Not so positive experience with B&H

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pinkoos, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. pinkoos, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    pinkoos macrumors 6502

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    #1
    After waffling back and forth regarding 8GB vs 16GB (and waiting for the i5 16GB/256GB to come into stock at B&H), I finally bit the bullet when that exact model briefly showed in stock and same day expedited shipping at B&H yesterday.

    I quickly ordered it for expedited shipping, my CC was authorized for the full amount and I received an order confirmation. After I ordered, I noticed that the exact model was no longer showing as in stock, so I figured I must have gotten the last one they had for the day or maybe it was even the only one they had for the day.

    After realizing that my wife and I may have scheduling issues later this week, I decided to change the shipping from free expedited (expected delivery Friday) to 1 day saver shipping for $30 (expected delivery today). That way, if delivery was attempted and no one was at home, I'd at least have a couple of business days to try and be available for the delivery. I made this change by chatting with B&H CSR online. He confirmed that the delivery would be Wednesday (today) and promptly authorized my CC for the $30.

    Anyway, checking order status yesterday, it was stuck at processing with "order sent to the warehouse" all day. I figured this is normal as a tracking number, etc. probably wouldn't be generated until later in the evening or even the following morning (ie, this morning).

    But, I got up this morning and the order status hadn't changed and my order still showed as being "cancel-able." So, that's what I did - I just went ahead and canceled it.

    I can't remember if I had ever ordered from them in the past, but I have a feeling I hadn't b/c I had to set up an account, etc.

    Anyway, not sure what happened here - maybe they had an inventory issue and my order was placed right when the configuration went out of stock again but it's going to make me wary of ordering from them again, no matter how good the deal. If it was an inventory issue, then if they would have just communicated that to me right away, I wouldn't have minded at all.
     
  2. Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

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    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal-Surf City USA
    #2
    My last dealing with B&H was my final. I bought a 5k Dell display for around $1300.00. They had only one in stock so I felt kind of lucky at that point. Wrong. When the display arrived it was only in the Dell box and it looked like it had been through a war or two. The UPS delivery guy (who I know) said to me when he dropped it off, "Hey if this thing is broken I didn't do it". You could feel something heavy and loose banging around in the box. The box had been opened and resealed with tape several times as there were layers of cut tape that had been covered over. When I opened the box the foam inserts that normally protect the display were missing ! The display had been banging around loose in trucks from New Jersey to California. Part were missing like cables & pieces of the stand, rear cover, so I couldn't even set it up. I sent it right back to them in the same condition.

    It was probably sold and returned 3-4 times maybe more. But B&H would just relist it on their web site every time.

    Never again...
     
  3. pinkoos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2005
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    #3
    I was kind of surprised as it seems that reputable Apple-related websites advertise B&H deals (eg, not actual ads, but posts about good deals B&H is running), so I assumed that it was a legit business (and assumed that the Apple-related websites would vet these businesses before posting about their deals). And, it may be a legit business, but after this happened yesterday, I started looking up online ratings for B&H and, all of a sudden, I wasn't surprised that what happened to me happened to me.
     
  4. SkiHound2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2018
    #4
    I've never purchased any computer stuff from B&H. But I have purchased a lot of camera gear from them, including several used items, and have always had a very good experience.
     
  5. F-Train, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I guess this is going to be one of those pro-B&H/anti-B&H threads, although I would have thought that it would be started over something more significant than a shipping issue that could have had to do with B&H and equally could have had to do with FedEX or UPS.

    I purchased an Asus 32" ProArt PA32UC monitor from B&H on Cyber Monday. B&H offered the first price that I have seen for this monitor under US$2000 and it was the only online electronics dealer on Cyber Monday that offered a price under $2000. I paid $1700. The monitor arrived in immaculate condition.

    Further to @SkiHound2's comment, my experience with B&H used equipment is that it invariably meets or exceeds B&H's description.

    Furthermore, I have found B&H customer service uniformly excellent. Its customer service personnel are B&H employees in New York, not a bunch of people in a call centre, they know what they are doing and they are invariably courteous and professional.
     
  6. pinkoos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2005
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    Texas
    #6
    Not really meaning it to be pro/anti; just thought I'd post my experience - if there wasn't a time crunch involved, it wouldn't have been as big an issue, though I also didn't want to sit here for 3 days constantly seeing if the mini had shipped or was even in stock, not knowing what was going on.

