The problem with price matching... (long story... less of a complaint really...)

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
This isn't actually photo related... but it is photo relevant and many of us make purchases at one retailer with the understanding that a preferred more reliable, faster shipping retailer will grant a price match.

I was looking for a new audio receiver for my home. It needed a few key ingredients... decent audio quality (although I am not an audiophile), it needed a minimum of 3 hdmi imputs and a single hdmi output, and ideally I wanted hdcp 2.2 so if I upgrade to 4k in the not too distant future I wanted it to be compatible.

Finally after a few weeks/months of waiting patiently for the right receiver at the right price, Fry's has a deal on a Yamaha RX-V379BL for $218. It's normal price is around $280. Not the greatest deal ever... but it has the specs I need and it is a value as it is on sale.

The sale starts on October 6, 2015 both online and instore for Fry's. I have a past history with Fry's that I won't go into in detail... but it was in intent to never buy from them again. In brief, the last time I made a purchase at Fry's (two SLR bodies) they cancelled one order because they incorrectly assumed it was a duplicate... then they lost my credit card information and called me for a new card... then they found my credit card information and charged that... which lead to a whole other ordeal with the bank.

That may not sound like too great of a sin... but it took several hours for me to get EVERYTHING set straight... and if a retailer is going to waste my time (even accidentally)... they are no longer a retailer to me.

I like Adorama and B&H... and for whatever reason... a slight lean and predilection for Adorama... I decided I would make the purchase through them and request a price match. October 6 was a holiday, Sukkot, so I had to wait until October 7. So the morning of October 7, I opened up the Fry's page to confirm it was still priced accordingly and I then went to Adorama where I purchased the receiver @ 8:08a.m. I subsequently called their customer service department @ 8:12a.m. They were closed... so I elected to send an email as I would be at work when they opened at 9a.m. This was done @ a.m. The perteninent information in the email was included... my order number, the web address for Fry's and the receiver. I'm thinking that sending an email was my biggest mistake.

I did receive an automated response indicating that the office was closed and the customer service department would be in @ 9:30a.m. But, per the email, "Due to the expected volume of emails submitted to us, there might be a slight delay in answering your email, we will do our very best to reply as quickly as possible."

I should have called the morning of the seventh... but I didn't.

I know many of us really appreciate the quality of packaging provided by both Adorama and B&H and the promptness at which things are shipped. The receiver arrived from Adorama the following day, October 8... and I was pleased, albeit not surprised, and I didn't even have to pay for overnight shipping because I only live 3 hours away.

The afternoon of October 8, I sent an IM to Helen Oster, who we all have a great deal of affection for and inquired about the status of my price match request. After a litte back and forth, she indicated that the Fry's website for that specific page was down and possibly sold out. I should have called the morning of the seventh... but I didn't. I did still have the page up on my desktop. I took the attached screen shot, saved it as a .jpg and sent it to her via email.

She responded that she has to be able to provide a valid link (i.e., one that allows a purchase) to the Purchasing Department. I requested that she initiate a return, preferrably where I did not have to pay shipping. She is unable to do this and suggested I contact Adorama directly. And thus... I did.

Between that conversation and the morning of October 10, I hit the f5 button more that my manufacturer's warranty would prefer... but finally the morning of SATURDAY, October 10, 2015, the Fry's webmaster wakes from his drunken stupor and the page is back up. My first instinct... call Adora... and it is Saturday. Oh right, they are closed on Saturdays. October 10, 2015 is the last day of the sale. So I swallow my pride... and I try and forget that blood oath I made to myself to never shop at Fry's again... and I made the purchase of the receiver. It still hasn't shipped as of the writing of this post.

But then I think (@ midnight on October 11th)... the sale is over on the 10th... so even if the link is up, it probably won't reflect the sale price... so calling Adorama on Sunday with the link being up won't work... but I have a receipt... a proof of purchase... maybe... this will be sufficient evidence to provide. It is more than a link... it is a rudimentary contract for good and services. They can match the price, I can cancel the Fry's order... no blood (oath), no foul.

But no. I should have called the morning of the seventh... but I didn't.

I just re-read the email from Helen from the 11th... and she said, "But if you can send me a live link to the lower price on Frys - or a screen shot of the lower price - I can forward it to the Purchasing Department and request a price match."

Wait... didn't I already do that on the 8th?

So the good news is that the return is "hassle free" per the email from Adorama. The bad news is that I will be required to pay for the initial shipping to me and the subsequent shipping back to Adorama. (Per the email: Shipping charges are not refundable. Items that qualified for free shipping that are being returned for refund will have our standard shipping charges deducted from refund or credit.)

And so here I am... I preferred one retailer over another... and due to the serendipity of holidays, a sketchy unreliable website, Saturday closures, cancelled "duplicate" orders, and simply thinking that an email would suffice... I'll probably wind up paying $30 for free shipping. That's a real bite to the ass.

Addendum:

I wrote this to get my thoughts and facts down before I called Adorama customer service. I explained the above situation... and I am pleased to say they are authorizing a return and emailing me a shipping label. The presumption is that I won't have to pay anything for this little escapade... so that's a plus.
 

