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BeesNeez - A Customer Service Tale
Old 30th July 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

BeesNeez - A Customer Service Tale

In December of 2012 I had a little money left in my gear budget for the year. BeesNeez had just introduced their Oliver mic and were selling them at an introductory $799. It matched my budget and I'd heard good things about their mics, and it sounded like an interesting product so I ordered one.

There followed a period of delay. It appeared I had ordered just as some family health issues struck the company. I received an email from them apologizing for the delay and offering me a choice - I could stick with the Oliver or I could swap to an Arabella GT. If I stayed with the Oliver I would be looking at a delay of several more weeks, but a production run of the Arabella GT was expected to finish shortly and I would receive the mic faster. So, I swapped to the Arabella GT. I received a shipping notice about a week or so later.

Then nothing.

After a few weeks (because I had no idea how long it would take to ship from Australia, so I gave it some time) I followed up again. It had shipped via USPS so the "tracking number" was virtually useless. BeesNeez confirmed that the package had shipped, but they could not locate it either. So they promptly shipped me ANOTHER mic, asking only that if the first package showed up I would send it back.

At this point it had been several months since my original order. However, the second package arrived only a few days after the follow-up shipment. I opened the package to find the expected Arabella GT ... and a Lulu FET small-diaphragm mic included as an apology for the order taking so long.

So not only did they bump me up to a more expensive (especially compared to the introductory price I paid) mic to apologize for a delay that was out of their control, but they GAVE me another mic for free to make up for a second delay that was caused by the postal service! That's going the extra mile to keep a customer happy. And the mics sound fantastic! Needless to say the company is very high on my list of manufacturers at this point. I'm probably going to order another Lulu FET in the near future so I'll have a pair. They'll work very nicely in my mic collection, and I can already tell that the Arabella GT is going to be one of my favorite vocal mics and I'm excited about trying it on other sources in the near future.

Anyway, you hear plenty about poor customer service so I thought I would share a story about GOOD customer service.
Old 30th July 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I have always gotten exemplary service from Ben Sneesby and Beesneez Microphones. Glad to see your story.
Old 30th July 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Vintageidiot's Avatar
Great to hear...
Old 30th July 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
softwareguy's Avatar
 

That is really extraordinary service. Talk about taking pride in your product and putting the customer first!
Old 30th July 2013
  #5
Gear Guru
Wow- they sent you $4k worth of mics.
That is truly going above and beyond.
Old 30th July 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
cynics1207's Avatar
 

This is the service we need in the industry. Good to know
Old 23rd July 2014
  #7
Gear Nut
 

This is so nice to hear about ppl getting answer from Ben and even more, extra profit in free mics.

I on the other hand, received LuLu FET mics from Ben with no badges on them and after emailing Ben couple of times and his wife Veronica and PM him on GS I receive no answer. I practically begged him to sell me the badges and let me know all the expenses for shipping and else. Now go figure how on earth am I going to sell those mics with no badges on them ? You cant right. Eventually I traded them for a 2nd hand Apogee Duet with a local since there is no way to sell mics in that condition over ebay or here on GS, at least not at the decent price. That being said Ben is a no-go in my book, he and his company.

Hope you enjoy your shinny new Orion 32 you received from me Ben, almost a year ago.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #8
I wish that last post had been in a separate thread. Not to discount your experience at all drpeacock, but I was really enjoying the good vibes.

Anyway, I think we can all agree hat Ben makes some really solid microphones.

BTW, I do not sell or manufacture microphones or anything.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brill bedroom View Post
Anyway, I think we can all agree hat Ben makes some really solid microphones.
I won't disagree with that statement.

BUT

Add me to the list of slutz who will never buy another product from this company. I am sorry to report that my experience was not a positive one. His heart is certainly in the right place, for sure.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #10
I don't own any BeeSneez mics, as I'm primarily a mastering engineer, but while Ben was in the US a couple years back he serviced a number of our classic vintage mics while in town. For a very fair price he made 4 essentially priceless mic's sound better than we'd ever heard. He also let us try some of his mic's and showed off their features –*It's hard to say I was more impressed by the sound than the terrific build as both were great. I thought they too were fairly priced.

I like the man, his mic's and most of all, his professional attitude. I'm sorry to read some of the bad experiences above, but I have to wonder whether some of it's down to bad timing, or even misunderstanding (for instance the non-buyer of the used mic may well have picked Ben's brain, and not explained his intentions while fishing for a better deal - we all love a good deal!). At the end of the day, small boutique companies aren't run like giant conglomerates. Every day is a trade-off: time, cost, quality... you must pick only two.

