I had a horrible experience with DMS Bina! (www.dms-bina.com or http://www.indianmusicalinstruments.com they have 2 sites). First of all it took about 2 weeks for my items to ship eventhough they assured my that the items would be sent the day after payment was received. No biggie I thought, at least the items had shipped. By the way, they provided me with a false tracking number just so they would not receive emails from me regarding the status of the order. When the items did finally ship, they said it was a mistake and "the correct tracking number is". No wonder I could never track the dang package!
Finally when my package did arrive, I noticed that some items that I had explictily paid for were missing. I contacted "Inni Singh" by email and voiced my concerns and he assured me that it was a packing error and that they would "ship the missing items right away". Well I have not received my items yet needless to say. Beware of this business. I have no problem saying that this Inni Singh character is a liar and a cheat. Save your cash and go somewhere else.
Unfortunately, I must confirm Baraka's bitter experience with Bina and Mr Inni Singh. In 2001 I had a deal with them and at that time I was really contented. The shipment was made right after the payment and the instruments were nicely packed. Now it took more than a month from the payment to the shipment. I had to send several e-mails to Mr Inni Singh asking about when the shipment would be made, and all the time he apologized for the delay. I had already released the idea to ever receive the instruments when - to my greatest surprise - they really shipped them. The next disappointment was that the instruments arrived without a case. Two years ago I ordered a harmonium and a set of bansuris and they both arrived in a suitable case to carry them. This time I ordered the same bansuri set and a flat tanpoura and the bansuris were just packed in paper and also the tanpoura arrived without a case, so now I have a headache how to carry it. For me it was just natural that the case for the instruments was included in the price. If not, I would have liked to have been asked if I wanted them with or without a case. I also must confirm that if you people find a more reliable company to order Indian instruments, don't hesitate to choose that one.
Even if there was a problem with the shipment, why did you choose not to reply to my emails. I literally sent you 20 emails regarding the missing items. It was not until I posted on this site and made you aware of it that you chose to respond to me.
I try to make it my policy not to interfere in these boards. It is my strong desire that these boards be used as forums for the constructive exchange of information. Unfortunately, this is very quickly turning into an unconstructive flame war.
I think that all the useful information has already been exchanged. I respectfully request you to drop the matter and move on to other topics of discussion.
One more statement then the subject will be dropped. After I made this posting, Inni Singh from DMS Bina has contacted me and made an attempt to rectify the situation. He even offered me a free bhangra dhol. He has sent the missing items and I am waiting to get them.
Sorry David, just one more post and then I would also like to drop this matter. To give a complete picture about Bina I would like to let everybody know that further to my post on this board Mr Inni Singh contacted me through e-mail and asked me (very politely) if I was to write here. He again apologized for the delay of the shipment (he did that also previously) and offered me to ship the missing cases free of cost. I would like to encourage everyone to make your own experience and form your own opinion about Bina, and do not let be influenced by posts on this board. David, if there is a way a to remove my post in the subject, I kindly ask you to do so.
I think it should be clarified here - that DMS (Delhi Musical Stores) which was formerly DMS-BINA is now simply DMS. They should not be confused with BINA Musicals. BINA Musicals is co-managed by JP Singh (Inni's cousin). These are two seperate and distinct buisnesses.
I have been making regular purchases from Inni Singh for some time now - and I have overall been very happy with them. It's true that on occaision they make mistakes in packing and shipping - but they always make prompt reparations where required. This is never true with BINA. If they screw up an order or send a defective item - they always offer to give you a discount on your "next order". But if you are doing a one-time purchase - you are out of luck.
The fact that someone on occaision gets a mis-packed item from an Indian company - is par for the course. What is an exception - is the fact that an Indian company (DMS) will go to great lengths to attend to customer needs to keep them happy. The general rule of thumb with Indian music shops is: when an order is screwed up - too bad! They will in most cases just ignore the problems until it "goes away." In a country so vastly overpopulated - they are so used to having an endless supply of suckers - that they don't even try to improve their service. I have found the most trustworthy shops to be in Calcutta. Though in Delhi - Inni Singh has proven himself to be the one real exception to the rule.