Who Has Great Customer Dervice?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by drew bedo, May 29, 2012.

  1. Who Has Great Customer Service?

    My family has pointed out that I have had a lot of negative energy flowing lately. In an effort to pull back from that lets talk aboput companies with GREAT customer service. Not a thread for touting this or that product or brand as “The Best” , but to highlight those companies who offer high quality products, covered by a great warranty and supported by excellent customer service. It may not be necessary to be an active user, but direct experience would add to a recommendation.
  2. My vote goes to Tamron U.S.A. They (very helpful parts department) provided me with a battery holder for my Bronica SQ Ai (inoperable without it) when all other sources here in Canada had proved fruitless. KEH is the co-winner of this 'Best Service Award' because they are the ones who took the time to suggest I try Tamron even though there was no (immediate) benefit to them. And me a foreigner to boot! Best, LM.
  3. Kindermann (specifically Gerry Smith) in Toronto replaced the bellows on an old Focomat 1c enlarger (decades after the warranty, as they still kept some OEM parts for their clientele), where I would otherwise have had to have a part designed specifically for it by a 3rd party. Simons Cameras in Montreal attempted to have a faulty shutter repaired under Leica warranty in Canada which was not possible, then sent the camera to New Jersey (Leica USA) where the decision was made to simply replace the camera and send the former one to Germany for analysis of the problem. Lastly, Leica New Jersey replaced the monitor on an M8, which showed slight greying near the centre, at no charge and after it was out of warranty, recognising a probable 3rd party supplier defect. All of these repairs or replacements were undertaken with excellent communications from the parties involved.
  4. I've been surprised at how far customer service people will go in trying to make thing right, especially if you treat them like human beings instead of going ballistic right off the bat.
    Some people just don't seem to understand what my Daddy taught me:
    Never anger a waiter before you get your food.
    In fact, it's better not to anger a waiter at all, even when it's their fault. :|
    This may be expanded into a general law at your leisure; something like it is even in ancient Palestine from around 200 BCE: Tobit 4:15 or so.
  5. Kodak stopped their entire digital SLR and medium format digital back production in 2004, and officially discontinued support a few years later.
    Nevertheless when I emailed them last year looking for different firmware versions to experiment with my old DCS645M digital back and DCS720x DSLR, they took the trouble to dig up several firmware files for me. This probably involved dragging a dusty old Pentium III out of the basement in Rochester and poking around its hard drive...I was impressed!
  6. Of the large East Coast retailers, as in NY City, NY...B&H Photo.
    I don't think I have ever waited more then 12-16 hours, weekdays, for a response to my inquires.
    And, they have responded to 'All' of my inquiries, each and every one of them.
    I've had about four inquiries in the past five years with B&H. Great customer service.
    From another NY City retailer, I've never gotten a response. Not a single one.
    I just tried for the third (and last), time last month. Nothing.
    Third time is a charm (?), well...not with that company.
  7. Excellent customer service from Koh's Camera. Also, they shipped me some parts and charged actual postage only- no handling.
    I bought a used item from Bergen County Camera. Excellent service. I had some questions; they answered them all promptly over the phone.
    KEH deserves their high reputation.
  8. Marc, you are right, B&H really makes an effort.
    I wish however that they would finally tie into USPS delivery out of the country (in my case, Canada) as common smaller consumables and parts (Example: filters) become quite uneconomic to buy from them due to the high cost of courrier service charges and the sometimes hassle with the latter on cross border shipments (but not with USPS/Canada Post).
  9. Arthur
    BH has recently offered delivery to Canada through Purolator and the last 2 orders (last month and this month) showed up in 2 days from the time I placed them. There was a glitch in the on line system that didn't recognize my 'ship to' postal code but that was fixed by the time I placed the second order. Their service is so good that I have finally not renewed my UPS Store box in Detroit where I used to have stuff sent.
  10. Bill & Arthur, Good points.
    I didn't know that B&H won't use USPS for Canada shipping destinations.
    Maybe Harry P. from B&H will chime-in, and give us the lowdown.
  11. Drew,
    Isn't it time to come clean, and post a public apology to Pelican for bitching about something they are not responsible for?
    You bought the bag you were complaining about used and knowing full well it already had the faults you wanted Pelican to repair for free.
    You talked about your buyer-beware-radar having been down, not remembering who it was who sold you the bag, who it was you had to turn to. But none of that is true, is it?
    You continued bitching about Pelican, even though you knew that Pelican was not responsible for either the bag itself nor the faults.
    And even though you should know that trying to make a company pay for the repair of goods you bought knowing it was damaged is at least a pretty shady undertaking.
    Extremely bad from, that. Starting a thread about companies that provide excellent customer service doesn't make it right.
  12. Several years ago a studio I managed adopted Chimera soft boxes. Four boxes per outfit; 12 outfits. We quickly discovered the stays which held each softbox's shape was made of fiberglass and when slid out of the sleeve left tiny splinters that itched terribly and caused a rash. Almost entirely unavoidable. So I complained.

    They were immediately responsive and at no charge sent replacement metal stays to cover every soft box for every outfit. Four stays per softbox, four softboxes per outfit; 12 outfits.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
  13. I didn't know that B&H won't use USPS for Canada shipping destinations.
    Maybe Harry P. from B&H will chime-in, and give us the lowdown.​
    I'll have to check but the USPS recently began enforcing a rule prohibiting some batteries.
    http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22336/html/updt_004.htm says:
    Effective May 16, 2012, the Postal Service will revise Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service,Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) section 601.10.20 to codify that primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries or secondary lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable) are prohibited when mailed internationally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location.
    Until we can individually code each product in our system (and there are several hundred thousand) as being okay or not we cannot automate our shipping system. We're working on this but it's not a simple project.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
  14. Henry, I understand the battery question and thank you for indicating it, but it appears it is a very recent (May 16th) change and we have been faced in the past with expensive courrier deliveries out of the States right up to now. As I said, it is not a problem for buying major items, but it certainly impacts filters, film and other less expensive items like accessories. Îf it is a business decision to offer USPS or not, on non battery items, I guess you have to weigh the extra possible sales (current lost orders) against the cost of altering your system code. Perhaps the more limited number of battery products should have a code addition that flags their presence (of course lithium batteries would also be in many cameras) and thus non USPS delivery. You might thereby not have to alter the code for other products. I do realize that out of country sales, apart from being a small fraction of your business, or potential business, are also more troublesome to process (customs form).
  15. My list: Freestyle Photo, KEH, and MAC (Mamiya, Toyo, etc.).
  16. Maybe Harry P. from B&H will chime-in...​
    Thank you for the heads-up, Henry. I apologize for forgetting your name.
    Darned if I hadn't previously read or heard about the USPS issue with batteries...but had forgotten that, too.
  17. Pelican Case gets my vote. The attachment for the handle broke on a case. I took it down to Pelican. Not only did they replace the case, but they also gave me a flashlight for my troubles.
  18. As a Canadian, B&H Photo gets my vote. They have made it much easier and more affordable to order from them, so much so that I usually can get things shipped (by Purolator) to me for less than I can get an item mailed within Canada.
    Like many Canadians, I dread FedEx and UPS because of unreasonable brokerage fees. With B&H there still is a FedEx tie in when they ship by Purolator, but B&H handles the brokerage and tax at the time of purchase, and you know the (reasonable) charges before you submit the order.

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