BTW I don't think anyone can predict success/failure purely on these grounds. Consider Sontec. Try calling/emailing them, or buying a new EQ sometime. Prepare to wait. Prepare to pay more tomorrow than today. Prepare to hear about variously different ICs and changes between various vintages of Sontec EQs. With all of that said, I don't think Burgess is having trouble moving iron.

I know this: the mic's sound great, and Ben knows what he's doing. Beyond that I see typical small company struggles. Perfection's unrealistic. A better goal is steady progress, continuous improvement, especially in customer service.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
paul brown's Avatar
boutique manufacturer:

usually driven by one or two people
a compromise between quality control and customer service
best intentions

throw a black swan event into the mix, and i have to admire their fortitude. they should consolidate their relationship with existing customers. it pays dividends in the long term. up to now i have had no issues with my beesneez mic. it is a good quality product at the price-point i paid. i use it less than i thought i would but that is probably just because i know my akg so much better.
Old 27th July 2014
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Fine example of Ben ignoring again. Thats exactly what I was talking about. You will be in surprise Ben
Old 27th July 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 
claend's Avatar
 

I've been a customer (Arabella GT, Arabella Pro, pair of Lulus) since a few years ago and my experience is great considering both the product quality and service. Just my experience.

1st hand heat is similar with other boutique manufacturers.
Old 28th July 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I have deleted my posts on this thread at Ben's request so that we may communicate privately about my recent experience with BeesNeez.
Old 28th July 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
kidvybes's Avatar
 

Deja Vu?...
Old 28th July 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
 
mics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Davis View Post
I don't own any BeeSneez mics, as I'm primarily a mastering engineer, but while Ben was in the US a couple years back he serviced a number of our classic vintage mics while in town. For a very fair price he made 4 essentially priceless mic's sound better than we'd ever heard. He also let us try some of his mic's and showed off their features –*It's hard to say I was more impressed by the sound than the terrific build as both were great. I thought they too were fairly priced.

I like the man, his mic's and most of all, his professional attitude. I'm sorry to read some of the bad experiences above, but I have to wonder whether some of it's down to bad timing, or even misunderstanding (for instance the non-buyer of the used mic may well have picked Ben's brain, and not explained his intentions while fishing for a better deal - we all love a good deal!). At the end of the day, small boutique companies aren't run like giant conglomerates. Every day is a trade-off: time, cost, quality... you must pick only two.

BTW I don't think anyone can predict success/failure purely on these grounds. Consider Sontec. Try calling/emailing them, or buying a new EQ sometime. Prepare to wait. Prepare to pay more tomorrow than today. Prepare to hear about variously different ICs and changes between various vintages of Sontec EQs. With all of that said, I don't think Burgess is having trouble moving iron.

I know this: the mic's sound great, and Ben knows what he's doing. Beyond that I see typical small company struggles. Perfection's unrealistic. A better goal is steady progress, continuous improvement, especially in customer service.
Thanks Dave.

You are right; perfection is not achievable but we are constantly trying to improve everything we do. Thousands of customers are happy but alas; it is the 1 or two complaints that get people talking! Thanks. Ben
Old 28th July 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
swafford's Avatar
 

I've always had pleasant experiences communicating with Ben and Victoria on either repairs or purchases. They are obviously a small shop facing great challenges both professionally and personally and I always take that into consideration when contacting them and expecting reply. Sometimes they are fast and on point, sometimes they seem distracted and sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get someones full attention. As far as I'm concerned, that's the price of doing business with humans who run a small company and I take the same tact whether it's Beesneez, Pendulum, Metric Halo or Allen Amps. I like to feel my gear manufacturers are as invested in their product and it's end users as I am and Ben and Victoria have always made me feel that way. Doesn't mean they don't fvck up, we all do. We are humans.

Quite frankly, Ben and Victoria seem like the kind of folks I like to have a drink with (or share some pie and coffee!) and most of the others I've dealt with and moved on from I just felt like punching… hard. Maybe that's a Cincinnati thing.
Old 28th July 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 
mics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
I've always had pleasant experiences communicating with Ben and Victoria on either repairs or purchases. They are obviously a small shop facing great challenges both professionally and personally and I always take that into consideration when contacting them and expecting reply. Sometimes they are fast and on point, sometimes they seem distracted and sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get someones full attention. As far as I'm concerned, that's the price of doing business with humans who run a small company and I take the same tact whether it's Beesneez, Pendulum, Metric Halo or Allen Amps. I like to feel my gear manufacturers are as invested in their product and it's end users as I am and Ben and Victoria have always made me feel that way. Doesn't mean they don't fvck up, we all do. We are humans.

