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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through February 25, 2005 * B3 in a slump (5 paragraphs) < Previous Next >

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R. M. Zelayeta
New Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 25
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 04:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First, Iíd like to make clear that Iím *not* writing this post with malice. My purpose is to note a trend, and, by doing so, save a few brew days. Once again, Iím not blowing off steam. Itís worth noting, too, that you seldom see a ďI had the best experience withÖ.!Ē post.

That said, my past three orders to B3 (from Nov-Feb) have been badly botched. Two of the orders included combinations of incorrect ingredients and wrong weight increments of correct ingredients. The third languished in ďorder processingĒ purgatory for a week and a half without notification that the shipment was delayed due to a back-ordered product. In the past, Iíve found B3 to be a prompt and accurate shipper with excellent customer service. Their previous handling of back-orders, Iíve found excellent. However, as the accuracy and promptness of their shipping have slipped, so too, has B3ís bend-over-backward style of customer service.

Being even-tempered to the point of near meekness, I can report that a tangible change has occurred on B3ís side of the phone line. The second order was an especially rotten experience, and Iíll leave it at that.

While this could just be a case of trouble coming in threes, it seems more likely that B3 is going through a rough patch right now (that it seems to correlate with the launch of their new website may indicate that theyíre having a spate of growing pains). B3 has been very good to me in the past, and Iíll likely order from them again, but itíll be a good while before I order more than the requisite free shipping threshold, and a lot longer before I trust them with a time-specific shipment.

I hope this post has been helpful and has provided a useful datum. Three consecutive botched shipments seems like a reasonable basis from which to report a trend. Itíll be a while before I hazard a chance at a fourth.

rz
 

Joe Perrigoue
New Member
Username: Joe

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I concur. My last three orders have all had significant problems. Missing items, 2 week ship times, common ingredients out of stock. A friend has had the same problem. I hope it is just growing pains but my next order is definitely going to the not-so-local HBS.
 

R. M. Zelayeta
Junior Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 28
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 09:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

Nice start to the thread. Your concise remarks are a great start. Iím glad the first reply to this thread wasnít a hatchet job. Thanks

rz


(Message edited by troglodyte on February 18, 2005)
 

Andrew S. Webster
Intermediate Member
Username: Tacomabrewer

Post Number: 260
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 11:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just ordered a few items from B3, one of which was "back-ordered." During order processing, there was a warning that the item was not in stock, and could hold up the order 2-4 weeks. The item in question is a filter, so you decide how common it is, and whether they should definitely have it at all times.

My last order though, did end up in that processing purgatory, and I ended up canceling it, because it was still in processing the day I needed it. It was simply some beer and gas hose, and QD's for both for my cornies. These should definitely be in stock always.
 

Colby Enck
Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 148
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recommended B3 to a friend who's coming back into the hobby by building a 10-gallon system. He placed a $500 order w/ B3 (including mill and cornies). It's also in purgatory, and he was really disappointed not to at least have his ingredients for this weekend. He called and talked to them (I hope he wasn't too outraged).

Since the mill was on b/o, they could've at least sent the rest of the stuff. Something tells me they didn't want to have to eat the shipping costs on two shipments.

I've always been appreciative of B3's free shipping and have wondered how much dough they lose doing it that way. Maybe they've decided that free shipping is worth a wait to us, even if we're used to prompt service from them?

Upshot: bad way for them to treat a first-time customer shelling out big $$. He'll probably not go with them ever again.

Incidently, when ordering some beer line, I had to notify them that by-the-foot wasn't on the website. They fixed it quickly, so maybe these troubles are in fact due to the new site?

(Message edited by TheCheese on February 18, 2005)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2341
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 01:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I haven't ordered from B3 in quite a while (my previous experiences were generally positive). But there are other good online/mail-order brewing sources out there if you have been unhappy with how your orders have been handled.
 

