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Thread started 19 Sep 2011 (Monday) 16:43
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My terrible B&H experience

 
tats
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Sep 19, 2011 16:43 |  #1

Without writing a manifesto - here is a description of my trip to B&H today.

I have been researching tripods for about a week now and really am not sure what I want to get. I have a few models in mind but thought seeing the short list in person would help me make a decision.

I figured, where better to look at the selection than the huge B&H store. Hoped in a cab and made my way up there, not during lunch hour, not after work and figured I could look around without it being packed.

To be up front, I don't expect people to be super nice to me and understand that people are at work so I should be sympathetic (I'm used to having rough days at work).

I asked the first person I saw where I could find the tripods and was greeted with a vague point and he walked away before I could follow up. Ok, maybe they are busy and found it myself.

I hoped I would be able to talk to someone about the differences between some tripods, pro-con wise. The first person who approached me asked if they could help me and I explained my issues (carbon fiber vs alum, price points) - he flat out says, "So you won't be purchasing this today"

I responded that I have narrowed it down to a few finalists but I needed to see, handle them in person before making a decision. For the next 2-3 min I get one word answers and realized he saw no commission so I just said I would keep looking.

Next salesperson approaches me, I go through the same spiel and the friendliness drops right out of the conversation. I asked about the Gitzo's and how I was struggling to see how the price jump would be worth it, quality-wise.

The answer "If you have to ask how expensive they are, then they aren't for you." I said that I know how much they cost but are they three-times better than manfrottos?

He says, "maybe you should go to Best Buy, if you want to try-on tripods"

At that point I said "typical" and walked out.

I know that I wasn't buying thousands of dollars or merchandise but one would think that giving a range of $250-700 for a tripod wouldn't be deemed worthless.

Before anyone asks me, I am 30 years old, was wearing a suit and tie and don't think I look like a child there to waste someone's time.

I prefer to buy things online from Amazon, but since I was there I would have checked the price and if ~ to amazon bought it on the spot.

I know I will be flamed here for not "expecting a NY attitude" or "I would rather have low prices than someone be my best friend." I understand that this isn't Alabama, but I am from NY and didn't need a friend, I needed someone to help me understand the benefits of a certain tripod and maybe offer me a recommendation. Maybe I came to the wrong place, but I don't think those expectations were too lofty.

The funny part about all of this is that I was aware of the reputation that B&H has but thought that people were exaggerating and that it really couldn't be that bad.

Well, there it is - no real moral or point here just thought that my experience was so far removed from the average retail experience that I should share it with those that will care.


Rob
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mckinleypics
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Sep 19, 2011 16:51 |  #2

That is b.s. (not your story, the way you were treated). I'd be furious. Next time look for a supervisor. I'd also send an e-mail, there's no excuse for this.

Most of us here are big BH fans but have never actually been to the store. I can say that I have had several interactions over the phone with them and the sales guys on the phone are awesome. It is like they are trying to show off how much they know, but in a good way.

Sorry to hear about this. I'm guessing (totally guessing) that they do mostly online and phone sales and put the worst guys on the floor.

You will get awesome advice about RRS and Gitzo if you call RRS, but it will be biased. You will find out the difference between Gitzo and Manfrotto though. I think RRS sells all three brands.

If I may, I have an RRS head and a Manfrotto CF tripod. I could have easily spent 3 times as much on the tripod and, as much as I would love one, I doubt I would notice a performance difference. If I were a pro and I used my tripod everyday, then I would probably be shopping for an upgrade, just because. But honestly, I think this Manfrotto will probably last me a lifetime.


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hhuy888
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Sep 19, 2011 17:41 |  #3

i think those guys at camera stores work for commissions and can be rude if figuring they are not making any money from you. That does not mean that they can treat you/us like that.
Very disappointed to hear about real life B&H store could be that bad.
As far as tripods. Manfrotto tripods are great but not as light as Gitzo. When you have your gear with you hiking in the mountain or walking around the cities, every ounce counts. So i guess a super light well made Gitzo can be expensive. If you don't have a lot of gear and don't do a lot of walking when shooting, Manfrotto tripods are fine.


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dgrPhotos
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Sep 19, 2011 17:47 |  #4

So it's not like this?

http://youtu.be/dmN6pB​EfSIQ (external link)

lol




  
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5Dmaniac
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Sep 19, 2011 17:53 |  #5

I walked into B&H once and I got pretty much the same treatment as you have experienced - it's been a long time though. I have never set foot into that store again - I will buy online from them, but these days I do most of my shopping at Amazon because of their incredible service and reliability.




  
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n0w0rries
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Sep 19, 2011 18:12 |  #6

It's no excuse, but I'm guessing they're tired of people coming in the store, touching the product, talking to them about it, and then going home and ordering it off of amazon.

