Friday, September 03, 2010

Customer Service

So, my regular readers will know about my recent disappointment when my Technical Pro PM-22 Podcast Mixer Kit arrived and turned out to be an unusable piece of shit.

Well, today, I thought I'd 'review' the company I bought it from.

I bought the PM-22 from B&H (, and their customer service has been absolutely exemplary.

Usually, I research the ever-loving crap out of anything I buy before I even think of putting down any money. The PM-22 was the first time I didn't do this. Basically, it was the only podcasting mixer bundle I found that, on paper, did absolutely everything I needed and was right in my price range. The only other options were either too expensive for my limited budget, or involved me buying everything separately.

After discovering what a useless piece of crap the PM-22 was, I called B&H and, yes, there was a 'phone tree' but it took me less than five minutes (including hold time) to talk to a representative.

The guy I spoke to spoke English as a first language and was knowledgeable, polite and helpful.

I explained to him the problems I was having and explained I wanted a refund and not a replacement.

"Well…" He said. "It does sound like you got a defective unit, we could just send you another one."

"No thanks." I replied. "I went online to see if I was doing something wrong when it started messing up, and about 90% of the reviews I came across complained about the same problem. Even if this unit is defective, I don't trust the manufacturer any more. I don't want to wait a week for this to get back to you and then another week for you to send a replacement, just to find myself in the same boat."

I'll be honest: I was gearing up for an argument. I've returned items before and it's taken multiple phone calls, emails and threats before I've got my money back, or even a free replacement. Instead, the guy on the phone said:

"Fair enough, I can completely understand that and we'll issue you a refund... Ok, I'm emailing you a return form and a pre-paid shipping label, they're in PDF format, do you know how to view and print PDFs?"

"I do." I said.

"Ok, well just print them out, put the form in the box and take everything to the UPS store. They'll fix the label to the box and take care of everything for you. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

I was floored. As I've mentioned before, I've spent days trying to return defective items, had to pay for return shipping and was forced to jump through hoops expressly designed to make the return process as difficult as possible. This took me ten minutes on the phone with a very helpful, polite representative.

After that, when I printed out the return form, which was pre-filled with everything I'd asked for, I noticed there was an option to exchange the returned item for a different item. So printed out a blank copy of the form, and changed 'I want a refund' to 'I want to exchange the defective item for a different item'

Now this is where I thought I might hit a snag. I wanted to exchange the PM-22 for a Behringer podcast bundle, which was fine…but the Behringer kit only comes with one mic, meaning I'd have to order an extra mic, cable and desk stand for it separately. B&H had all those items, and the total cost for all came to less than what I'd paid for the PM-22, so I just put the order numbers for the extra items on the form.

To be honest, after the PM-22 had been sent back, I was expecting a phone call or email saying they could only exchange for one item and I'd have to make a separate order for the other pieces, or…quite reasonably…they'd replace the PM-22 with the Behringer kit, but I'd have to pay shipping on the extra pieces.

Well, his morning I did get an email…telling me that my return had been accepted, my replacement items (all of them) had been shipped free of charge and the leftover balance had been refunded to my bank account.

Basically, I can happily and unreservedly recommend B&H to anyone. Their prices are good, they have a huge selection of merchandise and their customer service is outstanding.

1 comment:

Evan 08 said...

That's very cool. Don't you love it when customer service exceeds your expectations?

By the way, I ordered a camcorder battery from them a few years back, and I was satisfied with the result as well.