Bob McCouch
Intermediate Member
Username: Vector

Post Number: 354
Registered: 11-2001
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just another data point -- my last 2-3 orders with B3, also between Nov. and Feb. have been delivered completely, correctly, and about as timely as I can expect from a west coast warehouse.

Typically, I place my order, it sits in processing for a day, ships the next, and I get it one week to the day after it ships. I think one order did sit in processing for an extra day, but otherwise my recent orders have been fine.

I can't comment on the customer service. I've never actually spoken to anyone at B3, my web orders have always gone flawlessly. To me, that in itself spoke volumes of the quality of their operation.

I hope any problems others are experiencing are just minor blips or growing pains, and not the start of a greater trend. I've always been very satisfied with B3.

NAYYY, just providing input to the thread.
 

Mike Huss
Intermediate Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 480
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 01:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Quite disappointing to hear. When I've needed stuff that my LHBS didn't carry or stuff they've had just too outrageously priced, I've ordered from B3 and NB with complete satisfaction on both. Fortunately my LHBS moved last year to bigger digs and they seem to have more in stock these days, so I've been able to buy more from them lately. But if I do need to order online I'll have that moment of hesitation now if I'm ordering from B3.
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 486
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This doesn't surprise me in the least!
 

Busted Still Brewery
Advanced Member
Username: Brewlabs

Post Number: 686
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've had a couple of problems with timeliness, but the customer service has been exemplary.

On a brew day i called them to ask help with my new pump, they were very helpful.

My last order, I talked to james and I explained a custom sparge assembly that I wanted and he made it for me...he's a really cool guy.

Actually they (accidentaly?) threw in an extra SS compression fitting (not the size I ordered tho).
 

Ben Schy
Member
Username: Bens

Post Number: 124
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 02:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have had a few problems with them in the past 6 months or so, but their customer service is always prompt and helpful when problems occur. Once, when an item arrived broken, they replaced it and overnighted it to me and I had it the next day. Another time, an order sat in limbo for 2 weeks, so they gave me a $5 credit. Luckily, that order wasn't time-critical. A friend fo mine is currently in limbo on some draft parts, which I would think would be fairly commonplace.
 

Arthur
Junior Member
Username: Arthur

Post Number: 46
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 02:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Delays and mix-ups happen with any vendor selling any product via online, especially small retailers. I accept this. Is it fair to totally compare customer service arrangenments of small retailers with the perfectly honed L.L Bean and Land's End types?

My biggest gripe is not the mix-ups, tardiness, or backorders (provided the consumer is made aware of this) but how the mix-up is resolved and the general attitude of the retailer.

["Itís worth noting, too, that you seldom see a ďI had the best experience withÖ.!Ē post."]

-- I'd like to take this time to laud Dan Listermann and North Country Malt who made small, niggly mix-ups with my orders but remedied the problems quickly and graciously. In short, I have the best experience with these vendors. With respect to last minute orders, on one occasion, I placed an order with Dan on a Wednesday and he got it out the door to the US Postal Service which delivered it on Friday.
 

Bob Boufford
Member
Username: Bobb

Post Number: 217
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 02:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,

I had my annual visit to B3 over the holidays as my family have been customers since B3 was in a garage. Yes, they are going through some growing pains even on the retail side as they integrate retail and online systems into one system. And there have been some staff changes also.

I would recommend making your issues known to Olin and the staff (you can find direct email addresses in the catalog). They are great supporters of homebrewing and do not have the "attitude" as mentioned about another online HBS here on the forum.

Cheers,

Bob
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1202
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 03:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Data point. I just ordered wednesday night, and it shipped thursday night. Last month, same turnaround, and no problems with order.

Funny, my last 3 orders were all between $49-$50.. I must be a free shipping whoredog...

(Message edited by hophead on February 18, 2005)
 

Patrick C.
Intermediate Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 277
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My only problem with B3 was that they double-shipped some malt once. Not much, probably worth less than the shipping cost to send it back. Thanks B3!
 

