Why we don't do business by phone


Phone orders are not safe

Why can't I call to place an order?

The short answer? Because the person in the picture there is currently in the process of having her identity stolen. And we take the security of your credit card data far too seriously to ever let it happen to you. Not on our watch, anyway.

Hey, we get it. For whatever reason, you still "don't trust the internet." Or perhaps doing things by phone is still what you're used to, or you consider it easier, or something else along those lines. But the landscape has changed radically from 20 years ago, when online commerce was in its infancy, and everybody was still trying to figure it all out. Online security is a whole lot more sophisticated now. And it's mandatory.

These days, everybody from big banks, to the credit card brands themselves, to credit monitoring companies like LifeLock, to consumer advocacy organizations like Consumer Reports, to even the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve strongly discourage consumers from giving their credit card data over the phone. Google it. It's at or near the top of every list of "don'ts" when it comes to avoiding fraud and identity theft. Everyone agrees that it's about the worst thing you can possibly do, short of physically giving your card to a stranger on the street.

Meanwhile, merchants are now being strongly advised by banks, payment processors, the credit card brands themselves, and fraud prevention consultants, to scale back business transactions by phone to the greatest extent currently practical, with the eventual goal of eliminating the practice altogether. Why? Because it's just not a good idea for anyone involved. It's outdated, and more importantly, it's not safe. Not for the merchant, and especially not for the customer.

20 years ago, the saying went "Don't trust anyone who won't take an order over the phone." These days, it's quickly and inevitably becoming "Don't trust anyone who will." At Adaptelec, we're fully on board with that. We have made a deliberate choice that no human ever has any access to your credit card data. Ever. For any reason. Not even the last four digits. We don't even have a manual credit card terminal at the warehouse. We want your business, but we'll turn it down if it requires writing down your credit card number, or taking it over the phone. That's how seriously we take the security of your credit card information.


We respect you too much to keep you on hold

"Your call is important to us. Please listen to 20 minutes of terrible music, and the same 3 ads over and over."

We respect you too much to subject you to that kind of foolishness.

We've all been there. We all know the reasons why "calling tech support" is a full-blown cliché these days. Oh, it seems like a good idea at first. Right up until you actually make the call. Endless menus, 20 minutes on hold, then another 10 while the person who took your call talks to someone else who might actually know the answer. Then you call back 15 minutes later to follow up on something, and you can't get the same person (that person has already forgotten that you ever existed anyway) and you have to start all over again from the beginning. Ugh.

We get it. You have what you consider to be a relatively simple question or two, and you just want to talk to a real person about it. Fortunately, we can assure you with 100% certainty that we are, in fact, real people. We're absolutely sure of it. And we're more than happy to help. Uncommonly so, in fact. Just take a look at the testimonials from our customers, who are also real people. (We don't ask for those, by the way. They're totally unsolicited.)

But international electricity can be complicated. In some situations, even for us. Chances are you're contacting us because you're confused about something. Our job is to provide clarity, and we take that responsibility seriously. We don't blow people off and give short, canned answers with the sole purpose of making a quick sale and moving on. Sometimes we're going to need a few minutes to take a look at some notes and think it out, or maybe Google the specifications for whatever you need to plug in abroad. And keeping you on hold while we do that just results in frustration for all involved. It's a mess.

Why go through all that, when there's a better way?

Shoot us an email, get on with your life, and give us a few minutes to formulate the best possible answer we can. In many cases, we'll have already replied with a researched, detailed and personalized answer more quickly than you'd have gotten through to a "real person" on the phone anyway.

And you'll have that answer on hand to read back through later, if necessary. (SPOILER ALERT: It's usually necessary.)

And if you reply to that email to follow up or ask further questions, we'll see to it that you talk to the same person you did before.

And that person will be able to read back through your previous conversation so you can pick up where you left off. No need to start over from the beginning.