Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Caveat Emptor

Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. ~Will Rogers

#1 daughter always tells me to read the reviews.  For the most I have been following her advice.  But on occasion I just plow ahead.  Recently I used bad judgment and had a bad experience.

My son recently celebrated his 27th birthday.  As him and A are landscaping their yard I decided to buy a $100 gift certificate from Jackson & Perkins.  They have some amazing roses.  My mother had bought plants from them once and I had used them once before for a gift certificate. 

So I ordered an email gift certificate to be emailed to me to put in the birthday card.  I printed off the receipt and I waited for the certificate to come in the mail.  We had plans for dinner at their house on the 5/9 but thankfully they were cancelled because by this time all I had received was an email that day stating the order was being processed. 

On Mother’s Day I was forced to give him his card with the receipt/email and a promise to call the company to straighten it out. 

So Monday finds me on the phone explaining I haven’t received the gift certificate and was told they had done a   “huge computer change over and we are finding not everything went through”.  I asked if my order was lost for good and should I reorder.  I was told that was a good question and one she couldn’t answer but she would have a manager contact me.  I waited because I am a very patient person.

I waited until Thursday and then I called back.  I explained I had been waiting on a manager to call and explained why.  Jennifer transferred me to Alicia, the manager.  After explaining everything she asked for my order number and put me on hold to check.  While on hold I checked to see of the monies had been taken from my account.  Alicia came back on to say the order had gone through so there was no need to re-order.  I said the money hadn’t been taken from my account and was told that it would be and to expect the email gift certificate within 24-48 hours.  So I waited because I am a very patient person.

 I waited until Tuesday at which time the money had not been taken and no gift certificate received.   I called and spoke to Alfia.  After explaining everything (again) and asking same question I was told that Alicia was not in but she would have her call me.  I asked to speak to another manager but was told there is no other manager, nobody above her!?!!?!?!?!?  I told her that I would not hold my breath waiting on a call because I had waited days for a manager to call me back before.  And don’t ya know I am lucky I didn’t because I had to call them back at 5:09 PM. 

April answered the phone and I asked to speak to Alicia.  April asked for my name, which I only gave it to her.  She then asked if Alicia was expecting my call.  I must say that by this time I was no longer patient.  This company was reminding me of an ex-boyfriend and his excuse du jour(s).  So I told April that no she was not expecting my call but I had been expecting a call from her and explained the whole episode again.  She said “well let me see if she is still here” which made me say that she better be because otherwise she worked better hours than bankers.

So I was put on hold to listen to sounds of nature purportedly used to calm one’s nerves.  Wasn’t working! 

Alicia, unlike Elvis, had not left the building and finally picked up the phone.  I explained who I was and her part in this whole scheme.  I told her I need to know if the order went through, was still lost in their computer somewhere with access to my monies, or if I should order another gift certificate thereby giving them access to $200 of mine.  She said “Would you like to cancel the order” upon which I replied “Woman that is the most intelligent thing your company has said to me.  Yes cancel the order”

So Alicia, Alfia, April, Jennifer and Jackson & Perkins are now gone never to return again just like the ex-boyfriend!

I called son, apologized and explained everything.  Him and the man work together so I just wrote out a check, sent it into work with the man and he can go to a local garden center.

But this got me thinking that I can’t be the only idiot that this happened to and decided to check reviews.  I can hear #1 daughter in my ear “You should have done it to begin with.”  Here is what I found…

and you can read some of their experiences here

And then I checked the Better Business Bureau because after reading this I knew they had to have heard of them and they did!  They have an F rating.

So I am putting this out there so that maybe someone else will benefit from it.  Also know that the conglomerate includes

Park Seed Company
Wayside Gardens
Harry & David

This is why they say shop local.  You know them, they know you.  And it proves that you are never too old to learn some very valuable lessons.   Caveat Emptor and check reviews!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A little land & sea

“ In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove; In the Spring a  young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” ~ Lord Alfred Tennyson

It is 55 degree’s and showery.   Knowing that it is going to be the norm for the next couple of days I spent a few minutes yesterday taking pictures of the iris that were blooming.  

Pale yellow ones that my grandmother planted  40+ years ago 

Huge ones from my mom

and some my friend gave me that her mom had planted years ago.

And to my surprise I am finally going to be rewarded for my patience by blooming wisteria.  