Quite frankly, Ben and Victoria seem like the kind of folks I like to have a drink with (or share some pie and coffee!) and most of the others I've dealt with and moved on from I just felt like punching… hard. Maybe that's a Cincinnati thing.
Hi there, thanks for the vote of confidence.

Your post is as awakening as it is true! As an all made in house type manufacturer, we make our best efforts to keep in communication with every customer email that comes in. In saying this; we at time bite off more than we can chew and simply run out of hours each day when trying to get it all done. Add to that 4 kids, one of which is not too well and you get the ingredients of a very busy life!

Most small manufacturers really do try as hard as they can to please everyone, not many though succeed.

For every 300 or so customers, we seem to fall short once or twice. Not bad when you look at percentages but really; more than we like to see!

What's the answer? Keep trying to be everything to all people!

Cheers.
Old 28th July 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 
paul brown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mics View Post
What's the answer? Keep trying to be everything to all people!
i think the key is to not create expectations greater than you are able to deliver. don't plan with best case scenarios. personally, i am happy to wait if i am expecting that there might be a wait. when i am promised prompt attention and don't get it, i am not so happy.

Thanks for the PM, Ben. i'll give your creation more use! i just need to get to know it like i know my other mic after years of use.
Old 28th July 2014
  #20
Here for the gear
 

That is really extraordinary service.
Old 30th July 2014
  #21
Here for the gear
Problems w/ service from Ben Sneesby and Beesneez Microphones

I know Ben is a great guy and does great work. The Tubes in my Jade have gone bad and I need them replaced, however: they are hard wired and my tech will not touch anything w/ out a schematic. The only option is to send it back, but after numerous emails, I'm not getting any replies from Ben or Veronica. I'm ready to send it, but just need one question answered. I know they are busy, but, I'm willing to do what it takes. Fortunately, I have a Vintage 414B-ULS that I was never to impressed w/ until I shot it through my Juggernaut and that made a difference, but the BAE 1073 puts it up there w/ my U87 and 930 - but the ULS had a natural better Linear Repsonse - this blew my mind - I always thought they sounded a little weird before - but I've A/B'd it w/ a lot of Mics through my chain 1073D BAE through my modded original R. Neve Focusrite Forte ISA 110 L.E. w/ a Real Vintage LA2A on the insert w/ EQ after dynamics and the 414 is killing it - The Clients love it, and I'm hoping this will catch Ben's attention or someone who could change the tubes that are hard wired and a slight Mod - not to easy w/ out a schematic once again. It's been three weeks of emails and there's been no response - Any suggestions would be great

Cope Till
Strident Trax,
[email protected]
334.647.1326
x

Last edited by studiomonkey; 30th July 2014 at 09:49 PM.. Reason: Type -O
Old 30th July 2014
  #22
Here for the gear
Need Ben Sneesby of Beesneez Microphones! Please Help Me!!!
Listed above in the post of the problems that I described which should normally be an easy remedy. I can't get through to the Phone # as well - perhaps due to the time change - call me collect at anytime at your first convenience please -I would like to grow our relationship and purchase some of your high end mics, I just got to know that service will not be an issue. Just need to know where i should send it (if ur in the states that is) and if I should send the Pwr Supply as well.I know you are growing at an insane right because you do wonderful work and I appreciate that.

Thanx Again,
Cope Till
Strident Trax,
[email protected]
334.647.1326
Old 30th July 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Vintageidiot's Avatar
I cannot imagine looking at a tube soldered in a mic and not being able to swap wires, one by one, to change out that tube. Tell your tech to man-up......
Old 31st July 2014
  #24
Lives for gear
 
mics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomonkey View Post
Need Ben Sneesby of Beesneez Microphones! Please Help Me!!!
Listed above in the post of the problems that I described which should normally be an easy remedy. I can't get through to the Phone # as well - perhaps due to the time change - call me collect at anytime at your first convenience please -I would like to grow our relationship and purchase some of your high end mics, I just got to know that service will not be an issue. Just need to know where i should send it (if ur in the states that is) and if I should send the Pwr Supply as well.I know you are growing at an insane right because you do wonderful work and I appreciate that.

