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My experience of "customer service" .

I have not posted on the forum for a while and am doing so to see if other forum members have felt the same about the shoddy "customer service " I have received this year from online retailers. They range from small specialists, large G/C's and specialist nurseries. Orders have taken ages to arrive and are in poor conditions. Others don't communicate or respond to E-mails. Phone calls result in fob offs and  rude replies.

I have waited weeks for refunds and some have not arrived at all. I buy online as I am 70 and do not drive. I do go to local GC's whenever I am offered a lift. What gives these retailers the right to entice us with GLOWING testimonials and take our money and not deliver?

Sadly ,most of them advertise in GW and include T&M;; Crocus; Brookside Nurseries; Carreglefn Nurseries and Jersey Plants.

Am the only one who feels cheated and robbed?image



  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    Look at Mob rants thread,similar problems covered there.

  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 413

    I agree with you, Verdun. I have had very few causes for complaint - but if I have a problem, I am very persistent! I use T&M and Crocus every year and find them excellent. Maybe I'm just lucky?

  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

    Hello jatnikapyar.

    Your reference to late delivery and poor condition rang a bell for me due to my first ever delivery from a particular mail order firm. But I'm with Berkley here. Politely complain if you aren't happy and stay firm.

    My experience was with The Canny Gardener which is, I think, a smallish firm, with an excellent website and a monthly catalogue. They sell seasonal plant plugs and bulbs.

    When I politely drew their attention to the quality control issue of my first order with them, I received what I feel was excellent customer service. It is true I sent photos with a nice but firm email but I received an apology, a refund and replacement plants.

    Also they go the extra mile on the phone.

    It is in the interests of any firm to maintain excellent service with their customers and I believe if we, the customers,  always convey to them that we would like to believe the best of them - eg that their latest  shortcomings are 'not the norm' - most sensible firms should be falling over themselves to prove they agree with you. That then becomes good publicity (like this posting). 

    Any firm that doesn't respond positively, or worse is rude on the phone, is still back in the dark ages and deserves everything they get in bad publicity and lost custom.

    Here endeth my rant. Hope it helps.


  • jatnikapyarjatnikapyar Posts: 419

    Thank you Verdun, Berkley and Bird13 for your response. image


  • Birdy- you must have been lucky... there is a thread the canny gardener and most people have not had such good service

  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

    Thanks Bev, I will look at that Canny Gardener thread.

    I suppose it could be argued that, although 'lucky' with my complaint, for my first order to go wrong was either unlucky or, by other customers' experience, just typical of what they experienced with that firm. I can only go by my own single experience which admittedly is by no means a reliable 'yardstick'. 

    I think my point still applies, however: that if customers courteously but firmly direct justified complaints straight back at the company responsible for poor goods, the company will either rise to the challenge of putting things right (as in my case) or reveal its unreliability -  thereby losing customers.

    Now I come to consider it, I believe customers have almost have a duty to each other to complain (where there is justification) in order to keep standards of customer service high. In the end it's about honesty - companies have a duty to supply at the advertised quality and the customer has a right to receive what they paid for.

  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

    Sara 4: I had exactly the same problem with late plugs for baskets etc but I put this down to everyone being caught out by the severe winter, including the plant firms.

    Like you, one of my orders was badly delayed by the weather holding back plant growth it but came eventually. 

    I totally agree, however, with your frustration with the inordinate amount of time spent nowadays on 'telephone options'.

  • XX Posts: 707

    Hi Jatnikapyar, I've used Crocus and had really good customer service when a parcel turned up bashed, they resent the order the next day.  I have complained to Westland about grass seed recently, after 2 phone calls and 2 emails I had no joy - they just ignored me or fobbed me off.  So, I complained about Westland to Costco (where I bought the seed).  A week later and handwritten envelope arrived with a compliments slip from Westland with £100 in National Garden centre vouchers, no apology or written reply at all.  

    Have found it pays to be persistent but its so annoying that we have to keep on and on at these companies to get anywhere.

  • jatnikapyarjatnikapyar Posts: 419

    Hi Bev and Sarah, thank you for taking the trouble to respond as I felt as if i was the only one complaining. Apart from my post, I too had the problems that you highlighted and we tend to assume that GW magazine endorse these retailers as they offer % off in the magazine.

    As for Crocus, Paula, when my plant that cost £15/= had two withered leaves out of 4 3 days after delivery. It was implied by a PLANT DOCTOR called Helen (what is she when she is alive, is it a new agricultural qualification?) that I had killed it as I had not put it in a BIGGER pot as soon as it arrived. It was delivered in a2L pot, for Christs' sake!




     This is what the plant looked like 3 days after delivery. image

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