ND and UV filters (Breakthrough Photography on Kickstarter)

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oldracer

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FWIW, I've backed about 8 kickstarter projects ranging from books, posters, games and hardware. Everyone of them have come through and everyone has been a pleasant experience.
Oh, I don't think this is about Kickstarter at all. I think their reputation is pretty good; the behavior of one bad apple like Breakthrough Photography/Graham Clark should not reflect on Kickstarter or on the general idea of crowdfunding.
 

Lawrence A.

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I think most if not all B+W come with Schott glass and brass rings. Plus lens filter pullers can be purchased from Amazon or any photography vendor.

After reading this exchange, I'm definitely never buying filters from these people. I hope the word gets out. BTW - Weren't they mentioned somewhere on DPReview? Probably best to link this thread over there as well.
All my filters are B&W, and yes, as far as I know they use Schott glass. Schneider owns them now and some of my favorite enlarging and large format lenses are from Schneider. I hope their m43 lenses finally get released some time.
 
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I had to go back and re-read the original exchange twice, I still don't see anything in the poster's tone that seems out of order, rather, it's quite reasonable if a little formal; pretty much what you'd expect in a typical written customer service query, certainly nothing anyone should get "fired" over. If, in fact, that is the full exchange in chronological sequence than I have to agree the response from Breakthrough Photography is way out of line.
 

TassieFig

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Fellow Mu43 members,



WTF??? That is just awful. I have had several short email exchanges with Graham and he has always been very friendly but this...is just ridiculous. He FIRED you???!!! I can't see ANYTHING wrong with your communication!

I still haven't received my filters (X2 ND3 & ND6, X2 CPL) and my patient is running a bit thin... + I'm getting nervous about how this will end :frown:
 

Ramsey

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LOL. I just can't believe that someone that handles most of their business online doesn't know of Ocean marketing (link for the unaware) and what a single bad interaction with a customer can do for your reputation.

If nothing is excluded from those e-mails (and owner did not say it was), this is just horrific customer service. Though, i must admit, i did have a chuckle at the "you're fired" part. What a tool.
 

felipegeek

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The one filter I did receive is on it's way back with the shipping label Graham provided. Hopefully this will at least end well. I'll be placing an order for Marumi or B+W filters when I get my refund.
 

Wandering Aengus

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I just bought some Marumi Super DHG Cir Pols from 2filter.com. They had the best price on them and had them in stock. They are good to work with, too, especially Andrea.

I screwed up my online order I placed at night and ordered 2 of the same size when I meant to order 1 each of 2 different sizes. I called them the next morning and she straightened it out, sent me a pay pal invoice for the $8 difference and shipped them both out the same day. They should be here Thursday.

I have been buying filters from them for several years.
 

felipegeek

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Hello Felipe,
5. We'd love to buy back the filter you bought from us and refund you double what you paid us on Kickstarter, even though we only got 60% of what you paid. I already sent you a pre-paid return label to get the process started.
I haven't received confirmation that Breakthrough Photography received the return package nor any indication of the promised refund. I'll give it another week. I'm also puzzled by his comment about 'only got 60% of what you paid'. Kickstarter takes 5%, CC processing take another 3%. That doesn't add up to 40%.
 
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I haven't received confirmation that Breakthrough Photography received the return package nor any indication of the promised refund. I'll give it another week. I'm also puzzled by his comment about 'only got 60% of what you paid'. Kickstarter takes 5%, CC processing take another 3%. That doesn't add up to 40%.
Maybe 60% is the profit they make after paying the supplier etc. FYI, I sent him an email mentioning that (i) you had posted the email exchange (ii) I was appalled and (iii) I would not be buying any of their products.
 

felipegeek

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Have you been in touch with them? I thought all US orders were supposed to be delivered by now...??
@TassieFig

Did you go through the survey they sent out via the KS email system in December? You get a coupon code and a link to the online ordering process. The Kickstarter payment alone does not create the order for the final product you are supposed to receive. This is a screenshot of the email they sent me with the coupon code a couple days after submitting the survey.



BTW: I was charged an extra $7.55 for shipping. They charged $12.60 for shipping via USPS which was only partially accounted for via the Kickstarter payment. There a few complaints in the KS comments system about it.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

felipegeek

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Holy Crap! While doing the research to reply to Tassifig's query I just noticed in the order emails and the attached PDF that the ND filter was backordered! See attached screenshot.

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The shipping tracking message indicated both filters were shipped but the messages were separated by 1 minute. It's an indicator that strongly suggests they screwed up the shipping confusing my order with someone else's order or they are entering product quantity with preset shipping weights into the shipping system based on the order sheet and not really weighing the items individually.

