Promised worms by event date --- I even wrote to verify that I had ordered in time. No worms. Response was "Oh, well, we just didn't get our worm shipment this week." Homepage looks like any other vermiculture farm that grows its own. Billed my card immediately. 48 hours ago was promised refund. Nope. Asked to talk to manager and was told "he'll call back in about 10 minutes." This was over 48 hours ago. Emailed and gave them another 24 hours to respond. Still have not seen my account credited (like the worms, it's "pending.") Just wrote to BBB and reiterated what I said in the email: email bursts are *so* easy to send it's unthinkable that with a customer who has said "I need my worms by date X" they wouldn't warn you that their shipment hadn't come in so you could make timely arrangements. Uncle Jim's saved our hides by overnighting. I have asked that PN be responsible for some if not all of the extra shipping cost. This is interstate commerce fraud pure and simple, and my next stop will be the FBI
Planet Natural sincerely regrets that it was unable to fill the order mentioned above due to a supply error. Planet Natural took complete responsibility for that error and refunded the customer’s money in full. We take exception with the customer’s characterization of events and find several of her claims false and misleading.
-- The customer was dealt with fairly and politely in the phone call in which she learned of the supply error and that her money would be completely refunded. No where in that conversation did our customer representative say the statement the negative reviewer quotes. Instead, in a long call in which the customer was very upset, our customer representative repeated that the company was taking full responsibility and expressed its apologies while promising to make good. During this call, the customer made demands outside and beyond complete reimbursement. The customer representative, again politely, said those demands would be considered by the Planet Natural owner.
-- Our record’s show the customer’s money was refunded electronically by Planet Natural within 20 minutes of this call. Any delay, as is common, is the result of actions by the customer’s own credit service. The customer has neither called Planet Natural or updated her post to show that she has, in fact, received complete reimbursement, thereby leaving a false impression.
-- Contrary to the customer’s claim, our customer representative did NOT claim that the owner would call back in “10 minutes,” but would call as soon as possible. When the owner did call back later the same day, there was no answer. The customer did not respond to the message that was left inviting her to call back. As the customer’s listed number was apparently her place of employment, we can only speculate that the business was closed and/or the message was never passed on to the customer. Planet Natural makes every effort to respond to all customer calls.
-- No where on our website or in our catalog does it say that we are a vermiculture farm. Planet Natural carries thousands of products, including several types of living, beneficial organisms, and does its best to keep all of them in stock at all times. Our catalog clearly states the vagaries and special conditions of delivering live organisms in highlighted disclaimers that customers must consider when making purchases. When a supply of organisms is unavailable for any reason Planet Natural promptly notes this prominently on its website. Planet Natural learned one business day before a holiday weekend that it would be unable to fulfill the customer’s request. Last minute efforts to fulfill the order were attempted, but not possible. Again, Planet Natural regrets and apologizes for not being able to fill the customer’s order under the timeline that the customer requested.
Planet Natural has been in the mail order business for nearly 25 years. So far this year, we have filled over 30,000 orders. When we make a mistake, we take full responsibility and make prompt restitution. We are the largest Fed Ex shipper in our home county and our business continues to grow at a fast pace. We strive for perfection in filling orders, value our customer’s security by using the most up-to-date and sophisticated payment service available and take pride in our friendly and knowledgeable customer service. We take complaints seriously as long as they are serious and factual, and our goal is to make all our customers happy with our service. Rather than trying to defame our business with false and libelous statements, we invite this responder to try our services again to find out why tens of thousands of customers have enjoyed ordering from Planet Natural."
On Aug 14, 2010, linesplice waterbury United States wrote:
Ordered a few items. There was no indication on the web site they were out of stock or back ordered. It has been over a week and though my credit card was billed the same day I ordered, nothing has shipped.
By not indicating what they have in stock or what will ship within a day or two, they mislead their customers and potential customers.
DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY
On Aug 14, 2010, Planet Natural responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 9:34 AM, Planet Natural responded with:
Our apologies for not being able to fill your order. Please contact Planet Natural directly so we may offer a more specific explanation. We’re unable to trace your order from the information above. We’ve received NO complaint from anyone in “Waterbury” the listed origination point of your post. We have earlier orders for praying mantis egg cases from “Waterbury” on record, the last from May which came after our seasonal mantis supply was exhausted, none from August, when this is dated. (An “out-of-stock” email was sent and a full refund made for the May order.)
