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Thread: Betterbee

  1. #1
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    Woodstock, NY,United States
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    Default Betterbee

    May my experience serve as a warning to others. I'll make this as short as possible. A few weeks ago I spent $950 on frames at Betterbee and also got their pro uncapping fork. Got around to putting it away this week and noticed one of the prongs was shorter than the others. Called them up, explained what was wrong and that I'd like another one and sent it back (my expense) for an exchange. Got a call today telling me it was not defective, they would not ship another one without me paying for the shipping and that they would only refund my credit card less 10% restocking. They are so misguided. I explained if they did this they would lose a customer forever. They don't care, they don't care I just spent $950 a few weeks ago, or that last year bought 40 packages from them, they don't care that for $2.30 they have lost a customer forever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    4,064

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    You are doing the right thing! Too many people these days act like some capon taking any insult or shoddy service. I will support your boycott by joining it.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    Woodstock, NY,United States
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    42

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    One tine on a cappings fork was shorter than another? Really? By alot? Me thinks thou hath reacted overly much. As far as BB, yeah, we know. Been enuf Threads about them. Seems like they all aught to be combined into one. I hope this doesn't go on as long as other BB Complaints Threads.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    1,223

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    this is kind of a overkill to jump on betterbee for something this minor. there are bad companies along with bad customers. I'm sure they will not miss you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Oswego, NY
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Try calling again and ask for someone in mgmt. This is a busy time of year for BB if you explain your problem to someone who understands the dilemma you have along with how much of a vested customer you are they may take care of your problem for you. I may be talking to a wall here but it may be worth a try.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Woodstock, NY,United States
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    42

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Jeremy, thanks for advice. You're right, I probably should call and speak to Justin directly but as I understand he doesn't take calls from customers now and there was more to the story but I didn't want to drag on.

    This post was just to serve as a warning. Clearly they are able to weather beesource "posts of fury" about there company without making changes. I'm on a board of a bee club of 100+ members and I constantly hear our members grouse about Betterbee, this was for the new beekeepers to let them know there are better choices for their beekeeping supplies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    4,162

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Started my BB boycott last year. Its odd they don't care more about customer service.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Call up Betterbee and ask them how they determined that the uncapping fork was not defective? Perhaps the manufacturing process allows for a prong or two to be shorter/longer than the others. If all their uncapping forks fall within this specification, they are not considered defective. How are the prongs attached? Are they press fit or welded into place? If they are press fit, maybe the shorter prong can be pulled out some.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    the picture in there catalog doesn't have any short prongs.

    http://www.betterbee.com/Products/Hi...Uncapping-Fork
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    The fork has already gone back to BB. So, no fix or repair is necassary. One short tine does not effect the use of the fork. I have use forks w/ missing tines and the fork is perfectly useable. But that isn't what this is about. The lack of service is what is being written about here.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    But that isn't what this is about. The lack of service is what is being written about here.
    Quote Originally Posted by MDenver View Post
    Got a call today telling me it was not defective
    gee I don't know they told him it wasn't defective, they advertised a fork with all the tines being the same length, when I buy something I expect what is advertised, he didn't get what was advertised, pretty clear case to me. the lack of a fork is what is being talked about here.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Okay. One short tine does not a defective fork make. It'll still work perfectly well. even two adjacent wouldn't hurt how it works. One still goes across the comb w/ more than one stroke. I have used forks w/ missing tines and they worked just fine.

    Shoot, get yer money back and use your hive tool. Works better anyway, in my opinion. But good luck getting your money back.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    The pro uncapping fork is on page 61 of the 2011 Better Bee Catalog. It is illustration C and is item number CAS4 and costs $24.95.



    Notice the short prongs? There are two on this particular uncapping fork that they have used to illustrate the product. The shorter prongs are probably on a good number of this product and has been considered as acceptable.

    For those that think I am not picky about beekeeping equipment, here is a photo of a cold uncapping knife I am sending back to Walter Kelley. I was told that it will not cause any problems with uncapping, but I would be welcome to send it back for an exchange.


    This is one of three nicks on the blade.
    Last edited by FindlayBee; 07-03-2011 at 10:18 AM.
    Nick Hubbell
    www.findlaybee.com

  15. #15
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Are you a Machinist or something? Or a tool and die man? I had to look really hard and a cpl of times before I saw the "shorter" tines. And if those nicks bother you, wouldn't a rat tail file serve your purposes better than the time spent sending it back and waiting for its' return?

