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06-13-2008, 06:50 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
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.
Believe it or not Henry, that changes my mind. I'm not Jewish but the simple fact that he is willing to close even website ordering according to the tenets of his faith does impress me. I will give B&H another try.

CW

06-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #47
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Hi bigbadoog,
Hopefully your post will find its way into the hands of those responsible for staff training at those organisations and be presented at a staff meeting.

I have had a similar experience here in Australia and you just wonder why the sales people even go there.

Hope the K200 is working out well for you.

Cheers.
06-13-2008, 07:06 PM   #48
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Here's two thumbs up...

For B&H Service after the sale. I had shipments sent to deep South Texas that went missing for over 3 weeks! Disclaimer: I am not sponsored nor am I a recipient of any freebies from B&H. This is just an honest post.

Everything, including ordering, or returning the duplicates (I had ordered many things a second time - no choice) was very smooth and without issue. B&H has clearly and unequivocally cemented my online purchases for the future. Their customer service folks are second to none. I felt well taken care of in a very, very stressful situation: poor cell service, and no tripod for my Sigma 500/4.5 or Pentax 300/2.8 for over a week...

Again, none of that was related to B&H - one box I shipped to myself in Texas was a FedEx fiasco that ended up having 5 tracking numbers for just 1 box.... and it was out of my hands for over 30 days. Credit to FedEx: I was finally reimbursed by Fedex for over $500, but I lost days of potential shooting due to the problem. (I spent over $200 in replacing gear and driving multiple 2 hour round trips in a non-fuel efficient SUV.... )

B&H truly saved my second trip during the photo competition. Henry: if you ever need a testimony, feel free to PM or e-mail me. I cannot thank your store enough for helping me out.

Regards,
Marc
06-13-2008, 08:44 PM   #49
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One doesn't have to be an identified Pentax user to get rude treatment at B&H. [Utter] Rudeness seems to be the default mode in that place.

Something to keep in mind for future purchases: had you ordered your K200D from Buydig.com on the Friday you went visited B&H, you likely would have had the camea in your hand by Saturday afternoon.

Just sayin'.

-XM




QuoteOriginally posted by bigbadoog Quote
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...


06-14-2008, 12:20 AM   #50
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Thanks all for the concern. If I could find a place that wasn't B&H or Adorama that had the same kind of selection and were reputable with a good return policy, I would frequent that place. Thanks for the buydig suggestion, XMACHINA, but they seem to do the restocking thing fee which, while I understand, is undesirable.

The important thing is that, while the buying experience may have been subpar, the camera so far is not... the K200 is truly impressive. If only I could find some time to go shooting...

--Dan
06-14-2008, 10:44 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by gawan Quote
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.

I am truly sorry that you have not received a response to your question. Unfortunately, our email support staff are snowed under with enquiries following last week's 3-day closure.

Please contact me directly, and I will deall with your query, personally

Helen Oster
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06-14-2008, 10:47 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Believe it or not Henry, that changes my mind. I'm not Jewish but the simple fact that he is willing to close even website ordering according to the tenets of his faith does impress me. I will give B&H another try.

CW
Adorama is also owned and staffed by Orthodox Jews. I would like to use this opportunity to apologise to anyone on this forum who is experiencing delays in responses to email enquiries; we were closed for 3 days last week for Shavuot, and are experiencing delays as a result. If you need an urgent response to a query, please do contact me directly: helen.oster@adoramacamera.com

Helen Oster
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06-15-2008, 08:08 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Helen Oster Quote
I am truly sorry that you have not received a response to your question. Unfortunately, our email support staff are snowed under with enquiries following last week's 3-day closure.

Please contact me directly, and I will deall with your query, personally

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
helen.oster@adoramacamera.com
Dear Helen

Thank you very much for responding to my complaint, I sent an email to you.

06-15-2008, 08:34 AM   #54
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Just an FYI for those that don't know - buydig and Beach Camera are the same operation. I've found they don't stock anywhere near as much Pentax stuff as the other two places that originated this post.
06-16-2008, 07:41 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by XMACHINA Quote
One doesn't have to be an identified Pentax user to get rude treatment at B&H. [Utter] Rudeness seems to be the default mode in that place.
I am certainly sorry you feel this way and apologize for whatever it was that lead you to this misapprehension.
06-16-2008, 07:26 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
I am certainly sorry you feel this way and apologize for whatever it was that lead you to this misapprehension.
Misapprehension? Fair enough.

However, I feel most compelled to state that, I have been aided in the formation of my "misapprehension" by various members of B&H staff, including managers, over a period of about 10 years. But I'm certain that my experience is the product of a conspiracy against me personally. When I'm not around, I'm sure the place is like Disneyland with cameras.