Thanx Again,
Cope Till
Strident Trax,
[email protected]
334.647.1326
Hi there cope, how are you? Stressed I can see.

Have you tried to email me? I haven't received any emails for you!

The jade tube is a real easy tube to replace. If your tech can't do it, maybe you should send it back to me as at least that way, you'll get a working mic!

Anyway, I can be reached at +61 419 481 569 but please, check your time zone as I like my sleep! This is my Australian number. Thanks.

Ben
Old 31st July 2014
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
TimFoster's Avatar
Figured I'd chime in with my BeesNeez customer service/support experience...

I've had two separate dealings with Ben and Veronica... The first was to overhaul and repair an un-warrantied Judas Tube mic I had purchased off of eBay. Communication was somewhat sporadic and the repair work did take a bit longer than expected, but as swafford aptly put it: that's the price of doing business with humans who run a small company. The situation was never "uncomfortable"; I never once got the impression that I was getting the cold shoulder... To me, it was clear from our communications that there is integrity for miles over at the beehive.

...which segues nicely into the benefits of doing business with a small company. From the outset Ben refused to take any money for the repair work -- clearly not the support mantra of most corporate "bean counters." I wasn't the original owner; hadn't paid into the company in any capacity -- just some schlep with a second-hand mic. Doing that sort of work for free, to me, speaks volumes about the pride Ben takes in his products and his willingness to stand behind them even when it's not financially advantageous. (Granted I wouldn't imagine this sort of thing is indefinitely sustainable as the company grows.... they do have mouths to feed after all!)

...Second encounter was a random request to see if he might be able to upgrade another microphone of mine -- an entry-level tube mic from a different boutique-y manufacturer. Ben was familiar with the microphone and figured capsule and tube swaps would nudge it in the direction I wanted. This time around communication was timely and the work was done in a very reasonable amount of time. Pricing was phenomenal, and I was very happy with the end result.

In short, I'm a fan.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #26
Here for the gear
Thanks Ben, I'll phone you on Monday. I'll check the time zone before calling.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #27
I've had the pleasure of dealing with Ben directly on a pair of custom mics. He certainly knows his stuff, and the mics sounds superb. While, it took several months to finish, and at times it took a couple of emails to get in touch with him, I never felt like I was getting brushed off, and I chalk that up to his very busy schedule. In the end, I got some killer mics at a great price. Ben truly makes some of the best mics our there.
Old 6th October 2014
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Just thought I would add to this and say I just recieved a K8 capsule from Ben it has gone into its permenant home but unfortunately I havent had the time to test it properly yet.

The customer service was excellent, replys to my emails were very swift, the capsule came completely assembled (unlike an alternative that I got hold of a week ago that involves soldering about 4mm from the diaphram) All in all I am very happy. The only thing that cause a slight issue is that all 4 wires were the same colour which made figuring out which was which once it had been run through the holes in the head basket a little confusing. I think ideally the backplanes would have a different colour wire
Old 19th November 2014
  #29
My experience with Beesneez.
I own 4 of their mics and wouldn't want to be without them.Sometimes communication is SLOW so patience is needed.
I also ordered a capsule that took awhile to arrive,when it did i was rewarded with an extra capsule for free as an apology
for the delay.Who does that these days?Beesneez.The mics are worth the effort and $$ to obtain,Ben is an ARTIST.
(contact Veronica,she's on top of what's goin' on)
Old 8th August 2016
  #30
Here for the gear
Yeah, being in the Middle of the Pacific can make shipping slower, but I have to say that Ben handles Business and did an excellent job Retubing & Cleaning a Mic that I purchased from him a few years back. As well, he repaired and cleaned a Vintage 414 and it's smooth without all of the harsh pops when switching polar patterns, etc. On top of all that... A mishap w/ the Shipping Co. caused the 2 Mics to be sent back to him. Shipping anything from Australia is not cheap! Ben is the most STAND UP guy that I've encountered in years. He shipped both Mics back to me at his expense. His Microphones are stellar! A former work colleague from Westlake Studios, LA who is an amazing Engineer and Designer of Digital Consoles has built some amazing U87 to 251 Replicas with Ben's Capsules. I can't get this kind of service in the States.
Thank You Ben,
Cope Till
Strident Trax
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