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It's really a shame that this went the way it did. Graham deserves the drubbing he got here no doubt. A simple check on his end might have given him enough doubt about my order's processing to approach me differently and come to a proper resolution. At some point Breakthrough Photography customer service reviews will be affected and they'll learn from it or they will end up in the dustbin of failed businesses.
 
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TassieFig

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@TassieFig

Did you go through the survey they sent out via the KS email system in December?

BTW: I was charged an extra $7.55 for shipping.
Yes I did and all my filters were on backorder then, which was expected. In one of the updates (January?) I'm pretty sure it said all the ND filters were done. I knew all US order were going out first before they would start ship to Australia so I waited patiently. Nothing about any extra shipping charges yet (apart from the extra for overseas shipping (10$?) that was stated clearly as you made your pledge) but then nothing has been shipped yet. The other day I sent an email asking what's going on with my order and here's the reply
The delay on your X2 CPL is due to two reasons:

1. We changed the CPL film to a scientific grade CPL film made in the USA, delivering the sharpest and most color neutral CPL performance
2. We're upgrading your X2 CPL to have MRC16

When you backed us for the X2 CPL on Kickstarter we said it would be incredibly color neutral and sharp. Turning that into the sharpest and most color neutral CPL ever manufactured for photographers took a bit of time, but as of this email yours is about finished. This Sunday yours should be complete, and we'll be shipping it shortly after.

Sorry for the delay on this. The end results you'll be able to achieve for many years to come will certainly be worth the wait.

Graham


ps - if you have filters on your order which you haven't received email us to see about shipping them separately so as not to hold them up with the X2 CPL manufacturing delay
Now, I don't mind getting an upgraded CPL but the wait has been much longer than I thought but according to the email above, the CPL should have been completed last Sunday...so here's hoping for a tracking number very soon...
 

wilson

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I was a backer of the X series filters... and have had nothing but good experiences dealing with Graham. I had a question about my order at 1AM and he was actually available for a live chat on their website and answered my question through the chat.

It definitely has taken *much* longer than expected to get the filters, and their Kickstarter project communications has been almost non-existent since January. So there's room for improvement. Sure these days everybody is expecting Amazon.com levels of customer service, but not everybody is amazon, and small mom-and-pop shop type businesses can't afford to have too many "we'll lose money on this sale to keep the customer happy" moments before they go under.

rant on
IMHO, Breakthrough Photography is a business run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts... and as a result Customer Service may be a bit lacking since the founder's strong points are in photography and not Customer Service. So I usually cut enthusiast run businesses some slack when it comes to Customer Service, especially if I feel that the business is honestly trying to do their best. Would it be better if they had better CS? Definitely it would. But I would rather have more enthusiasts running mom-and-pop type companies that cater to a niche than to have a world with large conglomerates making products for the lowest common denominator.
rant off
 

felipegeek

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@wilson

I appreciate your position and the positive experience you had. I wish I had the "good" experience. I could have had one update post on this thread indicating that the process went smoothly and the product was great. Instead I had to spend a lot of time on this matter to get on the path to a resolution which included getting feedback from forum members.

I also certainly like supporting small business that make well-crafted products, and in this case the idea of one at the time I pledged on Kickstarter. I can understand that Graham is likely under a lot of stress and that might make for being disagreeable on occasion but it was over the line in this case.
 

DL Photo

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I was a backer of the X series filters... and have had nothing but good experiences dealing with Graham. I had a question about my order at 1AM and he was actually available for a live chat on their website and answered my question through the chat.

It definitely has taken *much* longer than expected to get the filters, and their Kickstarter project communications has been almost non-existent since January. So there's room for improvement. Sure these days everybody is expecting Amazon.com levels of customer service, but not everybody is amazon, and small mom-and-pop shop type businesses can't afford to have too many "we'll lose money on this sale to keep the customer happy" moments before they go under.

rant on
IMHO, Breakthrough Photography is a business run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts... and as a result Customer Service may be a bit lacking since the founder's strong points are in photography and not Customer Service. So I usually cut enthusiast run businesses some slack when it comes to Customer Service, especially if I feel that the business is honestly trying to do their best. Would it be better if they had better CS? Definitely it would. But I would rather have more enthusiasts running mom-and-pop type companies that cater to a niche than to have a world with large conglomerates making products for the lowest common denominator.
rant off
Well, I've read Filipe's correspondence with Graham and did not pick up anything that would make me believe that Felipe was being unreasonable.

For Graham to fire him as a client and then publicly try to justify this I think is unacceptable. To me, Graham went way overboard here.

This is a forum that can definitely help to grow someones business / client base. We all share experiences....good and bad. If I were Graham, I would have made every effort to smooth things over in this forum. My impression of him and his business would have changed if he handled it differently. I do like some of the products that they offer, but I am now hesitant to give them my business.
 
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