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The scoop on 'Dirt Works'

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Dirt Works

Mailing Address:
6 Dog Team Rd.
New Haven, Vermont 05472-4000 (United States)

Phone: 1-800-769-3856
Fax: (802) 453-5373

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 0 0
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 0 4
This company offers a variety of gardening supplies.

This company specializes in:

  Feedback History and Summary  
3 positives
1 neutral
7 negatives

Comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative spiritwindfarm
Lebanon, ME
(1 review)
September 6, 2013
I ordered organic lawn seed from this company, they immediately took out the $200 from my debit card. I also bought over $700 worth of pasture seed from them and received this seed after about 2 months. I have never received the lawn seed. I called and spoke to owner who told me he had to send it to the mill. I still never received the seed. I called many more times leaving messages and also emailed and left messages. I finally called BBB and filed a complaint. They told me they had many complaints against Dirt Works. I am just another small farmer trying to do the right thing using organic seed. I don't have $200 to throw away.
Negative SBruno
Halifax, PA
(1 review)
June 28, 2013
Of course this all happened BEFORE I read all these reviews :( I had placed an order in the middle of May 2013 and 2 weeks later it arrived. So, not being aware of the reputation this company has now acquired, I ordered again....a BIG order, $$ wise, not a lot of product, on May 29th. I started to question where the order was about 2 weeks after I submitted it and paid with Paypal. Well it is now June 28, 2013 and NO ORDER AND NO COMMUNICATION. I too have emailed, called both phone numbers that are published for the business NUMEROUS, NUMEROUS times and I HAVE NEVER HAD ONE PERSON CALL ME OR EMAIL ME BACK yet. I have wasted so much of MY PRECIOUS TIME trying to get back my hard earned cash. (I now have a disputed claim in Paypal). I realize that times are tough and from Dirtworks comments back in 2009 (!) were apologetic and "bear with me" type of statements BUT that will only get you so far. I can forgive if this JUST started but these experiences, similar to mine, started in 2009! It is now 2013! All of your company woes are due to ONE thing.... If you own a small business, especially in those "liberal" New England states, don't you think you would try a LITTLE harder to get a more experienced leader (and I use that term very, very loosely) in the White House in order to insure a future for your company, economy and most of all the USA??!! If the USA goes down the tubes, where do you think you, your family and your company will be?? Not saying that "your" vote is to blame since I have no idea who you voted for, but since you are located in a "blue" state that obviously wanted this person and then AGAIN on the second election, you as a small business owner NOW (as well as back then) have to buck up and take responsibility for the actions of the State you reside. Since Vermont electoral college "made your bed", you now have to "lie on it" and do the job you set out to do when you started this business back in 1987. WOW, 1987....hmmmm that was during the lucrative Reagan term January 20, 1981 January 20, 1989...just sayin'. Things are going to get even tougher and as the economy and your business woes now show us that voting has consequences. Either make the best of a bad situation (shut down your website...post that you gone for vacation....and allow your self to get out of the hole you are in) OR keep on this route and face assured disaster. Because frankly, this has got to be the worst run company I have ever dealt with and I buy a lot over the internet. So, now that my rant about your business is finished, I hope to get a refund from Paypal when my dispute closes in mid July because I am absolutely positive that I will NOT hear from THIS company. (just a note to Dirtworks.... I have to believe I know who you voted for in these past elections...you seem to "fit the profile" of those that "expect" things and don't wish to "earn" them. You may be working hard as you have said in the 2009 comment, but your idea of working hard and mine are two different things. Your actions are right in line with the "actions & ethics" I am seeing out of this current administration! NOT GOOD actions either!) Sorry to those of you not wanting to read about politics but this company makes me angry that they expect things, like our business, then cannot uphold their end of the agreement....typical for that specific type of "New Englander". Why would you still have your website up and running when you now you cannot keep up? So many things could be done to prevent these bad experiences. You can make a standard email to let everyone know you are working on limited man power and around the clock and send that out to everyone waiting on their order. Also, wouldn't a warning about "delayed orders" or "projected LONG turn around times" posted on the main page be nice... ALL of these things are a reflection of a responsible business owner...NOT THIS BUSINESS OWNER / head dishwasher!
Negative hrsymc
Linglestown, PA
(1 review)
May 7, 2013
My ordering experience and subsequent follow up's have been consistent with the several posts already on the page. Ordered...didn't receive...emailed...called...no response...disputed charge. Taking someone's money and not even responding with a follow up should be a crime. Would strongly urge you to order elsewhere if you are interested in receiving your contractual items.
Negative seiber
Linden, TN
(1 review)
May 1, 2013
I ordered Neem oil to use in my garden on a Tuesday. My credit card was charged that same day and I received an automatic conformation email. I paid for USPS priority shipping. On Thursday I had heard nothing from them so I emailed and asked when they planned to ship. No response. On Tuesday, one week after ordering I had still heard nothing so I called. No answer at customer service and a message on their order line. I left a message, no response. I plan to reverse my credit card charge and buy elsewhere. What a pain! Don't buy from these guys!
Negative Tanthalas39
Stockbridge, MI
(1 review)
February 15, 2013
Ordered a bag of seed February 1. By February 11, no delivery or contact. Began series of emails and phone calls; no reply emails received, all phone calls answered by machine. Customer service line called during posted hours; was told by message service that the voicemail box was full. Send last email on Feb 14 stating that immediate attention was needed or charge would be disputed. As of end of business today (Feb 15), I disputed the charge and was refunded.

