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|On Nov 30, 2013, Jonelles WARNER SPRINGS, CA wrote:
I placed an order from Sandhill for 7 Dorking chicks and 18 Asst Heavies. My first shipment contained 4 Dorking chicks, and 20 Assorted. They arrived right on time, and although they were all alive at time of receipt, many looked weak and ill. I immediately got them into the brooder and added some vitamins and electrolytes to their water, as well as sugar for energy - thinking they were probably stressed from shipping. I notified Sandhill right away by email. By that evening, over half the chicks were dead, and by the next morning, almost all of them were. I filled out Sandhill's shipping form that day and sent it in, requesting a replacement shipment.
|On Jul 30, 2013, neveraain Parrish, FL wrote:
I have never been so unhappy with a gardening company. I have been trying to order sweet potatoes from them for 3 years. You have to place your next year order the year before, to have a chance of receiving your order. In that year you have no idea of knowing if you will receive your order or not, no email saying your order will be sent or anything saying that it wont. You just have to wait till your check is returned to you in the mail, or if you get your sweet potatoes. The woman that handles the customer service dept. is the most unfriendly, unhelpful person I have ever had to deal with. You absolutely hate calling there. I understand that this is a small company and they give excuses why they have such poor customer service, but enough is enough. If you could order on line, then they could cut off the ordering when they are out of potatoes, but because they only take orders by mail, they have no way of controling how many orders they accept. So they just accept all the orders and make you wait till planting time to find out it you actually get your order or not. And then it's too late to get them from another nursery. They also don't give you planting instructions. Save your time and order from someone else.
On Jul 30, 2013, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Aug 4, 2013 8:50 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are sorry that this person is so upset. It has always been our wishes that each and every person that orders from us takes the time to read our introduction page and what we are capable of doing. We are very upfront and open with outlining our limitations and what we can and cannot do. First, we are not set up as a business with a customer service department as we are set up for the primary purpose of genetic preservation. We do not operate as a business where sales of a particular variety dictate its continued place in our catalog. We operate with the principle that if after we have grown and evaluate a variety and it makes it to our catalog then it is worthy to stay there until someone out there sees its worth. I will reference all things in this rebuttal to sweet potatoes as that seems to be the main concern. We started offering sweet potatoes as the collection grew back in 1993. At first the only interest was in the 10 or so common commercially available ones. We started offering assortments and including what we thought were worthy varieties for free. We hoped to educate about and perpetuate the varieties as well. Times have changed and so have the demands. Varieties that were looked at with disdain and disgust in 1993 such as Korean Purple, Frazier White and Ivis White Cream are now heavily sought after and, we are also grateful to see, starting to be picked up and sold by other sources. It was and still is not our intent to be the sole source for all of the varieties we maintain. We wanted to expand the locations that can grow decent good tasting varieties and we have accomplished that as we have heard success stories from nearly every state - many from gardeners who had been told by their extension service that they should not waste their time as they would not grow in their location. We have many pictures and testimonials of their successes when they followed our instructions and tried some of these less common varieties.
|On Jul 2, 2013, natedbrbr Franklin, TN wrote:
Bad customer service. No confirmation of order receipt. Just got word my check is being returned today, no explanation of why in response to email I sent a week ago. I understand they're running a farm but people do that and manage to at least contact their customers. Wish I'd known earlier - now I need to find somewhere else to get sweet potato slips. Won't be ordering here again.
|On Jul 24, 2012, twoisone Westfield, IN wrote:
My experience is pretty much the same as a lot of the other negative feedbacks regarding sweet potato orders with condescending customer service and last minute notification that they cannot fill the order.
|On Jul 27, 2011, Janna Mahwah, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:
I placed an order with this company in February and was so excited about my new sweet potato collection! The company offers many varieties and I was really looking forward to it. In mid-May the order never showed up, so I called and was re-assured that the order will ship soon after a small delay. The woman was not very friendly on the phone, she blamed the delays on the bad weather. I agreed to wait and did not order my potatoes elsewhere (what a mistake!). Then I called again few weeks later, and this time a long recording was re-assuring people that their orders will ship no later than "next week." After July 4th I got the sinking feeling that I am not getting anything from this company. In a week or so I received a letter saying that my order will not be fulfilled and my check was returned.
