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The choice of freight company can kill your business

KiliKili Posts: 899
The plug plant saga just goes on and on and on...

I ordered plug plants from Dobies which were not despatched at the end of April as promised , but the 10th May. I received the notification that they had been despatched and was given a tracking number. Looking at the image below which is a screen shot of the tracking information it clearly shows that the company (Whistl) had them on the 11th of May then held them in a warehouse for 7 days before handing them over to Royal Mail for onward shipment.
I still haven't received the order of Calibrachoa plug plants. Does anyone think after 10 days without water there going to arrive alive? 

If this is normal behaviour for their choice of freight company no wonder there plants are arriving in such a poor state.

That's it for ordering online for me. Packets of seed only from now on.


'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

George Bernard Shaw'

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  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Not quite correct.
    The shipping label was created on the 11th, which just means that it was bought, not attached and posted.
    I see that the item was marked as large letter, wrongly as then the sizing was changed on 17th when they received the item, next day it was handed over for delivery by Royal Mail.
    So maybe 3 days?
    Have you queried this with Dobies?
  • KiliKili Posts: 899
    K67 said:
    Not quite correct.
    The shipping label was created on the 11th, which just means that it was bought, not attached and posted.
    I see that the item was marked as large letter, wrongly as then the sizing was changed on 17th when they received the item, next day it was handed over for delivery by Royal Mail.
    So maybe 3 days?
    Have you queried this with Dobies?


    Not yet. As there in transit I thought I would wait until they arrive in the slim hope that they may still have some life in them.

    Have I confused this then. Your suggesting that a label was created on the 11th but the plants were not posted until the 17th.
    Sounds strange to me that the label would be created on the 11th, but the order not processed until 6 days later, but I have no idea how the plug plant business or freight business works so maybe that's the norm. if so there may be hope they arrive alive then. 

    Thanks for your input. I'll post an update when they arrive

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    I would think the volumes they work with it might be that long. All bought at start of week then orders packed that week and posted?
     I was just going on what happens when I sell on EBay. If I buy the label on a Friday but don't print and post until Monday it shows the dispatch date as the Friday!
    I am waiting for some plug plants from Brookside posted yesterday via RM. They have said their plants are packed to survive a week in transit so hope this is the case with yours.
  • sjb_csjb_c Posts: 41
    Agree with K67, this happens all the time.  Shipping labels are created sometimes days before the item is actually handed over to the courier - very annoying when you're waiting on something, but at least your plants weren't with the courier for 7 days.  Hope they arrive soon!
  • KiliKili Posts: 899
    Thanks guys for the info on packing and posting. Hopefully they should arrive soon then.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,877
    Regardless of the specifics though, you are right @Kili. I have stopped buying from a couple of sites because the courier they use are appalling. Not so much dead plants as total delivery failure, repeatedly. My neighbours are thinking of setting up a Yodel swap site where we can all take the wrong deliveries that get left in our various sheds and doorways and swap them for our own parcels that were dumped in someone else's hedge/drive/stable/porch
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • KiliKili Posts: 899
    edited May 2021
    raisingirl I'm with you on this one. I did another order earlier in the year with Dobies and 50 of the 90 plants sent were DOA. If I hadn't already paid for the second order I wouldn't have bothered.

    I got a bit lazy this year and decided to order some plug plants rather than sow my own although I did sow between 3 - 400 hundred of my own anyway.

    Its very poor management practice that isn't monitoring the shipment process and adjusting their processes and dealing with poor delivery services. Also the failure to pack plug plants in sealed containers after a good watering is a good part of the problem. There's certainly a solution out there with regard to the packing of such plants for shipping just waiting to be found. I'm always minded of those plant creations in a sealed bottle which get watered once then sealed in the bottle and never again because the water is simply recycled in the sealed bottle infinitely. A simple version of this could surely be applied to a well designed package if only to keep the plant moist whilst in transit. Obviously light is the problem in transit ,but transparent packing would alleviate that to a greater degree. A job for a design engineer methinks. Maybe there's one here on the forums that could explain why or why not such packaging doesn't exist for plants in transit ( or maybe it does)

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,611
    Trouble is, many companies are also trying to cut down on plastics use for packaging. We can't have it all ways. I've had a few plug plants that came in cardboard trays in a tight-fitting outer carton. The plugs were in supposedly-biodegradable teabags but those were easily removed before potting up. They were fine, not too wet or too dry, but had been dispatched directly to Royal Mail and delivered next day by our lovely postie.
  • KiliKili Posts: 899
    JennyJ said:
    Trouble is, many companies are also trying to cut down on plastics use for packaging. We can't have it all ways. I've had a few plug plants that came in cardboard trays in a tight-fitting outer carton. The plugs were in supposedly-biodegradable teabags but those were easily removed before potting up. They were fine, not too wet or too dry, but had been dispatched directly to Royal Mail and delivered next day by our lovely postie.


    I don't think receiving your order the next day is going to pose any issues for anyone if that is the norm for a company despatching plants, but from my experience and many others on here ( from what I've read) and especially for those of us living in outlying areas it is not the norm to receive a delivery the next day, hence my query about the right packaging. I certainly don't advocate the use of plastic where its not necessary it doesn't have to be plastic there are many other materials that may be suitable it just needs someone with an engineering or product design background to address the issue.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • thrxvsthrxvs Posts: 31
    According to Trustpilot Dobies seem to have a bit of an issue with plug plants arriving dead and delayed orders. Have never ordered from them so can't comment but if I was looking to order plug plants I would be sure to check sites such as Trustpilot to see whether the company can be relied on to deliver in decent condition.

    Ordered plug plants from Victoriana Nurseries as well as Crocus and Suttons and a few others over the years and never had any issues, delivered with RM, moist and wrapped in newspaper. If not I would be sure to complain and get a refund then go elsewhere.  It is a little unfair to use your experience with one company and assume that all companies are the same, like with everything there is good bad and indifferent.

    It is up to Dobies if they choose to dispatch orders in this way, if they are any good they will act on the feedback received otherwise they will lose customers.  I have no idea what kinds of plants etc they sell but I guess the same can also be obtained from any one of a number of their competitors.

    At the risk of sounding unhelpful the vast majority of plants can just be grown from seed. If I can bung pretty much any seed in a tray of moist compost in an airing cupboard for a week with 95% success rate, then anyone can do the same, and especially if you are in a hard to reach area it may be worth adjusting expectations of what plug plants you can receive and what you may need to grow from seed... this is how it is sometimes unfortunately.
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