    I've had not so positive experiences with other retailers for which I've also had great experiences, so I realize that sometimes it's a coin toss.
     
  7. F-Train, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 6502a

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    NYC & Newfoundland
    #7
    Did it not occur to you to phone B&H and ask them what the status of your order was? The customer service personnel are local and have that kind of information. Instead, you chose to cancel your order and write a seven paragraph post bitching about a shipping issue. It would have taken less time to phone them for clarification and decide next steps than it took to write the post.

    I have personally had a B&H order show as still at the warehouse in the morning and be delivered the same day.
     
  8. pinkoos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hard to know for sure if it is/was a shipping issue, an inventory issue or something else. But, yes, there's always a chance a CSR could've cleared up the issue by phone or online by chat; but, an equally possible chance that I would just be strung along by the CSR.

    So, instead of dealing with the uncertainty, I made a conscious decision to just go ahead and cancel the order b/c I was getting an uneasy gut feeling about what was going on.

    And, again, posting about the experience is, in a way, cathartic, but also serves the purpose of seeing if others have had similar or dissimilar experiences and, like you suggested, offer options on how I could have handled this and/or how I could handle a similar situation in the future. Maybe this thread will be as helpful to others as it has already been to me. So, for that, thank you! :)
     
  9. F-Train macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    NYC & Newfoundland
    #9
    My preferred photographic retailer in New York is FotoCare and I don't hold a brief for B&H, but I will say this...

    B&H is staffed by knowledgeable, local people and has a reputation for professional, courteous customer service. Indeed, its considerable success is built on that. It is not in the business of "stringing" people along, and given that it is not exactly hurting for sales, it has no incentive to do so.
     
  10. Juggar, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    Juggar macrumors member

    Juggar

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    Jun 6, 2016
    #10
    Lol no they are not, I had a horrific experience with them recently. I was lied to, many times, and dealt with reps that were clueless and at least one was unprofessional. They had a snowstorm before thanksgiving and my order was "shipped" but fedex showed no item received scan. Instantly the chat rep was like "Its lost in transit, its gone", he was ADAMANT about this, and this was only the next day (i had paid for overnight) that he said this. It lead to very great confusion and suffering on my part, as I was under the impression that it was not a weather delay but a lost item. My common sense told me "its a weather delay", but the man was so damn adamant that it was NOT related to that.

    The only people that knew anything were the managers, but one of them sounded like a new york italian mobster and had that same attitude to boot. "What hassel, there's been no hassle" - this being said to me, after a multi day ordeal where I was lied to many times.

    Turns out, it WAS a weather delay but the entire situation had put a sour taste in my mouth and I as due to receive the item Monday, not Friday as I had paid nearly $30 extra for. So I had them refund me and intercept the package.

    I dont care if they have the last item on earth that I need, never again. I switched over to Adorama and have had multiple orders with them since and no issues.
     
  11. F-Train, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    As a New York resident, you couldn't have said anything that would have provoked a wryer smile. You know that old saying, "I burst out laughing"? Well, I came close :)

    As I said earlier, my preferred NY photo retailer is FotoCare. It has my business when it comes to purchasing a camera, lens or very specialised photo gear. However, I am also a customer of B&H and Adorama. B&H is much larger, but otherwise they are similar. I would suggest that if you are looking for the best price, you always cross-check Adorama prices against B&H prices. Maybe because of size and buying power, the latter sometimes has significantly better prices.
     
  12. blueapplepaste macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    #12
    No retailer bats a thousand. I think you should judge them on how they rectify the situation.

    If you get delayed shipping when you ordered expedited, do they refund you immediately? Or if an item is damaged, so they send a new one out right away?

    My last three Macs have been from BH (2012 Mac mini, 2013 MBP, and 2018 Mini) and zero issues. Have also ordered several camera lenses with zero issue.
     
  13. JagdTiger macrumors regular

    JagdTiger

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    Dec 20, 2017
    #13
    They are usually very good at shipping, could be a stock issue.
     
  14. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    #15
    I stopped buying from B&H when I learned about their hiring and promotion policies. Very unAmerican, IYAM.
     
