What’s wrong with Lastolite and right with The Flash Centre

At Focus on Imaging, I decided that the time was right to get a couple of new soft boxes for the lights we use in our mobile studio when we are out covering events. I wanted something that was larger and quicker to assemble than the original soft boxes that came with our Elinchrom lights. I looked around the show and decided that the new Lastolte Ezybox Switch fitted the bill quite nicely. They are a new design of soft box that folds away like a reflector and, uniquely, can change shape. You can set the up either as square boxes, or rectangular – almost strip lights. Very neat and quick to set up too. Just what I was after.

Lastolite weren’t selling at the show and they told me which of their dealers were on site and I decided to plump for The Flash Centre (TFC) as I had dealt with them in the past. TFC didn’t actually have any of the boxes on their stand for me to take away, so I ordered them for delivery the following week. I ordered two boxes – a large and an extra-large – plus two adapter kits so that they would fit my Elinchroms.

The following week, a package arrived. It contained a large Ezybox only – no extra large, no adapter rings. I called TFC who investigated and told me that their supplier were out of stock, but I could expect an other delivery in a few days. Three days later, another delivery arrived. This didn’t contain another soft box and it didn’t contain two adapter kits: just one adapter. I called TFC and was told that the rest of the order was on back-order and I would receive it eventually.

At least I had enough kit to use one soft box! Or so I thought. You see, the adapter kit I received appears to be faulty as it doesn’t lock into place, as shown in this video. [videoembed type=”youtube” align=”aligncenter” width=”640″ height=”357″ url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95GESyjIFlg&list=UUGbQrYUEbvHGmEhPyS3eqcQ&index=1″ id=”0″]

I contacted TFC again and sent them the link to the video to show the issue. TFC spoke with Lastolite who said that they would send a replacement adapter kit. That was supposed to be despatched on Monday to arrive with me on Tuesday, except no delivery came. It turns out that the person who was dealing with the issue at Lastolite wasn’t in the office and no one knew where the adapter kit was. Eventually they found an adapter ring which was supposed to be delivered by noon today. In fact, it turned up at just before 1pm. I quickly tested the adapter ring on my lights and it clicks in perfectly! At last!

So, the story has a happy ending, right? No. Not by a long chalk. You see, whilst the new adapter ring fits onto my lights perfectly, it doesn’t fit on to the soft box – it is too small. Approximately 1 inch too small in diameter.

So here I am, three weeks after parting with £350, still with no useable soft boxes and no idea as to when the problem will be resolved. TFC’s customer service – Louise in particular – has been brilliant as she has tried her best to get the situation resolved. It is such a shame that they are being let down by Lastolite in this manner. Their service, at the moment, sucks.

Something's not quite right....

Something’s not quite right….


Three rings of doom!

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