On Jul 27, 2011, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jul 28, 2011 9:22 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are sorry for your disappointment, but as we clearly state in our catalog and on our website, our slips are started here in Iowa, in the field. Therefore, we are totally dependant upon the weather as to whether we will get a crop. As an avid weather observer for over 40 years, I felt that the cold spell would not linger as long as it did and delay the slips' growth. All indications from previous years, with the heat building in the Southwestern United States that it would eventually spread northward and we would finally have normal growing conditions. We had enough roots bedded had we had normal weather to produce enough slips. When we did not get normal weather by the middle of June, it became a crisis situation for us. We attempted to keep people updated with messages on the "News and Updates" section of our website and via messages on our voice mail. We did all that we humanly could to try to reach every person, but we realized that we would not be able to please everyone. What this person recognizes is the fact that we do have a huge collection, of which it is our goal and mission to spread as many varieties around the United States to as many people who have never had the opportunity to grow sweet potatoes but can with some of the unique varieties that we have. There is a reason why the large scale producers only offer a few varieties, because those are the ones that are predictable sprouters and produce large numbers of slips so that they can guarantee a crop. We try not to focus on those varieties, but instead, focus on ones with unique characteristics and genetic diversity. The unfortunate situation is many of these are not predictable sprouters and in some cases produce very few sprouts. We never ever advertise or try to convince people to rely totally on us for their sweet potato crop. We, instead, prefer to stick to our mission as being a source of genetic diversity for those who are adventurous enough and patient enough to deal with the uniqueness of some of the ones in our collection. We wish this person well on the search for sweet potatoes for 2012."
|On Jul 18, 2011, lynnward Madill, OK wrote:
I placed an order for sweet potatoes very early this year along with a seed order. There should have been plenty of time for the company to get the sweet potatoes sent in a timely manner, at least in time for planting in my area. I recieved a letter stating that the rest of my shipment would be sent ( the sweet potaotes). I waited and waited, the optimal time for planting passed, I emailed and got no response, I called their number and the message there stated that "if you had not gotten a confirmation letter you probley would not get your order', I asked at that time ( left a message, as they do not actually answer their phone or email you back) for my order to be cancelled and requested a refund. I did not recieve my refund as requested and will chalk up my experience with Sandhill preservation center as a waste of money, time and aggrivation. A lot of us work regular jobs and do lots of activities on the side. I imagine that a lot of us would be able to find time to respond to others that had sent us their hard earned money for products we were selling.
On Jul 18, 2011, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jul 28, 2011 9:07 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are very sorry for this customer's disappointment over the sweet potato situation. It is extremely difficult for many individuals to understand that our sweet potato slips are grown here in Iowa in the field (not in a greenhouse) and are not drop shipped from the southern states. This is the reason that we are able to offer well over 100 varieties --- because we grow them ourselves. We grow the roots one year and make our starting beds to produce the slips the following April. This year was an exceptionally cold Spring and we were not able to get the slip beds started until the first week-end in May. We did not have very many warm, sweet potato favorable days in the month of May and the cold stretch extended into June. To help explain the process of how sweet potato slips are produced, you place the roots on the ground in 2" x 4" frames and then cover with peat moss. We then soak that down with water and cover with plastic for a couple of weeks until the slips start to show. In normal weather, you can harvest the slips every two to three days and a new crop keeps coming on. Normal sweet potato slip weather is highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's. The perfect temperature seems to be about 90 in the daytime and 70 at night as well as very humid. Sweet potatoes produce very little growth with temperatures below 70 during the day. We had one full week in June when it rarely reached 70 during the daytime and was close to 50 at night and they simply did not produce slips. We indicate in four places what our normal shipping season is - - - in our catalog, on our website, on the order blank, and on the confirmation that is sent when we receive the order. Our normal shipping season is May 25 to June 25. We in no way attempt to deceive the customer that we are able to provide them earlier than that. We, ourselves, here plant ours when our normal shipping season of June 25 is over and before we start shipping the "Season Closeout" specials. This person's order number was in the 400's and was for some varieties that were slower to sprout this year. These varieties were also extremely popular and there were many orders ahead of hers. Her slips were shipped on June 22 and the only communication that we can find from her was a telephone call on June 23 cancelling the order. I attempted to contact her and was told by the person who answered the phone that she did, in fact, receive the slips but not when she wanted them. I am not sure what we can do further when we clearly indicate what our limitations as far as shipping times are."