We sell over 10,000 egg case a year and they move quickly once gardening season starts. We quickly post a notice, highlighted in red – “SOLD OUT - Orders placed now will ship early spring 2011”--on our mantis page when we sell out. This year, we’ve pulled our mantis page entirely because so many customers ordered mantises despite the warning.
There is a chance that your order was placed during the small, three-to-five day window that it takes to get that notice up. If that’s the case, you should have received a full refund. In the infrequent case that other items from our catalog are out-of-stock, we quickly respond by e-mail or phone to let the customer know. You should have received such a notice with your options. If not, let us know. But without knowing what “items” you ordered, we’re unable to respond to your complaint. Again, please contact us and identify yourself so that we can make sure you’ve been treated fairly. We want your business. "
My two cents, for what its worth: I live nearby and shop locally. Planet Natural is located within a short distance from my home which is convienient enough. They do seem to have just about everything tucked away somewhere among their mess (in fairness, they are moving to a new building and will probably receive a nice makeover). If availability of of a large selection of products at a good price and convieniently located where enough to earn my business (and you would think it would be), I would certainly shop there and recommend everyone do so. However, Planet Natural has the worst attitude and Customer service of any company I can think of across the board from the owner on down to every employee in there. (Their attitude is somewhat apparent in the responses above to detractors, everything is clearly stated, its your fault, not ours and if you don't like it.........), thats not exactly said, but it's what HE means.
I know this is kind of general, so to give a specific complaint (about their website ironically). They advertise on their site that they accept phone in orders. Being that they are local, I do (did) browse the website prior to going shopping. On one particular occasion, I called in and asked if they had a certain ballast, reflector, and bulb in stock and they replied yes. I then asked if the order could be put together and I would stop by in a half hour. The response I got was, "you can pick all that stuff out yourself when you get here". Again, typical of their attitude. If you wont do it, dont advertise it.
My advice, Shop elsewhere unless you are in a real jam and live nearby and can go get what you need in an emergency.
Grow Green and Dr. Greenthumbs are better local options, some people don't deserve your business.
On Jul 28, 2010, Planet Natural responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 9:38 AM, Planet Natural responded with:
Thanks for pointing out Planet Natural’s large selection of products and fair prices. And please accept our apologies for not being able to fill phone-in orders for pickup. As you note, we do accept phone-in orders, but only for shipment. If you come in to the store, we will gladly help you find the items you request and provide any information you may need to be sure you’re getting the proper equipment. This can be done quickly, depending on how many customers we have in the store when you visit.
Because of our large on-line, mail and phone orders, we usually do not have the time to prepare orders for immediate pickup. But, if you can spare a few moments, we’ll be happy to assist you once you come to the store. If you don’t have the time for an in-store visit, we suggest you phone in or e-mail your order.
We would like to take exception to your characterization of our customer service and we’re sure that hundreds, if not thousands of local and mail-order customers would do the same. Did you visit our store, as we suggested, when you called your order in? We sincerely doubt that you’ve dealt with all of our employees, as you imply, and we categorically stand by their professionalism. If you have a specific complaint about one or more, please let us know.
Our goal is to treat each customer as fairly and courteously as we can. Nor does it stop there. We make sure each of our customer service personnel are familiar with our products and are able to guide buyers to the most compatible purchasing decisions, especially, as in your case, when purchasing indoor lighting components. We treat all of our customers honestly and have for nearly 25 years.
No where in any of our responses to the above comments do we state or imply “it’s your fault, not ours” or “if you don’t like it…” We say what we mean and any inference to the contrary is not only defamatory but harms the credibility of the Dave’s Garden website.
We invite you to come in to our store – thanks for noting that we’re preparing to move into a larger, more convenient space -- or place an order, not only to take advantage of our selection and prices, but so that we may demonstrate our commitment to your satisfaction. "
I bought 3 mantis egg cases. Only 1 hatched. They stopped replying back to emails. Will never buy from them again!
On Jul 5, 2010, Planet Natural responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 9:28 AM, Planet Natural responded with:
The egg cases of the preying mantis are delicate things and require proper conditions to “hatch.” Patience is required. Cutting them open to see what is going on, as you told us you did in our e-mail exchange, stops the young from developing (larvae to nymph) and in effect destroys them.