Communication isn't terrible, it's nonexistent. Very poor business model.
Negative MistyMeadows
Payneville, KY (Zone 7a)
(4 reviews)
September 20, 2009
On July 30, 2009, I ordered and paid for via PayPal, a case (2 boxes) of 5 a day biodegradable veggie bags to be used at the farmers market. This company was paid immediately for the order.

2 weeks later, when I hadn't received them, I emailed the company inquiring about these; I didn't get any replies after a few days so I called. I spoke with a woman there who told me they were on back order and would be out within a week. I asked her why she didn't email me or call me to say that and she said "we are too busy and short staffed to call or send emails."

About 10 days later, when I still hadn't received the product, I sent a note to PayPal. They wrote back to me and Dirtworks and asked us to try to work it out on our own. Dirtworks emailed me back, the next day via PayPal, and said that they were on back order and would arrive within a week.

After another 10 days, I wrote back and asked what the status was. They said that they were on back order, but expected them in the following Tuesday and would ship them out. They asked if I still wanted them.

I told them no, thinking that maybe on Tuesday they would still be on back order and I'd get another excuse. I asked them to mail me a check.

They wrote me back a few days later and said that they were reversing the payment back to PayPal so "I wouldn't have to wait for a check." I received my payment back 6 weeks after I ordered.

I found out that those paper lunch bags work just as well and are a heck of a lot cheaper!

Sadly, I don't think I will be ordering from Dirtworks again :( mostly because I feel if you are in business, communication is very important. An email or a phone call, explaining they were out of stock, when I first sent my order in and they received payment, would have gone a long way in keeping this customer.

We are busy and short staffed too, but I ALWAYS take the time necessary for our customers. I hope a lesson has been learned by this company. It is the most important part of running a business.
On September 20th, 2009, MistyMeadows added the following:

I went back to read the comments posted on here AFTER I posted mine. I purposely had not read them beforehand because I didn't want to appear biased.

I had to laugh because we had "same story, different day". If we are all posting the same thing at differing times of the year, who do you think is in the wrong here?

So here's my words of wisdom for Dirtworks:
1) It appears that your business communication problems started in beginning 2009 (according to the posts on this website). I think you should look back and see what change(s) you made to your company then that are causing you so many back orders and excuses.
2) If you are too busy and not enough staff, hire some help. There are a lot of people looking for jobs in this country and I know VT. I know that there are lot of people out of work there too!
3) Get a new excuse. "Out of stock" isn't going to fly much longer here on DG. We are all family here and WE TALK.
4) If mail order is too much on you, perhaps you should just consider doing local sales, or
5) Mark it as out of stock on your website!

I really had high hopes of doing business with this company from New England, being born there myself and partial to New Englanders.
On September 20th, 2009, MistyMeadows added the following:

Thank you so much for your comments. I know exactly what you mean because we too, are in business and have been for 20 years and we needed those bags then and I told your wife that. But I also know that I have to spend time with my customers, because ultimately, we wouldn't have a business without them, no matter how many workers, shippers, buyers, sellers, countries, etc. we touch or work with.

I did not talk bad about you, all I did was state facts and point out that the people that buy from you are your bread and butter and your bottom line importance. I won't be able to purchase from a company that it takes so long to deliver product. I think I was very gracious in the time I allowed (6 weeks) before I asked for my money back. I think that is lost in your lengthy answer, which I'm grateful you had time to type out.

This is hard times which is why we all need to pull together; it is survival of the fittest here.

And I'm sorry it took so long for you to get your jeans, I'm assuming you didn't need them for your business to function properly. I haven't had new jeans in 6 years.