|On Jul 6, 2011, DarkBrownEggs Macclenny, FL wrote:
*************** The Nightmare from Hell!
On Jul 6, 2011, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jul 28, 2011 8:50 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We have waited to respond to this posting until we received verification that Mr Higginbotham not only received our check for a total refund, but had actually cashed the check. Now that that has occurred, we are going to present our side of the story with facts and minimal emotion. On December 13, 2010, we received an order from a long time customer of ours for 15 ducklings to be shipped to the above individual. No money was enclosed with this order and, not knowing if it was a surprise gift, we sent the confirmation on January 3, 2011, to the individual that placed the order indicating that we would need payment by January 20 if the order was o.k. as confirmed. On that confirmation, we indicated the first possible ship date of May 17. In the rush of the Spring season, we did not realize that we had not received payment for this order until March 13 when Mr. Higginbotham called wanting to know where his ducks were. We indicated to him at that time that we had not received payment for his order yet. We did receive payment for this order on March 21. On May 17, we shipped him 17 ducklings. On May 19 he received them and 5 were dead. He called the next day and indicated that 11 total had died. At that time when he called we indicated to him that we were very booked up on the breed of ducks he needed replaced and that we would work him in for a reshipment just as soon as we possibly could. With our odd Spring weather that we had, duck fertility did not hold up well and when we were running behind, it became more apparent from his e-mails that he wasn't patient but that he also kept changing the breeds and species that he wanted us to send as replacements. Therefore, on July 2, I sent him an e-mail indicating that I would send him a total refund including postage and indicated that I would pray that he would be able to come to peace with this situation. I then went out to do chores and, over the course of the next 1 to 2 hours he sent 4 e-mails and 3 telephone messages that were filled with filthy language and violent threats against our personhood. The things that he mentioned that he would do to us personally should not be placed in a public forum where children might have access to them. As far as his reference to us as being a nightmare, it is us who has the nightmares wondering if he will show up to carry out those violent acts. We have contacted our County Sheriff's office to alert them of this possibility and were told to call immediately if anything devloped. He has received a complete refund. He was not sent diseased birds. Our flocks are inspected twice a year by a certified veterinarian and we comply with all the rules, testing and guidelines of the NPIP. Therefore, he should have nothing more to say about this issue."
|On Jun 21, 2010, MotherGoose2 Lobelville, TN wrote:
Posted on June 21, 2010, updated June 21, 2010
On June 21st, 2010, MotherGoose2 added the following:
I was contacted later in the day with a message saying that they intended to send me a partial refund since they didn't send me the breeds I had ordered. He was rather short and accused me of hanging up on him twice- please! In any case, we'll see what kind of refund I get. It will be only established poultry houses from now on- rest assured.
|On Mar 6, 2010, m8247 Davis, CA wrote:
I have ordered from this company for the past 3 years and while I admire the mission, I have grown less impressed with the customer service over time. I ordered sweet potatoes the first year and those came packed well and performed well. The seeds have also been fine and I really do enjoy the rare varieties they offer. My sweet potato order 2 years ago was not filled due to weather/flooding (understandable), and last year I ordered an assortment package that did not get filled.
|On Oct 27, 2009, containergarden Los Angeles, CA wrote:
We had a very poor experience with Sand Hill Preservation Center sweet potatoes as well as with the staff. We are both Master Gardeners and have successfully grown sweet potatoes before from slips we produced at home from supermarket sweet potatoes. This year we decided to branch out and order a variety of slips from Sand Hill for ourselves and our fellow community farmers. So we put in a reasonably large order with Sand Hill. As a back-up, we bought an organic Whole Foods sweet potato to make slips ourselves. Needless to say, the Whole Food slips produced heavily. However, Sand Hill took more orders than it could reasonably fill, and failed to respond to a series of messages I left concerning the order I had already paid for. When a woman finally responded, she was unpleasant, seeming to blame me for her failure to respond or to satisfy the order. Nevertheless, she petulantly promised to satisfy my order. Although the slips spent no more than two days in the mail, many of the Sand Hill Preservation Center slips were dead on arrival and had to be discarded. We planted those with any sign of life in them, but got only meager harvests from them. Some of the stunted potatoes were clearly diseased, even though sweet potatoes are normally disease-free in southern California, ideal growing country. So we can only assume that the slips themselves were diseased. The way Sand Hill seems to fill orders is to start collecting slips and then wait until they have the full order, which may take a long time. The result is that the earlier collected slips are dead and only the later collected slips are remotely viable. In short, a regrettable expenditure of about $50 for a useless product. Fortunately, we have since located a reliable, responsible, and friendly California supplier of a wide variety of sweet potato slips.