    Looking again, I only see one short tine. Which ones look short to you?

    I'm not surprised to hear that Kelley Co. was willing to exchange w/ you. Being people/customer oriented was Mr. Kelleys' way ever since he opened shop.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee



    It also looks like a couple of the prongs in the center a longer than the rest.

    I could hone out the nicks in the blade. However, they offered an exchange and I will be doing that. I will not need the knife for a few more months. Yup, I ordered well in advance.

    We can all get picky. Sometimes it is warranted, sometimes it is not.

    I repair sewing machines for a living. Just one spec for a sewing machine is 2.3mm to 2.5mm. One machine might be set to 2.3mm the next to 2.45mm, etc., and they all work. I also reload my own ammunition. Things need to be darn near perfect to work right.

    Back in February of this year I received a beehive has a birthday gift. It contained 2 deeps with frames and foundation, as well as a medium honey super with frames and foundation. There was also a screened bottom board with beetle trap, inner cover, and insulated outer cover. When I opened up the shipping boxes, the outer cover was broken. The corner has been smashed in shipping causing it to break apart in a couple of pieces and popping the joint. My dad was more upset than I was. I looked at him and said "Nothing a new nail, some wood glue, some white paint, and a couple of clamps wouldn't fix". We had it glued up and back together in about 10-15 minutes. Its been repainted, and unless you look for it, you cannot even tell. However, after the hail storm we had last month, the roof looks a little different.
    Last edited by FindlayBee; 07-03-2011 at 03:36 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    Quote Originally Posted by FindlayBee View Post
    Things need to be darn near perfect to work right.
    Not trying to be insulting, I don't know what you know, but do you know how to use an uncapping fork? Perfection or near perfection is no where near needed. Do you not agree?

    Somehow I knew you were used to dealing w/ close tolerances. What kinds of sewing machines do you work w/? Industrial or home use. My wife has a 1923 Singer Treadle Machine.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  18. #18
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    Jun 2008
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    Woodstock, NY,United States
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    The prong did look like the fork above and the point was after I paid the shipping for them to see the problem, they said it wasn't a problem even suggesting it was adjustable. They refused to send me another one and refused a full refund, taking a 10% restocking fee. But by far the most disturbing aspect was the sarcastic, condescending and dismissive tone of the customer service rep. The original purpose of the post was to alert potential customers of how little they value you as a customer and what you can expect when dealing with Betterbee.
    Last edited by MDenver; 07-03-2011 at 04:59 PM.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    How far a drive is it? Maybe you should pay them a visit. Face to face is harder to be rude to.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Findlay, Ohio
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    Default Re: Beware of Betterbee

    I would think they would at least send another one to replace it. The only reason I could see not replacing it if it was modified by the customer. However, that is not the case. If I order from BetterBee in the future, I will see what their exchange policy is before ordering.

    This does not always work, but next time someone has a company rep that seems a bit rude on the phone, try to cheer them up a bit. Ask how their day is going, tell them a joke (a clean one), or try to lighten them up a bit. You shouldn't have to do this, but everyone has a bad day. I deal with customers daily on the phone. Some can just about ruin your day. However, on that next call, you have to do your best to be cheerful and not come off as rude. It is hard, even if you think you are happy and cheerful, that prior customer experience can sometimes still be felt in your tone by the next customer that calls or walks in. I have had bad experiences first thing in the morning that make me think twice about why I even do what I do. However, I have to smile, be cheerful, and attend to the next customer (sometimes it is the same one calling back to say "and another thing...").

    I am sorry things did not go well with your Betterbee order and customer relations experience.

    Something you can do is write a letter to the management of Betterbee. May not get you anywhere, but you never know.

    BTW: Betterbee is not a member of the BBB but has a rating of F. This is due to 6 complaints in 3 years. That really is not very many complaints about a company.

    http://www.bbb.org/upstate-new-york/...64/complaints/

    I am not saying that the uncapping fork has to be perfect. Just happened to notice that the photo in the Betterbee catalog had prongs of different lengths. From the looks of the photo online and in the catalog, it looked as though the prongs could be moved in and out with a bit of pressure to adjust them. I have not yet used an uncapping fork, but have watch videos on the usage. I don't think a short/long prong will make much of a difference at all.

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