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jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
I think of it a lesson moving forward. Don't delay... Don't delay... Don't delay...
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
1,577
Price matching online is something to do in advance, and best avoided. It gets complicated for the very reasons you listed. My low cost Yamaha Receiver has developed a problem with audio over the HDMI port that communicates with my TV. It happened about a month after the warranty expired. I found its a common issue. I bought a fiber optic cable for Audio as a fix, so everything is working again.

I've usually price matched online prices with a local store and been happy, because I can be right there and make sure things are right. Our local store, Huppins (Onecall.com) has been good about matching prices, they carry most audio equipment. We do not have a Fry's locally, and every time I go into the one in Renton, WA (about 2X / Yr) its hit or miss as to stock. They seem to me to be slowly going out of business, finding a selection of cameras the last time I looked was impossible. My son and daughter live in Renton and take advantage of sales there.
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
Mt Spokane Photography said:
Price matching online is something to do in advance, and best avoided. It gets complicated for the very reasons you listed. My low cost Yamaha Receiver has developed a problem with audio over the HDMI port that communicates with my TV. It happened about a month after the warranty expired. I found its a common issue. I bought a fiber optic cable for Audio as a fix, so everything is working again.

I've usually price matched online prices with a local store and been happy, because I can be right there and make sure things are right. Our local store, Huppins (Onecall.com) has been good about matching prices, they carry most audio equipment. We do not have a Fry's locally, and every time I go into the one in Renton, WA (about 2X / Yr) its hit or miss as to stock. They seem to me to be slowly going out of business, finding a selection of cameras the last time I looked was impossible. My son and daughter live in Renton and take advantage of sales there.

Best Buy and HHGregg are local and will match as well... but I don't like them... not that I refuse to buy from them... but if I can avoid it... I don't mind avoiding it. Our local camera shop is going out of business... just announced... It is a shame... but the last time I went in looking for a lens cap... they were selling the $1 caps from ebay for around $10... and it made stopping in to browse off putting... but I digress.

I consider myself to be a better shopper than I am a photographer... so this put a little dent in my pride...
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
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jdramirez said:
Best Buy and HHGregg are local and will match as well... but I don't like them... not that I refuse to buy from them... but if I can avoid it... I don't mind avoiding it. Our local camera shop is going out of business... just announced... It is a shame... but the last time I went in looking for a lens cap... they were selling the $1 caps from ebay for around $10... and it made stopping in to browse off putting... but I digress.

I consider myself to be a better shopper than I am a photographer... so this put a little dent in my pride...

It is tough trying to get the best deal, and, like you, I spend the time to get it. I plan to buy a new car in the next 10 months and spent hours looking at them yesterday and listening to salesman's drivel. When I find what I want, then I will research, and time my purchase for the best deal. Typically, I name my price and when a dealer meets it, they have a sale. I'm realistic, but always pay well below dealer invoice.
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
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44
Here is a quick encapsulation why I preferred adorama... When the receiver came from adorama, it was in a separate box with air bags... When the fry's shipment arrived, it was just in the box that houses the receiver...sure there is Styrofoam in the box... But the little touch makes the difference...
 

TeT

I am smiling because I am happy...
Feb 17, 2014
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That was a great price. I did a search to read the specs of your item and on every site it came up immediately; except for fry's. I dont know how you found the item on their site to begin with...

Drunker webmaster sounds fair...
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
I hooked up the HDMI... Now I just need to drop my daughter off at the fire station so I have enough time to wall mount the speakers and run the lines to the receiver... Honestly... I did not give myself a ton of wiggle room with the HDMI cables... I have about 2 inches of give...
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
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jdramirez said:
Here is a quick encapsulation why I preferred adorama... When the receiver came from adorama, it was in a separate box with air bags... When the fry's shipment arrived, it was just in the box that houses the receiver...sure there is Styrofoam in the box... But the little touch makes the difference...

Generally, I use Adorama for my equipment, but I buy from them all if I find a good price. Adorama and B&H pack things well.

I bought a 1 yr subscription to Adobe CC from B&H. It is actually just a credit card sized plastic with the code number on it. B&H packed it in a box with super heavy duty bubble wrap when a envelope would have been fine. Same for some photo paper. I appreciated getting that bubble wrap, its very expensive, and I use it for heavy items that need protection. A later order came in a envelope which was appropriate for the contents, so they apparently did some training.
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
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44
Subwoofer hooked up... and damn... that thing is 4x (in volume) bigger than my old subwoofer that came with my soundbar. Kudos Harman Kar... kar... dashian... for having an impressive bit of craftsmenship...
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
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jdramirez said:
Subwoofer hooked up... and damn... that thing is 4x (in volume) bigger than my old subwoofer that came with my soundbar. Kudos Harman Kar... kar... dashian... for having an impressive bit of craftsmenship...

