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Paying for Pre-Orders?

I ordered a wireless mic set from B&H on August 26. See? After a few days, they sent me a small "quick start guide"1 to the version 2.0 of the 3.0 product that I'd ordered.

I called today to find out what's going on, since I was told the items would ship "in a few weeks" and was told that they now estimate a mid-November ship date.

I asked if they'd charged my card, and they had. Not because they "sent" something (the little guide), but because "we always charge your card when you order."

I've seen been told I was wrong, but for awhile I thought it was marginally or entirely illegal to charge someone way, way in advance of shipping product. When I pre-order from Amazon my cards aren't charged until the item ships. Same for Apple - within a day or two.

Even if it's not illegal, it's kind of crappy. I never agreed to loan B&H $x - I agreed to pay $x for certain products. And it can't be all peachy on their end. If I cancel, they have the added overhead of crediting my card back and losing out on the transaction fees they will have incurred.

I love B&H overall, but this kind of stinks. It limits the amount of pre-ordering I'll do with them in the future, too.

Footnotes

  1. Think "business card" size after being folded twice.

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