On Feb 10, 2009, joannabanana Calgary, AB (Zone 3a) wrote:
I have enjoyed the catalog and good quality products for years, but now I have lost a bit of my appeal for Lee Valley
Buyer beware: 3Tier HI Floralight
I received this unit, with the special bulbs, for Christmas 2006. It is the most expensive gift I had ever received. Since I like to start a lot of seeds, this unit is awesome. One problem, the quality of the fixture is questionable. For the cost of this unit, I am very disappointed with Lee Valley. The 4-bulb HI Floralight is the one I have. This year the unit is a whopping $749 + GST and the bulbs are extra @ 12 full spectrum bulbs for $179 + GST.That's $975 complete. Holy Smokers!
So, got it for Christmas 2006. Started it up Feb 2007. everything worked great, heavy duty construction. Bulbs were to last 10 years for home gardener. All was impressive. I have used it for 3 months at 16 hours per day in 2007. I have the fixtures plugged into a good surge protector and also a timer.
Feb 2008- started it up again and one fixture had a faulty set of 2 bulbs (middle 2 bulbs would not light, bulbs were good). I took the entire fixture back to Lee Valley and they replaced the fixture on the spot. Again used it 3 months at 16 hours per day for 2008
This year, another ballast is not functioning (the outer bulbs of one fixture) The bulbs are fine and I had tested it by switching them with the ones that lit up, so it is the fixture or ballast. So, took it back to Lee Valley. The Customer rep (with an arrogant attitude) told me they will only allow returns within 30 days. No warranty. I will need to buy a new fixture through a special order through Lee Valley. Oh and the manufacture is chosen by Lee Valley to build the Floralight brand so it it Lee Valley that you need to deal with. They have switched manufacturers recently. No offer to replace the faulty part in the fixture. Unacceptable! I wasn't getting anywhere with the pompous rep, so I asked to speak to the Manager. You would think that a product that costs that much would be have some warranty. the manager did not come out, apparently she would look into it and see if there would be something she could special order. Again, I would probably have to pay for it, since the unit was bought in 2006.
The documents that came with the unit has the manufacturer listed as Floralight. Phone number no longer in service. I called the Lee Valley 1-800 # and told my sad story. I was told that they have changed manufacturers and have a new mfg building the units. I questioned why they have the same brand Floraight in their most recent catalog. Lee Valley gets a mfg to build the Floralight units for them, so it is Lee Valley that you need to go thru for service. The rep from the 1-800 line is contacting the new mfg to find out if there is a replacement spare part or entire new fixture option. Because it is a different mfg, not all spare parts may be available. The new fixtures should fit in the old stand, hopefully. She said it would be resolved at no cost to me.
Anyways, we will see how this pans out. I am really disappointed with the way the Calgary store handled this. Perhaps some of the staff should go on a customer service training class before they are allowed to stand behind that counter.