Several  year’s ago I realized that what I thought were grape vines climbing through the trees on my grandmothers neglected property was wisteria!  I transplanted a small vine in my yard and waited…and waited …and waited but now I just have to wait for the flower to open.

The man, #1 son, #2 son and Sir T went out on a charter boat this weekend.  The man didn’t catch a thing but #1 son caught one bluefish and #2 son caught four and got bit!  Sir T never even baited a hook as he spent eight hours bowing to the stainless steel head after succumbing to the urge to purge seasickness.  And I am sure while in the midst of it he had to be thinking….”I paid for this for this agony?!”   If anyone would have thought beforehand they would have had some Dramamine but even the captain of the ship doesn’t keep it on hand.  They intend to go back out another time, maybe a shorter trip to see how Sir T does while on the meds.  They are also thinking of doing a salmon fishing charter.

While they took the weekend off #2 daughter babysat both days and I mowed several acres, repotted about 40 tomato plants, sorted through some fleece that was given to me and roto-tilled a friend’s garden.  Saturday evening #2 daughter and I picked up our Chinese dinner, came home to catch up on a show we have been missing and enjoyed a man-free house. 

After  running around all weekend  I am enjoying the more mundane moments spent cleaning and doing laundry today.  I gleaned some rhubarb from my friend and made rhubarb lemonade concentrate.  I had pinned this recipe a while ago and was waiting for the rhubarb.  I mixed a glass from some that wouldn’t fit in a jar and I will be making more of this....after I try canning the rhubarb pie filling that I pinned.

And I have been knitting...nothing big just garter stitch  but it feels good to have the needles back in my hands, so I am heading toward my chair now.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Springs Meanderings

Spring is not the best of seasons.

Cold and flu are two good reasons;
wind and rain and other sorrow,
warm today and cold tomorrow.
~Author Unknown

The past month has seen windy….to the point that I was starting to hate my wind chimes!  I have several and they had been going non-stop during the day.  I was surprised they didn’t blow away, like the trash cans or the tarp covering the wood pile.

It has seen rain… to the point that my garden has yet to be tilled.  At first I didn’t till because it was sooo dry and windy I was afraid my topsoil would end up in a neighboring state.  Then it rained.  Before the ground got dry enough to till, it rained again.  And this morning we woke to 34 degrees.

In March when we had such unseasonably warm temperatures I thought Spring would rush in with wild abandonment.  But we had some frost and freeze in April and Spring decided to slowly meandered in as if it was testing the waters.  The apple and quince normally bloom all at once but this year the blooms came in dribs and drabs.  And when plants like the lilac blossom the blooms are here for only a day or two, hardly enough time to enjoy them.

Even the trees are slow to leaf out.  On April 26 the woods near the kitchen door looked like this, with only a thorn apple really showing leaves.

Today we have greened up some but the hickory and black walnuts are still just buds.

It has greened up enough that can no longer watch the animals walk down from the ridge.  You have to wait to they are just on the edge.  Mr. Gobbler is sticking close to the house so a hunter doesn't make a dinner out of him.

The buck is coming down to eat enough to make a large rack so he will look good for the does.

He is a regular along with about 5 does.  Some of them look like they have fawned already.  All of them still have some winter fun to shed.  So long as they stay out of my garden I love having them around.

But regardless of the weather, it has been a busy couple of weeks with Easter, Baby O’s first birthday on the 5th  and #1 son’s on the 7th.  Add to that #2 son’s track meets, #2 daughters babysitting, the man taking a trip to Richmond for the Nascar race, sheep shearing, tending all the seedlings and repotting them, canning, fence repair, trying to reclaim old pasture, #2 son getting his permit, work and school and we are ready for a vacation. 

 Another item of distraction was a gift from an old friend...a Case tractor.  We had to go get it and the man has been working on it, something with the generator.  I am so excited.  I had most of the farm implements except a sickle bar mower and now I have the tractor to put them to use.

 So it will be a while before we are able to sit back.  Yesterday my 10 chicks, 2 ducks, 2 geese and 2 turkeys arrived. Tonight we have ten 2 month old poults to go pick up that somebody didn’t want, tomorrow we have to go pick up our piglets, Sunday is Mother’s Day and Thursday is the man’s birthday.

I usually have my garden started by now and I was getting nervous that I would end up with nothing but remembered my mom saying that the old timers said not to plant until after Memorial Day.  If the weather behaves I should be able to meet that date.  Now to go transplant tomatoes in bigger pots.