Anyone who feels that they have been defrauded over the internet can file a report here:
Russell Apiaries is rumored to be setting-up local shipping centers / breeding operations in most states. If true, that could reduce the shipping problems and certainly help the customer service.
The not answering of emails and phones just fans the flames of this little internet drama. I can picture a staff that is hunkered down and hiding from the flaming vitriol being hurled in their direction. Of course that "hunkering down" is just making things worse.
Unfortunately, the common rule of customer service seems to apply in spades here. If you completely satisfy a customer, they may tell one or two other people about their wonderful experience. An unhappy customer is going to tell at least 7-20 people until they "get it out of their system".
In any case, the queens I got from another supplier were poorly mated (shotgun pattern after a month and still shotgun with brood in all stages as of last night, indicating those queens were mated with some closely related drones). That supplier (who I won't name or patronize again) said tough beans, they are alive and laying.
So I've taken the plunge and ordered queens from RA. Obviously, I've read about the nightmare experiences others have lived, and chosen to roll the dice.
Got confirmation email 6/26, so they accepted the order. Apparently, as they wind-down the retail sales, if you place an order that they cannot fill this season, they will not accept the order. So I'll report back about shipping or not within the month.
Last edited by Barry; 07-13-2012 at 04:47 PM. Reason: removed non personal stuff
Diogenes; Agree. Seems time for Beesource to contact Russell and clear up this if possible, at least to bring this thing to a head.
In a perfect world that might happen.
As things are, it is my personal opinion that you will never see Doc Russell on BeeSource again. At least not until the BeeSource.com site terms and conditions are changed back.
Got my refund
Well i got a bike in this race.It never left the gate . For those that haven,t kept pace , 10 moonbeams payed for last june ,,no contact . When i see stuff posted,,i payed and got my bees 3 days later ,,,i really wanna drive down and settle my account . Birdman ,,,how ?
Hey Mike, can I ride along? I'm sure they are very nice in person.
Maybe we could get the pick of the yard
After all Robert said he would make it right, (a friggen year ago!!)
There's not enough sheep dogs and the wolves are coming!!!!!!
Yes indeed birdman,
If it won't violate Barry's dictate that you post only your own personal experiences, I am also very curious about how you managed a refund when others seem to have had such difficulties getting any answers.
How long ago did you place your order, and how long past the ship date was it when you cancelled it? Perhaps your example, knowledge, experiences and contacts will help some of the others who seem to have been cast adrift by Russell Apiaries.
If they can say that RA refunded birdman for his xxxx date order due to ship yyyy, then it could set a precedent to help others.
I have recieved several Queens from Russells, Good luck to those of you that do get yours. mine weren't worth putting in my hives. He was great help last year in getting rid of my pure Russians, which I greatly appreciate. However the genetics that I replaced them with didn't last 1 year without failing. The queens that I ordered to replaced them with was a complete disaster. I won't have to worry about delivery anymore, because I will never order anything else from them. Kelleys is only 35 miles from me, and I can honestly say I have never gotten a bad queen from them. For the first time in 2+ years I'm enjoying beekeeping with my now 14 hives headed by Kelley Hygenic and Carniolans that Kelleys get from Shamrock. Nuff Said!!
So much to learn, so little time!!
BBB and attorney gen.
I pass within a mile of Roberts house everytime I go to Jackson. When Twinkiebee was posting on here as Roberts mouth piece I asked if I could drop by and tour his operation. She said he said that he didn't want any troublemakers at his place.
"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain
And we all know how much of a troublemaker Jonny is........ LMAO
I had four Emails about shipping no reply. I used a diffrent email address put need queens asap, didn't take long to get a reply. I think they flag all email once they recieve payment. I posted on russell fourm if I didn't have my queens or money I would be calling the BBB and atonery gen , Monday. Two hours later paypal email fund returned to card. I will still ride along if anyone's going that way.
Alrighty, the promised update to my Russell Apiaries order.
Previously I'd posted that I placed an order for some of the Russell queens I've been salivating over (no, not the ones with the little feather boas, the other ones) in spite of the multitude of posts in this forum moaning about Russell Apiaries' less-than-stellar customer service.
What I had neglected to mention was that my requested ship date was 9-Jul-2012. The day came, and nothing but silence from Russell Apiaries. After reading over the BeeSource threads, I was uneasy. My God, I thought, they're ignoring me!!! Maybe I should start sending them an email or PM every hour on the hour until I get an answer about when they'll ship or if they even accepted the order!!
