Hank Lee - Customer Service Gone Bad

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Postby CraigMitchell » 02/02/12 06:00 PM

I've held back on posting in the misguided hope that my issue would actually be resolved. But alas - no such luck ...

I placed an order in Oct with Hank Lee's and duly provided them with my credit card details. My card was summarily charged for the order. I only later then learn that the items were not in stock and in fact on pre-order. A minor fact which they deemed not worthy of imparting ( quite ironic considering Hank Lee himself bemoaned the scourge of 'preorders' in the industry in one of his many missives )

Some six weeks later after multiple emails, forever missed deadlines and continued persistence in trying to chase up the exact status of the order ( communication is not their strong point ) - my items eventually are dispatched end Nov.

Fast forward a month - and I discover that an extra charge mysteriously appears on my credit card for $62 - billed by Hank Lees.

On enquiring am advised "The small charge was for shipping of your order. I believe we charged you only 1/2 of the air post"

Unfortunately their maths came no where close to adding up and I was being overbilled - having been charged for shipping both in Oct and again in Nov.

I have sent multiple emails attempting to get refunded - none of them have had the courtesy of response. On eventually speaking to Hank - he acknowledged receiving them but didn't bother to reply and would need to look into the shipping cost. One would have expected him to do so on receiving the first enquiry ... not simply ignore them. Or wait for me to eventually get through on the telephone.

An entire month has gone by. And still no refund and still no bother of a reply from Hank Lee's.

The brick & mortar stores forever complain about the death of their business due to the internet. How wrong they can be. The death of any business is non-existent service - and in this case, downright disdain for customers which seems to be the current trend at Hank Lee's if my experience is anything to go by.

I really should not have to resort to filing fraud charges with my bank in order to recover my money.

Disappointed to say the least.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/02/12 07:12 PM

Has anyone else had the experience of having unexplained charges appear on their cards when doing business with Hank lee? A good friend of mine had numerous charges appear on his account. American express took care of the problem. It is my understanding that Hank was uncooperative in reaching a final resolution.

Has anyone else had similar experiences? There may be some resolution options available.
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Postby Mark Collier » 02/02/12 07:15 PM

I had a similar situation with them years ago except the item was on back order and they didn't bother to tell me or respond to my emails. I finally got Hank on the phone and he told me he didn't know when the item would ship. I told him I wasn't happy about not being informed the item wasn't available when I ordered it even though I was charged. He suggested I take my business elsewhere. I haven't ordered from him since.
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Postby Doug Thornton » 02/02/12 07:52 PM

You can ALWAYS count on Denny to do the best in customer service.
(To name just one of the best.)
Smiles all around
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Postby Edward » 02/02/12 08:06 PM

Unfortunely, I think that Hank is so popular among Magicians that he takes advantage of us.

So the next step is to vote with our wallets.

Thanks for listening.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 02/02/12 11:27 PM

Things have a way of coming around. I bought a Harry Anderson effect from them about 4 and a half years ago. The employee on the other end was an a** h***

I cut them loose and never looked back.
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Postby John M. Dale » 02/03/12 12:46 AM

Some years ago I ordered "Steve Dusheck's Wunderbar" which to this day is advertised by name on Hank Lee's website here.

I received "The Wonderful Bar" poorly made in India. The IT looked like nylon thread you could buy in a fabric store. I questioned Hank by email and he responded that Wunderbar was unavailable so he got the closest alternate he could and was completely unapologetic about the misrepresentation. I haven't purchased from Hank Lee since.

(Side note: I posted about this situation here on the Genii Forum and Steve Dusheck, stand up guy that he is, happened to read my post and, at no expense to me, sent a Wunderbar to me. He informed me that he stopped selling to most magic shops because places like Hank Lee were selling cheap ripoffs of his stuff.)

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Postby Roger M. » 02/03/12 12:56 AM

Worst online purchase experience I've ever had was with Hank Lee.
Nothing in stock, yet credit card charged, the order came in three separate mailings, and I got charged an insane final amount for shipping.

