more praise for B&H

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. I was in B&H yesterday to buy my first dSLR. I had a small store
    credit from about three years ago, but of course I've long since lost
    the paperwork. No matter. They had a record of it, and applied my
    credit of $36 to my order.

    B&H is simply a great store.

    Would that all my shopping experiences were so hassle-free.

    -Joel
     
    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Dec 8, 2006
    #1
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  2. I went in there last year and asked about monopods. The assistant
    treated me like an idiot because I didn't know enough about them and
    wasn't sure what I wanted to buy. In the end I turned my back on him and
    walked out.

    I ended up in a place in 6th Av, the name of which I sadly can't
    remember. Somewhere around 50th at a guess. Service was patient and
    faultless and they got my money.

    I have no problem with B&H; it was just one bad experience among all the
    other good ones they obviously provide. My only point is that your
    mileage may vary...
     
    Derek Fountain, Dec 8, 2006
    #2
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  3. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    dwight Guest

    You must realize that that mileage will vary depending upon the particular
    salesperson you got that day, and the mental state of that salesperson on
    that particular day.

    We all have expectations when we deal with these folks, and it's always bad
    for business when those expectations are not met.

    Or exceeded.

    dwight
     
    dwight, Dec 8, 2006
    #3
  4. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Bill Funk Guest

    Uh-Oh! Now, you'll get SPAM!
     
    Bill Funk, Dec 8, 2006
    #4
  5. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Thad Smith Guest

    I'm glad you had a good experience.

    As part of a order for a digital camera, I got a memory card reader for
    a computer running Win98SE. The reader claimed to work with W98. I
    couldn't get it to work. I tried the drivers on the enclosed CD and the
    manufacturer's web site. I've installed many drivers, but had no luck.

    I emailed B&H and asked for suggestions. They didn't have any technical
    recommendations and refused to credit a return if the blister pack was
    torn. That was the ONLY way to open it. The product claimed to work
    with W98. I consider it a supplier problem (the product didn't work for
    one of its stated purposes) and was nice in my request, but I got no
    satisfaction after several exchanges. A Target store would have taken
    the item back with no questions.

    If B&H abandons a customer on a small item, why should I purchase
    anything expensive from them?
     
    Thad Smith, Dec 9, 2006
    #5
  6. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Mark² Guest

    In all likelihood, the problem wasn't the card reader at all.
    It was most likely the configuration of your computer.

    I have returned a number of items to B&H...anywhere from a $180 bag...to a
    $3400 DSLR. Their handling of the returns have not only been flawless, but
    they've gone over and above any other on-line retailer for ease of the
    experience. The item that was defective, they actually sent me an e-mail
    containing a pre-paid UPS shipping label. All I had to do was stick it on
    the box, and drop it off at a UPS shop. They took care of the rest...and
    did NOT charge me for return shipping, and also did not charge me for the
    shipping on the new item. When they had received my return, I got an e-mail
    confiirming their receipt of it. When my credit card was credited with the
    return, they sent me another e-mail to inform me.

    B&H is second to NONE when it comes to fairness with returns, so I take your
    story with a very large grain of salt.
     
    Mark², Dec 9, 2006
    #6
  7. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    Also my experience: B&H is one of the best to deal
    with.

    Phil
     
    Phil Wheeler, Dec 9, 2006
    #7
  8. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    B&H "discovered" the secret to retail success back in the '70s.

    Stock it, sell it for a fair price, keep the customer happy... and
    coming back for more.

    Best, Dan
     
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 9, 2006
    #8

  9. Read their return and exchange policy...

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...jsp&A=getpage&Q=HelpCenter/ReturnExchange.jsp

    The 6th item down on the list of items that are not returnable says
    "Blister-packed items once opened". Any warranty or claim on such an item
    would be through the manufacturer. For some reason most consumers think the
    store they purchase an item from is the one providing the warranty rather
    than the manufacturer. They also never read the return policy prior to
    making a purchase and then get extremely pissed and throw a temper tantrum
    about never shopping there again when they are made aware of it afterward.

    Kyle.
     
    Kyle and Lori Greene, Dec 9, 2006
    #9
  10. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    dcisive Guest

    I have only ONE glaring complaint regarding working with B&H as my vendor.
    While I feel their stock, service and overall delivery of product is at the
    TOP of it's game in regards to online vendors, their is ONE policy they have
    defended both on forums and no doubt in the store, as a policy they feel is
    fair and reasonable (and I DON"T).