I appreciate the apology and regret it didn't come from any of the offending members of B&H staff.

Had you inquired as to any details regarding my "misapprehension," I would have referred you to post #50 of the following thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/18530-some-stores-don-t-really-want-you-purchase-pentax-dslrs-2.html

Then I would have pointed to my exchange in that thread with the forum member who, very kindly, tried to defend B&H and directed me to a specific employee who he assured is a nice guy. Although he did not intend it, but I would describe his effort as "damning with faint praise": even a defender of B&H shares my "misapprehension," but proposes a workaround.

But you didn't ask, so I won't point out any of that.

Thanks.

-XM

Last edited by XMACHINA; 06-17-2008 at 10:01 AM.
06-18-2008, 07:25 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by XMACHINA Quote
Had you inquired as to any details regarding my "misapprehension," I would have referred you to post #50 of the following thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/18530-some-stores-don-t-really-want-you-purchase-pentax-dslrs-2.html
I've seen that thread, and your specific post. In it you wrote, "Without going into the details of the experience that served as the proverbial last straw, a doddering fool of a B&H manager..."

So, we have no details there too but what we do have is your intentionally insulting one of our employees. I don't see how characterizing anyone as a doddering fool furthers what one hopes would be a civil, professional and constructive conversation.
06-20-2008, 12:31 AM   #58
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@Henry P

No, no, no. You were doing fine!

As it was, you had established yourself as a dispassionate observer whose presence here speaks to B&H's dedication to their customers' satisfaction. I, on the other hand, am a largely ignored, and presumably disliked, individual who has an obvious axe to grind where it concerns B&H--one lone disgruntled voice wholly inaudible over the jocund din emanating from the throngs of your establishment's happy customers. Don't you know how to quit while you're ahead?

You wrote:
"So, we have no details there too but what we do have is your intentionally insulting one of our employees. I don't see how characterizing anyone as a doddering fool furthers what one hopes would be a civil, professional and constructive conversation."
That's strange. I thought that the discussion from which you have drawn the quote epitomizes civility and constructiveness. As for whether it was "professional": neither I or my correspondent where interacting in a professional context, so I question why I should be held to any such standard.
"I've seen that thread, and your specific post. In it you wrote, "Without going into the details of the experience that served as the proverbial last straw, a doddering fool of a B&H manager...""
Well, you've obviously "seen" the thread, as you've done the most delicate job of cherry-picking from it. But a person who actually sought to understand my apparent contempt might have read the context from which your quote was drawn. That person would have read the following:
"Incidentally, that manager also advised me that the key to success in his establishment was to "know what I want before I walk in." (This admonishment was completely irrelevant to the situation, but he didn't know that because he wasn't actually listening to me.)"
So in this sentence and the parenthetical statement attached to it, one finds a description of behaviors which I would argue represent poor service practices. Had you any real intention of addressing the issue, you might have isolated this passage for your cut-and-paste job. Instead, you attempt to deflect attention away from the complaint and toward the words used in its delivery.

Is it B&H's overarching business philosophy that their staff should not be expected to actually assist customers in determining what will meet their needs? If so, then that's a good thing for customers to know, and you should be willing to affirm what I was told (and what was independently confirmed by the experience of at least one other customer). If not, and you possess any integrity, you should acknowledge that this was an inappropriate thing for your store manager to say. And there was a third option which was to not address me in the first place and thereby avoid having me invoke the whole episode.

Furthermore, why do you discount the possibility that my characterization of the aforementioned manager is perfectly accurate? Given that he proved himself incapable of following a logical thread and responded to everything I said to him with non-sequiturs, I'd argue that my description was dead-on. Apparently, if you don't like the news you choose to duel with the reporter.

And one more thing. Your apparent belief that a disgruntled customer is obliged to recount his negative experience in a fashion which will meet with the approval of the very people about whom he is complaining is absurd. I'm willing to bet that if a representative from Wolf Camera, Beach Camera, Ritz Camera, or any other retailer which is regularly pilloried in this forum were to suggest any such thing, there'd be a well-deserved backlash.

Enjoy your success. We aren't each other's problem any more.

-XM
06-21-2008, 01:45 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by XMACHINA Quote
"Incidentally, that manager also advised me that the key to success in his establishment was to "know what I want before I walk in."
This is equally valid for ANY retail situation from B&H to Neiman Marcus to your local grocery store. I have no problem with any retail manager who says this about any store. The fact is the more you know when you arrive, the more you know and the better prepared you are.

That does not say or suggest or imply you cannot or will not get good, sound, informed advice and guidance from thje store's staff. It says the good, sound, informed advice you'll get will be put to better use because it will be combined with the knowledge the informed customer gleaned before arriving.
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