Customer is always wrong, I guess

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours trying to find a place selling a specific variety of sweet pepper for our garden this year. (Gypsy, an AAS winner, for those who care) I called around to a number of the stores in town that carry seeds, and none had this very sweet, prolific variety.
Afterwards, I did a search, and I finally went with Seedmart, an Ebay store that is also known as Hirt's Gardens. They had quite reasonable shipping and cost for a single pack. Although I didn't find anything in our city, at least it was in Ohio, and I figured that way I wouldn't have to wait long for the seeds to arrive. (which made it worth paying the sales tax)
Anyway, the Ebay store checkout showed I was getting 30 seeds - a bit more than the industry standard 25. AFTER I had agreed to buy, it then showed that I was only getting 15 seeds - half what I had ordered.
When I made my payment, in the text box I made sure they understood that I had ordered 30 seeds, not 15. I also stated that I would leave negative feedback on Dave'sgarden website IF I was shorted.
Later yesterday, I got a message saying that my order had been shipped, so now I was in waiting mode - I had mentally taken ownership of the merchandise, and was just waiting for the seeds to show up in my mailbox.
This morning, I checked my email and found a message from another email address (but still from this company) saying that perhaps I would be happier taking my business elsewhere, and that they had refunded my money. That was all that was said - nothing about the discrepancy I had pointed out, and nothing to address the fact that I'd already been told my order had shipped. I checked out the Ebay store, and noted that the number of seeds now says 15, not 30.
Evidently what I'm gathering is that either:
A) they were involved in a bait and switch tactic, giving people half the seed they ordered
or (and I find this one more likely)
B) They didn't realize that the system was halving the orders people placed, and corrected it when I notified them.
Even if it is the latter, I'm rather disgusted that they didn't even acknowledge this or thank me for telling them about an issue that would have caused them to have a lot of upset customers. Imagine buying a gallon of gas and only getting two quarts instead. If a person had a certain size area to plant with peppers, and only got half enough, this would be upsetting.
I'm on dialup Internet. It took me a good couple of hours to shop around and finally pick this company, then another half hour to get through the Ebay and Paypal checkout screens. After going through all of this, and being told that my order had shipped, of COURSE I'm rather miffed that someone would write to say "perhaps you would feel more comfortable doing your business elsewhere".
I mean, it's ok for a company to tell you something like this BEFORE you pay, or even BEFORE you are told that something has shipped. (as long as they're not being racist, etc.) However, they told me this after the fact - even after they told me they had shipped my seeds. What's up with that?
I went ahead and resent my payment, and informed them that they were mistaken if they thought I somehow enjoyed wasting my time going shopping for the same item twice. I also explained that since they told me the item had shipped already, they were obligated to follow through and fulfill the order. I further explained that if customer service and satisfaction had no importance to them, I would then leave negative feedback on the Davesgarden website, the Ebay website, and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I prefer not to do these things, but when a company treats people without consideration and jerks you around, then I feel it is important to share my experiences with others.
Here is how they responded:
snipped-for-privacy@cs.com Add Mobile Alert Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 09:17:20 EDT Subject: Re: Item Shipped -- eBay Stores #36763957024 -- Sweet Gypsy Hybrid Pepper 30 ... To: snipped-for-privacy@xxx.com The purchase was refunded and it has not shipped. Since you threatened us with the anti-semetic Dave's Garden we feel you would be happier purchasing your Gypsy Peppers elsewhere.
What the heck? Anti-semitic? Threatened? I don't know where they are coming from with that anti semitic thing - the davesgardens website is just a place where people rate garden websites. And as for threatened, I just told them that the system was only giving me half of what I ordered, and that I expected the full amount. I did say that I left feedback online whenever I felt that I was shorted by a company. I feel that it's important for other folks to know how companies treat their customers.
So I guess this is what has happened to customer service in this day and age - it's dead. The customer is always wrong, I guess. In this case, by refusing to do business with me after the fact, I guess they want to claim I was never a customer in the first place, and for this issue to go away. In fact, what they did was give me the poorest customer service I've ever received, and ensured that I will be posting negative reviews of their business. How in the world is bad word of mouth advertising good for any company?
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It sounds like Bonehead vs Bonehead to me. Your first contact with a company is to threaten to leave bad comments about them if you're displeased in any way. I would NOT deal with such a person if I could escape it, it ain't worth the tiny profit to dick around with someone who pretty much states upfront he's a troublemaker waiting to pounce on any error real or perceived.
But as the guy charges you with being antisemitic rather than just a bonehead, seems he's a bonehead too. Of course if you DID note "in the text box" that they'd better not be trying to jew you down, then there was only one bonehead after all.
I certainly wouldn't be warned off the company by your testimony. The fact that you're here with a public campaign just because you were spurned shows they were right to be leery of dealing with someone who opens his first transaction with threats. But they were wrong to up the ante of hate-fueled messaging, as it was predictable someone who starts an exchange with a threat will follow through with his bad behavior if spat on. When someone pretty much reveals he's a coiled adder waiting to erupt, I'll grant you that the professional response would not have been to poke him with a stick, but rather to slip away quietly.
