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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Riner, Va
    Posts
    53

    Default My experience with Chuck Norton

    Hi All,

    It is with humbling despair that I write this email to forewarn anyone all to avoid Chuck Norton (Norton Honey Farm) at all cost. Long story short, I am a second year beekeeper who saved up enough money to buy some queens to start my own nucs. I read my American Bee Journal and Bee Culture and noticed an add (Norton) for Russian Queens. So I searched the Internet and found his website which seemed quite nice. I read all his information and decided to spend my savings and purchase 10 of his TIER-2 queens at $35 each plus $11 S&H. This was in MAY.

    He told me to call in June set delivery. So I called and was told to call early July for delivery. So I called and was told to call in late July for delivery. So I called and was told to call in early August. So I called and he said to make up my nucs he was shipping on that Wednesday. Well, Thursday came and no queens. As did Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and the following Monday. So I called and asked if he had and shipping the queens and he said "Well, No, I don't really have any queens to ship." This after telling to go ahead and make up my 10 nucs.

    So, I lost 10 nucs plus time and material to make them up.
    I have also lost my savings of $361 dollars to further my beekeeping career.
    Chuck will not return any call or email of mine.
    I contacted the president of the Russian Queen association (Charles Harper) and was told there is nothing they can do as they more of a CLUB than a regulated organization.

    Hopefully this email will keep anyone else from being ripped off by Chuck Norton. As for me, I'm out my $361 savings and have a bad taste from the Beekeeping hobby. Hopefully I can save more money and expand my new found hobby next year.

    Caveat emptor

    Chris Childress

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Here are a few things you can do even if you can't get back your money. Go to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and file a complaint against the company. Next if you sent him a check through the mail service you can file a mail fraud complaint at your nearest post office (check online as you may be able to do that also.) You will need a copy of the canceled check from the bank and knowing the date you mailed it will help. They will launch an fraud investigation. Lastly I would write the editor of the rag you found the advertisement. Explain that the person or company advertising in their mag is engaged in fraud and theft.

    I know it won't get you back your money, but it may keep others from losing theirs and keep him from ripping off others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default A Mans word

    Chris I'm really sorry. You could spend the rest of your life with bees , buying queens, and not have the same experience. Koehnen & sons in Calif is as good as it gets. Ask on this site for others. Most queen producers know very well how much their customers depend on them.

    An old timer told me once: "you have to live without it, but he has to live with it."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,410

    Default

    FWIW, I don't think others in the Russian Bee Breeders Assoc. should be lumped in. I dealt with Hubert Tubbs this year, and he provided excellent product and service.

    However, that Association needs to monitor its members and should not hesitate to eliminate any bad apples they find to exist.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    I wonder who wrote this article praising "Chucks queen business“?
    Red flags should go up, if it were Chuck.

    I would see this as a hard lesson learned for the consumer not to be suckered in by fancy bee articles and bee ads.

    Your experience is why I always recommend to buy queens local, or from breeders that the local bee group recommends OR what the majority of experienced beekeepers on bee source or other lists agree is a good place to get queens.

    When buying from new sources for queens; I find it best to try out a few queens first, before diving in with too much cash. This way, you are “testing the queens“, as well as “testing the breeder.”

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but if it were my son that made this mistake, I would really lay into him. But the reality of it is, that it is as much a foul-up on the consumers side, as it is a foul-up on the businessman’s side. When we go off on our own, without the guiding support and references from local beekeepers and internet friends, that is the risk we take.
    These mistakes, you NEVER forget.

    Best Wishes
    Joe
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/H...eybeeArticles/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Go to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and file a complaint against the company...
    Sadly, the BBB is a worthless entity. You file a complaint, and they "investigate" it for months, including trying to contact the accused business for their side of the story. Meanwhile, if the business does nto respond, their rating remains "good" on the BBB site. Only after about 3 months does the complaint come up, and then it's some useless comment like "1 complaint filed." No explanation, nothing. And if the business replies saying they resolved the problem with the customer (whether they have or not), the BBB believes them, your complaint vanishes from the records, and no one ever contacts you to tell you this.

    Even if they never respond, after a year, the BBB wipes the slate clean. I think the government has taken all the teeth out of that department. They do not have the authority to take any action except sending letters.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Its people like that that shouldnt be allowed to operate. IMO When life deals you a lemon try to make lemonade. I would have taken a chance and added a frame of eggs to each nuc and let them make there own queen to possibly get you thru until spring. It would be late to do this but better than throwing the cards on the table and walking away with nothing.
    Last edited by riverrat; 10-09-2008 at 07:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    Sadly, the BBB is a worthless entity.
    I agree with Hobie - the BBB isn't even worth your time to call. Chris, I hope you can recover your funds in some way. In the future, remember that you have "ears" on Beesource - if you had made an inquiry about the business, or had lodged a complaint earlier, someone might have been able to put some pressure on Norton, or the very least, been able to supply you with queens before it was too late in the season.

    We're here for 'ya! Take care.

    MM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Macomb, Mo
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Perhaps the prosecuting attorney can help you. This amounts to theft. Give him a demand for immediate refund, or tell him you will turn it over to law enforcement.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,709

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MapMan View Post
    I agree with Hobie - the BBB isn't even worth your time to call.

    MM
    Although this is true, it is best to have this on the books for a go back to if needed. Just like if someone does something and you do nothing and never call the police, it is never on the books and can't be used later if needed.

