Is it the supplier's fault?

pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)September 15, 2009

I am rather puzzled by this poster's reaction:

Rant on VE

I've never had trouble with VE at all.

When I had bad bulbs from them in the past, I would call right away and received replacement without delay.

I've never reported bulbs that didn't come up the following spring though. I figured that since the bulbs were in good shape when I planted them, if they don't come up in spring, it would not be the company's fault, but the conditions in which the bulbs were planted.

The poster wrote that she planted other things over the potted bulbs. Wouldn't she think that the conditions she had provided the bulbs might have prevented those bulbs from growing? If she had planted them in pots and buried the pots under those plants, there might have not been enough drainage in the pots and that the bulbs might have rotted?

This reminds me so much of the lawsuit against McDonald's when someone who spilled hot coffee on his lap because he was holding the cup between his thighs while driving.

What do you, my fellow WSowers think of this situation?

I think we consumers have become so spoiled. We want the vendors/others to be responsible for our own actions or stupidity. Granted, big stores such as Home Depot have guaranteed money back if your plants die within one year, but major suppliers such as Forestfarms don't offer that guarantee. How can small growers stay in business if consumers are so irresponsible?

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columbusgardener

I worked in retail many years and I can tell you - people do crazy stuff to the items they buy then feel it's the people who sell it's fault.

I have planted a zillion bulbs over my lifetime. Some come up some do not, for the same reasons seeds don't sprout.

I am not sure why you would plant them in a pot then plant the pot? That sounds like a sure way to keep moisture around the bulb and rot it. Makes it easier to plant them to deep, or to shallow. But surely if she has overplanted them they are most likely rotted.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 7:49AM
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littleonefb

I to found the story quite strange as well.

I did seem to me, from what she posted in her rant on the bulb forum, that she planted the bulbs both in pots and in the ground. I didn't think she was planting them in pots and then putting the pots in the ground.

Either way though, I have never heard of planting bulbs in the ground and then planting something else on top of the soil that covers the bulbs.

I have planted bulbs in my beds and then put markers where they where planted so that when I go to add more seedlings to that bed, I don't put them on top of where the bulbs are.

Why in the world would anyone plant on top of where bulbs are supposed to shoot through the ground?
That makes absolutely no sense, no logic to it either.

Her expectations of having all the bulbs replaced are not part of the policy of Van Emgelson either. It clearly states the following in their terms of sale and quality guarantee.

Our Quality Guarantee

We guarantee to ship you top quality bulbs that are true to name and are healthy, firm and viable for planting. You will receive your flower bulbs at the proper time for fall planting in your area. Some flower bulb varieties (Amaryllis, Eremurus and Lilies) are harvested later than others, so orders are occasionally split-shipped. Please notify us immediately (within ten days of delivery) should there by any problem with your shipment. We cannot be held responsible for losses due to: extreme weather conditions, improper storage conditions, delayed planting, improper site conditions, improper climate plantings, forcing, pre-chilling, planting in raised beds or for any costs other than the actual cost of the bulbs. In the event that a particular variety is not available for horticultural reasons, we will inform you and suggest alternate varieties for your consideration at the earliest possible time. We do not make automatic substitutions.

The clearly state they are not responsible for various things including improper site conditions. IMHO, planting on top of where you have planted bulbs would be called improper site conditions.

I also don't think that the request to find out what the condition of the bulbs are is unreasonable either. The company wants to know if the buyers garden conditions are the cause of the problem.

If she can't find where she planted at least some of the bulbs in the ground, then she has a problem herself that is not the problem of the business that sold her the bulbs.

Expecting a company to replace something that they clearly state they are not responsible for and do not have a replacement policy for is crazy.

As for the reaction of the customer service rep. odds are this woman was not as knowledgeable as one might have liked, was reading off a script that she is given to handle different types of situations, and was talking to an outraged customer that was probably rude, indignant etc. and she caused the reaction from the customer rep.

If a company doesn't have a replacement policy, there is nothing the customer can do about the situation.

Besides, she has no idea if her bulbs are even in the ground or they where eaten by some kind of critter, dug up by pesky 4 legged critters that love bulbs to eat and play with, if they rotted in the ground from her ground conditions, or anything else.

Even the healthiest looking bulbs don't always sprout, and the weather across the country this past year has been horrible to grow just about anything.
Maybe if they didn't rot from excess rain, they dried up from not enough moisture or they took a trip out of her garden.

Expecting a bulb or seed business to replace bulbs or seeds because you want them to, when they have no policy to do so, is just plain dumb.
And you certainly aren't going to get anywhere by calling the company and start attacking them, yelling at them and being rude.

On the other hand, if they do have a 100% guarantee refund or replacement policy on seeds or bulbs, that is a totally different story.

I've had seeds replaced or money refunded from both Burpee and TMseeds because of lack of germination, seeds where not what the package said and they do have that guarantee.
They have appreciated the call about seeds not being what they where supposed to be, or not germinating and every time I have called, i've been polite, pleasant and just stated the facts and also asked if they could explain what happened.

Both times I have contacted both companies, it was determined there where problems with the seeds germinating on their end, and errors in the packaging of seeds.

I have never called to replace bulbs though. To me there are far to many variables in what would or could go wrong with them to think that it was the bulb company's fault, especially when the bulbs where nice and healthy when I got them.

Fran

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 2:30PM
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