Walt Fischer
Senior Member
Username: Walt

Post Number: 2000
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i ordered up a false bottom back just before xmas...
No problems at all with delivery.
Always had nothing but good luck and service from them over the years...

Walt
Lama Brewery
 

Bill Moore
Intermediate Member
Username: Bill_beerman

Post Number: 278
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've had no problems with any of the orders I've placed with them.
I've not ordered any ingredient kits, all brewing equipment.
 

Michael Williams
New Member
Username: 2ndstage

Post Number: 18
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use them pretty extensively since my LHBS is about a 4 hour drive. Last order they sent the wrong recipe kit. Wheat beer instead of a mild. Didn't bother me too much though went ahead and brewed it anyway. My current order with I am expecting today hopefully was placed last friday and took forever in "Order Processing" don't know why it took so long usually it is only a day or so.

But I like them can't beat the free shipping depending on what I need I bounce between B3 and Austin Homebrew strictly because of the shipping. I find it hard to justify losing the equivalent of another batch of beer sometimes on just the shipping.
 

Jeffery Swearengin
Advanced Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 656
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've generally had excellent service from B3, but I can report my last order was just short of a disaster. I ordered a can of Oregon Fruit that was badly damaged due to very poor packaging and a couple of tubes of WYeast Lambic cultures (which were packed w/o cold packs) blew-up in transit coating the side of a brand new 2.5USG Corny keg that I'd bought for a friend and made the box smell like a barnyard. Needless to say, "I wasn't very pleased!" I can report that B3 took care of the problem in a timely manner & had new yeast delivered by the end of the business week.
CHEERS! Beertracker

"From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." ~ Saint Arnold of Metz (580-640) - Patron Saint of Brewers

 

Guy C
Member
Username: Ipaguy

Post Number: 175
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 06:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was in the Concord store a couple weeks ago and was a little surprised how long it took to get through 5 customers. The guy taking the orders behind the desk, using a computer, had to manually scroll through a huge database of inventory for every single item, no matter how big or small, and select them one by one. I hope they're planning on instituting some sort of bar code system. It must have taken 20 minutes to process 5 orders. There was also a lot of running around to the back warehouse to check on items not found in the computer. They were also out of the Erlenmeyer flask (1000ml or 2000ml) and some yeast culturing supplies my friend wanted.
 

shane petersen
New Member
Username: Napa_shane

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 07:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i work for a multi-billion dollar biotech company that has had huge problems for almost a year with the new inventory management/business process system. lots of backorders, billing problems, etc.

B3's only had theirs up for a few months, i'm sure things will improve soon.
 

Tom
Junior Member
Username: Benchbrew

Post Number: 69
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 08:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I, fortunately, live 10 miles from the Riverside store. So in effect, B3 IS my LHBS! Ive never had to mail order so I cant comment on that, but their customer service out here is excellent! Ive never had any problems. I agree with Bob B, if you have any problems, contact someone in charge. Im sure they would want to know that they may be loosing potential customers.
 

michael atkins
Junior Member
Username: Mga

Post Number: 95
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 12:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've ordered from them from time to time over the last 4 years. The last order was in January 05. Never any problems, and excellent service.

I will consider them when my LHBS does not have the product, or can't get it for me.
 

Olin Schultz
New Member
Username: Morebeer

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 10:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,

We did implement a new database and website in November. The experience really sucked to be totally honest. It was hard to run normal operations with multiple people in the company spending full time on preparing and transfering our system. The transition was not smooth initially (from what I hear it never is) but everything is in place and lately we have been shipping orders same day. We had to make a change because our order fullfillment has never been as ideal as we would want. We are continually working towards perfection. We want to provide LL Bean or Cabelas type service but also with a lot of additional hand holding for new brewers to get them over the hump.

The new system allows for barcoding among many other things. We are in the process of barcoding our entire stock to greatly eliminate mistakes on the part of the pickers and packers and allow for better inventory management control.

