any kind of negotiation on a complete kit. Also they were trying to direct me towards the 7D in Nauticam which at the time seemed ok because I had the ikelite ports and with the adapter they would have worked. They weren't really interested and tried to sell me ports, strobes and arms which I apparently needed. The prices for the strobes and arms were highly over inflated just within Australian prices. I spoke to my "local agent " on Friday to inquire about bulkheads and Sync cords. Nikonus to ikelite dual $360 ish + $44 overnight postage, from digital diver still in Cairns $160 + $ 18 overnight postage. Bulkhead $350 ish , internet $110. Strobe arm adaptors $55 each, backscater about $ 26 AU each. Need I really say any more. At the end of the day I work hard for my money and won't pay more than I have to, and unfortunately I may go through this again as i'm now looking for a second 5D housing. All i'm doing is trying to share my experience with a particular company so people can judge for themselves.Who's to say if I had gone with my Ozzy dealer things would have been any different.

Thanks

Robert

Edited by robertsalisbury, 08 November 2010 - 02:06 AM.


#14 bvanant

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:53 PM

Bill, H2O's reputation not withstanding, I think the distance was a factor in the rectification process. As you said, Mike delivered stuff to you personally. He could've overnighted whatever product for under$30-100 anywhere in the US. Going to Australia, it would've cost over $200-500 and 4 days, and that's IF the ozzie customs don't take their time to calculate duties/GST etc. A business is out to make money on the sale, shelling out a few hundred dollars and losing money on the sale to ship parts urgently needed isn't going to happen unless they think they can make it back in future sales/advertising etc.
Even communication is easier with a local dealer, without the time zone difference. PST-EST isn't nearly as bad as 16-18 hrs time difference.

I couldn't agree more. My real point is that there are several folks in Los Angeles who have had Robert's experience with H2O (notably Dr. Steve) so his being in Australia is only a part of the issue. Mike is a good guy, but I think H2O has grown a lot faster than their ability to run the company efficiently.

BVA

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#15 Steve Douglas

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 08:22 PM

I have heard these complaints regarding H2O for a few years now and they are only increasing in number. It's not whether a person is a nice guy or not, as I have met Mike and would agree. I also spoke to Mike a couple of years back regarding the reputation H2O and he were getting. Guess my advice was not heeded. I can list a few of my own interactions with H2O that also went South and it is killing me not to list them but I won't. However, there is a fuduciary responsibility to all clients that is not being met. This has little to do whether a person is ordering across the country or across the continents, a person's word should mean something. Whenever I get calls or emails, which are also from all over the world, it is imperative that I respond immediately as that is only a simple courtesy. That people have had vacations ruined, the wrong equipment, non responding to calls and emails is, in my opinion, inexcusable. The way to keep clients is to provide proper service which goes far beyond any knowledge a person may have. It's a shame that so many are so unhappy. It reminds me of Broadway Photo and Video in N.Y. which takes out huge ads in magazines and yet has earned the reputation as being a major ripoff center. I personally know several who lost thousands because they ordered from that store. I suggest always checking http://www.resellerr...list-s1-n2.html to see a shop's reputation.
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#16 robertsalisbury

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 02:54 AM

I have heard these complaints regarding H2O for a few years now and they are only increasing in number. It's not whether a person is a nice guy or not, as I have met Mike and would agree. I also spoke to Mike a couple of years back regarding the reputation H2O and he were getting. Guess my advice was not heeded. I can list a few of my own interactions with H2O that also went South and it is killing me not to list them but I won't. However, there is a fuduciary responsibility to all clients that is not being met. This has little to do whether a person is ordering across the country or across the continents, a person's word should mean something. Whenever I get calls or emails, which are also from all over the world, it is imperative that I respond immediately as that is only a simple courtesy. That people have had vacations ruined, the wrong equipment, non responding to calls and emails is, in my opinion, inexcusable. The way to keep clients is to provide proper service which goes far beyond any knowledge a person may have. It's a shame that so many are so unhappy. It reminds me of Broadway Photo and Video in N.Y. which takes out huge ads in magazines and yet has earned the reputation as being a major ripoff center. I personally know several who lost thousands because they ordered from that store. I suggest always checking http://www.resellerr...list-s1-n2.html to see a shop's reputation.
Steve



I completely agree Steve. I do think people should inform others of both bad and good experiences with retailers. I'm a strong believer in name and shame. If people have they correct info, then they can choose not to shop with a particular dealer, then in time they either have to get there act together or shut up shop!! Just to finish my contribution off, I purchased all the extra bits from Backscatter last Monday. Ordered over the internet, shipped on Monday arrived Thursday in Australia. I went diving Saturday, all works great. They were very efficient and quick, and the ordering process on the web site works great. Oh and the free viewfinder is awesome!!

cheers to all

Robert

#17 Steve Douglas

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:22 AM

Surprised the Mike L has not responded to this thread.
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#18 mgokalp

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:34 AM

I am wondering about anyone had an issue with H20photo?
I have some equipment issues and need assistance

Edited by mgokalp, 30 November 2010 - 05:11 AM.

MERT GOKALP

#19 Steve Williams

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:50 AM

I am wondering about anyone had an issue with H20photo?
I have some equipment issues and need assistance


There was a recent discussion about them here . Anything we can help with?

Cheers,
Steve

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#20 mgokalp

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:58 AM

There was a recent discussion about them here . Anything we can help with?

Cheers,
Steve



Hi Steve,

I have been waiting for my delivery for more than 3 months. We purchased it in August, received the 2 bags in october and still waiting for the lights set up and replacement equpiment from them. I can not get e-mails form them. They don't answer calls. We paid serious money and 4 months later I cannot shoot anything.

We were told that they have been waiting for FIII batteries from gates, it arrived 20 days ago, they were supposed to send the items last friday and still no word from them. I cannot describe how many e-mails and phone calls I made for this delivery.

If I was in LA I know I can handle this situation quite well but being here you cant do anything.

I hope somebody living near this shop will be kind enough to help out a fellow photographer.


mert
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