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03-18-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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Packaging of Customer Orders

Hello, B & H. I purchased a Pentax DA40 Ltd lens and a DA15 Ltd lens last Summer. The lenses arrived, but I was very worried about how the lenses arrived. You have changed the way in which you package your photographic equipment in the last couple of years, because when my lenses arrived, I was shocked to see that the very flimsy, very thin, air pouches that were supposed to surround and cushion the lenses were totally flat - in other words, no protection at all for the lenses. I contacted your customer relations people, but all I was told was that I had better test the lenses to make sure that they were functioning properly.

I did not find this answer helpful, since I am not a lens expert and do not know how to test a lens for damage, other than the usual thing an average person would do, like check the focusing, see if any elements were cracked, or anything sounded like it was rattling inside, etc. As far as lens element alignment, or that kind of thing is concerned, I do not know how to test for this.

What I am trying to say is that I should not have even been asked to do this, since, if my lenses had been packaged with more protection, I would not have wondered if there was some hidden damage to them.

My question is: Does B & H Photo still use this flimsy air pouch system when packaging delicate optical equipment today, in March of 2011? I ask, not to embarass or cause a problem for you, but merely to know if it is safe for me to order a Pentax K5 and a new lens or two. Is there some way for me to know if you are using enough protection when packaging my order? Can I specify extra cushioning material that will not flatten? I will even pay a bit extra for this.

A helpful answer would be very much appreciated, as this is the only complaint that I have ever had with B & H. I love your service and prices, but not your packaging. If I can be assured that my new camera and lenses would be properly protected, I would buy them immediately from B & H . Best regards.

P.S. I posted this question earlier today, but probably in the wrong thread. I hope that someone from B & H Photo will have a satisfactory answer.

03-18-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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I am afraid this has become the norm for many shippers. It's not that they tried to cut cost, or at least from what I can see, but the way the materials were being packed. Instead of placing the item right in the middle of the shipping box, the item often sits on one side then stuffed with cushion. It is just dumb to pack like this. Then again, I guess you cannot ask too much when the same low paid workers are doing the same boring job million times a day. They just don't care. Also, I have discovered an insufficiently stuffed box would be crushed more easily, especially delivered by UPS.
03-19-2011, 03:45 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your experience on this, Wlacan. You may be right about repetitive types of jobs and people who pack the orders not caring, but if I owned a business lilke B & H, I would want all of the people who worked on an order to care about the customer and for the reputation of B & H. The packagers have one of the most important jobs in the whole process. Their main job should be to make sure that the customer receives the goods that he ordered and paid for - in good condition. At least, that is how I see their job.

I think that even if a job like that is repetitive, it should give some satisfaction to those doing it that they have made another customer happy. But that would mean that they would have to take some pride their work. They are the last people to handle your new equipment before you open the box.
Does that not sound like an important job to you? It does to me, since I want my new camera and lenses to be handled with as much care by them as I do myself.

I guess I must be too optimistic a person.

Best to you.
03-19-2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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Ideally, but as we all know, the majority of workforce aren't very forthcoming. Managing a big company like B&H is no easy task. I have no doubt a meaningful # of them were just trying to get by.

03-21-2011, 07:25 AM   #5
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Since there are two threads on this topic both started by the OP, in the interest of efficiency I'll try to limit comments to this one. Hopefully we can eliminate unnecessary redundancy.
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