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I purchased the magazine with the intention of subscribing but found it was extremely misleading. The magazine is supposed to have a regional report for various regions of each state but the region I live in didn't have any information pertaining to my region in the column instead it was generic information on national public gardens, photography, biodynamics, and generic proven plant lists. When I contacted the magazine by e-mail stating my disappointment with the column I received a rude and dismissive reply because I am not a long time subscriber.Company representative comment on May 14, 2010: On May 14, 2010 8:20 AM, State-by-State Gardening responded with:
Yes, Mrs. Brown did contact us to express her extreme disappointment with the one issue of the magazine she has read:
"First I live in Northwest Oklahoma and the Region report for Northwest Oklahoma was a joke. There was no information in it that pertains in any way to gardening in Northwest Oklahoma other than perhaps taking a photo of an insect to have it identified.......She speaks of visiting public gardens but it is clear she doesn't know or care if there are any public gardens in Northwest Oklahoma that readers can visit..........The only remotely helpful information was a list of 2010 Award Winners which is available anywhere and frankly doesn't belong in a region report....... Which she didn't include and probably has no idea if anything on the lists will actually grow in NW Oklahoma.........Your regional "expert" comes across as knowing nothing about the region she is supposedly reporting on and too lazy to research and report on anything specific to the region..........I also found the article on the Cleveland County Master Gardeners Teaching Garden to be sloppy writing. It appears your magazine is an excellent catalog of advertisers but extremely short on actual Oklahoma Gardening."
I replied to her email immediately addressing her concerns point by point. I believe where she considered me to be “dismissive” was when I expressed to her that she was making this judgement about the writer and the column based on reading one issue. I would have been happy to either email or mail her copies of previous reports to give her a better picture of what is provided on a monthly basis. Seeing that she had already decided that the region report was a “joke” and that the writer is “lazy,” I felt sure that any reply I would be able to give would be unsatisfactory. I did try though:
"Dear Mrs. Brown,
Thank you so much for your eye-opening email...I am so sorry that you are so disappointed in our May issue. I will attempt to address your concerns point by point.
My overall thoughts on the region report are difficult to articulate. I suppose the writers sometimes fall into "ruts" when explaining how to do the same things over and over again, so I do understand Mrs. Stafne's effort to write about something new and different that our readers might not be familiar with, such as grape growing and biodynamics.
I don't read anything disparaging or "ignorant" in her paragraph on public gardens. I'm not sure why you are so offended by what seems to me to be a general promotion of public gardens on the whole.
The article on the master gardeners' garden is intended to bring a bit of publicity to a very hard working group of volunteers and the gardens they have created and maintain. We profile private gardens 95 percent of the time, so don't worry, this will not be a recurring theme.
I do sincerely appreciate feedback from our readers, no matter how harsh or unjustified I feel their complaints are. I hope in the future if you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of having to look through one of our magazines your displeasure will not rise to this level.
Her following emails with a threatening tone led me to no longer take her feedback seriously:
"I'm sure your advertisers will agree with you. At least you better hope so. And your corporate office too.........I'm sure they will enjoy the feedback from all the people I am posting your attitude along with contact information to on the e-mail gardening lists I belong to. The various lists have in excess of 10,000 subscribers....Even those on the list who are simply lurking will think twice about ever becoming a subscriber to your magazine now due to your attitude. That is great job security isn't it?"
We work very hard to provide the best information we can from respected professionals in the horticulture field. We always welcome constructive criticism and feedback from our readers. I’m very sorry Mrs. Brown is so disappointed in us and that she feels that seeing one issue is enough to give us a negative rating.