If you want to be able to touch something and talk to a knowledgeable person about it then you should be prepared to spend a little more for the experience, otherwise you're just stealing customer service.


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pbelarge
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Sep 19, 2011 18:21 as a reply to  @ n0w0rries's post |  #7

I have been to B&H more than a dozen times. Not one time did I have this experience, and I am the King of questions. As a matter of fact, I went there twice to discuss tripods before I purchased one, and received good advice. I have met several of the people working there, also on some very busy days and still did not receive such treatment.

I am surprised at your experience, as I thought they were pretty well trained/educated in the different departments. Sorry to hear it was such a bad experience.


just a few of my thoughts...
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You-by-Lou
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Sep 19, 2011 18:32 |  #8

so I was in on Thursday and bought a tripod and head.
Without knowing what camera I had the guy told me the 190xprob would be perfect for my needs. I thin asked about other brands of heads and he explained that you don't want to do that as it's like putting a ford motor in a chevy car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did get the head and tripod but order a Korean head from ebay when I got home...read great things about it here and basically for a hundre3d bucks it's like a three hundred dollar one.

So I have been in there twice myself and basically had a not so personal experience.
I will say I was just looking over at the printers and a sales guy came over and explained a lot even though I was just looking. He was great.

the head I purchased later
HorusBennu LX-5 Camera Tripod Ball Head(Max 26lb)+Plate


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TeamSpeed
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Sep 19, 2011 19:45 |  #9

n0w0rries wrote in post #13129445 (external link)
It's no excuse, but I'm guessing they're tired of people coming in the store, touching the product, talking to them about it, and then going home and ordering it off of amazon.

If you want to be able to touch something and talk to a knowledgeable person about it then you should be prepared to spend a little more for the experience, otherwise you're just stealing customer service.

If a business expects to earn customers, they have to be prepared for the invariable "I am not ready to make a purchase yet, but want to feel comfortable once I am ready" attitude which means 20 questions and some amount of time of hand-holding.

If you own a business, then you treat each customer, well as if they are actually a customer and you want to earn their continued business. Especially in this economy, more so than ever.

I treat each customer of Invisicord.com this way, even to the point I had a person drive from Kentucky up to N. Indiana so that I could take a look at his vehicle for a custom Invisicord, and I made one on the spot, trying to get it to work with his application. It turned out a previous owner of the vehicle had done some custom wiring and messed up a few things, so I was unable to fully help him out, but I gave him the time necessary to try to help him. I even have customers that buy the copycats out there for my product contact me, and I try to help them out. I figure that nobody will offer the quality or customer service that I do, since this my product, I invented it, and I want customers to come back.

The treatment sounds really bad, and very similar to car dealerships where the sales people will instantly assess whether they think you are buying a car or not, and if they think you are not, they stop helping you. Not very appropriate...


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nikhilnh
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Sep 19, 2011 20:32 |  #10

I had similar experience as the OP, coincidentally when trying to purchase a tripod. Even though I purchased the tripod, the attitude of the sales rep didn't change. Then I thought it must have been a one time incident and I must have come across a really pissed off employee.


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iazybandit
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Sep 19, 2011 21:51 |  #11

I've been there many times, than again, I work a block away. Never experienced what OP received. The products on display is also demos or just that, displays. they are also tied to the shelf. So if you want to see a product, you have to wait online and request it. And it also doesn't seem like they work on commission but I can be wrong


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tkbslc
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Sep 19, 2011 21:57 |  #12

I couldn't get past "without writing a manifesto" without realizing you were in fact writing a manifesto. :)


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dgsphoto
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Sep 19, 2011 23:53 |  #13

THAT does sound like BHPV. Except my experience has been over the phone. And FWIW another leading store was no different either.

I have learnt a long while back never to expect guidance from any of these stores. I value my time much more than that!

Do your own product research and then make the purchase, preferably online. My first stop is usually Amazon due to their customer friendly policies, although I have nothing but praise for after sales customer support from BHPV (and the other leading store too) on a couple of occasions I needed it. I wish I could say that about their sales though!




  
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sigma ­ pi
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Sep 20, 2011 01:44 |  #14

where is henry?

OP did you get their names?


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
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You-by-Lou
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Sep 20, 2011 05:32 |  #15

tkbslc wrote in post #13130650 (external link)
I couldn't get past "without writing a manifesto" without realizing you were in fact writing a manifesto. :)

anytime something starts with "not to be a......." it is in fact about to be a....

sigma pi wrote in post #13131674 (external link)
where is henry?

OP did you get their names?


on a survey afterwards there was a spot to fill out about how the sales person helped. admittedly i did not mention that part of the experience.
the salesperson's number is on the receipt


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My terrible B&H experience
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