    This is the policy of selling merchandise that has been OUT of the box prior
    to the final purchaser. If this is confusing to you let me elaborate. When I
    buy a NEW item from ANYONE.........(with the possible exclusion of an
    automobile, which I insist will have less than 35 miles on it or I have NO
    interest in purchasing it as new) I fully expect that it is a item which the
    retailer has received untouched from the U.S. distributor, and it has come
    from the factory unopened, unmolested and otherwise unchecked out by any
    consumer prior to MY purchase of it. On no less than 4 occasions I received
    merchandise from B&H which was OBVIOUSLY pre opened by some other
    individual, unwrapped, and who knows what done to it prior to it's attempted
    repackaging and shipping to me. In some cases the boxes of said merchandise
    looked as if they had been through the war.

    I finally gave up on them and now no longer wish to purchase merchandise
    from ANYONE unless delivery under MY terms is met. I have had NO such issues
    from other vendors, both internet or retail (Filter Connection, Canoga
    Camera and Sigma4Less just to name a few). All merchandise from THESE
    vendors came as I prescribed.....perfect, undented, unopened from the
    manufacturer. How can I tell you ask? There are ways........suffice it to
    say I'm done with B&H.........If you think this is being unreasonable or
    anal..........well.......it's YOUR money.....spend it where you
    wish......I'll go elsewhere......Oh........FWIW in MOST States it is
    unlawful to sell as described as above. ALL of the vendors I know of will
    then sell any item "preopened" or returned for resale as an "Open Box" item
    at a reduced sale. Don't give me the drivel of "Well if B&H had to do this
    their prices would not be so reasonable. Believe me.......their prices
    aren't all that great anymore, and I've found retailers that will easily
    meet or beat their prices............good luck to ya.........
     
    dcisive, Dec 9, 2006
    #10
  11. Absolute bollocks! Why do you keep coming in here and posting this
    tripe! Enough of this ridiculous promotion. People like you make me
    sick sir.

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    google98.email8, Dec 9, 2006
    #11
  12. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Mark² Guest


    You must be new.
    Fact is, it is very important to highlight those FEW vendors (underscore
    F-E-W) who are honest and reliable camrea dealers. There are zillions of
    stories that also get posted here about the misery people go through because
    they chose to deal with a company that others here could have warned them
    against using.

    B&H, Adorama, Calumet, and a few others are reputable.
    Most others are crooks to the core.
    For this reason, it is perfectly acceptable to post positive experiences
    here in this forum, as it helps those who might otherwise be taken advantage
    of by the crooks.
     
    Mark², Dec 9, 2006
    #12
  13. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Ryan Robbins Guest

    The store is an agent acting on behalf of the manufacturer, so yes, it
    should be responsible for taking care of the matter. All the store has to do
    is accept the return and either replace the product, provide a refund, or
    provide a credit, and then deal with the manufacturer. The manufacturer will
    reimburse the store.

    Here in Maine, we have an implied warranty law. It applies to the
    manufacturer and to the store. The store loses nothing. (Unfortunately,
    stores such as Best Buy insist they don't have to follow the law, and most
    consumers aren't willing to put up much of a fight, which in many cases will
    be waged by the state's attorney general's office. But the attorney
    general's office can't fight for the consumer without a complaint.)
     
    Ryan Robbins, Dec 9, 2006
    #13
  14. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    jeremy Guest

    You are misinformed, and you are spreading inaccurate information.

    The store typically purchases goods on the wholesale market. They are NOT
    the "agent" of any manufacturer. Where did you come up with that
    interpretation?

    There are numerous situations where stores purchase distress merchandise or
    one-time deals in bulk. They resell the goods at retail, but there is no
    provision for them to return any of the stuff to the manufacturer,
    regardless of the reason.

    Except in that handful of states with their own warranty laws, the retailer
    has no liability unless the retailer issues a Limited Warranty. That
    virtually never happens, as the manufacturer or the importer typically
    issues the warranty. A retailer may elect to act as a go-between and ship
    the product to the warrantor for replacement, but that is entirely
    voluntary.

    Unless the retailer knowingly sold a defective product (such as selling
    something that has been the subject of a manufacturers recall) the retailer
    has no legal obligation to warrant the product. If the retailer has a
    stated period for merchandise returns (all sales are considered final unless
    there is a return policy), the customer may return the product, but even
    then the retailer has no obligation to repair or replace it (he may have run
    out of stock), but merely to give the customer's money back. There is no
    provision to reimburse the customer for any inconvenience or loss under the
    consequential damages doctrine--just to take the product back and refund the
    money paid by the customer.