    I doubt that anything will happen, but if he did this to one, I am sure he has done this to more. If all call then something might happen, yeah right.
    But it is best to have it recorded. Someone else might call to see if he/they are ok to order from.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ellenville, NY, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I also ordered 2 russian queens from Norton in Feb and at the end of June asked for a refund. Norton said he would mail it out next week. Since then I cannot get a reply from him. I have since ordered russian queens from Mr. Ray Revis(revisrussians.com) who sent them out right away and they have done well. But I agree that the russian queen breeders should toss Norton off their site. I followed a link from their site to Norton's and got ripped off.
    Last edited by tlozo; 10-09-2008 at 11:31 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Statesboro, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    27

    Angry Chuck Norton is a LIAR and a THEIF!

    I too have had the same bad experience with chuck norton (his name is not worth caps). Oh well, never again.

    Charles Roberts

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Go to this link: consumer affairs your complaint will be online for others to see.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/ubid.html

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Here are a few things you can do even if you can't get back your money. Go to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and file a complaint against the company. Next if you sent him a check through the mail service you can file a mail fraud complaint at your nearest post office (check online as you may be able to do that also.) You will need a copy of the canceled check from the bank and knowing the date you mailed it will help. They will launch an fraud investigation. Lastly I would write the editor of the rag you found the advertisement. Explain that the person or company advertising in their mag is engaged in fraud and theft.

    I know it won't get you back your money, but it may keep others from losing theirs and keep him from ripping off others.
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek View Post
    Always, Always, Always!!! Do your research on someone or company before you buy. It's so easy to.
    I expect that membership in the Russian Queen Breeder's Assn would have lent him some undeserved credibility. I also believe that he was featured in an article in ABJ (or BeeCulture) some time ago.

    Unless I'm mistaken he has been in business for a number of years. He's surely advertised for a while.

    I'm not sure what kind of research one can do with a queen breeder but Chuck Norton sure looked OK on the surface.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Bjorn, I have met Chuck at several NC beekeeper meetings, he has spoken at our local club meetings. That is the extent I know him.

    I get involved in these things so both parties can have their say. I don't know who is right or wrong and do not try to take sides. I just want to hear both sides of a story before I form an opinion. Would you like to have a thread going on about your business practices and not know about it, or given a chance to participate? I doubt it.

    There's no ego or anything else about it. I just want to hear both sides of any disagreement before I decide whose side I want to stand on.

    Now you explain to me where I am wrong in my thinking.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Riner, Va
    Posts
    53

    Default Update from Chuck

    Hi All,

    Since I'm the original poster and thread starter I feel it is time to update everyone.

    I did not start this thread to publicly degrade Chuck Norton. I simple posted my experience with him. He repeatedly told me lies so by definition he is a "Liar" and he also received my cashiers check, cashed it, and I have nothing to show for it which by definition makes him a "Thief."

    I have a copy of the canceled cashiers check, I have also contact my attorney and had discussions with the Postal Service. If it comes down to it I will pursue the matter in court. I would prefer not.

    Chuck tells me it has been a terrible year for raising queens and he doesn't have the money to fulfill my refund. I find this hard to believe. I requested my refund in the middle of August after the nuc debacle. I feel in that 2 month period he could have sold some of his hives, nucs, or honey and come up with the refund.

    The reason for my writing to hopefully inform and protect anyone else from have to endure my horrible experience. I'm out $361 plus the $270 I had to spend to get queens to put in the nucs he told me to go ahead and make up.
    If you read back in the thread there are 2 others ( tlozo and Charles Roberts) that had the exact same experience I did.

    I guess what really gets me is what kind of person would tell you, "Go ahead and make up you 10 nucs, I will be shipping your queens tomorrow."
    All the time knowing he doesn't have the queens to ship. Wow!

    Anyway, anyone who would like all the detail just PM me.

    Thanks for everyone responses!
    I think Bjorn is on the right wavelength.

    Chris

    P.S. - Don't hold your breath for Chuck to respond here. And if he does it will be a sad story of how bad a year it was. Just remember, it was bad for me too, I spent over $630 for 10 queens!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Shades of Huck Babcock

    The thing is, nearly all queen producers want their customers to do well and would never pull a stunt like this. Late, yes, but...not this.

    Then every once in a while someone comes along and takes advantage of this trust that exists.

    Send me a check

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,709

    Default

    I realize that a few have lost $$$ here but in the end, Chuck will lose as others will not go to him after reading this and no one will send him anyone.

    Something I learned many years ago. One (1) dissatisfied customer will do you more damage than 100 satisfied customers will do you good. Fact is, people like to talk and people LOVE to complain and tell others how they have been burned or done wrong.
    "Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use."
    Herodotus (circa 485-425 BC), Greek Historian

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    Hi Belt152,

    I got your PM message,,,

    I do support you 100 percent.
    Just the manner of approach I am against.
    It was ‘end game’ in nature.

    Please post all your information for the record.

    1. An <<itemized list>> of your loss. (I.e. Price per queen, shipping etc.)
    2. total amount you sent to Chuck, and what he owes in return.
    3. when the money was sent.
    4. Dates, or approximate dates you contacted him for your refund.
    5. his answer to you.

    Also, your honest opinion of your loss at the beeyard for your making of nucs to accept the queens. This is not recoverable, but it is an essential part of your story.

    Joe

  20. #20

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