Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I just have to vent, everybody.

I got the most horrendous order from Aztec yesterday! I placed it in DECEMBER, so I shouldn't have much in the way of substitutions, right? I ordered 7 tubers- they subbed 3 of them! One was a duplicate of another dahlia on the order, one was a cultivar I already have. The one I wanted most, Islander, was subbed. Even worse, 5 of the tubers are huge and rotten. They are very squishy, and have no developed eye. I spent $47 for this mess.

I have sent 2 emails, and no response. Since there is no written policy about return/refunds, what should I do?

I must add that my order from Connell's came at the same time, the same size box, same number of tubers. All the tubers were eyed up, and they sent me a bonus "Citron du cap" which is no slouch as a dahlia! I almost ordered it. Obviously someone at Connell's saw what color spectrum I was in, and sent a perfect match! Also, to be positive, the $1 and $2 tubers sent to me by Red Hawk have been the most incredible cutting-producers ever! I've almost got as many cuttings as the entire order, and not a dud in the bunch! Aztec has been the only real disappointment this season.

I will post all this on the Garden Watchdog, but if Aztec doesn't make good, they will lose their 100% rating. Maybe they don't care.

Thanks for letting me blow off steam!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Jax, that is very disappointing. Keep at em. They should stand by their goods.
I did search their site and found this guarantee, so you should be able to hold them to their word. On a happier note, my Connell's order arrived and was in excellent order, as always. One tuber is slashed or broken but should still grow. I will let them know, just in case it doesn't.
http://www.aztecdahlias.com/azdahlshphand.htm

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Oh no! That's where I ordered my dahlia tubers from! They haven't shipped mine yet. I'm scared to see what awaits me... TAmara

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Tamara, when did you place your order? Annie, thanks for the link. I think I read it when I first opened the box, but I was so steamed I couldn't remember a thing on the page. Anyway, that page states that they get orders for the next season in September! So they must have sold out of "Islander" by December? Geesh, either they have more customers than I have cat hair, or they don't stock much.

I think what irks me is the fact that I spent over $47 and I didn't get a bonus. I don't mean to sound entitled, it's just a friendly gesture to get an unexpected tuber. They're the only grower that doesn't send a bonus-- kind of a ill-will kinda thing- Swan has $25 incremental bonuses, plus I got "I'm A Hottie" as a Valentine Special (b/c I ordered in Feb.). Red Hawk was liberal with the bonuses, too. That's what I like about dealing with a private farm, as opposed to the "big guys" like Van Bourgondien. Try to get an extra tuber from them! ;-)

That page says they don't give cash refunds! They can't possibly have what I want in stock now. I wonder if there is a rule that I have to accept their substitutions?

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I was happy with my order from Aztec last year. They made one substitution. I will certainly agree that if they are subbing more than 25% of your order they should ask you about it.

Aptos, CA

I also got a terrible order from Aztec awful awful awful I spent $57.00 for crud... I send 4 emails, got one response saying they were busy with order and would get back tome...that was a week ago...eh hem...never again..never...

I will order from Dan's, SWI, and Connell's for tubers...No more Azrec for me.

This message was edited Apr 21, 2007 6:29 AM

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

You guys say you are sending emails.
Don't they answer their phone???
Emails are so easy to just ignore, but phone calls aren't as easy.

I think that is horrible. I would definitlely keep hounding them until they make right!

Money isn't meant to be thrown away and you entititle to a decent produce.

Carol

Aptos, CA

Carol, I think this warrants a post on Garden Watchdog...If I canfiggure out how to post there...Seriously, the tubers were pitiful..and one didn't even have a name on it ( NOID )! That is a HUGE no no as you know!

Oh well, live and learn...I am sure they are right nice folk, but their order was POOR quality.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I agree with the people saying hound them! I also think, no matter how it's resolved, that you should give them a neutral rating on Garden Watchdog and tell about your experience. Naturally, if you don't see your money back, I would change it to a negative.

I almost ordered from them because their website is so great, but I ran out of space/money before I could get back to it :)

Suzy

Aptos, CA

I left a negative, seriously, the tubers were horrid...I am not a satisfied customer...hhhmmm

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for all the input. Now I know where not to shop.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Aztec just responded to my email. They are willing to take my order back. I don't know wether to post a neg. or a neutral.

They have a great website! They are one of the few that give a picture, bloom size, and plant height. Their prices were too high, so I figured their tubers must be the best!!!

The reason I emailed my complaint is that they don't answer their phone. (I called first). I finally saw that they said "phone calls in the evening only". The good think about email is you can just send the same complaint over and over, and write "2nd attempt" "3rd attempt", etc. at the top!

I'm just going to seal the box back up, ship it back, and forget Aztec!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

What good will taking your order back do? Are they going to send what you ordered? Will you get a refund?

I'd leave neutral and tell the story. If you get your refund then you can change it if you wish.