    Many states' laws define all sales as "final" UNLESS there is a written
    store return policy or unless there is a sales order/contract/invoice
    providing for refund under certain stated conditions. There are narrow
    exceptions, like automobile lemon laws, but even those do not apply to used
    cars. If I advertise my car and you buy it from me, you can't come back a
    day or two later and demand your money back. I am free to spend every dime
    you paid me as soon as I receive it. You might be able to sue me if you can
    prove that I intentionally defrauded you, but that would be an individual
    court action, not something that you could refer to the Consumer Protection
    Office for investigation.

    The safest approach for consumers to follow is to first review the terms of
    the Limited Warranty and to understand what is covered, how long it is
    covered, and what entity it is that is ussuing the warranty. Ask the
    retailer if they warrant their goods in addition to the warranty issued by
    the manufacturer.

    That is not necessarily true. The law in Maine MAY confer the obligation on
    the store to stand by the merchandise (how long? What is considered to be
    misuse?) But the store may not be able to return defective goods to
    manufacturers, especially since virtually everything is now being imported
    into the US from China. In such cases, the retailer takes it on the chin.

    I would just keep out of Maine, and let them deal with their overreaching
    state law. Or, do like Abe's of Maine--use the word "Maine" in your trade
    name, but operate out of another state!
     
    jeremy, Dec 9, 2006
    #14
  15. The store will usually take back items that they sell except for those that
    are pre-excluded in their return policy. It is the consumers responsibility
    to read and understand these policies prior to making a purchase.
    Manufacturers do not universally provide credit for returns. Some items are
    final sale to the retailer except for defective items, just like items sold
    to us are sometimes final sale- no returns. Most manufacturers have reps
    that are responsible for giving credit for returned items. Most will give
    credit for defective merchandise, but not for buyers remorse, operator error
    etc. The items that are not credited to the retialer are either a partial
    loss through an open box sale price or a total loss that just goes down the
    shute.
    The stores should comply with all laws. However, when the government steps
    in and tells the retailer what they have to do (even though the retailers
    don't hide their policies from the consumer) the retailer does loose.
    Actually, you and I loose because to stem the loss from a government
    mandated return policy, the stores and manufacturers are forced to sell at
    higher prices or pay their employees less. Lower paid employees tend to
    care very little and provide poor customer service.
    My expectation is that the retailer will honor their return policy. I take
    the time to find and understand it before I make a purchase, not after. I
    hope my state doesn't pass any law that puts one side or the other at a
    disadvantage as your's seems to have done. Doing so always ends up costing
    the consumer more in the long run.
     
    Kyle and Lori Greene, Dec 9, 2006
    #15
  16. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Robert Brace Guest

    So the answer in your opinion seems to be "let the consumer beware lest the
    big bad government step in & protect the consumers' expectations of
    non-defective product suitable for the service for which it was advertised &
    purchased". Your explanation of why the government shouldn't get involved
    is a textbook repetition of the retailers' mantra "Leave us to our own
    devices, or you will be sorry".
    What total bullshit.
    It is demeaning to think you would assume anyone would believe that crap in
    this day & age.
    If the retailer can't compete by giving the kind of service the customer
    deserves, then the retailer should be out of business due to lack of
    customer support. As to the threats of "you will pay more" or "I will
    reduce your wages". The first is a self fulfilling prophesy for bankruptcy,
    and the second can be handled by simple Gov't mandate.
    Bob
     
    Robert Brace, Dec 10, 2006
    #16
  17. Whoa Nelly! I have never received open box merchandise from B&H. You must
    be confusing them for Best Buy? B&H has always sent me sealed merchandise
    and if I know I have the slightest concern they will immediately replace it
    on their dime. B&H is one of only a handful of on-line merchants you can
    actually trust.







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 10, 2006
    #17
  18. You got it! Though they don't always have everything in stock they usually
    have everything you need or can get it in a few days.






    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 10, 2006
    #18
  19. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

    Ken Lucke Guest

    Yeah? I've been waiting for over 5 months for the Cokin P-Series NDX
    filter from them. :^) Charged my card for it right away, too.

    Other than that, they've been pretty good.

    --
    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    independence.
    -- Charles A. Beard
     
    Ken Lucke, Dec 10, 2006
    #19
  20. good store;however, I called them about a tripod.
    the guy told me it has to be mail ordered as it's not in the store.
    I went over there anyway, and ifcourse it was in the store.
    this is an old trick for mail order workers to look busy and
    swipe business and credit away from the floor sales people.
     
    Mr.Bolshoyhuy, Dec 10, 2006
    #20
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