Depending on conditions and the season, the cases may take several weeks to yield young. Because of the way egg cases are gathered, there’s no way to tell exactly when they were “laid” (no mantid sonograms!), one of the reasons that the egg cases we ship may hatch weeks apart. And individual egg cases may yield young over a period of days.
The nymph stage that emerges from the egg casing, though generally similar to the adults (they have no wings), are small and, with ravenous appetites, disperse quickly in search of food. Often there’s little evidence that the egg case has produced nymphs. In our e-mail exchange with you we tried to establish a reason why you might not have had success in the time you gave them. We suspect that cutting open the egg cases prematurely might be the reason.
Female mantises lay 12 – 400 eggs and then enclose them in a sort of spittle that hardens to become the egg shell. That’s why some eggs yield dozens, if not hundreds, of mantises while some yield only a few. The nymphs can emerge anywhere from a few weeks to three months later, depending on conditions and the type of mantis (over 400 types of mantids are known to exist in the state of Iowa alone!).
Hatching usually occurs in the spring as light and temperature conditions change and doesn’t necessarily happen all at once. The conditions for hatching you provide are very important and the Goldilocks’ principle is in effect: not too warm and not too cool. You may want to provide your new hatchlings with fruit flies or pinhead crickets at first so they won’t be so quick to cannibalize or disperse looking for food when you release them in the garden.
You can see that the variables affecting mantis eggs are numerous and getting them to hatch is never a sure thing, especially if the right conditions, as per our included directions, aren’t followed. That’s why we guarantee live delivery of our beneficial insects. But, as you know, after several e-mails, our customer rep felt that we were no longer responsible for your egg cases when you admitted to cutting the tops off of the two egg cases.
Feel free to e-mail us again regarding this order and please reference this post. We want you to be happy with your order, even if you did inadvertently destroy the two egg cases that may not have hatched.
I ordered lady bugs in late winter for indoor release. I told them in the order they were for indoor release and they charged me for them immediataely but had no intention of telling me they weren't sending them until spring. I cancelled the order and ordered elsewhere (costed a little more). Now I ordered lady bugs from them again since I figured there wouldn't be a problem in summer. They charged me immediately again but days later sent an email saying it would be one month until I got them. Ok so the live bug business may be intermittent fine, but DON'T CHARGE CREDIT CARDS BEFORE THE ORDER IS READY TO GO OUT. Is it just me or is Planet Natural the only garden company that does that? I order onions and potatoes and stuff and don't get charged till spring when they are sent, why should they charge for bugs before they intend on sending them?
On Jun 17, 2010, Planet Natural responded with:
"On Jun 18, 2010 9:12 AM, Planet Natural responded with:
Hello - We use a very sophisticated "Payment Gateway" on our website to ensure that our customers credit cards are processed safely and securely online. More than 300,000 merchants trust this payment processor (Authorize.net) to handle their online transactions -- it is one of the best and most expensive systems available! Unfortunately, this system cannot distinguish if a product is in-stock or not.
To best serve our customers we work very hard to limit our backordered items. In most cases, we will ship your entire order the same day it is received. However, if an item is backordered we have two options:
1.) We can pull the item from the site -- which we will do if the item will be out of stock for some time.
2.) We can keep the item online and note (in bright red text) that the product is currently "Sold Out." We often do this with our beneficial insects as availability can fluctuate with the seasons and local weather patterns. Here is an example from our current ladybug page on the website:
"SOLD OUT! Orders placed now will ship July 12th."
We also note (in bright red text) the following on each beneficial insect page:
*** Orders placed during winter months will be shipped according to our 2010 Shipping Schedule (link), unless otherwise specified at checkout. ***
At Planet Natural we have been shipping beneficial insects for over 20 years. In fact, we also ship beneficial insects for many of the much larger mail order catalogs. Over this time we have become pretty good at it. So, it concerns us when a customer is not happy."
I order my 500 red wigglers on 14Dec2009, charged my card the next day, but my order was not shipped until the 21Dec2009. The arrival date was suppose to be the 23Dec2009 (2 day free shipping). I guess the 2 day free shipping means longer then 2 days with live worms or anything that is live for that matter
I'm not sure who to blame, Planet Natural or FedEx because it took a week to process before shipping and now it is the holiday season and a snow storm in Denver. My worms went out on the trucks on the 23Dec2009 and also went back to the warehouse the same day. So most likely I'm not going to get live worms that I purchased, I'm going to get dead worms on the 28Dec2009.
