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What factors influence your decision on where to buy?

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  • Oliver Rush
    replied
    I bought my AF100 from Texas Media Systems as they had one available when everyone else was backordered, their customer service was great, and they had free shipping (and no tax as out of state), so I got the best deal through them as well.

    With my Samurai, I bought it from Safe Harbor Computers, due to them having by far the best price at the time. Their customer service was excellent as well, and when I had a problem with that Samurai on arrival (it arrived without firmware) they got me directly touch with Atomos right away, who then had a tech person video-chat with me to trouble shoot it and then got a new tested unit out to me in time for my shoot the next day. I was really impressed with the level of customer service from both Safe Harbor Computers and Atomos, which was one of the best customer service experiences in my life.

    Being in NYC, I bought my first camera from B&H, but was never really impressed with the customer service, and have had several problems with them, not to mention that I always get the impression when there that they could care less about my business. I only really use them when they have a significantly better price on something I need right away. For most of the stuff I need right away though I goto Adorama or other speciality places such as Barbizon for lighting related stuff. I just bought new headphones for a shoot tomorrow at Gotham Sound as they had them in stock, had great customer service, and when I called they matched the price of a place that was out of stock...

    So yea, it comes down to customer service, price, and when I need it... I want to get the best deal while not feeling like I am just a number waiting to hand over cash; this stuff is not cheap, and while I understand what I spend is nothing compared to some production companies and studios, I want to feel like they appreciate my business and will stand behind what they sell.

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  • Jan_Crittenden
    replied
    Originally posted by Mark Williams View Post
    If I need warranty service again I will insist that it be sent to Seacacus for repair.
    Just contact them directly and that should get you where you want to go.

    Best,

    Jan

    Leave a comment:


  • jmarkham
    replied
    Originally posted by Mark Williams View Post
    Jmarkham, I realize this may be drifting off the thread subject but feel it may be helpful to others. I have had to send my HPX170 camera in twice for warranty work. Once in 2010 and 2011. In both instances Panasonic (via online warranty repair ticket) had me send it to their repair center in Overland Park, KS which I learned is a contract run operation. ...
    That's unfortunate. As I wrote, the LA service center is excellent .. very responsive and they've turned around stuff
    very quickly for us. They also answer questions if you get really stuck.

    jeff

    Leave a comment:


  • Cinesota
    replied
    For me it's reputation, price, and customer service. Been buying from B&H for years and they hit all three. I'm in a small market and there is no local Panasonic reseller so I generally do my homework online then make my purchase. B&H has always been good about taking something back if I wasn't happy with it and so far it has worked for me. Would be nice to have Panasonic do some sort of road show or demo tour to get to the smaller market towns. They do it in the bike biz. Specialized, Cannondale, or another big bike company will roll into town, setup some bikes at the local cyclist hangout and allow test rides on new gear that may or may not be in the bike shops yet. Would think something similar could be done with cameras and video gear.

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  • Mark Williams
    replied
    Jmarkham, I realize this may be drifting off the thread subject but feel it may be helpful to others. I have had to send my HPX170 camera in twice for warranty work. Once in 2010 and 2011. In both instances Panasonic (via online warranty repair ticket) had me send it to their repair center in Overland Park, KS which I learned is a contract run operation. When you call there they will not allow you to talk to anyone since they are not Panasonic. Actually they are a company called Heartland Services which mainly repairs Panasonic Toughbooks . After several weeks of hearing nothing about my camera I finally contacted Jan who put me in touch with a Panasonic technician at the Seacacus NJ repair facility. He was helpful in giving me an update on the repair status at the Overland Park facility. He actually asked me why I did not send it to Seacacus for repair and was suprised when I told him that Panasonic would only let me send it to the KS facility. Unfortunately over a month went by before my camera was returned. It then had to be sent back again because they failed to fix it and a new circuit board had to be ordered from Japan. I think it was beyond their capability and they needed guidance from Panasonic in Seacacus.

    My conclusion, based on two instances, is that the Overland Park repair facility, if it is still operational, is not top tier. I got the impression that this is where Panasonic has you send less expensive cameras for repair. I think cameras which are more expensive than the HPX170 are sent elsewhere or there would be complaints from others on this forum. If I need warranty service again I will insist that it be sent to Seacacus for repair.
    Last edited by Mark Williams; 05-20-2012, 01:36 PM.

