Just publicly kicking myself . . .

hykue(2b Saskatchewan)May 19, 2011

So, I never seem to find time to post, what with the farm and my husband going away to work and my being pregnant, and I don't read all that much here right now either (some day I'll be back full force). But I had to kick myself today, and just to make sure I remember the lesson, I want to do it publicly.

I ordered $85 worth of daylilies from Floral and Hardy this year, which is a lot of money for me to spend on flowers (about 1/3 of my total flower budget for the year, including seeds and irises). It took me months to figure out JUST which ones to order, and to get myself down below the $200 mark where I started out. It was painstaking and fun. When I ordered, I forgot to ask them to email me when they shipped my order. I have a PO Box in town, I only check it about once a week, because I only go into town about once a week. Last week I forgot my mail key. This week I went in on Sunday, when the post office isn't open. Yesterday I looked at my bank statement and was HORRIFIED to see that F&H had charged my credit card about two weeks ago. OH NO! My poor, poor daylilies! I went to town today and picked them up as soon as I could, but I think they've been there for 10 days. The poor things, I feel terrible for them AND for my pocketbook. I think the majority of them are going to make it (a testament to the quality of F&H's daylilies, perhaps?) but a few probably won't. I'm so mad at myself right now. Poor little boogers are soaking right now, I hope they all make it . . . and they would be justified to sulk for a few years by refusing to give me flowers.

Lesson learned. ALWAYS ask for a shipping confirmation email (or phone call, for that matter). Sigh.

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bdgardener(3 AB)

You are not alone. Every year I place at least one order for perishables. I don't live in town either and as with you only get to the post office once a week or so. I never thought to make sure I get a shipping date email, they always have. This year I ordered more strawberry plants from William Dam and never got that email I think they were at the post office for at least a week. They were very dry and pale. Good thing I had the beds prepared got them in right away and it rained all day today so at least they are getting a good soak.

Lesson learned here too.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 7:05PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Hykue, I don't think you should be kicking yourself - F&H, and anyone else you are ordering from for that matter, should ABSOLUTELY let you know the day they put the plants in the mail so that you have an approximate pick up date. I don't think this is your fault at all...lots of rural people - including myself - only check their box once a week, and unless you know exactly when they are coming, are you just supposed to guess?

BAD customer service..I'd be mad at them.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 8:21PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Hey, if anything went wrong with that order, if it was F&H's fault, Betty would go good for it. She's excellent and has always been a great help for me. We've emailed back and forth about several orders, and she has always done her best for me. Her daylilies and hostas are always good quality, and you usually get more than you bargain for!

Hykue, you're not the only one, for sure. Once my son checked the mail and left the parcel in his closed-up truck for a week. I was wondering where my order was and he said, a little sheepishly, "Uh, i think it's in my truck...". So much for whatever that was!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:20PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Yeah, it is one thing if the package isn't already having to travel a long way, but when something is coming from eastern Canada to western Canada, I think there is no question that they should certainly contact you when they send it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 10:58PM
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hykue(2b Saskatchewan)

I can see all your points, but really MOST of their customers probably aren't rural, and don't have this problem. I'm sure they just aren't aware of how important it can be for those of us in this situation. I emailed Betty, not to have her do anything about my situation, but to let her know that PO Box customers might appreciate a heads-up in the future. They're super-busy right now I'm sure, and I'll bet they just have never thought of how much it could matter to some of us.

Incidentally, I had the same thing happen last year with a perennial order from BC. So I knew full well I should ask for a shipping confirmation, I just forgot.

I'm just glad that they will ship to a PO Box at all, there are so many companies that just WON'T, I guess because they only ship UPS . . . now that's annoying. "Yeah, for the address, um, tell the guy to take TWP Rd 521 to the W for 12 miles, then turn south, take the first left past the bridge . . ." I swear, the next company that tells me that they won't ship to a PO Box, I'm going to just ask the person on the phone if they'll ship it to me personally, through the mail. I recently had an even bigger package-fiasco with one such company . . . I still don't even know what went wrong, except maybe everything.

Ah well, thanks for the support, and I'm glad to see so many of your familiar names still here!

Really, though, please don't blame Betty. I can imagine being in her position, and I don't expect she knew this problem was a possibility.

Happy gardening, until next time!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:04AM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Well, you are very sweet, Hykue, and forgiving.

But even if you weren't rural, you would pretty well have to pick the package up the day it came in for it to be in good shape(so contacting you to say it is in the mail is necessary anyway) That is why orders from eastern Canada should be put in the mail on a Monday, so that it doesn't sit in post office over the weekend.

"I can imagine being in her position, and I don't expect she knew this problem was a possibility." --- I think it is her job to know that is a possibility. If you don't get any kind of warning as to what week the orders are going out, I think that would be a problem even for people in Ontario..you might be gone for a week or something and would make other arrangements if you knew when it was coming. I dunno...just my opinion.

Anyway, I'm sorry you had to go through this kind of fiasco. LOL, I'm sure you'll never forget to ask for an email/phone call again!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:05AM
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hykue(2b Saskatchewan)

Just wanted to update - apparently they enter your email address with Canada Post's tracking system when they send the package - it sent her the package tracking information, so it looked like I had received it too, but I didn't get it. What's funny is that I received the "delivery confirmation" email from Canada Post RIGHT after I sent the email to Betty. Thus, I was very confused.

Anyway, they had a system in place for notifying customers, and it even sent her the original email AND me the final email, so the first one must have just gotten somehow lost in transit, or ended up in my junk mail (although I don't know why the first one would have if the last one didn't. I did search my inbox, it's not there.) She said they will have to consider sending emails out themselves as well, since maybe they can't assume that the Canada Post package tracking works.

Anyway, I didn't figure it was F&H's fault, they have always been very careful to give great customer service. I'm glad to know that I was right not to assign blame to them too fast. Although, I have to admit, weeper, I've been accused of being too forgiving before, and it has caused me trouble a few times. So although that's probably true, I don't think it applies in this particular instance. :)

Anyway, off to milk my goat and then out to plant those daylilies. I hope they like their new home . . . I'm sure they'll like it better than a box!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Being rural is a problem. It is easy to get side tracked and let something like this slip past you.I am more a worrier..driving DH nuts by asking if he checked the mail everyday when he goes through town on his way home from work. I hope your plants are recovering for you..Jean

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:55PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Well it is good to know that at the very least F&H thought you had been contacted. I'm usually the opposite of you, Hykue(can't you tell?! LOL), by being too hard on people. I am glad that she will consider sending emails anyway...the 2 times I have ordered daylilies from other eastern Canada growers (Joe Hawkins and Coral Kincaid) they have both emailed me when they put the package in the mail, with my tracking # so that I could follow it. Works like a charm for knowing when your package is coming! ;)

And I second Jean's hope for your recovering plants. Dying plants makes me soooo sad!!(and my wallet sad too ha ha)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 4:33PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Ugh that sucks and I would probably not say anything to the vendor either. I always end up feeling like a jerk if I do.

On the bright side, daylilies have very effective drought combating mechanisms and I bet they'll pull through. They might have a tough first year though. GL

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:29PM
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