Damaged goods

josephines123 z5 ON CanadaApril 25, 2014

Lately I've come across two posts where mail order hostas were received in damaged containers/boxes. To one degree or another the hostas also sustained some damage.

My question is: do you have any recourse when it's obvious the shipping company representative is at fault?

Has anyone called and complained? Did you get satisfaction?

I'm interested in how you would handle this situation. Thank you.


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

damaged how???

a little leaf damage???

ya know.. back in the day.. they used to cut all the leaves off.. and just send.... what looked like a celery stalk with roots ...

i know the pain.. but in all reality.. they are sending future potential ... rather than current perfection ...

i guess i would talk with the seller.. and suggest that better packing can avoid such .. and that there are differing shippers ...UPS.. FEDEX ... USPO ... Canadian PO .. etc ...

and if i were the actual shipper.. i would deny the claim ...

but i didnt see the posts where they complained of damage ... so i am speculating ..

all that said.. early spring stock.. should get settled in and reflush in mid to late summer ... and if you think of that.. what really is the loss??? ... instant gratification??? .. absolutely ... but what is the monetary loss ?????


    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:24AM
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If a package is damaged in transit, it is the responsibility of the carrier to replace it (repair any damages to you) or otherwise take care of the problem. This would be true of private carriers (UPS, etc.) as insurance is part of the shipping cost. (The seller is assumed to have met shipping packaging rules if the carrier accepted a package.)

I'm not sure on the post office (USPS). Under the old rules, you had to buy separate insurance for your shipment. Whether it's included with priority mail, I haven't a clue.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:54AM
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donrawson(Z 5)

I believe that with USPS, packages sent via "Priority Mail" are automatically insured for $50. Additional insurance can be purchased if desired. If an insurance claim is filed, then the USPS will keep the package.

If a package is mailed via "Parcel Post", I don't think any insurance is included unless it is purchased separately when the package is mailed.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:17AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Hi Ken. Thank you for your comments. You stated ... "i know the pain.. but in all reality.. they are sending future potential ... rather than current perfection ..." Yes, I agree that they are sending future potential. But when the stock left the nursery, it was most likely than not, in current "perfection". To receive damage in any form, however small, due to the negligence of a delivery carrier, would bother me. I wouldn't presume to complain on anyone's behalf as no one has, I was curious, is all.

Bk, thank you - that was basically what I was hoping to hear - that someone WAS accountable and that there was recourse. Your sentence in parenthesis is key to me. :-)

As a thank you I hope you, Ken et al get a chuckle out of the pic! Here's the ~%#^â¬*ãÃÂ¥ groundhog that predicted an early spring. I knew he must have been smoking something!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:32AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Thank you Don! We crossed posts :-). Good information for future reference. Btw, Did you ever receive my email response after I received the list and photos of your very own outstanding hostas? (Gmail)


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:40AM
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donrawson(Z 5)

Hi Jo,

Thank you for the compliments regarding my hosta introductions.

I live in Comstock Park, Michigan and do not know what the procedure is to import live plants into Canada. You could inquire with a Canadian nursery which already does so. I assume the plants would have to be accompanied with a Canadian phytosanitary certificate and be inspected at a border station by the appropriate government agency. If not done correctly, they may confiscate the plants or require them to be quarantined for a period of time.

If you choose to pick up the plants in the U.S., I can ship them to whatever address you desire. Please send me an email thru GardenWeb if you wish to pursue this.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

My experience with a poorly packed and shipped hosta gave me sour grapes. The hosta I received very obviously had been damaged during shipping (due to sloppy packaging on the inside of the package) but the seller refused to take any responsibility. I had a bit of a pi$$ing match with the seller when I ordered a L. Paisley Print from the Hosta Library Auction back in 2011. I ordered it during winter with the promise to ship as early in Spring as possible, so I could enjoy it the first year. When it came it was already leafed out, very small, few roots, one eye that had 4 out of the 5 leaves with petioles broken due to very poor packaging. I sent a photo and asked for a replacement and she replied that it was "acceptable" to her. I raised a stink and to her credit, she refunded my $$. I had a one leaf plant that first year, (for $20+!) and this year (three years later) it is still just 2 small eyes, so I have ordered another from Hallson's, because I really like the photos of it I have seen.