Fortunately, before I joined the mindless panicking herd, Rob Hughes posted on the Russell Apiaries forum that: "if the order was not canceled and refunded it was accepted". I did send him a PM thanking him for posting that information as it answered one of my questions (hope that will encourage more news).
So I took a deep breath, and shook the knot outta my panties and decided to wait some more. Another post on the Russell Apiaries forum explained that some of queens I wanted were in short supply due to a queen cell shipping incident. OK, I decided to give it at least another week before making any inquiries.
Then, Wednesday evening (18-Jul-2012), I got an email from Victoria asking if Russell Apiaries could make a substitution for the one variety of queen I had ordered. After a couple emails back and forth, (I wasn't sure about the initial substitution variety offer and she had some of my alternates available) the deal was struck, and shipment scheduled for Thursday via UPS overnight. It looks like Thursdays are "catch-up shipment" days. Sure enough, Thursday afternoon, I got an email shipment notification from UPS, shortly followed by another email from Victoria also confirming the shipment. I replied to Victoria with a thank-you and then it was down to the last bit of waiting. Plus, I'll order the "short-supply" queen variety from their New-York sub-producer next year. (I can drive there to pick 'em up.)
So, here it is, only 11 days past my requested ship date and I signed for my queens this morning. Part of this "success story" is due to Russell Apiaries trying to get things under control and using more expensive Thursday shipments to get things back on track. It also helped that this was a routine order, and was not interrupted by any disasters (natural or otherwise). Additionally, I think my being willing to make a substitution for one of the varieties greased the shipment skids, as apparently everything I ordered was in very short supply. Though if I was willing to wait a couple more weeks they would have filled the original order. (Bonus for me was being able to work in balmy 75 degree temps instead of the upper 90s last week)
Given that they ship 2700-4100 queens per week, if you assume an equal mix of small and large orders, then that equates to maybe 130-210 queen shipments per week. (very wild guess on my part) So naturally they are going to have a higher volume of complaints compared to many other producers. It's the numbers giving them more opportunity for the USPS and weather and other things to go wrong.
I suspect, though I cannot know, that the worst of this season's order tangles and problems at Russell Apiaries involve orders placed before or shortly after Mother Nature's office remodeling job. Also included in the worst of the mess would be anything due to ship in that time frame (yes, I'm speculating).
Anyone in that situation who has not yet resolved it, should contact Robhughes (click "send a message") at the Russell Apiaries forums. He is the no-nonsense go-to-guy for unraveling order messes and it appears that he gets great results.
Your mileage may vary.
Last edited by Barry; 07-21-2012 at 08:38 AM. Reason: remove non direct links
what sort of substitution did you do?
I had the exact same experience as diogenes except my order was just under the 45 days stated on the website. I had put asap for a ship date when ordered and no exact date. Recieved a very similar email from victoria wednesday afternoon, I agreed to a substitution, (JN Russell), recieved confirmation Thursday that my original order had been shipped. They will be installed this afternoon. I for one am very happy with RA and will order again when i can.
IMHO it seems that if you NEED a queen in a set time, right now with what they are dealing with, this is not the place to go. But they do put 45 day disclaimer on website. There are other places to get a queen "Today", but not the variety or genetics.
I know this will be replied to with "but my order is 3,6, and 12 months late", I do believe they will make it right given time.
Well, all I can say is "your lucky"!! I ended up with 1 out of 6 queens (that had been ordered and paid in May of 2011 for 2012) that made it a month later after install. And guess what, a drone layer. Mentioned that to RA with another reminder that I still had an extra shipping charge to be refunded, but guess what the reply was??? You guessed it!!** Can you say nada, zippo .....
I wouldn't buy a pencil from this outfit. Good luck if you do order, quality in addition to the customer service is nothing to write home about. Maybe if you buy a hundred or so, you may find something that lays something other than a drone. Good luck!
You had a drone layer, notified RA, and they told you that you were out of luck? That has not been my experience with them. Could you copy and post the response? Just curious.
Here's the response....... Nothing
Link to his contact info at Russell Apiaries: http://russellapiaries.webs.com/apps/profile/97739020/ < -- Click on "Send a Message" and see what he can do.
Rob is the go-to-guy for fixing-up order issues.
Worth a try unless you prefer to do nothing. Your choice either way.