I would like to mention a little bit about our business so you all understand where we were coming from: We have over 3000 products from over 300 suppliers in 5 warehouse bays and that inventory was not computerized. We managed it in our heads (please take a moment to imagine that!) We fought with the old database and tried many times to start fresh. Eventually we gave up. Ultimately that is why we have had out of stock issues. We spent 18 months reviewing and interviewing accounting/database companies to find the right one.

We desire to offer great deals and do high volumes to make up for free shipping. However, even outfits like LL Bean and Cabelas are not going to offer free shipping on a regular basis b/c they would not make money. For example, if we cut out the free shipping we could hire 10-15 well paid full time people. There are very, very few mail order companies in any market, especially those with heavy products, that offer free shipping.

We recently did a survey and I was surprised that our customers did not value free shipping as much as I thought they did so we are looking at that long term. Eventhough I think we do a great job on service now, we could offer you hands down the very best service you have ever seen if we could hire 10 more employees. I need more input from you guys on this. Ultimately I think we currently offer great customer service and free shipping. We could offer elite customer service without free shipping, and it would be much easier for us to do that.

The past months have been trying and I sincerely apologize to anyone who had an issue. I am however satisfied with our overall history of good customer service, especially for fixing problems when they do come up. In the recent customer service survey we sent out we got back over 500 testimonials as part of the responses and 99% of those who took the survey would recommend MoreBeer to a friend. It was astounding to hear so much positive feedback from the other masses when you typically only hear from the small percentage who unfortunately have a negative experience. We also got a ton of great feedback on what we can do better and we are working on much of that. If anyone is interested I am always available to let you know what we are working on and where we want to be in the future.

We don't want problems. If you have a problem with B3 please, please call and ask for Kent, our customer service manager or myself, Olin, at anytime. Kentís job is take care of any issues that you might have. He is a young, totally enthusiastic homebrewer who really cares about making sure you get taken care of. We have a toll free 800# - 800-600-0033. Also Ė if you ever have the chance please come meet us in person at a retail store in SF or LA areas, at the AHA conference in Baltimore, The Oregon's Brewers Festival in Portland, The CBC conference, or even at the Siebel advanced brewing class. We are a collection of crazy brewing fanatics and would love to meet more of you in person!

As a side note Ė please support your lhbs whenever you have a chance. Our desire is to accent your supplier (if you are lucky enough to have one) with supplies they might not be able to carry in a retail situation. It is critical to the success of our industry, and to B3, that the industry continues to grow. Having local shops promoting brewing is the best promotion there is.

Cheers!
Olin Schultz
http://www.morebeer.com
 

aleman
Member
Username: Aleman

Post Number: 119
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

B3 is much better than Cabelas. Cabelas is often out of what you want and sometimes they won't even back order it. I have not had any trouble with B3.
 

Eric Severseike
New Member
Username: Els94

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 01:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow. Thanks, Olin. I had the good fortune to have B3 as my LHBS when I started, and have always experienced excellent service and a "go the extra mile for the customer" attitude. Being deployed at the moment, I'm unable to brew, but it's great to see that the same attitude persists at B3. NAYY.

Eric
 

PaulK
Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 148
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 02:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've had an occasional back ordered item with B3 orders but overall I've been pleased and I am glad that a resource like them exists for a hobby that has a very limited market.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2355
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Olin, I think your concern speaks for itself.
 

John Jacox
Junior Member
Username: Johnj

Post Number: 85
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've used B3 several times in the past with good service. I for one, do value the free shipping, however another thing that I value is the all grain kits that they offer. Most online homebrew shops have extract and partial mash kits, but not all grain. I have used recipies available from people on this forum successfully in the past, but sometimes it's much more convenient to order everything in one package from a trusted source. NAYYY!
 