On Oct 27, 2009, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Nov 4, 2009 9:08 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are very sorry to hear of the poor experience this customer had. This posting on Garden Watchdog is the first that we have heard of this customer's problems with our product. Had they contacted us directly at the time of receipt of the order, we would have immediately sent replacements for what was damaged in shipping. It has been four months since the sweet potato slips were shipped out and this is the first we have heard that there was a problem. As we start our slips in the field here in Iowa, we are at the mercy of the weather and we indicate that both in our catalog and in the "News and Updates" section of our website. We indicated on the website in April that we were all sold out for the season. We attempted to keep people updated on the website with the progress of the slip production. We kept anticipating that warm weather would be forthcoming, but we never had an extended warm period which is needed for the roots to sprout and form slips.
|On Jun 27, 2009, cityfarmer066 Addison, IL wrote:
Unlike Most of the people here, I have had a horrible experience with Sand Hill Preservation. First I ordered seeds and a lot of them failed to germinate, They advertise they send more seeds than the 15 they quote, but the pack of okra they sent me had 14 seeds and not a single one germinated, they sent a free pack of flowers and again not a single one germinated.
On July 10th, 2009, cityfarmer066 added the following:
The people at Sandhill Preservation are whiners, and groaners,. They whine all through their catalog, they set up their rules and regulations for the people who might consider ordering something from them, then they do not abide by the rules and regulations they set up. It's like the old adage "don't do as I do, do as I say" They blame every one and every thing for why they can't keep their word. They do not have the professionalism to deal with the people who are unfortunate enough to order anything from them. They moan and whine about the weather constantly. From my dealings with them they are very negative people. If you order anything from Sandhill Preservation be prepared to be disappointed.
On Jun 27, 2009, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jun 27, 2009 10:03 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
Upon reading this posting, we were immediately very concerned and started searching our records for someone in Addison, IL. We place all orders once they are filled into files by state and in zip code order. This allows us quick access when a customer calls about an order for any reason. Sometimes they call because they want to know what variety they ordered in a previous year because it did well for them and they didn't keep track of what it was. Because we have such a diversity of material, this allows us to give our customers a little extra help if they forget (for example) which one of the over 600 varieties of tomatoes it was that they ordered. We searched the Illinois state file and found no customer in Addison, IL. The comment also indicated a sweet potato order, which we also checked our sweet potato order list and found no order at all from Addison, IL. We then checked our mailing list to see if we had sent a catalog out and found no listing in Addison, IL. We have no idea who this person is as we have sent no seeds, sweet potatoes, or catalogs to anyone in Addison, IL. In addition, we received no e-mail from anyone in Addision, IL concerning a sweet potato order. That concern being addressed, we must assume that this person lives somewhere else so we will address the concerns that they had.
|On Aug 25, 2004, chalmers Dryden, MI wrote:
Unfortunatlely, unlike most of the other folks who have posted to this site my experience has not been a positive one. I placed an order in May for poultry and received a confirmation letter dated July first. I understand that they are busy and I did not expect any contact with them until either the delivery date that I was given of July 20 or failing that, the backup date of August 17. Well, it is now the 25th of August and despite effort on my part to contact them I have not heard anything. Frankly I am at a loss as to what to do. My sons where anxiously waiting for their new ducks, but they have started back to school and there isn't anyone I can have sit around our house for the first three days each week on the outside chance our order may be delivered. All that aside, I would have been content if they had just let me know that they were even aware that they had missed the backup delivery date.