Saturday, October 21, 2017

Avoid TN Wholesale Nursery

I am posting this entry mainly to catch google searches to warn off potential buyers from any of their websites I have found. I don't expect any of you guys to actually read this. Some of you may recall a post I made in spring about a large bulk order from Wholesale Nursery. As expected, my dispute was reversed and I ended up paying $200 for dead twigs. I was obviously angry.

(And actually, since I've had a couple of these stupid reversals from criminal companies by Discover card, I'm going to stop using it as my primary credit card. I'm guessing the credit card companies have bribed Congress to allow them to change the dispute rules in the last few years. I seem to remember that once upon a time you could dispute a charge successfully if a company failed to deliver on their promises. Apparently, that is no longer a thing. Now it seems all they have to do is show that you authorized the charge, regardless of whether they held up their end of the bargain.)

Anyway, I was pretty angry and I did a bunch more research about this company and I want to post more info about the many URLs this company has so that if potential buyers are clever enough to do a google search on them, they may find my post.

If you have already been scammed by this company, you have my apologies. I know how it feels. I spoke to my friend who is a commercial attorney, about filing a class action suit. She suggested that I should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Online Shopping category. Hopefully, if enough of us complain, they'll pursue action against this group.

In doing further research, I have found this nursery has been shipping dead plants since at least late-2009. I think their main name is Tennessee Wholesale Nursery, but they’ve started a number of newer websites. By comparing addresses and phone numbers, this is the list of URLs I found that I believe are related to this company:
Honestly, how many names does a company need? Why would they need so many? I believe they operate with one name until it has accumulated so many bad reviews that they find it more difficult to get people to order from them, so they create a new website with a different company name.

They seem to be operating out of a number of addresses:
  • 884 Main Street, Altamont, TN 37301 (the return address on my order)
  • HCR 77 Box B-1, Altamont, Tennessee 37301
  • 12845 State Rt 108, Altamont Tn 37301
(Honestly, at this point I would avoid ordering from any nursery located in Altamont, TN.)

Phone numbers:
  • 931-692-4252
  • 931-692-4837
  • 931-692-4266
  • 931-841-5484
  • 866-526-4527
  • 888-958-5640
Their websites show pictures of lush plants and promise that all bareroot plants will be shipped with utmost care:
“We Ship Our Plants Safely. Shipping out plants as safe as possible is our top priority. As soon as we receive your order, we dig your order the day before it’s shipped out. After we get your order, we go out and dig up your order, and send them to the shipping warehouse. At the shipping warehouse, we dip the roots in a moisture gel called Terra Sorb and line the roots with peat moss. Warmer months do have alternative shipping packing methods.
“What is Terra-Sorb? Terra-Sorb is a co-polymer gel that increases the water holding capacity of the soil. This exceptionally absorbent potassium based gel can absorb up to 200 times its weight in water while also releasing slowly to any surrounding plants. By slowly watering the roots and avoiding dry soil, Terra-Sorb helps your plants arrive healthy and happy.”
The package of 25 bareroot blueberry plants.
Note the ripped packaging. It was dry inside.
But the reality is MUCH different. In fact, based on the sheer number of complaints I observed, and my own experience, what they do typically send is dry twigs with a bit of paper wrapped around their roots and if there is any Terra-Sorb included, it is a minuscule amount that doesn’t do the job.

This is what they show for Bareroot ferns.
Look at the size of that root ball!
It's at least 7".


Bareroot ferns delivered.

This is what I actually received. Reminder, this was supposed to be 100 bareroot ferns. They fit in about half the space of a gallon ziplock bag. They were dry with no sign of life.

There are literally hundreds of complaints online for this company extending back to late-2009. They’ve apparently been cheating customers for so long that they obviously seem to think they can get away with it with impunity.

So, for your information, here are some websites with reviews on this company:

Better Business Bureau:
They’ve accumulated more than 125 customer reviews and complaints; some of them are quite detailed and I would recommend you take a look. Also, according to BBB’s website, TN Nursery received an F rating. They also include the message: “On November 5, 2012, the BBB received an email from Tammy Sons, Vice President of Tennessee Wholesale Nursery, stating "please do not send us anymore of your complaints." BBB contacted Ms. Sons and explained, the BBB will continue to send consumer complaints to them in hopes that they will respond.”