Oh...and my husband and I haven't been able to afford employees in years; just he and I, and we do it ourselves with an occasional volunteer....

We're all having to cut corners; this has been a bad year and I know what it is like to have your credit taken away from you. We were robbed in June at our farmers market and all of our credit cards were used, causing us to pay cash for everything. Here it is September and we are in rough shape thanks to that. Perhaps my piddly little order ($63.00) wasn't as important as those overseas orders that you get, but to us it was important and we had to forego paying something else to buy them. Then we had to wait to get our money back.

I'm sorry, we all have our sob stories and until we all learn that we are all in this world together, nothing is going to change...and I won't be the last one calling you when I don't receive my order.




Company representative comment on September 20, 2009:
On Sep 20, 2009 3:01 PM, Dirt Works responded with:

The short staffing, lack of money to hire more people, product shortages are all part of what happened to the economy and we are not immune. GM, Chrysler and just about every major bank and investment house went bankrupt and had to get bailed out. No one bailed us out. We had to lay off everyone last fall and my wife and I had to do everything ourselves for a while. We will lng remember the winter of 2008-2009. Do you know what it's like to walk into a room with six or seven work stations and files everywhere left behind in process by other people everyday and have only yourself and one other person to deal with that scene? It's not fun at all. Lots of 14 hour days and very little sleep were involved. Most of our suppliers did similar restructuring if you want to call it that. Some of them went out of business. Most stopped giving us credit because they lost their lines of credit too so we have to pay cash for almost all our inventory now and all of them are keeping short inventories and some products only get manufactured when enough orders come into warrant putting the production line together and certain minimums have to be met. It's frustrating for us too. Nothing works like it used to.
Instead of 7 people working here we have ourselves and 1 full time and 1 part time person working here. These are not ordinary times. What we see on the news is very real and it has real consequences for small businesses like ours and the ones we do business with. If everyone just demands that things be as before, ignoring what has happened, not much good will come out of all of this upheaval. We've been in business for more than 20 years and this stuff that's going on now is extraordinary and very challenging to deal with each and everyday.
I suppose to those on the outside it does seem strange that we don't call everyone with an order problem or question but with these few people here we can't get back to the hundreds of people who contact us everyday even though we might like to. Even though overall sales are down this year the level of interest in what we do has increased. Our page views and web site statistics are all up and our call volume and e-mail volume have increased as well and we have only the few of us here to deal with all of it. People from all over the world call us, e-mail us and order from us. If all the calls were orders we could staff up in a hurry because we'd have the money to do that but most of them are just people seeking information, which is flattering for sure but it doesn't pay very well. I used to love talking with my customers on the phone but on any given day now you might find me unloading a truck, loading a truck, making up pallets for overseas shipping, working at the UPS machine making labels on an assembly line so the shipping gets done faster especially when back ordered product comes and we need to get it out in a hurry. Or I might be out picking up product because our dealer no longer delivers or can't get a truck here when we need it or any number of things I used to pay other people to do. I spend about 10% of the time I used to spend working on the web sites, clearing up mistakes, fixing errors and adding new products.
We all work as hard as we can to get product out the door and in the door as fast as possible around here but we still can't do enough it seems. It's not for lack of caring. There's just not enough time in a day or week to do it all. Everyone here is exhausted at the end of a day and we know everyday that there's more to do but we also know we did our best. I'm sorry that's not good enough but writing bad things about us like this will not make things better for anyone.
I shop online for a great many things and I've noticed delays in getting almost everything from everyone this year. I waited over a month for a couple of pairs of jeans but they did arrive and I didn't call the company and bother them because they were some one I've ordered from before and being a business owner myself I understand what they might be going through. I waited six weeks for a gardening tool I needed and I really needed it but it was out of stock when I ordered it and wasn't going to help them or me to get upset about it and go to places like this and make trouble for them. They're a good company living through extraordinary times like the rest of us. I can always use the tool next year and here after.
I apologize for the payment issues. PayPal is not the best way to pay for things these days. When people order from us we use manual payment through a charge machine to charge the orders instead of an automatic charge gateway like we used to use. We turned that off until further notice. We did this to prevent automated charges for goods we know are back ordered and will take a while to get in the door. Unfortunately, Paypal puts the charges right through and we have no control over that. The bags in question did get delayed in production and shipping which was a surprise to us but they did arrive and all back orders for them are now resolved.
We have become a hub for information and products to help people live more gently on this earth and we will continue to do all we can in that effort but it will take the patience and understanding of all of us to get through to whatever, hopefully better future awaits us all. I don't like the way things are now either and we all work to do better each day and the good news is we have invented and put into place better, more efficient procedures that will go forward with us so when we do hire again next spring we will have better and faster shipping and packing methods and more people to do some of the valuable work that needs doing around here.
I've shared more hear than most any business owner might do because I care about my customers and what they think and I want you all to know that. We're not perfect but we might just be one the most personable businesses you can do business with very caring people on the other side of the screen from you.