Aptos, CA

It is frustrating and I left a negative, because I sort of count on adding certain varieties to my patch, and I trust that I will rec robust tubers, labelled etc. Now I have "holes" where I wanted those guys to go, and it is kinda late to try to re-order...I feel if someone sells tubers to the general public, they should be viable and labelled...I GIVE stuff away if I am not sure about them ( I am not a tuber seller BTW )...I am usually "too nice" and don't complain much, but I am a bit tired of being too nice...and when something is less than stellar...well...I am going to speak up...

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

If you tell us what you need, those of us with "no holes" can help you out! I'm running out of space-- I need "holes"!
(This invites all kind of PG comments, but this is a G-rated board!)

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

I sure wouldn't ship the box back!
It wouldn't be worth my time packing it up.
I would just take pictures and email them to the company. And then expect either more tubers or a refund.

As for being nice, Sudhira, we are getting to the age that we can't be nice. We expect things to be a certain way so.............we were nice in our younger age so..............but maybe this is me. But....................we can only be so nice for so long..................

But call me the meanie, I guess.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

If possible you should always take a picture when you open a mailorder package of plants. If the plants look great you can post on Dave's to encourage business for a good company. If they don't look great, and the company doesn't resolve the problem, well.... a picture is worth a thousand words as they say.

Aptos, CA

I took pictures, but they just didn't show the poor quality..trust me, they were bad! I am not going to pack them up..I am just calling it a loss and a lesson learned...Pooch, I think we just have more of a voice as we evolve?? HAHA

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

I ordered 16 tubers from them last year, and they had 5 either no-shows or substitutes (I usually find a check in the box for when a grower doesn't replace). I didn't see an eye on any of them, but in the end it didn't matter, as some of my biggest monsters were from them, like Blackberry Ripple, a giant. I did order some from them this year, we will see.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I took pictures of the nasties I recieved, but I can't translate "squishy" in the photo. I'm at a loss to keep the good ones and return the others, or just ship the whole bunch back.

I think it's fair that they should repay me for unwanted and dead tubers. Al is SO right- you can't sub more than 25% of the order!

I used to be nicer when I was younger and cared what people thought about me! You get stomped on. I'm working on becoming a curmugeon! Hey, what fun is it in getting older if not to tell young whipper-snappers off! ;-)

Aptos, CA

I posted on Garden Watchdog...to warn others...caveat emptor

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Gee, a bad year for Aztec if this board is just a sampling of the general purchasing public. I'm glad you got a response Jax. Were I you, I would leave a neutral because even though the product was less than quality, they did respond and are willing to work with you. Hopefully a full refund is forthcoming?

Sudhira, I know how you feel about quality and your photos won't be the same with holes in your gorgeous dahlia plot! Hopefully, you will find some resolution as well, along with a reputable vendor to help fill those holes.

This all points to yet another wonderful service provided by DG: we get the lowdown on mishaps in dealing with various businesses: the good , the bad, and the ugly. It's really great that you both will post your input and I hope others do too.

Todd, when you say " I didn't see an eye on 5 of them... but in the end it didn't matter" DID those plants go on to grow, or were you so happy with Blackberry Ripple (88 Ripple as Dr Don calls it LOL!) that it made up for 5 dud/worthless tubers? I wouldn't let that slide, I would let them know. That was 25% of your order! They need to be held accountable, because if disgruntled consumers don't speak up, sellers will just continue to give marginal product/marginal service and think they can get away with it because there are no complaints/problems.

We'd all provide a valuable service if you do note problems with your orders' quality/service on Watchdog and certainly with the sellers etc. ( but I'll be the first to admit I'm hesitant to complain because I hate dealing with complainers and those attitudes of entitlement esp at work. But as consumers, you ARE entitled to a decent product and if you don't get it; please speak up. It will help those going forward and will ultimately help the business itself or take it out of the running if, that is merited.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well said, Annie

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

Annie, I meant they didn't send 5 of them last year, the other 11 that did show up didn't have eyes I could see. But those 11 included some of my most vigorous plants. At the time I didn't know what was typical for filling orders, the only other dahlias I ordered before were in 2005 from .... Publisher's Clearing House! :) Those definately sucked for the most part.

Some of the 11 I got didn't grow, but I had a LOT of rain after I planted them, so the percentage wasn't more than was typical. I will provide the Watchdog feedback this year on the ones I ordered.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

LOL Publishers Clearinghouse is definitely a new dahlia source! I almost want to ask how EVER they got involved in dahlia dealing instead of magazines etc!

That's the crux Todd, if a tuber arrives in pathetic condition: rotting, broken, eyeless, or dehydrated beyond belief, that's worth rebuttal. But if you plant it in March in zone 4 or in a monsoon of standing water and it dies, well, that's your problem. (I've done the monsoon planting and blame no one but myself... quite a few times LOL :( Whoever said "take photos' had a great idea. I did that with one bad tuber last year and it was promptly replaced without fuss: obviously rotting and eyeless shortly after arrival.

Glad your order turned out pretty well then. You had some real bodacious beauties as I recall. Have a little less lawn at the Todgor household this year?

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

Lawn?! We don't need no stinkin' lawn!!

Well, it is vanishing fast. I took the back section of the back lawn in 2005 for planting, though that was ivy. I took the front half of the front lawn for a garden last Fall. Now I took a good portion of the front of the back lawn for my new dahlia beds. I should be grassless by 2008!

