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  1. #361
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    [QUOTE=DPLONG;

    Thank you for contacting us. Your request has been recorded and will be reviewed and processed as soon as possible.

    Russell Apiaries[/QUOTE]

    That's the same reply I received today as well. Hopefully their stepping up to the plate to resolve these issues.

  2. #362
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I also sent an email requesting my order be transferred to 2013 but asked for confirmation and contact of who would be filling my order. I received both and have been in contact with the state supplier. I feel much better knowing I will be dealing with a producer who will be more accessible.

  3. #363
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Status Update

    I had ordered my queens in February for delivery in June. Numerous e-mails were sent to Russell with only two responses. In addition, I posted a number of requests for refunds on their website – most of which were deleted. I continued to post on their site and they eventually allowed them to stay up. I also established a dispute with American Express asking for a refund back in late August/early September.

    I eventually had a set of e-mails from the PA producer, who seems to be a stand-up guy, asking if I wanted to wait till 2013 for my queens. I didn’t want to wait and continued to ask for a refund. Roy from RA then e-mailed to also ask if I wanted to wait till 2013 or get queens now (I am in PA and have no interest in setting up a split in September or October…). I let him know I just wanted the refund to which he then said one had been made. I expected it to hit my AE card within a few days. Ahhh - It didn’t though.

    Six weeks after Roy told me that a refund had been issued, I received a notice from American Express that RA had not contested my dispute (by not responding to it) and that I would be credited with the full amount of my order. So, five months after I was supposed to get my queens and two months after I made my initial dispute request to American Express, I finally got my money back.

    Apparently, RA has had an amazingly bad string of luck with several worst case issues hitting them over the span of a few months. Those issues are why their service has gotten so crappy. Regardless, they are in business and need to handle their operations like a business.

    The lessons I took away from their errors are that: they needed to let people know ASAP there were huge issues impacting their ability to provide queens/nucs; they needed to tell their customers when/how those issues were going to be resolved; they needed to STOP taking new orders till they got squared away with their issues and all the outstanding orders; and they needed to can Victoria who ranks as perhaps one of the poorest examples of a customer service rep I have ran across.

    Had RA been honest with the issues facing them by telling me up-front why my order hadn’t been shipped: I would said “Oh – not good. Send me the queens next year when you guys get squared away and prayers out.” Instead, I, along with a very large contingent of other beekeepers, will never order directly from them again. What a waste of a good company that spiraled down due to stupid decisions to ignore their customers verses being honest with what was going on.

    Finally, I want to thank Barry for allowing an honest discussion of RAs customer service. A dog pile didn't ensue and the thread had the common goal of figuring out how to get our money back. While working through this issue, I also posted a very honest assessemnt on other forums of the challanges we were all having of getting our bees/refund. One of these forums was notable and will forever be on my "never to be visited again" list due to their site owner (aka Chief Bee/King bee or whatever the absurd term he used) for having the fortitude of a worm. That forum will remain unnamed but should be embarrassed by how they facilitated RA into duping new customers to order from RA by allowing numerous positive reviews yet deleting any honest assessments of RA’s service for this year.

  4. #364
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,075

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    David, To be fare to RA your refund was most likely held up due to the dispute you filed with your credit card company. I know this has happened to me in the past. one the CC Co. hold a transaction. Everything is on hold including a refund.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #365
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I still have not received my refund. I agreed to a refund when they offered one, but nothing after several weeks. I also requested help from one of the satellite operations but got no respond.
    Not so nice to deal with RA

  6. #366
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    David, To be fare to RA your refund was most likely held up due to the dispute you filed with your credit card company. I know this has happened to me in the past. one the CC Co. hold a transaction. Everything is on hold including a refund.
    Daniel - that actually isn't true. I had one other dispute with a vendor about three months ago. I put the dispute request in with American Express and the next day the vendor realized they had not shipped the item and refunded the money. The dispute was closed two days after it was opened: not six weeks later due to "no response".

  7. #367
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    This is my last post on Russell... Just took a look at their website and they are now only accepting orders from commercial operations. All small orders will go through their subproducers. Personally, I think this is a good thing. Their genetics will still be available and you now deal with local operations (where you likely know the guy you are buying from). I don't have issues ordering queens from the PA guy (Jason) when I figure out what I want for the spring.

    I sincerely hope Russell manages through the issues they have had over the last year. Hope everyone that is still owed a refund manages to work out getting your bees/cash as well.

  8. #368
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Grantsburg,WI
    Posts
    115

    Reminder Re: Russell Apiaries

    Dr. Russell, it has now been one full year since you charged my card.
    IMO practice used should be made illegal, since its to late to file a complaint by the time one develops.
    I want my money refunded to the same credit card my purchase was made on.
    Please follow that up with a personal email, so I am aware that said task has been accomplished.
    Thank You,

    BM
    (you have my email, I replied several weeks ago and got no reply)
    russelltransfers@yahoo.com
    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JOHN F. KENNEDY -

  9. #369
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    brushmouth, just go to your own cc company and file the dispute. They will take care of you pronto. Look up the date of your transaction and bingo, taken care of.

    I also went to my cc company as has a few others. No problem, refund taken care of. RA will say the dispute held them up, but again not so. They just hope you go away and give up.

