Photo Credit: Balsam Hill Christmas Tree (Photo emailed to me in my order)

I most recently ordered a Balsam Hill Christmas Tree on Black Friday. We were so excited! We saved up the money to buy this $899 Signature Christmas Tree. I had been saving all year. We purchased the 7.5′ Norway Spruce Narrow Artificial Christmas Tree with Color and Clear Lights. I was so excited went I came home and found the box on the front porch. I read the instructions and assembled this beautiful tree. I got everything assembled, followed all the directions, and then plugged in the tree. To my great disappointment, the tree did not light up. After checking all the fuses, connections, and bulbs; I called the Balsam Hill help desk for assistance. I spoke with a young man and he walked me through set-up again, tried several different ways to see if the tree would light. It did not. It was determined that the tree the company sent to me was defective. Now I paid $514 for the tree because of the Black Friday Sale and the $35 discount coupon from their website.

Photo Credit: Screen Shot from Joseph Lee’s Order

Here is the rub. They will overnight a new order to their customer, but if a customer is sent at the point of sale, a defective tree, it could take up to ten business days to receive a replacement. In my opinion, that is just very unfair and is not a good business practice. I understand that companies have warranty procedures, but when someone purchases a brand-new tree, then it should work when the customer takes the tree out of the box. By the time I would have received my replacement tree, it will be a week before Christmas and that was not right in my opinion!  By making a new customer wait Ten Days to receive a product that works is not showing that customer that they are a valued customer. I was persistent, and got them to agree to ship the replacement tree to me, Two Day Air.

This brings me to today. On December 1st, 2017; I received the replacement tree. This time, I was not as excited about opening the box because that thrill was met with a huge disappointment on Tuesday of this week. So, I get the tree into my house, unbox it, and assembled the replacement tree. Well to my great dismay, these lights were defective as well. So, I did some trouble shooting of the tree and finally called customer service to have them to send me a return label to ship this second defective tree back.

During this entire process, working with some customer service representatives was very good and then there were others that showed that they did not care about the company. One such incidence was when I was told to donate the first tree and then another rep told me to send it back. They send different messages which confused me as to what to do.

In another instance, I reached out to Balsam Hill on Facebook. They actually told me not to post any more negative comments, but to personally message them. This shows in my opinion that the staff are not trained to handle adversity when confronted with real product issues. Please see the following screen shot:

Photo Credit: Facebook

I reached out to the company twice and requested a supervisor to call me. Balsam Hill responded to my Facebook posts and asked me to refrain from posting publicly. They stated that they had requested a supervisor to call me. As of the writing of this article, no one from the company has contacted me.

Photo Credit: Facebook

At this point, I have requested a full refund. The writing of this article in no way is meant to attack the company. It is for information purposes to show that I reached out to the company to get help from the supervisor. I wanted to buy a tree, they sold one to me, but unfortunately it was a defective tree. Then they replaced it with a defective tree. This is unacceptable.

Here are some other examples of what is occurring to other customers. My brother, Ted, ordered this same style tree on Black Friday. He lives the Hampton Roads area, 120 miles from me. His tree came defective. The lights would not work. He had to send his back for a full refund.

I spoke with a young lady by the name of Anna on Facebook. Her tree does not light up. She is still waiting for a shipping label which she requested six days ago.

Karen L. reports that she has had problems with the electrical on her tree. She states that she has had a horrible experience.

Timothy T. reports that only 35% of his lights work.

Lori D. states that her refund will be credited in 30 days. This seems odd as the customer service person I spoke to on the telephone this afternoon stated that it will take up to five business days to refund.

Mona writes that she has been waiting over five days for a return shipping label.

Rean Salgarano at Balsam Hill advised me that it will take five business days to be credited back my $514.00. I asked her if there had been a lot of returns since the lights were not working. She responded, “Yes, we have processed many returns for this reason.” If that is the case, I wonder if the company’s manufacturer has shipped entire lots of defective trees. I will further investigate this and follow this story up with the results of that investigation.

My experience has not been as much unpleasant as VERY DISAPPOINTED! I am very disappointed that Balsam Hill has sold me defective trees. These trees are featured on the Hallmark Channel. I hope that the company can recoup from this, because defective trees can destroy their reputation.

I did give them a negative review on their website. As of today, it has not been approved to be published. On their website, all 1 Star Reviews were last published at least Two Years ago. Two Star Reviews were last published Two Years ago. Three Star Reviews were last published One Year ago. Four Stars were last published Four Months ago. And Five Star Reviews were last published within the last week to two weeks.

Here is a copy of my review. I did verify myself and it still has not been published. So here is my question, are current negative reviews being suppressed off their website? Why wasn’t my One Star Review ever published? Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think?

By JosephL777 from Richmond, VA on 11/29/2017
Your Rating: 1 stars
Headline: Defective Tree Shipped

Pros : Durable, Attractive Design
I Am A : Family Older Kids

I ordered a Balsam Hill Christmas Tree on Black Friday. We were so excited. We saved up the money to buy this $899 7.5′ Norway Spruce Narrow Artificial Christmas Tree – Color+Clear. I was so excited went I came home and found the box on the front porch. I read the instructions and assembled this beautiful tree. I got everything assembled, followed all the directions, and then plugged in the tree. To my dismay, they tree did not light up. After checking all the fuses, I called your help desk for assistance. I spoke with a young man and he walked me through set-up again, tried several different ways to see if the tree would light. It did not. It was determined that the tree you sent to me was defective. Now I paid $514 for the tree because of the Black Friday Sale and the $35 discount coupon from your website. But the bottom line, you sent me a defective tree. Now here is the rub. You will overnight a new order to your customer, but you send a defective tree and I now have to wait up to 10 business days to receive a replacement? That is just very unfair and is not a good business practice. By the time I will get my replacement tree, it will be a week from Christmas. I must say, this 10 business day replacement policy stinks. This does not prove that you care about the customers that you sold a defective tree to. You should be taking good care of your customers instead of making them wait 10 business days! I was prepared to write a Five Star Review, but have to give you one star for poor customer service. By the way, I spoke to Katie this morning and she was unable to expedite my problem. Train your people to be able to expedite issues and just maybe, you will keep good customers for future sales! At this rate, I will be requesting an entire refund!

Photo Credit: Joseph Lee

Copyright © December 1, 2017, The Lantern & Shield Times LLC.

 

 

 

 

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Joseph Lee is an entrepreneur who owns a “Christ Centered” business as well as he is involved in Marketplace Evangelism & Discipleship. He most recently graduated from Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity with a Masters in Christian Ministry. His focus was Pastoral Ministries. He will continue to work as a co-vocational pastor/businessman in the corporate world. In previous professions, Joseph was in law enforcement and was almost killed in the line of duty. It was then that he realized that God had spared his life and he was being called into the ministry. Joseph has also been involved in a music ministry and co-produced his solo album called “Shield of Faith” which is offered on iTunes. He also has a diverse background in acting and has appeared in a major motion picture as well as on several television shows on the Discovery Channel. God has changed his life in a way that he is on fire for Christ and shares the Gospel with all who are lost without hope. It is only through his faith in God and Christ that he is pursuing co-vocational ministry in the marketplace. Joseph is the Managing Partner, an Editor, and a Contributor for The Lantern & Shield Times for Faith and other news stories.

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