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Thread: Ken Hough Experience

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    7

    Thumbs down Ken Hough Experience

    I got interested in LF after taking an environmental portrait class with Herb Aschermann last summer. I enjoyed Herb's class so much that I rushed out and purchased a used Deardorff 5x7 from eBay. I thought I would have used it hundreds of times by now.

    Unfortunately, I got roped into sending Ken Hough my Deardorff 5x7 camera and two lenses, which he has had since September of 2008. He also has my money. Not only the deposit to begin the work, but the balance since he wrote me at the beginning of April indicating the work is done. Now he will not reply to my e-mails nor my phone calls. The last time I spoke to him in mid April he said my camera was shipping that day. Well it's June.

    I sent him another e-mail last night indicating if he does not ship my gear this week and supply me with a tracking number I am gong t contact the Better Business Bureau and the local authorities. He can send my gear back with the work incomplete along with my money or send me my refurbished camera and keep the money.

    Ugggh. I hate dishonest people. How in the world do they stay in business? Oh because there's always another sucker like myself.

  2. #2
    Clay
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    361

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    No one should have to go through a thorough 'Houghing', but somehow, the guy stays in business. Persistence, a lot of time, and some very direct language will be required to get your camera back. Search the old photo.net archives for many threads about this particular vendor. At least you will gain some cold comfort in knowing that this is business as usual with him, and has been for many years.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Milford Pa.
    Posts
    2,924

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    oh! i feel your pain. i hope you get it back soon. this is why i choose not to send out my main camera for repairs or the like because i find most repair people too busy to complete the work ina timely fashion or when they say they will do it. seems to be the patter.

    i have two friends waiting on repairs now that are 6-9 months over due from the days promised (a different service) and this is after the estimated repair time....so they have been waiting over 1 year each.

    always keep a camera to use and plan for a repair time to be 2 times as long as they say....if you are lucky you will get it back at your estimated time....never theirs!

    i am lucky. i got a local guy who does beautiful work to do my stuff.....

    good luck. oh! if you used the USPO you may threaten him with the federal issue if you sent $$$ in the mail.....may help, may not.

    if you can not wait:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ight=deardorff

    i have seen this camera, it is nice....

    eddie
    My YouTube Channel has many interesting videos on Soft Focus Lenses and Wood Cameras. Check it out.

    My YouTube videos
    oldstyleportraits.com
    photo.net gallery

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Posts
    66

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    hi i had finally had enough after 1/1/2 years called the sheriff in indiana and i got the camera he served him with a complaint also using the internet for bussiness brings it to a local issue sorry for your problem

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    7

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    Thank! If he does not ship by the end of this week, the local sheriff and the Better Business Bureau are my next stops. I should've bit the bullet and purchased a new wooden camera. Not worth the perceived savings.

    I shoot high school and college sports with a digital camera. LF was my way to slow down, spend more time pre-visualizing and to kick start the creative juices.

    Paid with Paypal.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    the new jersey shore
    Posts
    64

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    Hi Alex: I went through a similar experience with Ken a number of years ago; however I waited and did get back my beater 8x10 DD looking like new. I have been using it happily for years now and people always comment on what a beautiful camera it is. I remember it taking 2 years and I was at my wits end thinking of what recourse I should take. Just keep bugging him and be patient, you will get it back.
    Arthur

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,695

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by acena View Post
    I got interested in LF after taking an environmental portrait class with Herb Aschermann last summer. I enjoyed Herb's class so much that I rushed out and purchased a used Deardorff 5x7 from eBay. I thought I would have used it hundreds of times by now.

    Unfortunately, I got roped into sending Ken Hough my Deardorff 5x7 camera and two lenses, which he has had since September of 2008. He also has my money. Not only the deposit to begin the work, but the balance since he wrote me at the beginning of April indicating the work is done. Now he will not reply to my e-mails nor my phone calls. The last time I spoke to him in mid April he said my camera was shipping that day. Well it's June.

    I sent him another e-mail last night indicating if he does not ship my gear this week and supply me with a tracking number I am gong t contact the Better Business Bureau and the local authorities. He can send my gear back with the work incomplete along with my money or send me my refurbished camera and keep the money.

    Ugggh. I hate dishonest people. How in the world do they stay in business? Oh because there's always another sucker like myself.
    Well Ken Hough has helped you achieve one of your LF objectives - he's certainly slowed you down.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    Not that this helps you now, but Richard Ritter does excellent repairs on wooden cameras, including Deardorff, and is a viable and reliable alternative to Ken Hough.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    3,848

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    It sounds like a one man show or extremely desirable custom work. I once ordered a custom item (not a camera) from a famous shop, who promised 2 years to delivery. It took 5. Nothing would get it faster, and I just waited. Loved the item eventually, but I'd gotten a lot older.

    This doesn't have to be the business model. If you have more work than you can do, you do what Flutot's shutter repair does: Put the customer on a waiting list, and only receive the item when you are ready for it. When I contacted them it worked fine. I got an email a couple months later saying, "send it." I did - it was fixed and returned in a week or so..... Some craftsmen don't like to change business practices, but they should.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,205

    Re: Ken Hough Experience

    These threads generally bring out the Ken Hough apologists. When you take money up front, tell someone the camera is done, take more money, tell them you are shipping it and really don't, etc. etc., it isn't a bad business plan, a one man shop issue, a quirky personality, a gifted craftsman with time management problems, etc.

    If the work had been done he'd ship it to get you off his back. Duh. The word has five letters and starts with "f" and there is no excuse for it.

    When you know you have cameras backed up for years and you still tell the new customer (whose "deposit" you very much desire) that you can get it done by a certain date this is not "a business practice." It doesn't matter that he has a nifty website and can chew the DD fat on the phone -- wake up. Don't believe me?

    Here is a current problem, just the latest of what he has been doing for years and years, long after the excuses that some earlier accepted. (Humidity is variable in the shop, asthma acting up, mother ill, mother passed away, my internet server is down/having problems, etc.) NINE YEARS AGO I was in the middle of my experience with him: Promised to get it done in advance of a trip on a certain date, didn't - without explanation or communication, asked for more money, said it was done, asked for more money, said he'd ship, but didn't ship, ignored repeated contact after the supposed shipment date until legal action threatened, sent camera with numerous dings in the just refinished bed and several promised repair items not done despite request for payment, camera badly damaged in shipment due to incredibly bad packing, KH claiming $300+ from the USPS to fix the damage that resulted solely from his bad packing (now there is value added), camera back for repair, finally returned with an obvious repair to the damaged area.

    There may be someone who got something back done well within approximately the time promised. And yes, he can do very good work. But given the pervasive nature of what he has done for more than a decade, why use him? Mr. Ritter doesn't do this to people.

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