On May 1, 2013, forgottenman Pennsbury Village, PA wrote:
I placed an order for several plants, and upon receiving the package, found that one type of plant was not included. The reason for this was mentioned on the invoice -- the plant was out of stock (though this was not indicated on the website when I placed the order, or in the order confirmation email I received). Thankfully I was not charged for the unshipped items.
However, I was not given any prior notice of this out-of-stock status prior to receiving the package. No email (including spam folder) and no phone call. I thus had no chance to modify my order to include other items to make the high shipping cost worthwhile. Instead of shipping making up a quarter of the total cost of my order, it became nearly half.
When I called about this, I was given few options; unless I limited my plant selection to items that could be shipped USPS, placing a new order would incur additional shipping costs.
The people at Oikos seem nice. Their shipping rates for small orders are high but understandably so. In this scenario they are probably just a victim of their website not being sufficiently advanced to send out-of-stock notifications. But based on this experience I am hesitant to do business with them again, as it seems likely that the same thing may happen to me again.
On May 1, 2013, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:
"On May 2, 2013 4:37 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:
Since you did not supply us with the details of your order and I do not know who or what your order was, I cannot comment specifically on the plants.
There are no options for sold out items. We do not backorder usually and refund right away. You should definitely not order from us again should you want a 100 percent guarantee that you will always get what you want. My farm is different in that I do not buy and sell plants and the inventory is not in a box on a shelf in a cooler.
Here is what happened this year : We ended up with a large population of ground voles this winter that seriously destroyed our sunchokes. It was not apparent until it was too late. Those people who ordered in the winter had to be cancelled. This too is part of my farming operation and I have to live with it. Like it or not our customers have to live with it too. Luckily it doesn't happen often. Calling and emailing people for possible substitutes ends up slowing orders further and often brings even more cancellations while we are waiting for a response. We do frequently offer shipments via USPS in the fall for tubers and seeds. Prices run around $6.00 for that depending on the order. A website in the works for this fall will have a seed-tuber section for just this purpose. As the owner of Oikos Tree Crops, people say I am nice, but not really. "
On Apr 29, 2013, ChestnutBob Cherry Grove, OH wrote:
Posted on April 16, 2013, updated April 29, 2013
Ordered 10 trees. None of them were even close to the minimum 6" advertised size. 5 showed signs of life, but the rest were lifeless sticks. I planted them anyway because I had worked so hard to prepare their locations and didn't want to lose another year. I sent them an email, but have not heard back from them. When you buy a seedling, you expect the thing to at least have a chance at survival. I am guessing that I got the bottom of the genetic barrel and don't expect much from these trees. It is a shame. I really enjoyed the catalog and web site.
On April 29th, 2013, ChestnutBob added the following:
Oikos did get back with me and encouraged me to give them time because it had been a long cold winter. I would love to be wrong and have to change this rating. On Apr 29, 2013, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:
I would say you are right about the size. This year most are under the 6 inches. For this plant, it was one of the years where the sizes ran short. If you received the potted trees most of those ended up being 4- 8 inches in some cases. If you received the field grown trees then they ran from 5 inches to 18 inches on average. The plants are all grown from the same 5-6 seed trees and it has no bearing on the genetics so no it is not the bottom of the genetic barrel. They are lifeless sticks when you order trees from us. They are dormant and few if any buds will be showing, but rest assured they are alive and I did not send you dead trees. It may take longer than a single day for us to respond to emails this time of year. I hope your trees will flourish with time and maybe someday you will order from us again. "
On Oct 24, 2008, MzBubbly8621 Las Vegas, NV wrote:
I called Oikos earlier today during their business hours. Nobody picked up so I left a message asking questions regarding care of Dwarf Korean Chestnut trees or paw paw trees for Las Vegas, Nv (I forget which because at the last minute I placed another order since you have to spend at least $25 in products in order to ship). So, I waited an hour or two before deciding just to purchase since I did a research on the company and almost everyone seems happy. Not very smart of me to have waited for their response before placing an order, but I really was excited to get these plants/trees. I called many times after that (still business hours) and still no one answered. Left an e-mail message to their company just to add another paw paw tree since I found out in order for the tree to fruit you have to have atleast two trees. Waited some more and still no response... Communication definitely sucks with the company. Not sure about their products, but I decided to cancel them since they do not have good communication with their customers it seems... at least with me. Hope they got my cancelation notice.
On Oct 24, 2008, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:
"On Dec 27, 2009 1:31 PM, OIKOS Tree Crops responded with:
It may take longer than 24 hours to respond to emails. During the busy season it may take longer than one day to return calls. We are trying to improve the ability for customers to get a hold of us in the spring via phone. I know it is not easy at times. Order confirmations are done immediately and a paper confirmation is sent in the mail. We do this especially if its going to be a few weeks or months before you get your order. If you are new to us, we will send a paper catalog too. Your credit card is run just prior to shipping. You have to buy 25 dollars worth of plants. This is our minimum order. "