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Useless Hayloft

amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,026
I put my first order with Hayloft three months ago and will be my last. The two collections I've ordered were not delivered on the days they were meant to and on one case it was delayed by "mother nature" by two months. You'd think a basic competence of looking after your inventory and deliveries would be a prerequisite to having an online shop. In response to my email I got barely an apology...Marshalls in comparison were very quick to refund me when one of their two deliveries arrived in state only fit for compost. 

Lesson learned and will be going more frequently to three local nurseries that have great plants...but can't exactly predict what their stock will be before setting off...but frankly I'd rather they got my money than an incompetent online business.

How have your dealings with them and other online plant providers been like?
To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
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  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,883
    edited May 2019
    With regard to Hayloft, l find their catalogue very glossy and tempting, but the plants when they arrive although healthy, are very small. I have never had anything from them that l would be happy to plant directly outside without growing on first.
    I have found their communication to be good when l have had a query about an order,but l have to say that they wouldn't be my first choice.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 4,721
    If deliveries were not made on the specified day, its often the courier’s fault, not the nursery. I have had plants despatched in a timely manner by the nursery, only to languish for for nearly a week past due date because the courier didn’t have enough deliveries in my area and couldn’t be ars*d. They were only fit for compost, but the nursery refunded me, so they do need to take some responsibility for the carrier they use. As to Mother Nature- this happens. If weather/growing conditions are poor at the critical time, they will be delayed. The nurseries are not gods! 

    I guess its all down to communication, if they accept responsibility for their courier delays, or inform you that there will be a delay due to MN, I think thats perfectly acceptable.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,631
    I have had excellent service from Hayloft and good healthy plants. When there was a problem they replaced the plants immediately. They are reasonable on postage, too. I find, living on an island, I am often expected to pay two or three times the value of the order in postage fees and I just can't afford it. Buying a plant is a real treat for me, but not with a £20+ surcharge.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,158
    I think you were a bit unlucky George. I've had decent service from Hayloft and found them to be good communicators if there's been a problem. I don't think I've had any real problems with any online nurseries.

    Do have to agree with you about the plusses of using local nurseries though. There are a couple around here (who also happen to do mail order) who I would hate to see disappear because they are extraordinarily knowledgeable about the plants they stock (Mickfield Hostas and The Plantsman's Preference). Lovely having a mooch round and a chat.

    The main thing I look for with mail order is their info about despatch & delivery times. Several good retailers will only send out plants Sun to Wed because plants sent later in the week risk spending a weekend in a Royal Mail or courier's sorting office. I also won't use any nursery which uses a certain courier who are cr*p at finding our rural address. In fact they have never found it (everyone else has!). I know a 'delivery' by them will result in me making a 40 mile round trip to their Ipswich depot to collect the item....
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,131
    It is often the delivery companies fault, I ordered 1050 strawberries and they arrived over a week after their dispatch date, which meant they had come out of dormancy and I had to plant them a lot faster than if they had still been refrigerated.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Why anyone would want to order items online when you have 3 nurseries local is beyond me. I'd never be out them places
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 9,594
    Marc, there is a far wider selection online.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,026
    Ouch @Topbird tell me it's not Hermes...they "failed" to find my work address in central London four times... thankfully the bare root rose survived to tell the story. Delivery companies have to be the weakest point of online shopping.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,026
    I sympathize @Posy it must be awful being surcharged all the time because of distance/inaccessibility. Glad to hear others have had better experiences with them...
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 17,612
    My daughter calls that courier My Herpes, she says it’s as usual as.
    I’ve always been pleased with Hayloft, although I’ve only made a couple of orders, I wouldn’t buy from the catalogue, ridiculously expensive but they do good offers in magazines, plants about a £ each or less. 
    The catalogue is good for choosing what you like then buying the seeds. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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