Now I prefer Penguin (whose shopping cart won't even let you purchase if the item isn't in stock) and MJM, both of whom have offered flawless buying experiences over the past few years.

Hank Lee?......never again.
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Postby erdnasephile » 02/03/12 12:59 AM

Thanks for the heads up on Hank--sad, really--I used to order there frequently back in the day.

I found Denny and Lee, MJM, Madhatter Magic, Stevens Magic, and Midwest Magic to be very reliable and fun to shop at.

My local B & M not so much after they stopped letting people browse through the books.
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Postby Gary Kosnitzky » 02/03/12 03:35 AM

If magicians knew what kind of customer service they get from Denny Haney (Denny & Lee's Magic studios- Baltimore- Las Vegas)


they wouldn't shop anywhere else.
Those that know him know there is no hyperbole in these words.

Denny caters to his customers. He truly and sincerely respects other human beings and wants to help anyone who is interested in magic.
Denny isn't just a magic dealer. Denny is an accomplished magician. How many dealers do you know that also perform? It is not unusual for Denny to fly in just to perform at the Magic Castle for a week.
He is also extrememly knowledgable and actually enjoys sharing his knowledge, for free.
Denny always puts his customers interest over his own. He doesn't support thieves and will tell you when something is crap.
He won't say these things about himself, he's way too modest and humble, so I have to.

I worked for him once and saw first hand the love and respect Denny has for magic and all magicians.
If anyone deserves to be given 'our' business it would be Denny Haney at Denny & Lee's Magic Studio.
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Postby AJM » 02/03/12 04:15 AM

Great testimonial Gary - however, from my own personal experience, I completely disagree with you.


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Postby Gary Kosnitzky » 02/03/12 04:56 AM

AJM wrote:Great testimonial Gary - however, from my own personal experience, I completely disagree with you.



Would you please tell me why you disagree with me?
I have no personal interest in this one way or another.
I honestly find it hard to believe Denny would let a customer go away unhappy but I can quickly change my belief.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/03/12 05:05 AM

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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/03/12 06:03 AM

One can request a chargeback, but if a dealer's practice were to slip in small after the fact charges hoping the customer over looked them, over time, the missed transactions could add up to a healthy amount for the dealer. Catch them too late and the card company is no longer liable. (6 months is the usual limit.)

There were nearly two years of Charges placed on my friend's account by Hank's store - small amounts at first, then they grew over time. My friend has a book keeper who handles such things and he has numerous transactions so they went unnoticed.

He was auditing his books when it was discovered.

Might be smart to check one's records when dealing with any mail order company. You never know if little charges may have slipped by.

If you find anything, let us know. We might be able to help.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 02/03/12 06:39 AM

Hi Brad

That's quite unbelievable - was there any resolution to the matter? Were charges filed ? I really was hoping my incident was isolated ... but clearly not.

Storing credit card numbers ( unless in a secure format according to card association rules ) also breaches most merchant account agreements.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/03/12 12:01 PM

The following is mandatory: any accusations in this thread are subject to the laws of libel. If you can't or aren't willing to back up every thing you've written you are liable for prosecution under those laws. Anecdotal evidence doesn't count: you need credit card bills and you'll have to prove that you never ordered the things you were charged for.

Just fair warning.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby CraigMitchell » 02/03/12 05:38 PM

Subsequent to my posting on the Forum ... I finally received a response from Hank Lee and my refund has eventually been processed.

"...I will issue refunds to your account for both the *** and the *** today.

I apologize for taking a while to get back to you. In a perfect world, we would have taken care of this immediately. But, we are taking care of it now.

If you would not mind, and this would be helpful for us, please post to the Genii Forum that we have taken care of you.
Thanks so much,
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Postby bagelsandlox » 02/03/12 11:25 PM

I stopped ordering from Hank in 1999. I wonder how he stays in business.
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Postby Raleigh » 02/04/12 12:23 AM

A plug for another excellent first class dealer ..... George Robinson of Viking Mfg. / Collectors' Workshop = AAA + SERVICE !
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