Saturday, April 16, 2011

Buyer Beware

Buyer Beware!  When did that become the norm?  What happened to the days of being proud of your business and your products?  The days when the business had the the buyer's interest  in mind also.  The days when people were making an honest living and doing it honestly?


I recently purchased some fruit trees and some grapevines from a local chain store.

I know!

I am not sure what I was thinking, other than it was a great price. 

If it is a great price - ask why?

Of the eleven vines that I bought, only 6 have made it.  Of the four trees that I bought, only 3 have made it.  Now those odds are not a horrible dilemma in my book.  I would have liked to have fared better, but it wasn't the end of the world to me.

They were a great price, remember?

The problem came when I called the store to tell them what happened and to ask what I could do.  I didn't expect a replacement because I was pretty sure that they were out of stock on these items, but I did expect a refund of some sort, probably a store credit.  I paid cash and cash would be nice, but I can live with credit.

Not a chance.

A young girl answered the phone, and I explained my situation.  Without missing a beat, she said, "We won't take them back."  I was a little shocked and I couldn't help but say, "What?"  Which led to another, very bluntly stated, "We won't take them back." 

Now even the large Home Improvement stores will take back landscape plants for up to a year if you keep the original containers.  You know, the one that has everyone running around in an orange apron? 

So, I closed my mouth and prevented words from flowing out of it that would not have been very nice.  It was not this girl that was the problem.  It was obviously a store policy, and this obviously wasn't the first time she had been asked this question.

So, in the interest of Buyer Beware, I won't name any names, but the store is a Supply store, and they reference large farm equipment in their name.  Farm equipment that you may know by such brand names as John Deere, Kubota, Massey Ferguson, Farm-All, etc.

Are you getting the picture?

In the interest of fairness, I won't completely bash this store because they have their place in the world.  They are very good for some pet products, tools, fencing supplies, and I have even bought work jeans there for a very reasonable price.

Bare-root stock - not their game!

I am happy to report that on the very same day as this upsetting encounter, my favorite Organic Supplier sent me an email stating that they had put all of their bare-root stock on sale 40% off.  I received my plants on Wednesday and put them in the ground Thursday night.

I encourage everyone to ask questions.  There is nothing wrong with questions.  If someone gets irritated by your consumer questions, you probably don't want to do business with them anyway. 

Another example of Buyer Beware, a few weeks back I was watching late-night television and the president of one of the large grocery stores was on a commercial claiming that his store sells locally grown produce.  I couldn't believe it.

Really?  Had I missed something?

The next time that I was in the area of one of these stores, I stopped to find out what I had been missing.  I started in the produce section, and could see no signs of locally grown produce.  I didn't see any employees of the store so I headed to the customer service counter.  I stated my question to the nice young man at the counter, and he had no idea what I was talking about.  He quickly made a call for the produce manager.  Another young man finally showed up, and upon asking him the question, he had no idea what I was talking about either.  He escorted me back to the produce section and began explaining that it depends upon the season, but he felt like he may have some squash or zucchini that was locally grown. 



Once we came to that area of the store, it was clear that the produce that he was mentioning was from Mexico. 

Try again.

He finally made a call for some back-up.  The official produce manager showed up, and quickly pointed me in the direction of the bagged citrus that is from South Texas.  That is the only thing he had that he considered locally grown.

Ask questions about your food.

If someone is hesitant to answer, be hesitant to buy.

Unfortunately we live in a day when it is up to us to find the truth.

Buyer Beware!

Good Luck and Happy Hunting.


Just as I was wrapping up this post, Yahoo posted an article regarding Wendy's new Natural Cut Fries.  I have seen the ad and had picked up on the Natural Cut part.  What does that mean?  They are cut with a knife like the rest of us naturally would do it? 

It is way worse than I thought.

You just have to read the article for yourself, and I will link you to it.  All you have to do is click your mouse here.

This is also interesting because I just had a conversation with my brother today, and he was telling me that when he eats anything fried from a chain Drive-In, he gets violently ill.  He can eat their hamburgers or hot dogs, but nothing fried.  I sent him this link also, maybe he will try to eat better.


  1. Who is going to help you put those plants in the ground?

  2. Really?

    Where were you?