Everyone tends to clean up their side of the story to favor themselves, which does mean you were probably an even bigger bonehead than the big bonehead you portray yourself as having been. In the future don't be so hasty to condemn & you may get adequate to good service instead of a richly deserved boot out the door. I hate to think how many meals you've gotten back with big gobs of phlegm added after you sent something back to the kitchen telling a waitress or cook how much you disliked the swill and the service & they better stand to attention quick if they expected ever to see that ten percent tip.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
visit my temperate gardening website:
http://www.paghat.com.html
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Hmm. The answer is 1, back in 1997. It was the meatloaf, I recall, and I thought that a huge bone chip I chomped down on had broken one of my teeth. Turns out I had just busted the bone chip in half, but I was really scared at the time that it was going to cost me a huge bundle for dental surgery or something. I'm usually pretty easy to please on the food front.
My primary problem in this case was that the guy told me the seeds had been shipped out. He said my order had been shipped. Then later he told me it hadn't. In my book, that's called lying. You don't tell someone the order has been shipped until it is out in the mailbox or picked up by Fedex/UPS. You don't tell someone the order has been shipped if you're THINKING about mailing it, or if your PLANNING to mail it tomorrow or the next day. Of course I was rather miffed when I was told the seeds hadn't been shipped, and wouldn't be.
It formed a pattern of behavior - say one thing, then do another. Tell a person they're getting 30 seeds, then only show that they'll be getting 15 instead. Say one thing, do another.
Yes, I could definitely have been much more diplomatic about it. Yes, I'm sorry that I went off the edge and got pissed when it looked like I was being ripped off yet again. However, it is imperative in these situations that a proprietor be able to see things from the customer's point of view.
I had a legitimate concern which was not even acknowledged.
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Thats OK, lets see how you do it! Put up your dukes, lets get down to it! Hit me with your best shot! Why don't you hit me with your best shot! Hit me with your best shot! Fire away! ~~Pat Benatar
Funny how things just appear in my.... ;-)
Charlie
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That site makes for some interesting reading.
To put the very best complexion on it, the firm seems to be suffering from multiple personality disorder.
It was interesting that positive comments always seem to appear directly after a negative one had been posted. Someone complains about shipping delays, below is one (or more) about how good the shipping was. One complains about the dirt from the pots being spread throughout the box, just below will be one saying how there was tape over the top of the pot to stop dirt from spilling. One complains about getting freeze damaged Musas and just below is a post saying how great their Musas were. And many repetitive comments about how big the plants were, what good value and how well packed, responsive shipping, quality plants, yada, yada, yada. Many of the positives are stylistically similar and that made me somewhat suspicious.
And on page 3 of the comments they are recorded as telling someone to 'get a life' and then threatening them with legal action when the person advised them that plant a grass sent to them was not a bamboo as advertised.
I wouldn't trust the company after reading those posts.
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FarmI;782146 "Billy" snipped-for-privacy@getthe.net wrote in message news:wildbilly-
- Well the future is here. http://tinyurl.com/yqmu2e
Feedback History and Summary for Seedmart, an Ebay store a.k.a. Hirt's Gardens 62 positives 15 neutrals 44 negatives
Many of the negatives (36%) are enraged and incensed.-
That site makes for some interesting reading.
To put the very best complexion on it, the firm seems to be suffering from multiple personality disorder.
It was interesting that positive comments always seem to appear directly after a negative one had been posted. Someone complains about shipping
delays, below is one (or more) about how good the shipping was. One complains about the dirt from the pots being spread throughout the box, just below will be one saying how there was tape over the top of the pot to stop dirt from spilling. One complains about getting freeze damaged Musas and just below is a post saying how great their Musas were. And many repetitive comments about how big the plants were, what good value and how well packed, responsive shipping, quality plants, yada, yada, yada. Many of the positives are stylistically similar and that made me somewhat suspicious.
And on page 3 of the comments they are recorded as telling someone to 'get a life' and then threatening them with legal action when the person advised them that plant a grass sent to them was not a bamboo as advertised.
I wouldn't trust the company after reading those posts.
it doesnt sounds like u are going to have any luck with that company :( but i thought that maybe one of these links might help u find your pepper seeds :). good luck. cyaaaaaaaaa, sockiescat:).
http://tinyurl.com/27rp4u http://tinyurl.com/2xpb3m www.tomatogrowers.com/sweet2.htm http://www.rachelssupply.com/pepper.htm http://www.tmseeds.com/product/682.html http://www.tmseeds.com/product/682.html
--
sockiescat

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I've had nothing but bad luck with Hirts. I wouldn't call them actually evil; rather, I suspect they're just grown too big to pay proper attention to what they're doing. (Look at how many eBay sales they have!) However, I have no idea what the hell they're talking about when they call Daves Garden Watchdog anti-Semitic. Maybe someone at Hirts really does have a screw loose.
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wrote:

They were selling a morning glory seed I'd been looking for and after I read the comments I decided not to order from Hirt's. They have a bad reputation, bad enough that I think eBay should take a look.
I have straws which break the camel's back now and then, non often, but I certainly wouldn't find hard feelings for someone just venting.
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