Orbino – What a Difference a Year Makes!

Update 04/02/11: This post was originally published with the title “Orbino – Great Leather Items, Zero Customer Service.” You can read why this title has been updated by clicking here.
Italian Leather Goods by Orbino.jpg

When I go to a fine restaurant I expect good food and excellent service. After all you expect better service at a five star Manhattan eatery than you do at Red Lobster. The same goes for a luxury retail store. If you go to Neiman Marcus you expect better service than, say, Sears. The same goes for on-line vendors although you would not know it from my recent dealing with the high-end leather goods designer Orbino. Fact is, dealing with them has been a nightmare.

Orbino makes one of the most gorgeous leather iPad cases I have seen. Starting at $209 it is anything but cheap. But it is gorgeous. On a whim I ordered one. (Hey I thought it would be great to review such a case for the site!)

I was immediately charged but got no further confirmation from them. I emailed numerous times and heard… nothing.


Finally I asked Paypal to step in. It was only then that I got a response.


Finally. So I emailed back…


Everything seemed fine until I then got this email…


So now they had charged me, finally got back to me, told me it was coming next week but then emailed to say they didn’t even have the material to make the case. I had had it.


I sent an email and explained what my issues were. I deal with a lot of companies that do business over the internet. Most do exceptionally well. Some are mediocre but rarely had I encountered a company that was this bad.


They responded with a nice apology, an attempt at an explanation and a promise that in five to seven business days I would get my refund. Of, and they still signed the email with a general company signature and not a human being’s name. Meh!

That was on May 9th. 10 (ten!) (TEN!!!!) days ago. I have since sent three emails asking for my refund and not a single one has been answered. Today I sent this…


And as soon as I finish this post I’ll be calling PayPal.

Buyer Beware!


I contacted PayPal and escalated my complaint. Within a few hours I received an email from the company’s owner. He apologized and was quite open about the issues they have run into with regard to orders and questions that were far beyond their capacity to handle. He was open, direct and didn’t make any excuses for the horrific lack of customer service. Truth is there is no excuse for their handling of things (or lack there-of) but I respect his apology and forthrightness tremendously.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

7 Comments on "Orbino – What a Difference a Year Makes!"

  1. RT @GearDiarySite: Orbino – Great Leather Items, Zero Customer Service http://goo.gl/fb/0YzPN

  2. Orbino – Great Leather Items, Zero Customer Service | Gear Diary: Orbino makes one of the most gorgeous leather iP… http://bit.ly/9XUJMO

  3. RT @geardiary: Orbino – Great Leather Items, Zero Customer Service http://bit.ly/a5l998 Still no word.. or refund from Orbino. FAIL!!!!!

  4. RT @GearDiarySite: Orbino – Great Leather Items, Zero Customer Service http://goo.gl/fb/0YzPN

  5. Sad to see history repeating itself (sigh). I had a similar problem many years ago (2001) after purchasing an Orbino case for my Palm M505… Ending up sending it back because the screen was partially obscured and the “Palladium” sidings were loose. Took well over a month to get a refund, lost count of the amount of email traffic sent.

  6. Polaroidland | January 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm |

    I have had the same INFURIATING problems with Orbino for YEARS! I LOVE their products but they are NASTY to deal with and I finally gave up because it’s just not worth the endless hassles caused by doing business with them.

    • In my/our experience they have greatly improved in the last year or so. And their products are truly gorgeous.
      Written with Siri

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