If you're dealing with a mainstream commercial lab whose bread and butter is color prints and digital transfers, you're probably not going to get good black and white service. Not only has black and white become a specialty, it probably doesn't even scarcely pay for itself as far as the lab is concerned. Not surprising then that your results would be disappointing. Learn to do the work yourself. Nothing worth doing well is ever easy (or something like that), but it's certainly not insurmountable and the rewards will justify your efforts.
Originally Posted by GaussianNoise
My Verito page
Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.