I've been ordering online since 2000, and have never, EVER, had a hosta shipment damaged otherwise. Most sellers take pride in what they send and want to keep you happy. They would want to know if something got damaged so they could protect future shipments. Even if an elephant sits on your package during shipment, it is the seller who had chosen the shipper and the seller who should find a remedy. Not you the receiver.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:59PM
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mary4b(4b WI)

As an internet vendor, I can say that it is the vendor's responsibility to get a package to a buyer. If the shipping company damages the item, it is usually the vendor's legal responsibility to make things right with the buyer. ( eBay muddied the water on this for years, making buyers feel like they were responsible to purchase insurance, and to do all the footwork to collect it.) If you think about it, when do you ever call USPS if you bought something from, say, Barnes and Noble and it arrives damaged. You call Barnes and Noble, and expect them to fix it. That's how it's supposed to work.

So, if I am a buyer, I do not complain to the carrier about my damaged package. I go straight to the seller and let them know that my item arrived in bad shape. I then expect the seller to make things right and figure out whatever they have to do to fix things with me. Sometimes that means they have to arrange for a pick up of the damaged item. Sometimes it just means that I keep the damaged one and the company sends me the replacement, or gives me a full refund.

I hope this helps. It's truly the seller's legal responsibility to get you the package in proper condition. Plant sellers know this...that's why they are careful about shipping in the proper weather, and avoiding late week shipments that have plants sitting in hot/cold trucks over the weekends.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:10AM
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That's a funny pic, Jo, but I must correct you on something. That isn't a groundhog, that's a Colorado prairie dog. I see them doing this all over the place now that the recreational use of marijuana is legal here. Their burrow openings look like smoking mini volcanoes now. They dig it.

Don B.

Here is a link that might be useful: Now Dig This, Baby! : )

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Sun, Apr 27, 14 at 0:56

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:44AM
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I have no experience as an internet seller. Nor have I had any real problems with losses due to handling. I have experience as one of the owners of a long haul trucking company (probably the biggest financial mistake of my life). I also have many, many years of business experience.

Legally speaking, it is the shipper's responsibility to get the product to the buyer in good condition. If the shipper (UPS. FedEx, Joe's trucking company) accepts the package, then they are responsible. The seller has no control of the product once it leaves their hands.

The post office has never been considered a shipper in the legal sense of the word. They have never taken responsibiltity for any shipping problems, unless you purchased insurance. If you did not buy insurance, they could run over it with a fork lift and they were still not responsible.

I now understand it's different with priority mail. They have made themselves more competitive by making changes. They are still not considered a common carrier and are not subject to the same rules as common carriers.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:42PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Don B - glad you got a chuckle..my sister sent that to me in an email and I couldn't resist slipping it in here, on my own thread. :;). Colorados prairie dog looks like the ones in Calgary. This little gaffer reminds me of what W. Nelson! Pet might look like Lol (whose music I love). Thanks for a little bit of JH. Good days back then! :-)

Thank you, Don R. :-). Will do!

Babka, your outcome in reference to Paisley Print is one I too would expect, simply for the principle of the thing - your $20 investment for future potential at that time in the shape of one remaining leaf? Poor - good call re getting another from H. - at least you can enjoy it! I'm glad for you that aside from this incident you've had no further damage in the last 14 years. Now that is positive! Thank you for your feedback!

Mary, I'd have no qualms about ordering from a vendor such as yourself, whatever your product because you would accept responsibility regardless. It makes it easier for your customer and leaves you to deal with the shipper. Appreciate your comments.

Bk, thank you for weighing in with additional legal clarification. I've got a good handle on it now. I would imagine you'd have a lot of good advice to give to anyone wanting to break into the truck hauling business besides "don't"! :-)

Thank you all for shedding more light on this subject.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:54PM
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