Quality subwoofers do indeed have a lot more output. The really good ones don't go boom boom, but just invisibly enhance the sound by extending into the low ranges. Unfortunately, really good ones can cost as much as a D1 X, so I stick with a lower end 12 in Polk model in my studio where the loud sound does not bother my wife, and in my house, I use a 8 inch Cerwin Vega. I occasionally search Craigslist looking for a high end subwoofer, but they are expensive even used.

I bought a old Sansui system from 1973 last weekend from a neighbor who was moving, a 2000X receiver with nice turntable and speakers. Its in beautiful working condition, but, as usual, I'll play with it a bit and maybe tune it up by replacing some of the parts in the receiver and adjusting it. Right away, I noticed what seemed to be excessive noise in the audio. That's a common issue, and low noise transistors are available.
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
Mt Spokane Photography said:
jdramirez said:
Subwoofer hooked up... and damn... that thing is 4x (in volume) bigger than my old subwoofer that came with my soundbar. Kudos Harman Kar... kar... dashian... for having an impressive bit of craftsmenship...

You might be able to answer this for me... Can you bend speaker wire at a ninety degree angle. I read somewhere last night that you don't want the wire to taught nor do you want to bend the wire... Also... Do the wires actually get warm and present a fire hazard?

Quality subwoofers do indeed have a lot more output. The really good ones don't go boom boom, but just invisibly enhance the sound by extending into the low ranges. Unfortunately, really good ones can cost as much as a D1 X, so I stick with a lower end 12 in Polk model in my studio where the loud sound does not bother my wife, and in my house, I use a 8 inch Cerwin Vega. I occasionally search Craigslist looking for a high end subwoofer, but they are expensive even used.

I bought a old Sansui system from 1973 last weekend from a neighbor who was moving, a 2000X receiver with nice turntable and speakers. Its in beautiful working condition, but, as usual, I'll play with it a bit and maybe tune it up by replacing some of the parts in the receiver and adjusting it. Right away, I noticed what seemed to be excessive noise in the audio. That's a common issue, and low noise transistors are available.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
1,577

You might be able to answer this for me... Can you bend speaker wire at a ninety degree angle. I read somewhere last night that you don't want the wire to taught nor do you want to bend the wire... Also... Do the wires actually get warm and present a fire hazard? [/quote]

You are asking this of a Guy who specialized in design and installation of wire for space, military, aircraft, etc.

So there is a long answer and a short. I'll try to be short.

Basically, bend the wire as sharply as you can, stranded wire will not break, and the pvc or normal consumer insulation will stretch without cracking. Some of the special high tech wire types are limited, but they are not sold across the counter for consumer use.

Fiber optics is different. Stress fiber with a sharp bend and its lifetime is drastically shortened, but even there, its not a huge deal for consumer optical cable, and they are cheap to replace.

Coax cable can have the center conductor migrate towards the outer shield over time with some insulations, and should not be bent sharply. The insulation on the coax center conductor is usually a low density material to reduce loss and more susceptible to sharp bends (< 6X diameter radius).
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
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Isle of Wight
Hi JD.
To answer the second part of your question, no wires should get hot and present a fire hazard if installed to proper specifications.
You would have to run a high power amp to a speaker that could handle that power and join them with bell wire in a thermally insulated material then drive it at full to warm up the cable, catch fire, I would doubt it. Do the same with a mains supply and an electric bar fire (or other high current, kW, consumer) and it will glow PDQ, catch fire, yes probably before you look up from switching it on! ;D
As hifi enthusiasts usually use cable for the best sound with a CSA that could handle mains at several amps they more than likely won't rise above ambient temperature.

Cheers, Graham.
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
Mt Spokane Photography said:
You are asking this of a Guy who specialized in design and installation of wire for space, military, aircraft, etc.

So there is a long answer and a short. I'll try to be short.

Basically, bend the wire as sharply as you can, stranded wire will not break, and the pvc or normal consumer insulation will stretch without cracking.

I guess I came to the right guy then. Ok that makes me feel better... This weekend I'll run the wire... Affix the speakers to the wall and then go and buy the molding to hide it all...
 

jdramirez

EOS R6
May 31, 2011
2,950
0
44
Valvebounce said:
Hi JD.
To answer the second part of your question, no wires should get hot and present a fire hazard if installed to proper specifications.
You would have to run a high power amp to a speaker that could handle that power and join them with bell wire in a thermally insulated material then drive it at full to warm up the cable, catch fire, I would doubt it. Do the same with a mains supply and an electric bar fire (or other high current, kW, consumer) and it will glow PDQ, catch fire, yes probably before you look up from switching it on! ;D
As hifi enthusiasts usually use cable for the best sound with a CSA that could handle mains at several amps they more than likely won't rise above ambient temperature.

Cheers, Graham.

Thanks Graham... I assumed that was the case... but I'm 99% sure if I burned down the house... the wife would NEVER let me forget about it.

All of the satellite speakers have their bases removed... the speaker wire attached and the wall mount swivel bases attached.

For tomorrow... I have to get some anchors and hardware... and attach them to the wall. At this pace... maybe I get to listen to 5.1 dolby by the new year... maybe.
 
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