Joe
New Member
Username: Joe002

Post Number: 15
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 07:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Iíve placed less than a dozen orders with BBB and had two where I received the wrong merchandise (the two bad orders occurred recently). When I called and reported the problem I was shipped the correct items the same day. While the part picking process may not be perfect the customer service was fine (for example, I didnít have to ship the incorrect items back before they would ship out the replacements).

Olin Ė I think your customer service is fine, and I like the free shipping.
 

Wayne Faris
Junior Member
Username: Bugeaterbrewing

Post Number: 54
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 12:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would like to thank Olin for the frank response and explanation regarding the concerns expressed here about B3's service. It sounds like there was a rough period that bothered them as much as their customers. However, it sounds like they now have the problem under control (or at least approaching that point). Olin's post has certainly eased any concerns I might have developed about ordering from them. While I have not ordered from them before, for reasons other than customer service, I will consider them along with other suppliers when I order supplies I can't get locally.
 

Michael
Member
Username: Michaelg

Post Number: 192
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 01:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mistakes happen. What concerns me is how (or if) they're fixed.

Speaking for myself, I haven't had a problem with orders at B3. My last one was last month. I usually buy from my LHBS, but I have had good experiences from a number of on-line vendors (Listermann, Northern Brewer, Hoptech and Williams Brewing).
 

GaryP6
Junior Member
Username: Garyp6

Post Number: 53
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 04:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the post Olin.

B3 is where I buy 80-90% of my supplies because they offer the best combination of selection and pricing. I always try to take advantage of their free shipping and the standard shipping fees outside of that are reasonable. B3 has earned my business and I will stick with them through the current tough times.

NAYY
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 531
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can say I have had good experience with B3. They never made a picking mistake, and when I had a kettle shipped and the shipper mangled the lid, they shipped me another one within 24 hours (and I don't even need the lid on a boiler).

As a programmer and data processing professional, I can say that ALL data conversions suck the big one. Often times there are rules that new systems enforce that old ones don't and many other situations where "you can't get there from here". All I can say is that I feel their pain.

What I like about B3 is the weird and exotic stuff they carry or manufacture. For instance, your typical LHBS typically won't carry every kind of poppet made. Mine doesn't even have false bottoms, much less coolers, kettles, or fittings. Most of them just sell crappy syrup kits, maybe some grain and hops, and if you are lucky, liquid yeast. Hoo boy! Of course this varies by your locale, but lots of us don't have one at all, so mail order is the only market. For those people in particular, and for everyone in general, this is what makes the "free" shipping appealing.

A word about "free" shipping: Many people perceive that the cost is rolled into B3's products. Many people have commented that their prices are a little higher than other shops, and I could provide examples. However, if you look at the cheaper stuff, and add the cost of shipping, it comes out the same.

"So what?" you might ask. Well, if it is indeed pretty much the same, then, if nothing else, it saves you the trouble of doing all the math and shopping around to save a couple of bucks. Just makes shopping with B3 easier. But to sum it up, I have always had excellent service with B3 and will definitely order from them again, in spite of current hiccups.

----------

I also realize that this board's sponsor might not be liking this, and I imagine they are B3's top competitor, and I would therefore recommend that B3 also sponsor this board. Although I have no idea how much NB contributes, the fact that they do is cause for some loyalty from regulars here. Although I haven't ordered from them just yet, I have heard a lot of good feedback about NB, and for the really expensive stuff, they might come in cheaper even if you do have to pay for shipping. Some of their stuff is cheaper than at B3, and some isn't (but it is rarely more expensive), which makes the free shipping come into play once again.

Something for both of these vendors to consider... and by the way, both of you, your taps, shanks, and faucets aren't cheaper than other restaurant suppliers; somehting else to consider. For a lot of home brewers, price does matter. I am not bashing either of you, just letting you know where you might be losing some business (mine for instance; I will go elsewhere for my second faucet). I also know you can't just set the price wherever you want, but I am just giving you some honest feedback.
 

