B+H = Big Headache!

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Robert Kennedy, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    SO, a few months ago, back when I had time for things beside portfolio work, I ordered a Bess R2 with a lens from B&H. The first lens that came with it had a bad aperture ring. So I sent it back. B&H sent a new lens. This one had a VERY large flaw in the lens (like 3-4mm). So it went back too. Then I finally got a good lens.

    So I loaded up the camera, took a roll...

    And the rewind lever shattered (not snapped...shattered...like a bazillion pieces), in my hand.

    Not good.

    So I called B&H. After a BIG deal, they agreed to fix it if I sent it to them. I did.

    After a few MONTHS, I FINALLY got a hold of them about this body.

    They are now saying that Voigtlander has the body and that it is "totaled" somehow (for a bad rewind lever?) and that they can't repair it and that B&H has nothing to do with this.

    So I have a useless body, a useless lens, a useless set of accesories and a $1,000 hole in my life now.

    This is just unbelieveable. I buy almost all my supplies from B&H and this is how they treat me? And Cosina is a joke! The quality of their equipment is just crap apparently. At least from my view of things. Worst yet, I may never get the body back! Some sort of "issue" with that now!

    How can a company like this survive? Is this unusual fro B&H or standard?
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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    What does Cosina have to say?
     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Have you tried to contact Henry Posner at B$H? He may be able to help.
     
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    B&H has been slipping in the past couple of years. They built their reputation on low prices, things always being in stock, and good customer service. All of that seems to be slipping (in my opinion). in the past year, I have had to return two defective pieces of equipment. Both times they have refused to pay for return shipping :| I order from amazon now.
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Member

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    FWIW, I've never had any such problems with B&H. Adorama either...well, except the time I ordered a year's worth of film and they sent me...a year's worth of film and a slightly used Mamiya RB67 kit...?!?!?

    Keep after them. I'm sure they will resolve your issue satisfactorily.
     
  6. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    This is why I buy ALL of my new gear from Calumet. They stand behind their products 110% and have excellent customer service.

    Out of the many orders I had over the last year there where 2 issues and they took care of it right away.

    Some things you might pay slightly more for, but to me it is worth it.
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    According to their ads on the radio here, B&H has moved into home theater as well as photo, video, and pro-am audio gear. When you visit the store it's hard to believe things run as efficiently as they do...the place is huge and usually very crowded at the times I've been there. OTOH, they've resolved problems I've had with orders satisfactorily although, had I not been able to go there in person, I don't think I'd have been accomodated nearly as well as I was. So...mixed review from me. They've perhaps exceeded the critical mass where they can balance huge inventory and customer base, against adequate customer service. I hope your posting here will make a difference and that a site such as this can make even a small impact.
     
  8. ThomHarrop

    ThomHarrop Member

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    B&H customer service (oxymoron)

    If things go right with B&H it's great. If not, it's horrible.

    A buddy of mine ordered an 80-200 EDIF Nikkor from B&H a couple of years ago. When it arrived it was missing its rear lens element. He called them. They told him it was a warranty issue! They refused to do anything and made him send it back to Nikon.

    I had a meter back ordered once. They just refused to even respond to me. I told them when I ordered that I didn't want anything that wasn't currently in stock. The meter arrived almost 7 months later with no note and certainly no apology.

    Caveat emptor!
     
  9. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Unfortunatelly it seems they keep the good items for in store customers and they send the crap to mail order customers. I ordered a Jobo CPA, and had to return it, it was used and plainly it did not work properly. But then when I did a job in NY and visited their store, I bought a lens and a loupe new and I got what I paid for. Given that like you 50% of the stuff I ordered by mail came defective I now refuse to order from them anything......it is not worth the hassle. I will buy from them if I am in NY, but will not order a lens cap by mail....
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Another vote here for Calumet, BH had a doran fan listed as "special order" which usually means a 4 month wait. Calumet had the same fan, same price listed as available. So I put in an order. I got an actual email from a sales rep not an automated mail. We exchanged 4 emails discussing shipping arrangements to NZ, within 2 weeks the fan was here :smile:
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Calumet gets my vote also. I suggest that whenever going to Calumet's website, go there from APUG so that they (Calumet) see traffic coming from APUG - and hopefully will continue to support APUG. Calumet has better customer service; I just ordered two boxes of Velvia from them this morning.
     
  12. david b

    david b Member

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    Don't forget freestyle. They have good prices and very fast shipping.
     
  13. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    MY MY all this free advertising for B an H. I for one take all of this to heart and when I hear stories like this it has an effect on where I spent my money. Are you listening B and H.
    May I suggest that you contact the attorney generals office. Mr. Spitzer is running for governor in NY and would like to know about your experience with companies doing business in NY.
     
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  15. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I quit the B@H hassle a couple years ago for your same reasons. As Jorge stated if you go into the store things are great but ordering is a nightmare. Calumet is exceptional other than their prices. I usually order my stuff from Samy's camera in Los Angeles their prices are at least competitive and their customer service is always responsive and more than I ask for.
     