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  • jmarkham
    replied
    Originally posted by Mark Williams View Post
    ... . As far as Panasonic as a company I think they have a lot of improvement to do concerning communication during warranty service. I have communicated my concerns about this to them several times but never heard anything back.
    We've had pretty good experiences with the LA service center. They answer the phones .. and tell you what's wrong and what
    the options are. I thought that was pretty good.

    jeff

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  • boo
    replied
    OT: Jan, trying to send you a PM but it is full. Please clear some out or PM me your contact info. thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • James Bridges
    replied
    For me it is about customer service. I am on the road at least 100 days a year, so I need a dealer that I can send a product to for repair/service and if my relationship is good they will send a temporary replacement.
    Price does come into consideration, but most dealers are pricing the same. I am not going to stake my business and reputation on a few hundred dollars.
    I think a good question to Jan is "What criteria does Panasonic have when selling pro gear?"
    i would assume it is very strict.

    Leave a comment:


  • dregenthal
    replied
    DVX100 . . . B&H
    HVX200 . . . EVS (back when Rush was there)
    HVX200 . . . AVSupply, San Diego
    HPX170 . . . AVSupply, San Diego
    TM-700 . . . Amazon
    Canon 60D . Amazon
    AF-100 . . . Spec-Comm

    Price is hard to overlook (for me anyway) when there's an appreciable difference. Availability is right up there too!
    I've spent in the vicinity of 35-40k with B&H in the past 48 months. My experience is that as long as you're able to have an adult conversation it's pretty hard to beat B&H's customer service. I second all that regarding buying locally (but we don't have none within a reasonable driving distance), that pretty much leaves me with B&H or Amazon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Barry_Green
    replied
    Originally posted by BillinSC View Post
    I could not find a local dealer in my section of South Carolina. I am not even sure there is one in Charlotte, at least I did not find anything advertised.
    There's a huge dealer in both Charleston SC and Charlotte NC, The WH Platts Company.

    What would be nice is a dealer directory on the Panasonic website. If there is one, I could not find it.
    Go to the Panasonic Broadcast site, click on "how to buy", then click on "reseller locator."

    Leave a comment:


  • Rolf Silber
    replied
    Bought from our local cine-rental house here in Frankfurt/Germany. Not cheap - but they have excellent service and are extremely helpful when things do not go as expected. And I can get me a backup there if things go really bad. To have the surrounding infrastructure was the decisive point.

    Should any of you ever shoot in Frankfurt, Hamburg or Berlin - I do recommend them.
    http://www.mbf.de/1-1-Home.html

    Leave a comment:


  • maranfilms
    replied
    Originally posted by David Saraceno View Post
    For me, it's price and reputation of the seller. That includes reliability, to some extend, customer service and shipping costs.
    same here, if they have a reasonable return policy, it makes a big difference. It's piece of mind knowing that if you were to recieve a bad product they will do whatever they need to do to make you a happy satisfied consumer. Many places fall short when it comes to customer satisfaction. So as David stated, price and reputation, customer service (but that comes with having a good rep.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark Williams
    replied
    I bought the DVC30 and HPX170 from B&H based of price and reputation of the seller. I bought Panasonic because of the extended warranty period and product recommendations of others. As far as Panasonic as a company I think they have a lot of improvement to do concerning communication during warranty service. I have communicated my concerns about this to them several times but never heard anything back. This one issue would most probably be a consideration in my next camera purchase.
    Last edited by Mark Williams; 05-19-2012, 12:44 PM.

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  • BillinSC
    replied
    Jan,

    I could not find a local dealer in my section of South Carolina. I am not even sure there is one in Charlotte, at least I did not find anything advertised. I like a competitive price as well as availability. I have used B&H in the past, and they have been easy to work with. What would be nice is a dealer directory on the Panasonic website. If there is one, I could not find it.

    Sincerely,
    Bill

    Leave a comment:


  • Rowy
    replied
    Cameras, I've always bought locally (even though it's more expensive) so there is some form of back up if there is a problem (only had a issue once but being given a replacement so I could continue working while it was sorted was great)

    Most of my support/accessories I buy from overseas for about half of the local price - not good for my local reseller I know but the difference is hard to argue with.

    Leave a comment:

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