Steve H.
Member
Username: Steveh

Post Number: 117
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 05:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do believe that B3 is one of the sponsors for hbd.org, although not specifically B & V. :-)

Steve
 

Kent Thompson
New Member
Username: A03326495

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 08:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Everybody,

I'm Kent, the Customer Service Manager for B3. I've only been here a few months, but I love working with and for homebrewers. I'd like to thank everyone that posted, you help me to know where our weak areas are. I don't want to add too much to Olin's post other to say that I'm always available via email or phone to address any concerns you have or if you would like to find out the status of your order. I also love to talk about beer, so give me a call at 800-600-0033 8am to 5pm weekdays and ask for me.

Kent Thompson
kentt@morebeer.com
 

Dan Grady
Junior Member
Username: Bierboy

Post Number: 89
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 09:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Olin and Kent-
Thanks for the reply. It's nice to see guys who care. I will definately consider B3 when ordering online.
 

tranquil_liza
Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 208
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

lesson in good business...

you voice a concern with a caring and considerate business such as B3...and WOW...you get a prompt, knowledgable and courteous response from the people who run the show.

lesson in bad business...

you buy a product from the five star corp and raise some concerns over it's effectiveness. you couldn't pry an explanation out of them with a MF'ing crow bar.

anyways...i like free shipping. and to be honest, i tend to spend more because of it.
 

R. M. Zelayeta
Junior Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 29
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being the fella that started this thread, I feel I should add a few closing remarks.

First, as noted in my first two posts, something had changed at B3, and while that change wasnít for the good, I assumed it was a glitch in the operation of an otherwise good company. As growing pains are now officially the source of the problem, letís hope B3 resumes being the sort of company that grows on its merits, rather than its reputation.

Next, itís not often that the head of a company so plainly asks his customers for advice. I suggest we use this opportunity, and use it wisely. Itíll be interesting to see what B3 does with our input in the months ahead.

Finally, I had no idea this thread would snowball like it has. Considering my initial post was an FYI, itís amazing to see the stir HBD created. As a long-time lurker, itís easy to forget how powerful HBD can be.

Thanks all,

rz

PS: Nobody ever writes a post that says, ďI had the best experience with Ö!Ē
 

Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 659
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> PS: Nobody ever writes a post that says, ďI had the best experience with Ö!Ē

I will. I'd be happy to. I've had nothing but outstanding experiences with all of the following: B3, Northern Brewer, Williams Brewing, and Grape and Granary. Mr. Schultz speaks of aiming for "LL Bean" level service -- that, or better, is all I've ever had from all 4 of those shops.

I've had less stellar experiences with 2 shops closer to me, one in MA and one in NH. I registered my complaints and took my business to places which treated me better. Frankly, I can't see how the "barely adequate" shops survive when people can buy from the four above plus Listermann, Homebrew Adventures, Austin Homebrew, and so many others with outstanding reputations.

Regarding free shipping: yeah, I like it. But having a large selection and the freshest ingredients matter more to me. I'd rather pay a little more to make the best possible beer than shave a dollar and make adequate beer.
 

Adam Widera
Intermediate Member
Username: Adam_w

Post Number: 424
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 05:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"and by the way, both of you, your taps, shanks, and faucets aren't cheaper than other restaurant suppliers; somehting else to consider."

Its a matter of volume. Restaurant suppliers sell a lot of these, hence they probably get a lower wholesale price.

However, last time I checked Rapids or Superior doesn't sell hops, grain, or yeast. Support your HOMEBREWING shops and vendors...
 

Ernie G. Tolentino
Junior Member
Username: Flipbrewer

Post Number: 37
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've purchased from B3 online, have dropped by their Concord, CA outlet several times and have on occasion seen Olin and other B3 staff at various HB comps and beer festivals. One thing I can say with certainty: B3 ain't no St. Pats...

(Message edited by flipbrewer on February 22, 2005)