  16. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I do a good 75% of my shopping at B&H in person but I don't doubt what you say. They have been declining in goods and services over the past couple of years. I see their analog inventory getting smaller & smaller and their digital inventory increasing plus the addition of TV's/Home Theatre/DVD Players, etc.

    I have personally written off Ilford and Agfa as sources of paper and chemistry and put Kodak on the back burner. Living in NYC it just doesn't seem right to shop by mail but maybe that's what it's coming to.

    I guess B&H is becoming a main stream electronics retailer.
     
  17. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    i stopped buying from them some time ago, as i found them to be rude. I don't except to be handled with kid gloves, but a simple thank you goes a long way. Move over to Adorama where at least they said hello, goodbye and thanks.

    However, i too give a thumbs up for Calumet. bit more expensive, nicer to deal with.
    also, freestyle has been very helpful and easy to deal with. I rather buy locally, but that is getting more difficult with my dealer carry a much smaller line of items. just can't walk in and expect to see what one would have several years ago. they (my dealer ) good at ordering for me, but i have to keep ahead of the power curve.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've always found the staff to be more pushy at Adorama than B&H, but experience in person is probably different than dealing with mail order. The B&H staff in the pro, LF, and lighting departments are pretty good, and there are a few knowledgable guys in the tripod and case sections, but you don't want to deal with most of the staff in the sections that sell more consumer-type equipment. The film counter seems to be entry level, but there are a coulple of long-term staff there and in the darkroom section who know what's what.

    In any case, if you have a problem with B&H, contact Henry Posner directly, and he'll work things out in a fair way.
     
  19. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    I've had better luck with B&H compared to Adorama. I've never had a problem with B&H, but Adorama has messed up one of my orders pretty badly (an E+ condition back usually means a back that actually works...) The people at Adorama also seem like they are in a big hurry to get off the phone too. I've always had good service from Freestyle and Calumet.
    -Grant
     
  20. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I've been ordering from B&H since the time the store opened and you had to order by phone. Never a problem. A couple of years ago, I ordered a Canon EF 400/5.6L lens on which the manual focus ring jammed three days after I got it. I called, they said return, I returned, they promptly sent another lens that was perfect. With Adorama, I've never had any problems but I don't order much from them. I've had no problem with Calumet or with Freestyle. Buying used equipment from KEH and several smaller photo equipment dealers has all been smooth and satisfactory.

    In fact, I never had any problem with places like Cambridge and Tri-state and they have lousy reputations for customer service.

    I suppose I've been extremely lucky considering the amount of money I've spent on mail order photo gear over the years.
     
  21. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    i only work with these folks on the phone, and find that Adomara was in a hurry but at least you knew there was a person on the other in of the line, not true with b&h.

    In another life i trained customer service reps who only dealt with people on the phone so i am very atuned to what is happening on the phone which perhaps made me more sensitive to sublte shifts in the conversations. Am glad to hear others had more success with b & h as we need everyone possible to keep carryng our supplies.
     
  22. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

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    Though it's too late now, Steven Gandy's Cameraquest is the authorized Cosina Voightlander dealer. I am sure he would have handled things differently.
     
  23. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    OK, most of the problems people have been having with B&H mail order seem to be equipment problems. Has anyone had problems ordering film from them? I shoot Fuji slide films for 35mm color work and Ilford for B&W, though I'm thinking of trying out some Efke and switching to JandC. I like the Pro 100 roll film I got from them and the customer service seems pretty good. That still leaves me wondering where to get the fujichrome.
     
  24. mark

    mark Member

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    As long as I do not have to have my film right away I have never had a problem. If I need it quick, like two day service then I shop else where. My last film order from them was placed on staurday, assuming it would be shipped monday. I paid for two day mail expecting it to be in my hands thursday. It was not shipped until thursday, and took a week to get here. They did refund my extra shipping fee after a bit of argument. No it was not one of their holiday closings either.
     
  25. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I've ordered a lot of film from B&H. Since I live in the hot, humid South, I try to avoid ordering film in the hot summer months. Unfortunately, around here that's usually from late April through early November so it's not always possible. I try to order so nothing gets to set up in a warehouse or truck over a weekend. I order on Sunday, it gets shipped on Monday and it's here on Thursday. Back when they used Fed Ex, film ordered on Sunday was often here on Wednesday and, a couple of times, ever on Tuesday. UPS is slower. But all the film I've bought from B&H has been fresh with distant expiration dates.
     
  26. mikeb_z5

    mikeb_z5 Member

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    Thumbs up for Calumet here too. Luckily I have 2 stores in my area. I also order on the web when I'm too lazy to go out. Always quick delivery and courteous service. They may be a bit more pricey on some items. If you tell them(very nicely) where you saw an item cheaper and they can look it up on the web, many times they will match price for you.

    Mike