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balsam hill Complaint - Bad tree-worse customer service
balsam hill Complaint

balsam hill Complaint


Bad tree-worse customer service

This journey began on December 7th, when I took my Christmas tree (originally ordered 12/1/2013 order # 285237) out of the box to prepare for Christmas. The tree was stored in a closet indoors in my home since last Christmas.

Unfortunately two strands of lights and multiple single bulbs are out. One strand in the top section is completely out as well as one strand in the bottom section.

Ok, no problem…let’s read the manual and see if we can fix it. We tried changing fuses. We tried changing master bulbs. We got our reading glasses and flashlights and tried looking at individual bulbs. We could not locate the problem.

Ok, still no big deal, it’s under warranty. We’ll use the online chat and see what our next steps should be.

Let the frustration begin! I explain what is going on and the online customer service representative sends me a link…to the same manual that came with the tree…the one we already referenced and used for our troubleshooting efforts. I tell him that, so he says that we need to call the 800 number and have the troubleshooting part of customer support give additional suggestions.

I called the 800 number and waited for an answer. I explained what we had already tried. I provided my name and order information including the type of tree (the Blue Spruce 6.5’ with the clear lights). The woman who answered the call insisted that we needed to check each individual bulb stating that “if one bulb is out the entire strand will go out”. I told her that’s not what the website says for the Blue Spruce tree…that it should stay lit up even if one bulb is out. I also informed her that we were currently looking at several bulbs out on various strands that were still burning. I mean really, I’m looking at them with my own eyes. She laughed at me and told me that “the tree YOU bought doesn’t work that way…only the trees with LED bulbs have that feature”. Your website clearly indicates that the tree I purchased has this capability. “The patented mechanical design of our incandescent lights ensures if one bulb burns out or is removed, the rest remain lit. Each bulb features classic glass casings and commercial-grade filaments for maximum longevity.” In any case, I was looking at the tree performing in that manner as clearly evidenced by the photos I’ve since emailed to your customer service department. She spoke to me as if: a) I didn’t know what I was looking at and b) I obviously purchased a cheap, inferior tree from you.

At that point, it was apparently closing time (although I wasn’t aware of that until I tried to call back) and mid-conversation we were “mysteriously” disconnected. At 5:03 pm CST when I called back, I got your recorded message saying you were closed. Frankly, I wondered if she was just tired of dealing with a customer who didn’t purchase an expensive enough tree and just hung up since it was time for her to go home.

Next step, I followed up with an email to customer service 'customerservice@balsamhill.com' and explained the steps we had already taken as well as including multiple pictures of the tree and the individual bulbs. I received an automated email stating that “One of our customer service representatives will review your question and respond as soon as possible”.

I tried to be patient, but we had a Christmas party scheduled for Saturday the 13th and Christmas is such a short season, I thought your customer service department would be working all out to correct issues before it’s too late.

I had to be at work, so my boyfriend contacted customer service on my behalf on Tuesday, December 9th. He followed up with an email to customer service (and me) recapping the call. At that time customer service agreed that there were no more troubleshooting measures to try. They provided a case number 00050434 and told him that customer service had 24-72 hours to respond. Customer service had advised him that the exact same tree was currently in stock. With the Christmas party upcoming, he offered to pay for a tree and just ship ours back if that would help expedite matters. He stated that they should please call him directly if we needed to do that and he provided his phone number.

Thursday, December 11th at approximately 4:00 pm CST, my boyfriend called to check the status of the case. I was present when he called. He spoke with a customer service representative who informed him that is wasn’t 24-72 hours (1-3 days) for a response…that it was 24-72 BUSINESS hours (3-9 days)! Really??

Considering that the Christmas season is short, 9 business days seems an inordinately lengthy response time. My boyfriend asked to speak with her supervisor. He held for a while and “Ned” came on the line. My boyfriend walked him through the entire situation and provided the case number. “Ned” assured us that although we had not been contacted yet, you all were working to resolve the issue. He could not provide us with an email address as he stated that no one in customer service has their own email address, but he assured us that we would be receiving a call either later that evening or on Friday the 12th.

Well, Friday has come and gone…Saturday’s Christmas party has come and gone…and still no resolution and the promised call has yet to be received.

What I did receive was an email on Monday, December 15th at 1:31 pm from Josefina
[ ref:_00DF06ubd._500F0TlrOD:ref ] apologizing for the slow email response and stating that “your concern is now being resolve under case number 00050434. If this is not the case and there is anything further we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact us by going online and using our chat feature, emailing us, or calling our Customer Care center at 1-888-552-2572 during regular business hours.”

I immediately emailed back to inquire just how it’s being resolved. We have yet to receive a call or an email update on the situation. We have called and emailed a number of times. We are STILL WAITING for someone to assist us with this mess. I don’t want to have to continue calling and emailing, I want someone to provide some customer service and a tree that actually works!!
I was frustrated enough to post a picture of my tree on the Balsam Hill facebook site. I received a reply to my post asking me to PM the original order number which I have now done…but am not hopeful for a positive outcome.

My boyfriend called this morning, December 16th and was told by “Roy” that he’ll be contacted today to let us know if we’re getting two new sections or a new tree.

December 17th my boyfriend called back again as we never heard from “Roy”. This time he seems to have reached someone who will help and after only 1.75 hours on the phone!! We received an email with an order for a replacement tree…fingers crossed!!!

December 18th…here we go again. The replacement order is now pending processing. They sent me a note saying “we kindly ask you to donate the tree and send in a receipt so we can process the replacement as soon as possible.” I’ll donate the tree this evening, but after 11 days of this I have lost faith that I will ever receive a replacement tree.

It is now December 18th. In case your customer service department is unaware, Christmas trees are generally for use at Christmas…which happens to be December 25th…seven days from today. 

I cannot begin tell you how nice it would be if your customer service department actually took some steps and resolved this issue in time for our family to have a working Balsam Hill Christmas tree for Christmas (this year).

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alicehughes says: (4 years ago)
We sincerely apologize for the delay of the resolution of your case. We have found your order and see that we are only waiting for the donation receipt to move your case forward. Kindly send it so we can process the order ASAP. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at social@balsamhill.com. Thank you.

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