Was hoping to have the greenhouse in this year on top of the new beds, but the landscaping was too expensive, got about 60 yards of top soil in the back. Would have helped this year with protecting the even larger count of gi-normous AA's and A's.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good job, todgor! A former DG member started the "No Mow Grass" (no more grass) society in Arkansas. You can lead the pack here in the east.

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Looks like I had reason to be worried. Good thing you gave me a heads up on the substitution thing...It's hard to tell from the illegible chicken scratch handwriting, but it looks like they substituted 3 (possibly 5) out of 7 tubers. They did have the decency to throw in 2 free ones, but they weren't anything I would have paid for. Some look lifeless, but I'm going to hold off judgement until I actually plant them. We shall see... Tamara

p.s. One of the dahlias I ordered, Gitt's Perfection, was substituted with Wildwood Marie, which bigcityal just sent to me! Truth be told, his looked better! Hey, Al....wanna go in the dahlia business? I'll be a loyal customer! ;-) Tamara

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

zone5girl - yours were from Aztec also?

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Yep. This is my first year ordering dahlias, and I chose them because they had 100% rating. *sigh* Well, I'm crossing my fingers that they will do well and be pretty in person. Tamara

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I have a feeling Aztec won't have a 100% rating for long!

Zone5girl, I am swimming in Gitts Perfection. I have about 6 tubers. If you want to d-mail me, I'll happily send you one or more.

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Thanks so much!!!! You have dmail. Tamara

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Another feather in the hat of Connell's from me: the gashed tuber was replaced in today's mail. I didn't even ask for a replacement! I only emailed them to thank them for the wonderful order and mentioned the one tuber was either cut or broken but should grow. My kind of company.

Aptos, CA

Okay here is my last post re: Aztec Dahlias...they did email me and are trying to make good on the order...HOWEVER, they left a bad taste in my mouth about wanting to use them again, and I probably will not...just my feelings...

I am emailed back to them to let them know I only want them to replace 2 of the varieties, as I have already planted out my crop..and we'll call it a done deal...I have not heard back from them, and got an automated response that the email had "fatal errors" whatever that means...

My advice to anyone wanting to get into the dahlia tuber business...

1. Do not send out tubers that are shrivled up, rotting, have dried heads, have no eyes, have NOID.

2. If a client orders early, and you don't have the one they want..let them know sooner than later, especially if the tuber price is $12.00 ..

3. Always through in a bonus...it is traditional.

4. Have an email that works, and respond to the emails the same day you read them...

Okay end of Aztec saga...I wish them well at any rate...

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Had problems with Aztec's email too...it got sent back to me. They need to obviously scale down their business, as they seem overwhelmed. Tamara

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I hope there's not an illness in the Aztec business. It would be a horrific time of year to break something or get sick. I keep reminding myself of that..... ankles, knees, hands, arms and back: take good care of all of them.

I also noticed today that Accent Dahlias website is down- checked several times.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I got this message from Aztec today:

"Dear Melissa,

Thank you for your email. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you.

I have checked with my manager and we have agreed to make an exception in your case and issue you a full refund by check for your order. Please keep the viable tubers free of charge.

We will be sending you a refund today by mail. We also wish to offer you 4 free tubers next year. We ask only that you advise us by the end of October to be able to process your order with the first shipments.

We do value your business and are anxious to make up for our mistake. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

Sincerely,

Jennie Davies,
Customer Service Supervisor
www.AztecDahlias.com"

And then replied to my response:

"Dear Melissa,

Thank you for your reply. Please do not worry about sending them back at this
point. We are very sorry that your order went out in this condition in the first place. We will be looking into who actually processed and packed the order to make sure this does not happen again.

We will be mailing your refund check today. If it is not too much trouble, please let us know once you have received it. We do hope you will accept our offer of 4 free tubers for you next season. If there is anything else we can do for you, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Again, we are very sorry for the inconvenience we have caused you and hope to make amends."

Me again- at least they are trying. It sounds as though they have hired someone who doesn't know what they are doing, either with tubers or the internet. I keep getting error messages on the email myself, but the message does go through. Sudhira, I TOTALLY agree with you on the subbing of the high priced tuber!!!! The reason to spend thet much is b/c you want THAT tuber, not just a random selection! That was the major problem for me.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's always good to know a company is making the effort to do the right thing and they have done that.

Aptos, CA

Personally, my standards are high. I require a company that does it right the first time. HOWEVER, if there is a faux paux, that it is minimal, not one that consumes practicaly the entire order...'nuff said...

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Given that everyone I ordered from was PERFECT, I wouldn't order from them again. I think Oct. is a little early for deciding what you want the next year!

Ordinarily I would agree w/ you sudhira, but when I know they're small family businesses, I get soft-hearted!! (Make that soft-headed!)

On the other hand, they are better able to adjust their pricing to compete. I think their tubers are way over priced, esp. since the tubers were not professionally packaged (this is above and beyond the fact that the order was wrong and tubers were lousy!).

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