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06-10-2008, 10:24 AM   #31
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Both stores are great and I make it point to visit one or both of them whenever I'm in the city. As far as ordering is concerned, I'd much rather use Buydig.com. They offer free shipping, no sales tax, and I usually get stuff delived in 1 day, 2 at the most.

I also live pretty close to Berger Brothers and will buy from them. even with the sales tax They're local (in case I have to return something) and have excellent customer service. They come close to Buydig in price on some items and will pricematch anything from B&H or Adorama.

06-10-2008, 12:05 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Mr. Posner, you missed the point completely that my complaint was not about PayPal but all the hoops I had to jump through to get 7 rolls of film sent to another address and no response to the negative survey. After all, if you are sending me adds by e-mail, you obviously have my address. In the survey, I acknowledged understanding about security. I said I realized it was needed as you do sell some big budget items but, as I also pointed out in the survey, B&H seemed to go overboard with it compared to other companies I have dealt with.

CW
did the survey make some warranty that any and all issues you spoke of in the survey will be addressed in a personal e-mail? also, was the survey anonymous? many are, and are also done through 3rd party companies who forward the mass data, plus anything from the suggestions, complaints, whatever boxes, to the big company. i would not be so upset if the survey was not answered. i would be upset if you e-mailed them, and did not receive a response, though.
06-10-2008, 12:45 PM   #33
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Ship To address

Interesting. Both B&H and Adorama ship to my work address and bill to my home address - in fact, their online ordering systems have a special checkbox to call the Ship To address information from the Billing fields (so you don't need to retype it).

Don't tell on me - (they ship wherever I ask them to ship).

QuoteOriginally posted by G M Fude Quote
I recently did an online survey for B&H. I was mostly enthusiastic about their service and prices (just about any camera prices are better than local Aussie ones) but I did say that I didn't like the fact that the shipping address cannot be any different from the cardholder's address. I understand they do this for security, but it is still a nuisance.

One of the basic tenets of QIP systems such as Six Sigma is listening to what your customers are saying.

The only other company who has ever asked my opinion on their services is Qantas.
06-10-2008, 01:58 PM   #34
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I think the shipping/billing issue is more strict with overseas orders. I would like to comment about some of the complaining about the hoops for sending those shipments out.
I'm a sales rep in the bicycle industry, and work very closely with an internet/mail order supplier. I'm often at his place of business, and credit card fraud is becoming so prevalent that I would say he gets at least one fraudulent order EVERY day. And he is not one of the biggest nor most well known players in the business. So I would figure at the size and popularity of B&H and Adorama, it must be a very big problem they have to deal with.
Now about Paypal. If you haven't had problems with them yet, you will. It happens to everyone eventually, and you will quit using them. If there were some kind of rating system for Paypal, they'd probably be a 1 out of 10.

06-10-2008, 10:21 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
As far as ordering is concerned, I'd much rather use Buydig.com. They offer free shipping, no sales tax, and I usually get stuff delived in 1 day, 2 at the most.
I had a good experience with Buydig.com. My best experience so far has been with Epicbackdrops.com (although they only sell backdrops, never heard of anyone with backdrop buying addiction), it felt like I was dealing with a mom and pop store.
There was even a hand written thank you card in the box.
06-11-2008, 08:03 AM   #36
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I'm a big Adorama fan, but living in NYC, I go there in person. I have ALWAYS had a pleasurable buying experience from them (if not always inexpensive) several of the sales staff know me and will let me know if there is a second hand lens in stock that I might like. All too often it is, and my bank account regrets it. One thing that somewhat surprises me is that many of these sales reps have been there for as long as I have been shopping there. How unlike Best Buy/Circuit City that is! And they know their stuff too. My only regret is that I have to pay sales tax on what I buy there, maybe I should do as Maxwell1295 does and shop at buydig. However I do feel that I should support Adorama, as they have helped me many times.

NaCl(I'm a firm believer in buying local)H2O

Last edited by NaClH2O; 06-11-2008 at 08:08 AM.
06-11-2008, 08:36 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I'm a big Adorama fan, but living in NYC, I go there in person. I have ALWAYS had a pleasurable buying experience from them (if not always inexpensive) several of the sales staff know me and will let me know if there is a second hand lens in stock that I might like. All too often it is, and my bank account regrets it. One thing that somewhat surprises me is that many of these sales reps have been there for as long as I have been shopping there. How unlike Best Buy/Circuit City that is! And they know their stuff too. My only regret is that I have to pay sales tax on what I buy there, maybe I should do as Maxwell1295 does and shop at buydig. However I do feel that I should support Adorama, as they have helped me many times.

