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Report: #793264

Complaint Review: B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio - New York New York

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: jon1008 — Caulfield South Other Australia
  • Author Not Confirmed What's this?
  • Why?
  • B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio 420 9th Ave, New York, New York United States of America

B&H Photo, Video & Pro Audio Beware placing overseas orders with B&H. They asked $350 to return a $1000 order! New York, New York

*UPDATE Employee: B&H Reply

*Author of original report: B&H Reply NOT factual

*UPDATE Employee: B&H Photo's reply

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Cameras etc can be imported duty free into Australia up to the value of A$1,000, beyond that a 10% GST fee applies to the whole amount.  I purchased US$998 camera gear.  Unfortunately the A$ dipped below US$ that day (my fault for not checking).  B&H compounded the problem - they listed freight & credit card surcharge as cost of goods AND reported a lens bundled at $100 as a $250 item. 

Consequently DHL asked for A$200 to release the goods.  If that's the B&H standard way of filling in costs for customs purposes, then even an $800 purchase would still have attracted duty - a very unfortunate situation for the purchaser.

I did not take possession of the goods, and told B&H that I was prepared to lose the $55 DHL delivery fee and asked them to simply treat this as a "return" as stated in their "return policy" (after all the goods were definitely new and unopened).  I also asked if they had any advice for alternative ways of solving this problem.

After exchanging several emails, they quantified my cost for returning the goods (on top of the $55 DHL delivery fee) - "Please be advised that following will be deducted upon return.
Return cost $70.03 + charges $210.40 + fee $15.00 = $295.43"

They wanted $350 to restock $1000 worth of goods!  That's the biggest rip-off I've come across so far this century.  (That's saying something since I sometimes purchase from China.)  I since checked with DHL - the duty would not be payable by anyone if the goods were returned to sender - B&H would have simply kept the $210.40.

B&H don't offer PayPal for international transactions (now I know why) so I only had the much weaker Visa protection.  It became obvious that B&H had no interest in helping, but were simply playing me for a sucker, so I paid the $200 duties & fees and had the camera delivered.  I only hope I never have a warranty claim.

If you are an overseas purchaser then be very, very wary of these people.  Once they have your money, they aren't interested in offering any assistance, and their "return policy" is worthless.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/29/2011 02:10 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/bh-photo-video-pro-audio/new-york-new-york-10001/bh-photo-video-pro-audio-beware-placing-overseas-orders-with-bh-they-asked-350-to-793264. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author
2Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#3 UPDATE Employee

B&H Reply

AUTHOR: Henry - (USA)

POSTED: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In fact, this order comprised the following:

Sony camera + lens kit = 699.99 2nd Sony lens = 249.99

Recorder = 199.00 Subtotal = 1148.98

We then granted the customer a store discount in the amount of 150.00. That discount was not reflected in the documentation which accompanied this transaction which is why the order incurred duty.

In the spirit of the season, and in an effort to effect a reconciliation, we are sending this customer a gift card which can be applied to any future purchase.

-- Henry Posner B&H Photo-Video

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#2 Author of original report

B&H Reply NOT factual

AUTHOR: jon1008 - (Australia)

POSTED: Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Here is my reply from UPS - note that the sender would NOT be liable for duties and taxes if the package is returned to them, just the return postage.  So why were B&H asking me to pay THEM duty??  Do they think they are the Australian Government?

I hope this form will allow me to attach a copy of the B&H Order Confirmation.  This shows that the order value was $998.98 NOT $1148.98 as stated by Henry Posner!

Dear XXX,
Thank you for your question about UPS shipping rates. UPS rates are calculated
based upon the following shipment characteristics:
- Weight
- Dimensions
- Origin and destination postal codes
- Service level
Rates are calculated on a per package basis. To calculate shipping rates,
please view our web site's Calculate Time and Cost feature using the following
link:
https://wwwapps.ups.com/ctc/request?loc=en_AU&WT.svl=PNRO_L1
As per your question, duties and taxes are assessed by the customs clearance
agency of the importing country. Hence, if your customer refuses he delivery
because of these charges, you will be charged for the shipment to be returned
back to you since we do not control the payment of duties and taxes
.
We appreciate your interest in UPS, and look forward to serving you.
Kind Regards
Darlyne Fernandez
AU CSC Email Customer Service

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#1 UPDATE Employee

B&H Photo's reply

AUTHOR: Henry - (USA)

POSTED: Monday, October 31, 2011

This is B&H # 1018147760. The customer bought three items. The item total was US$1148.98. The initial s&h charge, via UPS, was US$55.06. Our shipping documentation listed each aspect of the transaction -- merchandise, shipping, etc. -- entirely legally as we are required to do. The fees we must apply to receive this returned order back is our cost -- shipping, tax, duty, etc. None is a restock fee and none is designed to penalize the customer.

We regret this customer elected to refuse delivery and regret his current dissatisfaction but his conclusion about our interest in his satisfaction is incorrect.

--
Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

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