    Good luck, as Nike says, just do it!

  10. #370
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Unfortunately, I paid using a credit union's Visa Debit card and according to them, I have no recourse due to being so much time between paying for the order and the proposed ship date. In the mean time, still waiting, although at this point, not holding my breath. Good luck in their commercial endeavors after all this publicity. I don't understand why a sub producer would even want to be associated with it.

  11. #371
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    And they want to you pay to be a sub!!!
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  12. #372
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    They will have to pay me to be a sub.
    Quote Originally Posted by bhfury View Post
    And they want to you pay to be a sub!!!
    BB's Honey
    www.bbshoney.com

  13. #373
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Many weeks after RA offered a refund and me accepting one; I still do not have what they promised, or what I paid for.

  14. #374
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Well, I just needed to update what my cc company was able to do. Unfortunately after 6 weeks of I thought being successful and getting my charges back, they were unable to credit me. The response was that since my charges are over 45 days they are unable to do anything with paypal. In addition RA and paypal said that the products, dead queens and drone layer, were not returned so I couldn't have both, dead queens and a refund. Duh, I didn't think to do that!
    So, good luck, hopefully we've warned enough beekeeps to stay away from this outfit!

  15. #375
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Many months after RA offered a refund and me accepting one; I still do not have what they promised, or what I paid for.

  16. #376
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    I just attempted to access the RA website. I received an "Access Requested"(?) notice when I entered my username/email and password. I figured I'd try an alternate username/password that I use sometimes and that brought up a new user registration window. So, they acknowledged me as being a registered user but for some reason don't want me to have access unless they allow it. Interesting communication there.

    On another RA communication note... I attempted to contact the RA-Alabama sub. The only contact point was via a form on their website. I left the message probably a couple of weeks ago and have yet to receive a response from them...I was asking where they were located. Other subs might be different and more responsive. One thing that I have noticed about the sub's is that they mostly all use the same template for their website structure, you can only contact them through a "form mail" application inside their websites, and little information about the owner of the "sub" or precise location (city/town) is given. Throughout all of the RA drama of the last couple of years I've stayed neutral being as I "don't have a dog in this fight" and all that I know about it is heresay. But, the lack of response from the RA-Alabama sub and the "Access Requested" notice on Russell's website definitely isn't conducive to good customer relations. It's hard to figure out why go to all the trouble of these satellite websites if you're going to ignore prospective customers...it just seems strange. Maybe other sub locations are more approachable and responsive...?????????


    Ed

  17. #377
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Intheswamp,
    Just be forwarned that your comfortable losing any $$$ spent on nucs, Queens and time that you send and spend with any of these outfits. If you don't mind losing the money, losing the nuc's you set up for queens that are DOA, or losing the nuc's set up for replacements that never come, go for it. Then this outfit is the one for you. But if you work hard for the $$, want a person to verify your shipping dates and actually deliver a living viable product, help with any shipping problems, go somewhere else....

    P.S. I did/do have a dog in the fight with the main RA and hopefully I can keep someone like myself from trying this outfit again. Good luck...I was kind of like you in trying to stay neutral and went ahead and ordered thinking it wouldn't happen to me. Bingo, just like the others, they take the $$ and after the time is up with paypal, you are out of luck ever getting any resolution. So, if you order, order and pick up while you still have time to set up a dispute with paypal for a resolution. My fault, I ordered in good faith a year in advance. Not good with this outfit!! Then they will later come back and if your queens fail or are DOA if you don't save and send back the DOA queens they say you kept the product and you can't have the product and a refund both. Truly a learning experience that others have also learned along the way with this outfit. Be ready to protect yourself...

  18. #378
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandy View Post
    Just be forwarned that your comfortable losing any $$$ spent on nucs, Queens and time that you send and spend with any of these outfits. Be ready to protect yourself...

    I love how the children are punished for the sins of their fathers....

    As far as I can tell, none of these micro producers are even taking orders yet. With that said, the lady that I help with her bees with must be one of the "few" that got her bees. Had a queen that failed replaced and the ones she has are doing fine.

    I'm all about being cautious with what you buy and who your buying from. But, I don't think you should be bashing the sub producers that are doing nothing more than passing on the genetics from RA. As far as I can tell, they are all independently owned and operated.

    *shrugs*

  19. #379
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,849

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post

    As far as I can tell, none of these micro producers are even taking orders yet.
    Several are taking orders. some sold bees last summer. I believe that Nebraska, Pennsylvania and New York are all taking orders. there may be more.

  20. #380
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries

    Russell's PA ( Jason Varner ) honored my queen order from the original Russell's that they never sent me, and wouldn't reply to my requests for info. The queen he sent me is doing fine. I have ordered two nucs from him for next spring and have no reason to believe that there will be any issues. I have traded several emails with Mr. Varner and he has always been responsive. If you check out his website, you will read a touching story about his grandfather's beekeeping experiences. I believe that it is not fair to hold the new sub-producers responsible for the issues of the original Russell's organization and am looking forward to getting my nucs this spring. It does appear that many of the subs are still in the very beginning of getting established, but that does not appear to be the case of Russell's PA.

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