NaCl(I'm a firm believer in buying local)H2O
I like supporting the local shops too. I love the idea of having a place like Berger Brothers where the salespeople (and the owners themselves) know you by name and greet you when you walk in. There's nothing like the customer service you get from places like that. It's one reason I will try to support them as much as I can. Of course, I also have an allegiance to my wallet. I will give them every opportunity to match or come close to a competitor and 9 times out of 10, they will match B&H or Adorama. It's hard for them to compete with Buydig.com because of the sales tax (about $50 on a K200D body), but if they can come within $30 of Buydig's shipped price ($628), I'll definitely buy from them.
06-11-2008, 01:10 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by notion Quote
I agree with yenemy. It seems like every time I check the B&H website, I find they are not accepting orders.
Perhaps that's just a bit of hyperbole? B&H is owned by an orthodox Jewish person. Our site won't accept orders Friday sundown through Saturday sundown and on select Jewish holidays. The rest of the site is open 24/7 and the Saturday/holiday situation is (I believe) well publicized.

I understand that it's our job to make your shopping experience as painless and efficient as possible, but I think some credit has to go to our owner who has elected to place his fealty to his Deity above the last dime of profit. Your mileage may vary, of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by OniFactor Quote
did the survey make some warranty that any and all issues you spoke of in the survey will be addressed in a personal e-mail? also, was the survey anonymous?
None of the surveys offers or promises or suggests individual replies will be made. The web survey for example says, "Please note that although we take great measures to review all feedback submitted to us, we may not be able to immediately respond to your comments."

We do read each and endeavor to reply to all suggestions and any comment that's any kind of less-than ideal comment or observation.

QuoteOriginally posted by cygnet Quote
... credit card fraud is becoming so prevalent that I would say he gets at least one fraudulent order EVERY day.
Credit card fraud and identity theft are more-than daily concerns. Also, banks make outlandish promises of safety to card owners and then require retailers to do what's required to make those dreams come true. It's also worth remembering that card-absent (mail/phone/web) orders are handled differently by merchant banks than card-present (in store) transactions. Banks have more stringent requirements for retailers for card-absent transactions and give more benefit of the doubt to customers when a card-absent transaction is disputed. All in all, problems with card-absent transactions are more common and more expensive for retailers.


Last edited by henryp; 06-11-2008 at 04:36 PM.
06-11-2008, 03:19 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote

None of the surveys offers or promises or suggests individual replies will be made. The web survey for example says, "Please note that although we take great measures to review all feedback submitted to us, we may not be able to immediately respond to your comments."

We do read each and endeavor to reply to all suggestions and any comment that's not an out-and-out complement.
straight from the horses mouth, then.

don't expect a reply to a complaint via a survey, ever, no matter what company it's for. that's not what surveys are for.. that's what calling customer service is for..
06-11-2008, 03:38 PM   #40
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I am one click away from ordering from Adorama, if only they would answer my queries! I first used their on-line message form - no answer. Then mailed to customers service - no answer. I only need a little piece of information, but no. I can only guess if they just don't care or don't care for international customers.

Did not try B&H yet as they have higher price for what I want...

Glad to hear others have had better experience, though.
06-12-2008, 04:36 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
Perhaps that's just a bit of hyperbole? B&H is owned by an orthodox Jewish person. Our site won't accept orders Friday sundown through Saturday sundown and on select Jewish holidays. The rest of the site is open 24/7 and the Saturday/holiday situation is (I believe) well publicized.
I must say (without being a faithful believer myself), that I like this attitude. It is something I occasionally encounter when browsing the BH website and I always think: hopefully they will be able to adhere to their rules in the future.

Even without referring to any believe, I personally think, that having at least 1 day per week as a common rest day was a social achievement, we should not abandon easily. If I see, how families are disrupted, because the parents have to work at any given day of the week, I will easily wait another 24 hours befor placing an order.

regards to the staff of BH!

Ben
06-13-2008, 04:51 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
Perhaps that's just a bit of hyperbole? B&H is owned by an orthodox Jewish person. Our site won't accept orders Friday sundown through Saturday sundown and on select Jewish holidays. The rest of the site is open 24/7 and the Saturday/holiday situation is (I believe) well publicized.

