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  1. #1

    Thumbs down

    The question is, am I being petty?

    A brief history.
    In early April, I ordered ten marked queens from a breeder I have never ordered from before. The lady told me it would be late May before they could get them to me. I then received a conformation letter informing me that I should expect the queens to be mailed on May 23rd. Great. So I wait.
    May 26 comes, I receive a package from the breeder. I open the package and to my disappointment, only nine of the ten cages contain live queen bees. The tenth cage contained one dead queen bee with three of the six attendants dead as well.

    Okay, then. These things happen.

    So. I then call the breeder and told her the condition of the package. She puts me on hold for a moment and then proceeds to tell me that I should fill out a form with the post office to claim my $15.25. ($14 for the queen, and $1.25 for the marking)

    This I found odd. In my fifteen years as a beekeeper, I have ordered numerous queens from several different breeders. And each time I ordered a certain number of queens (keep in mind, I never order less than ten), the package always contained one or two extra queens. My guess is for this very situation. No?
    So I was surprised that the breeder didnÂ’t wish to accommodate me with an immediate shipment of one queen bee.

    Okay, then. Whatever.

    Since I had desired ten queen bees, I told the breeder that I wish to order another queen to fulfill my ten queen allotment. I then realized that I may wish to order two queens lest one of them arrives dead, and if they both arrived alive and pipingÂ… then great, I can always find a home for her.
    The breeder then tells me that it would be $34.50 ($16 for each queen and $1.25 each for the marking.).

    Now, the rate this breeder charges for queens on orders numbering more than ten is $14 per. The rate for orders numbering less than ten is $16.
    The $34.50 she quoted me was for two marked queens, $16 each for the queen and $1.25 each for the marking. I politely suggested to her that I should be charged the rate for queens on orders numbering ten or more, since my original order had not been satisfied. ($14 for the queen, and $1.25 for the marking)

    She agreed.

    One week later, I received a package from the breeder containing two cages with live queens with attendance. Hooray!! But much to my annoyance, the credit card receipt displays the charge of $34.50 ($16 for each queen and $1.25 each for the marking.).

    Not what we had agreed upon.

    Okay, hereÂ’s the rubÂ…
    This $4 discrepancy, on itÂ’s face, does seem like a petty situation to be complaining about. Especially since the second shipment contained live queen bees. However,

    If one were to look beyond the surface, one would discover a substantial financial increase.
    Had I received that tenth queen bee alive and piping, no future transaction would have been necessary. So here we have an additional order for two queen bees, one to fulfill the intentional order and one for fear of experiencing receiving another dead queen. Charged at an increased rate not agreed upon; add an ADDITIONAL shipping charge that wouldnÂ’t have been necessary in the first placeÂ… and the total amount comes toÂ…

    $55.25

    Now thatÂ’s one expensive queen.
    She better be good.

    Your thoughts???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison Heights VA
    Posts
    396

    Post

    34.50 dispute it with the credit card company. You will get full refund.
    And don't do business with those folks again.
    Curtis
    Curtis

  3. #3

    Post

    Its not appropriate for a shipper to tell you to try and recovery any (if it exists) insurance from the Post Office. Its the Shipper who is insured not you. You have no such documentation nor are you the insured. She should have asked you to save the packaging if she had insurance and should try and recover if she wanted to (or could... can you even buy insurance on a package of Queens?) but either way its up to her to collect and make good the shipment is the way I see it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bayou City, Texas
    Posts
    9

    Post

    I agree with the people above- this is not good business practices. I would dispute the charge (not to remove the charge entirely, but to change it to the agreed-upon amount) and not do business with them again.
    Dat rosa mel apibus.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    345

    Post

    I'd rack it up to a cheap lesson on who not to get queens from. The $55.25 is the true cost and since you can't recover any of that the other $2 won't even buy a good cup of coffee so let it go. There are alot of business folks out there that get so focussed on the production aspect and annoyed by the marketing that they lose customers left and right, but if the demand is high it doesn't matter. Maybe that woman has an exceptional product- maybe not. But you'll see soon enough. If not then she's probably just in it for the $$ and nothing else and won't get any more of yours.
    Time wounds all heals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
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    1,443