  16. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Location:
    Yes
    #16
    I've had orders move from one state to the next one over, then back to the original location, before taking an entirely different route to my door.
    Two day usually means three.
    One day may also mean three.

    -"A meteor hit the truck, and totally destroyed its contents."
     
  17. comptr macrumors 68000

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    Arizona
    #17
    Same here.
     
  18. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

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    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #18
    Bought from B&H and Androma. Both are superb and I will always use them as they’re very trustworthy.
     
  19. F-Train macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Location:
    NYC & Newfoundland
    #19
    To summarise the critics in this thread and the linked threads...

    B&H is the worst company ever and Adorama is God's gift to consumers.
    Adorama is the worst company ever and B&H is God's gift to consumers.

    Take note that the critics, when it comes to purchasing a current Apple computer, could order directly from Apple or go to an Apple store. Why are they ordering from B&H and Adorama? Because they want to beat paying taxes that support their community.*

    And while they're at it, they want to bitch about B&H and Adorama.

    *Why are there no New Yorkers, like me, talking about buying a mini from B&H or Adorama? One guess, and it ain't the quality of their customer service.
     
  20. pinkoos thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2005
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    Texas
    #20
    No I bought it because it was a CTO that they had in stock whereas Apple would’ve taken a week and a half to deliver.

    I have a corporate discount with Apple so I was actually paying BH $10 more than what my total Apple price would’ve been.
     
  21. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #21
    Bought stuff decades ago from B&H (film camera gear) with no issues.

    But to take it into today, they aren't the only ones with shipping issues late in the order. Ordered some stuff from Eddie Bauer, part of the order became back order the next day. Tried to cancel, CSR said OK, canceled. Showed in order system as such. Next day, order came back alive and shipped day after. Contacted back, too late, will ship. Just return. Returned, still waiting on refund.

    And Harry's: once took three weeks to get an order delivered to me from a warehouse six hours away via their 3rd party shipper (though they made good and Fedexed a free order the next day after week two).

    Fedex, tried to change a shipment of Braun razor cleaner cartidges to local Fedex store (Kinkos?), as I have a Fedex account and can route. Lost for two days before wound up at a depot hour drive away due to Kinkos could not accept as "hazardous" material.
     
  22. F-Train, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 6502a

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    NYC & Newfoundland
    #22
    You are an exception, and you know it.

    Let's not kid ourselves. Almost every person bitching about B&H and Adorama on Apple purchases is in fact engaged in evading tax. Not just avoiding tax, but evading tax, because they are never going to declare the purchase. And then they want to bitch, publicly, about the vendor. In this thread, we have the added hilarious spectacle of people slamming B&H's ethics and conformity with the law. Pardon me?
     
  23. Juggar macrumors member

    Juggar

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    Jun 6, 2016
    #23
    I paid tax at B&H, as an NC resident. There was a supreme court ruling and NC wanted their piece of the pie. Believe it or not they were the only retailer that had the item I wanted and could ship overnight (so as to receive Friday).
     
  24. OriginalAppleGuy macrumors 6502a

    OriginalAppleGuy

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia
    #24
    Come on, Cave, how can you make a comment like this yet leave out the juicy details?

    Awe dang it. Knew they were jewish but didn't think they were like this.

    I've compared Adorama and B&H over the years when I wanted to buy camera and computer stuff. Most of my buys, including the MacBook Pro I'm using to type this, came from B&H. No problems with them at all. For the OP, I too would have called them before cancelling to hear what they would have had to say.

    @F-Train - your point about "evading" tax seems right on the money. As for me - I pay more than my fair share of taxes that benefit my locality and don't make purchases like this that frequently. It feels goooood.
     
  25. StarShot macrumors 6502a

    StarShot

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    #25
    In the past, I've bought many items from B&H with all of them shipped cross country to the Seattle area. I even bought a 37" TV once. Main reason was that it was tax free until just recently. I think every item I purchased came with free shipping and a little sweeter as well along with a bit of a price reduction.

    I've NEVER had a problem with any item I purchased from them, but sadly with the sale tax hit, just too much trouble to use them anymore. I suspect the sales tax hit has impacted their mail order business hugely.

    Sad to lose B&H as a quality online seller.
     

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