I understand that it's our job to make your shopping experience as painless and efficient as possible, but I think some credit has to go to our owner who has elected to place his fealty to his Deity above the last dime of profit. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Amen to that! Obviously, being closed for the Sabbath and various other Jewish holidays hasn't hurt business any. I like to think that this is no coincidence, but a divine blessing.

As an active Christian myself, I wouldn't mind going back to the days where most businesses were closed on Sunday and some even closed early on Wednesday (common in the southern US) so employees could go to the Wednesday night Bible studies. While it may be a pain in the butt for the 24/7 crowd, we all just have to plan our shopping excursions (online or brick & mortar) more carefully, that's all.

Good for B&H.

Heather
06-13-2008, 12:09 PM   #43
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I've been lurking on these forums for a month or so, and I think I have enough to add here to finally jump in, considering I just bought a bunch of Pentax gear after shopping at these two establishments in person. As a NYC resident who recently decided to go the Pentax route and a long-time B&H shopper, I thought I'd share my experience on buying a new K200d and lens:

1) Go to B&H as I always do (had been a Canon film SLR user, haven't had much time for photography the last few years but wanted to get back into it), start playing with a bunch of the SLRs. Ask the guy at the Pentax/Panasonic desk some questions, get back "you'd probably be happier with a Nikon." Great. I'd been shopping at B&H for years, and while their salespeople tend to be great some clearly are not as good. Figure at this point I'd see if I would receive better treatment at Adorama, since many of my friends swear by this place.

2) Go do Adorama. Unlike B&H, they have virtually no Pentax equipment on display (one K20d, no lenses). Get a ticket and ask to see the K200d -- no can do. Salesman says they wont bring up any Pentax stuff till after you buy it (B&H has always brought stuff up for me if it wasn't on display). Frustrated.

Now I'm thinking to myself, do Pentax shooters simply get treated as 2nd class citizens? Unfortunately, I'm starting to learn the answer to this question the hard way.

3) Go back to B&H. I'm ready to buy. Wait on line, ask the salesman to see the K200d and a lens. He tries to push Canon/Nikon (I'm starting to notice a pattern). Salesman asks what I want then leaves to go look for it (in theory). Comes back after 2 minutes and says they don't have the items. Funny, because on their website it says they do. And lo and behold, when I walk over to the Pentax area I can see the lens/camera combo I want just sitting on the shelf ready to be demoed. At this point I am pissed... don't want to give B&H my business this time after that kind of treatment. Admittedly, this was a Friday morning when B&H tends to be crazy busy, but just because we ask for Pentax we're not going to be taken seriously?

4) On Sunday, go back to Adorama. It's a beautiful day, I had a free afternoon and I wanted to take some photos and Adorama's pricing was good. If not for the timing, I would have just ordered online because both B&H and Adorama had failed me. This time, I actually get a salesperson who knows Pentax and is happy to help me. Walk out with a big bag and a much lighter wallet ;-) In retrospect, I should have taken the salesperson's card.

So what's the moral of this story? I don't know. I have not had to return anything to Adorama yet, and B&H has always been OK about returns so I can't pick one place. However, B&H was just so rude during this experience that I've been going back to Adorama instead (though I would still go back to B&H). B&H has more Pentax stuff on display, but no one seems to want to sell it. Maybe it's just best to buy Pentax gear online...
06-13-2008, 12:18 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigbadoog Quote
B&H was just so rude during this experience that I've been going back to Adorama instead (though I would still go back to B&H). B&H has more Pentax stuff on display, but no one seems to want to sell it. Maybe it's just best to buy Pentax gear online...
Wow, what a miserable experience! It will be of not much consolation, when I tell you, that I gave up buying Pentax in brick and mortar shops long ago, as they are virtually non-existent over here (except in the big electronic discount markets - but they also will talk you into CaNi). I ordered from BH first in 1995 and have been well served both electronically and on the phone. For yeras now, I have been buying everything online, except now and then, when I am in a bigger city, where I still may find a really qualified dealer - but this is rare.

Ben
06-13-2008, 12:25 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigbadoog Quote
Ask the guy at the Pentax/Panasonic desk some questions, get back "you'd probably be happier with a Nikon."

Wow, you'd think they'd put a pro Pentax guy on that desk. Why not just put up a detour sign.

Maybe it's a bottom line issue and Nikon gives them the best profit.
Gary
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