    Post

    let it ride brother. lesson learned - don't do business with that person, and share names with us so we won't either. then forget about it. life's too short for thinking about this stuff.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Post

    Ok, Cody who are we talking about? Little customers are people too! I think it has little to do about a few bucks, and a lot to do with customer service and doing what they said they would do. It steams me when someone agrees to something then donÂ’t follow threw. It could be an honest mistake or deliberate. I would call them and have them explain it to me.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I have had as many as 250 queens shipped to me in 3 packages each a day apart from several queen breeders and I have never seen an extra one shipped to cover a loss. I have had to reorder for dead arrivals and never asked for or gotten a reduction in the price. (I have gotten a receipt for several free queens on the next years order) and I still do most of my business with that firm.

    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    LV, NV
    Posts
    104

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    I'd call the supplier to let them know why I was dissatisfied, especially since the lady _twice_ broke her agreement with you. then when they respond "tough luck, we like to run our business like schmuks" I'd contest the charge with my credit company. bargain for exchange + consideration = contract. they breached by failing to deliver 10 live queens, then by overcharging you (to remedy their own breach!)
    xeric bee

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I got that go fight the USPS yourself story from Purvis last year.

    See: http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubb...=003090#000000

    It took eleven months and many trips to the Post Awful, but I was finally reimbursed. I've never heard of any business telling the customer this before.

    Well Cody, was it them?

    The only other lady with a poor customer relationship I have experianced was with Weaver.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    first off I would think it is not about the bucks (although hopefully most folks are aware that everyone has the need to make some denero to continue doing whatever they do).... it is about committment and going as far and as fast as one as one is able to fulfill this committment.

    not to question your story, but like clinton I have never received one queen beyond the number ordered. I really do not think this is a regular habit among queen breeders.

    like ford guy I would suggest that you do not loose too much sleep over this issue. if I 'felt' used and abused I would also have no qualms about coughing up names of folks that you would NOT recommend as far as product or business ethics is concerned.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    846

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    I just ordered form old sol queens and we ordered 50 and i think he sent two extra. but four were dead. So he asked me if i wanted two more shipped or jsut take them off the bill. they were really great people to do busness with. And yes that is the first time i got extra queens in the order. Nick

  13. #13

    Post

    Thank you for your input.

    Regarding extra queens; maybe it’s just that I’ve been lucky, but I do recall receiving extra queens on large orders from several different breeders. And I specifically remember working for a breeder in California back in the early ‘90s and we always put a few extra queens in on large orders.
    Anyway,

    The reason I didnÂ’t include the name of the breeder I was dealing with this time in the first posting is because I didnÂ’t wish to sully the name of an otherwise reputable breeder if my grievance was unjust. Also because IÂ’ve yet to address the breeder the second time to with regards to my dissatisfactionÂ… again.

    That being said, your comments have motivated me to divulge the breederÂ’s name.

    Rossman Apiaries.

    Also considered is that IÂ’ve heard good things about them from other keepers on this board and elsewhere. I do believe that one unfortunate incident may not encompass Rossman Apiaries and their business practices. It does, however, encompass my feelings about their operation. However unfortunate. (She didnÂ’t even apologize or express regret when I talked to her about receiving only nine queens when ten was ordered.)

    All said and done, I will - as FordGuy and others suggested - let it ride and chalk it up to lessoned learned. I will not be contacting Rossman Apiaries to address my grievance with them as I am extremely busy this time of year and I donÂ’t need the frustration (venting on this site has helped, thanks). My better half tells me that I shouldnÂ’t have ordered the two additional queens after my first unsatisfactory experience.

