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Old February 9th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #1
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DigitalMasters compromised by shipping?

**note to moderators: originally posted in open dv forum but felt here was more appropriate, feel free to delete first post.

I just got my new A1 in today and it looks awsome, along with a multitude of accessories I ordered were 4 sony digitalmaster tapes. The problem is that the tapes weren't even shrink wrapped! It was just 4 tapes in their cases tossed into the main shipping box w/ all the other stuff. There was NO shrink wrap or anything protecting the tapes but their folding plastic cases which definitely do not appear to be moisture proof and the backs of all the cases had huge black scrape marks on them! These tapes were shipped from B&H in New York all the way down here to Austin through all kinds of weather. Surely its possible they were damaged by moisture shifts etc, am I not being reasonable? Should I send them back? Considering I just gave them $5000 dollars of my hard earned money I would expect them to send me my $16 dollar apeice tapes in better condition. Am I crazy? I can't imagine sony shipping these tapes to retailers w/o plastic wrap around the case and if they do then why have my tapes been opened?!. Also, the 3 main shipping boxes that had all my stuff were completely crushed and torn up, now you can blame this on UPS but you can blame B&H for the fact that Five Thousand dollars of gear was just tossed into them w/ practically no protective measures such as packing bubbles etc. Each box had an inflatable plastic bladder on ONE side leaving the THREE other sides at the mercy of disgruntled package handlers! My A1 looks fine but should I be worried about that too?.....

Last edited by Cal Bickford; February 10th, 2007 at 02:51 AM.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #2
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If the strudy plastic cases were not damaged, then I would think that the tapes will be ok.

Personally, I have not used the Sony Digitial Masters. Are the tapes, inside the outer case, shrink wrapped?

If there was no shrink wrap at all, then I would contact B&H.

If you feel that the camera was damaged at all, then you must contact your shipper immediately. Be certain the save the shipping cartons with all the labels intact, if possible.
Dan Keaton
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Old February 10th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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This is not meant to be anti-B&H or anything, because I've generally been happy with their service. But let me say that I just bought a V1 and a multitude of accessories from them, in several different shipments, and I can say that their packaging leaves a tremendous amount to be desired.

The outer box that my V1 shipped in was just fine, but the actual Sony V1 box on the inside had a HUGE gash of cardboard ripped out of it & this large missing section of the Sony box wasn't even present anywhere. In other words, they shipped it to me in that condition. Luckily, there didn't appear to be any penetration of significance into any of the equipment, and the camera appeared to be fine, so I simply notified them of this...but after all my waiting & deliberating on the camera, if left a bad taste in my mouth. Also, I had the same situation with scanty air bladders tossed in, offering no real protection.

The remainder of my shipments from them were similar, in that they just had air bladders tossed in, but the individual items were rolling around loose. Fortunately, nothing else has been particularly fragile, so it didn't really matter.

I have some pending RMAs with them for some things I decided not to keep. As long as that return process goes OK, then I again can say I have nothing to complain about B&H, other than their packaging, which someone in charge REALLY needs to look into. I buy a tremendous amount of things mail-order, and I've rarely seen packaging that is as consistently poor.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #4
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No there was no shrinkwrap around the tapes inside or out. There was also huge black gash marks across the back of the cases, the tapes appear to be fine but if they've sustained an impact/crush I would think it could definitely cause small warps etc in the tape mechanics that could cause problems or reduce longevity. I'm definitely sending them back to B&H, that is, as long as they take them back. Their return policy says they won't except returned tapes even if not used, but I'm hoping they're going to make an acception otherwise i'm going to be really mad and make it my personal mission to smear B&H on every internet forum in existence lol...
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Old February 11th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cal Bickford
I can't imagine sony shipping these tapes to retailers w/o plastic wrap around the case and if they do then why have my tapes been opened?!....
Dont blame B&H for the Sony tapes.... Their PHDVM-63DM Digital Masters are NOT individually wrapped. There is an inner wrapper inside each case of ten tapes which is typical packaging for broadcast tape stocks.

UR lucky to get airbags. Last week I got a UV haze and a Circ Pol filter from another well-known supplier just tossed into a box with a packing slip.
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Old February 11th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #6
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thats good to know about the tapes I guess.... I can't believe sony doesn't ship them wrapped individualy. In fact, that amazes me. They don't think that being exposed to changing air conditions while being shipped all over the world will hurt their tapes? Or they just don't care lol? B&H could have sent me some tapes whose cases hadn't undergone physical trauma though, and I've just found out that my A1 has been damaged too : )
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Old February 12th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #7
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The only Sony tape stock that comes shrink wrapped to the best of knowledge is the 'consummer' grade DVM60 MiniDV tapes. We sell them in packs of 5 and the pack is shrink wrapped as are the individual tapes.

The DVCAM D5 shell tapes that I buy by the box is simply the tape in a plastc case inside a carton. The carton is lined with plastic but not sealed. BetaSP and DigiBetacam tapes are the same.

In reality I doubt shrink wrapping does anything, once you open the wrap the tape is exposed and I doubt the wrap is gas tight in any case. If it was there'd be issues with air shipment.

If the camera shipping container is damaged that's pretty bad in my book. We've found when it comes to sell kit on place like eBay the prices is affected by having the original packing and it being intact. The closer the item looks to being new the better the price. I know, it's a crazy mentality, you'd think head hours would count for more than an intact cardboard box.
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Old February 12th, 2007, 09:29 AM   #8
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Air bladder shipping

Apparently more than one seller uses an air bag on the bottom and nothing on the sides or top. My HX-A1 came that way. So, it floated on the bottom air bag, which allowed the inside box to slam around inside. Shipper guys, please use those bags on all sides, so your product is cradled inside properly. My XH-A1 worked for about 5 minutes of recording. Another one is on its way.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #9
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Same here!

I never complained to anyone about this, not even to B&H basically because all I had was box damage, and I mean not the shipping cardboard box, but the plastic box - still, the product itself was OK. I bought a set of four wireless radios, they came it two plastic boxes, luckily well packed by the manufacturer. B&H placed them on the bottom of a large cardboard box, put bubble wrap around them and on top of them, but nothing under them! So both plastic boxes got busted but the radios were fine because of the sponge the manufacturer used to pack them.

Subsequent shipments from B&H were fine.
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
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Old February 13th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #10
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I'm lucky enough to live in NYC a short way from B&H, so I haven't had to deal with their packaging. Not entirely surprising, given the volume of sales they do.

If anyones interested, there are other authorized dealers out there who match or beat B&H's prices, and care a LOT more about customer service (including packaging). I'd be happy to share contact info via email, as not to break forum rules. That said, in-store, B&H employees are almost universally professional and knowledgable. A very different experience from the phone/internet.
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