Negative Tylersays
Madison Heights, VA
(1 review)
May 4, 2009
I ordered a single pack of seeds, I know, not the biggest order but an order none the less. After 3 weeks of waiting, remember - a single pack of seeds fits in an envelope, I emailed asking about the order. The next day I received a reply stating the seeds were on back order, and hopefully would be in at the end of the week. Apparently not since that was two weeks ago. When I went to send my email I did notice I had used the wrong zip code and mentioned that to them. In their reply they asked for the correct one, which I supplied back to them. I got no email confirming that they had received the change.
I'm giving them until the end of the week before I cancel my order - BTW The card was charged the day after the order was placed, even though they didn't have the product to ship.
I will not purchase anything from this vendor again.
On May 5th, 2009, Tylersays added the following:

Had the seeds been in stock when the order was charged they would have been shipped and the post office would have corrected the issue. They are neighboring townships and quite frequently have mislabeled mail sent to correct post offices. I know because I spoke with the postmaster at BOTH locations. That is simply an excuse to cover up for bad business practices plain and simple. In the three weeks I waited before contacting this retailer I could have walked to the location and picked my seeds up in person. I reiterate I will not purchase from this vendor again, especially after this half-hearted attempt to place blame on me instead of sucking it up and admitting their mistake.
On May 5th, 2009, Tylersays added the following:

So in effect what you're saying is if the customer happens to make a mistake on their order we're gonna take your order, redistribute it to someone else and NOT contact the customer concerning the mistake. Your reply is full of blatant lies. no one in your organization noticed anything about this order. The order was charged to the card without being shipped - another lie you told was that orders weren't charged until shipping. I have canceled this order and will gladly steer friends and family to other sources.
Company representative comment on May 4, 2009:
On May 4, 2009 6:11 PM, Dirt Works responded with:

Seeds are in huge demand right now and we can't keep a good stock of anything in stock for any significant period of time. When a delay happens due to customer error sometimes the seeds sell out. we charge only for the products as we ship them. We get thousands of orders so I am not aware of this order specifically but it looks as if because the order was on deck to ship it was already charged and some one smartly discovered the the address error it was held up and while waiting that seed sold out yet again. It's inconvenient for sure but not a crisis or subterfuge, If anything, the order was held to make sure it got where it was supposed to go.
Right now we're waiting, once again for a restock. Even our stock orders are late these days and sometimes when they get here things are sold out from the suppliers and/or back ordered. The good news is everyone is becoming aware of the value of seeds. The bad news is, the demand causes shortages and high prices.

Neutral lilinoe
Redwood City, CA
(1 review)
January 1, 2009
on Dec 9/ 08 I ordered a small growlite set up and a seed propagation package online from DirtWorks. They were very nice about letting me know right away that I had been charged twice by my credit card co. The matter was resolved thanks to their quick response. However, I've yet to receive my order- it's now going on almost 4 weeks (albeit over the holidays). Iv'e sent 3 emails asking for a tracking number so that I could call UPS. To date I'm still waiting for a reply. I'm sure that there's a reason that my order hasn't arrived, but not responding to customer's concerns is very bad business practice- it makes us nervous.Hopefully this has a happy ending soon, my tropical starts are suffering w/ out proper light.
Company representative comment on May 5, 2009:
On May 5, 2009 6:47 PM, Dirt Works responded with:

Call us tomorrow and we'll look into it. I thought all the grow lights were shipped out. they were back ordered for a time this spring but we have plenty in stock.

Positive silfery
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
(2 reviews)
March 28, 2007
I ordered Neem Seed oil and Garlic Barrier, which came packaged very well to prevent leaks, and came super-quickly. The site is a little messy, but they have good information and a nice selection. I also ordered the best honey from them! I look forward to using them again-- I like their ethos.
Positive White_Hydrangea
Aurora, CO (Zone 5a)
(20 reviews)
June 30, 2006
I order Hot Pepper Wax from them a week ago. And it's here already! Very fast shipping, well packaged, will definitely order from them again.
Positive stetchworth
Ocean Springs, MS (Zone 8b)
(12 reviews)
January 6, 2006
Great customer service, super nice people. Good products at great prices, fast shipping. Will buy from again. A+++++

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