    There are no winners here, unfortunately. I lose out on $55.25 – Rossman, even if they have a quality product, loses a potential life-long customer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,131

    Post

    I've never been shipped extra queens. I've never shipped extra queens. When I asked the USPS about insurance claims on queens shipped express (which is the only way I ship now) they said either the customer or I could file them.

    I wouldn't lose any sleep over $4. Life is too short and it's not worth it. Odds are someone along the line thought she made a mistake selling you the queens at the per ten rate and "corrected" it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15

    Post

    **I've never been shipped extra queens. I've never shipped extra queens.**

    Alright, I get it. It appears that the industry norm is NOT to ship extra queens. And actually, it kindaÂ’ makes me feel better now knowing that karma may be making those numerous extra queens I have gotten over the years catch up to me. Fair enough.

    **When I asked the USPS about insurance claims on queens shipped express (which is the only way I ship now) they said either the customer or I could file them.**

    If a customer calls you to inform you that a queen has died in transit, do you – Mr. Bush – tell the customer that it is their responsibility?
    Is that the industry norm? IÂ’m just asking.

    **I wouldn't lose any sleep over $4. Life is too short and it's not worth it. Odds are someone along the line thought she made a mistake selling you the queens at the per ten rate and "corrected" it.**

    Yeah, thatÂ’s what I suspect. That it was just a mix-up. And if those queens turn out to be nice and productive, IÂ’ll sleep like a baby, thanks.
    In addition, itÂ’s not $4. At its most generous, itÂ’s $23.15. ($17.25 charge for the queen to fulfill the original order, and $5.90 for a shipping charge that wouldnÂ’t have been necessary in the first place)

    DonÂ’t get me wrong. IÂ’m not angry, just a little annoyed. I can easily drop $55.25 at the pub and only have a headache in the morning to show for it. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    Cheers.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,131

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    &gt;do you – Mr. Bush – tell the customer that it is their responsibility?

    Since I went to the Express and they now insure them, I do not tell the customer it's their responsibility.

    &gt;Is that the industry norm? IÂ’m just asking.

    I don't know. I haven't gotten a lot of dead queens, and can't remember one. But when I shipped the queens priority the USPS would not insure them at all. I would guess it would be difficult for queen breeders to take all the loss.

    &gt;At its most generous, itÂ’s $23.15

    I guess I didn't read carefully enough. That's significant enough to warrant letting them know you are unhappy. But it seemed to me it was the difference between the "per ten" price and "less than ten" price that was the issue.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
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    I guess my advice is colored with my background - I have fought some major life battles, won some, lost some, and realize the importance of waking up and drawing a fresh breath of air, and now I realize life is too short to lose any sleep over petty stuff. In short, I appreciate your loss of a queen, and dinner at a nice place, (I really do) but is this all you have to worry about in life? if so, brother, you got a good life.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Camp County, Tx
    Posts
    94

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    Early last year I ordered a package of bees. The supplier had "insured them". Due to a number of mixups it arrived late with 2/3 of the package of bees dead. I contacted the supplier, and they said they were insured by usps, and that I would have to file a claim with them. I follow up on that and they said I would need the receipt issued when insurance was purchased,(which of course I dont have) the package labeling etc was inadequate to file the claim. Then they proceeded to tell me that they only ship queen bees, and that this package should not have been shipped and should not have been insured either. Needless to say I was fed up with the runaround. No claim filed and no intention of doing similiar business with supplier and the insurance scam again. This was not the supplier mentioned above.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    420

    Post

    The norm is to send 4 extra queens with 100 I don't know about less than 100. Sometimes you have to take a loss on some queens. Don't lose sleep over it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    4,074

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    I recieved a package of queens last year in which the package had been torn open, and some were missing. I don't remember the exact # but it seems like it was five or six. I contacted the breeder, and he shipped out the number that were missing, + the balanace of my order, as the first one was only a partial shipment. I have never recieved an extra queen in any shipments, but then I have never ordered 100 at one time.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

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