How long do worms survive in a shipping box, its not going to be 7 days.
This is also my felt, should have purchased local and paid more and received what I order (live worms in this case).
Advice for Planet Natural, online business is done overnight if you are going to take my money overnight. If you can't ship what you are selling in a short amount of time then don't bill me until shipped.
My advice go somewhere else and shop. Most likely you will get what you paid for.
On Dec 24, 2009, Planet Natural responded with:
"On Dec 24, 2009 8:56 AM, Planet Natural responded with:
All worm and beneficial insect orders received through Wednesday AM will be shipped the following Monday or Tuesday. This is clearly stated on our site, including the page in which the worms are purchased. (Note: We ship this way to ensure that NO perishable item gets stuck in transit over the weekend.)
Planet Natural guarantees live, timely delivery of our beneficial organisms. We stand behind this claim and have been shipping worms, as well as beneficial insects for 20+ years.
We understand the challenges involved with shipping perishable items and have gotten pretty good at it over the years. If your worms arrive in poor condition, just give us a call and we will ship out a new batch ASAP."
Like genessee, I also ordered and payed an exorbitant amount for 2 day shipping, and assuming they had sent my order (since they charged my card IMMEDIATELY) I went down to my PO box two days in a row to pick it up. Now that would not ordinarily be a problem but I have an injured foot that makes it very difficult to get around. Besides, I need the stuff I ordered ASAP, that's why I paid for 2nd day air!
When I called them and asked what happened to my order, they were less than apologetic, but the girl looked it up and said she would send out my order overnight. I asked if that included the lacewings and she said that those would not go out until Monday, meaning I would get them next Wednesday at the earliest. This was not good news. So yeah, I raised my voice a little about that, said I need them now as the mites are wreaking havock on my echinacea and I'm having a party here at the end of the month. Then without missing a beat she told me she was canceling my order! I recommend everyone avoid ordering from them like the plague!
This is by the way the first negative web posting I've ever done on any company. They deserve it for their terrible terrible customer service!!!
I placed an online order for 500 red wiggler worms. The bill was charged to my credit card immediately, but the worms were not shipped until 11 days later. Their customer service page was constantly down. When the FedEx box arrived, I opened it and noticed a very bad smell that indicated decaying worms, which I found when I emptied them into the worm bed. I will not order from Planet Natural again.
On May 5, 2008, Planet Natural responded with:
On May 8, 2008 12:08 PM, Planet Natural added:
At Planet Natural we guarantee live, timely delivery of our beneficial insects/worms. Beneficial Insect orders received through Wednesday AM will be shipped the following Monday or Tuesday.
Beneficial Insects are shipped free of charge via either Fed EX or Priority Mail, depending on the insect ordered. Shipping methods are posted on individual product pages.
We offer both customer service and help pages online and post our 800# on the top of each page of our website."
I ordered 48% copper fungicide from Planet Natural. They sent me 10% copper fungicide. I even checked my "order history" at their web site, which confirmed that I ordered 48% copper fungicide. I wrote to them, and they wrote back saying "You were sent the correct product that you ordered." and then said that the supplier no longer makes the 48% solution, and they will update it on their site. Fine, so the 48% formulation is no longer available, but don't tell me I got what I ordered!
After ordering and paying an exorbitant amount for 2 day shipping, they waited 5 days to ship out the merchandise. When I called them and politely protested, they were so extremely cavalier that I asked to speak to the manager. The owner of the company came on the line and it was very clear why they have such a poor customer service attitude, despite their advertisements claiming otherwise. They obviously take their cues from the attitude of the owner. The man was loud, rude and an absolute bully. This is by the way the first negative web posting I've ever done on any company, but since this was the "owner of the company" as he loudly proclaimed, I felt it deserved to be communicated to others. Ann Lark in Colorado
I have purchased from them in the past. In 2003 I had placed an order, which was paid in full Spring 2003. Got another billing in late Fall 2003 regarding same invoice. I paid in protest and informed them it had been paid. They eventually apologized, acknowledge error and sent refund. Be sure to keep accurate accounting records if dealing with them.