Trees damaged in shipping - Happy Though

iowajerApril 19, 2013

Well, I received two apple trees in as many days from Gurney's.

The first one was a deluxe/premium 4' Sweet Sixteen. When it arrived half the roots were bone dry as the strips of paper used to maintain root moisture had fallen off the roots and were in the bottom of the plastic bag. The tip of the tree looked like it had been chewed off by a whitetail deer! (What they have no sharp pruning shears...) And the bottom of the box looked kinda like an accordion.

Well I thought I should touch bases so I sent Gurney's an email and told them that I just wanted to be on record in case it does not make it. That I will plant it, and I assume it will be OK but you never know.

Gurney's replied before the end of the day, saying "Thank you for your email. I apologize for the inconvenience. We offer lifetime guarantee on all our plants. If the plants do not grow or flourish to their full potential, please let us know and we can either issue a replacement certificate (store credit) or a refund or a reship whichever you prefer."

So I was OK with that.

Next day I get a standard 2-4' Gold Rush Apple (from that $4.99 sale they had)

I could see the box had been broken in half and taped in the middle to put it back together. When I opened it this is what I had:

I had to cut off 30" leaving only a 6 or 7" stub.

So I called Gurney's this time. Kind of got nowhere with the CS rep, she sounded real young and couldn't do anything w/o talking to a manager, and they were all busy. She did tell me the Gold Rush were out of stock though.

Well I told her thanks and that I'd send an email.

I did, and heard nothing back by the end of the day. This morning however I had an email from Gurney's saying they apologized and a reship was issued and I would receive it by early May.

So, that's what I call customer service!!!

I don't know how they come up with out of stock Gold Rush to send me another, but maybe they hold back some for this kind of thing.

In any case I am VERY happy with the communication, and their dealing with the problem ASAP (Not making me wait a year...)

I only wish they used a more stout box system to send trees in. (Both mine were shipped from Louisiana, MO)

Anyway, so far this is working out about as good as I could have hoped for. (And there is still that 6-7" of a stub that may still make a tree anyway some day)

So here's hoping the reshipped tree arrives in good shape, and I just wanted to give Gurney's some love for how they've dealt with it up to now.

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


You can use the broken off portion as a scion wood. It is still look dormant.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Yeah, don't know how they ship out out of stock Gold Rush. When they said I wouldn't get any from that sale, I complained about it and they have sent me one now. Maybe they just put goldrush tag on something else and end up with red delicious or something.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I got my goldrush a couple weeks ago and they also gave me $25 credit for their mistake. I've ordered 2 ambrosia and last night checked on the status. It's in transit and will spend the weekend in a warehouse somewhere. Shipped thursday, scheduled arrival tuesday. Ironically the item passed 15 mins from my house in transit friday and is 100 miles away!
Hahaha They need help with logistics/ warehousing or they're throwing money away and delivering an inferior product!
I hope you get a goldrush.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:41AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

I can't believe any delivery service would break a box in half in the 21st century. That is terrible. They need to be more dang careful with odd shaped packages.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:56AM
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I'd not thought about the mislabeling potential. But unfortunately it wouldn't be the first time I've planted mislabeled stock...

Years ago I had stuff from Stark Brothers that once they began fruiting it almost seemed like someone must have been playing a cruel joke! I had a map of things I'd planted and had kept the labels in an envelop, and still have them.

Then I was reading here one day, and someone like H-man or one of the others that really knows these things was saying that there was a transition time when Stark Bros had went through a management change or something, and that it appeared for a period of time they were shipping things out all over the place with wrong labels.

It's not like a garden, you toss in some beans and they turn up a different variety than you expect. With apples it can be 8 years.....

But the damage in transit kinda seems all so unnecessary, if the boxes had some sort of corner splines made of heavy gauge cardboard or something, and there was a little better way of keeping the root moister material in place.

I don't know, but things happen. I guess it's easy for one individual customer like me to have all the answers for a big outfit like them huh?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Yeah, when Stark Bros was owned by foster and gallagher, had bought a couple dawn redwoods, hadn't noticed until years later that they were baldcypress instead.They didn't even offer baldcypress in the catalog.
But I guess it worked out since baldcypress seem to grow better here anyways.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:10AM
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