Dave’s Garden, Garden Watchdog:
This site had to shut down the comments because the nursery was having people file fraudulent reviews in order to dilute the bad ratings received from legitimate negative reviews. I suspect the garden website was also worried about getting sued by the company who sounds like they’re very litigious. There were 26 negative reviews on this site before they shut it down.
I would encourage you to check out the review from the customer that TN Nursery actually sued her because she left a negative review.

The Real Yellow Pages:
It looks like they even resort to harassment of customers who leave bad reviews:
“They sent the wrong item to me. There is no way 10 square feet of moss can fit in a 1 square foot box so I refused it. They refuse of give a refund, offered store credit which I did not want, only to retract the offer for store credit later in the conversation. They hang up on me when I try to call to resolve my issues with the owner. They apparently don't do refunds, only store credit. Be aware of the fine print on their website before making any purchases.
They then called my employer to try to threaten me professionally for a dispute with a personal transaction, taking this to a completely different level. Their exact words are "... and we will get your measley paycheck too." (I like to imagine them saying this while hunched over while rubbing their hands, in some supervillian-type lair). They are also saying that I am slandering them by typing this honest review and will come after me for that. These people are frightening to do business with.
Yelp: There are 17 negative reviews, some of them quite detailed. They told a number of customers that they don’t do refunds for any reason.

Gardenweb/Houzz:
This is a review of TN Nursery followed by tons of comments where people add their negative experience with the company. I was boggled to read that they actually told a customer that he couldn’t cancel his order, even if it was late:
“I sent emails to their "contact us" - never any replies. Finally after 30 days I cancelled the order - then they replied that my order would ship in 10 days. Too late, I cancelled - they then told me that I couldn't cancel and that they would just bill my credit card. They flat out told me that they could just bill my credit card and that they would get their money and I could dispute with credit card company and then they hung up. I've never in my life experienced a scam of a company like this.”
Complaints Board: This one was also followed by comments from folks adding their bad experiences with the company.

Rip Off Report under a number of their company names
Tennessee Tree Nursery
The Tree Nursery
The Tree Nursery

If folks find any more company names or URLs, leave a comment and I'll update this post with the information. I suppose I am lucky I only lost $200 to this company, some folks lost a lot more. But, given our financial situation, it isn't really an amount I want to lose without any response. And, since I'm feeling feisty, I'm going to send a letter to their congressional representatives. I doubt it will do a bit of good, but it will help me feel like I've done everything I can.

And for folks, like me, who want to do more:

Scott DesJarlais, U.S. House (TN) - District 4, Republican
301 Keith Street, Suite 212, Cleveland, TN 37311

Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senate (TN) - Sr, Republican
3322 West End Avenue, Suite 120, Nashville, TN 37203

Robert Corker, U.S. Senate (TN) - Jr, Republican
10 West Martin Luther King Boulevard, 6th Floor, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Janice Bowling, State Senate (TN) - District 16, Republican
2315 Ovoca Road, Tullahoma, TN 37388

Paul Sherrell, State House (TN) - District 43, Republican
6677 Crossville Highway, Sparta, TN 38583

The Grundy County Herald (newspaper)
65 Oak Street / P. O. Box 189
Tracy City, TN 37387

5 comments:

  1. Class Action suit on banks, credit card, ect. will no longer be an option after Trump signs the new law passed yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I heard. Though, presumably it wouldn't protect the online merchant committing fraud. Who knows. They know dissatisfied customers aren't going to hire an attorney to recover a couple hundred dollars so they keep getting away with their behavior.

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  2. They rip people off for just less than the amount that would send you to a lawyer. I try to use PayPal when I can. PayPal will cover you even if it is reversed. What about their State Attorney General? Wouldn't that be Internet Fraud? And if over a state line, doesn't that break another law?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I were you, I would hunt down all the sites you can to leave specific information and a very bad review. In addition, edit this post to include keywords and links to further get the attention of online searches. Folks can't be allowed to rip off their customers and get away with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never mind ... I see that you have done this already. I don't know why it didn't show up when I first read this post. You go, Girl!!

      Delete