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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    The way things end up with is sad. In fact, from the end of last winter I was waiting for the outcomes of the queens believed to be the most exiting step after the invention of wheel. Some other time, lets say.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Specialkayme, I guess I am the Johnny on the spot breeder. I book less than I know I can produce each week. That way I ship when people need queens, not when I can get around to it. If my customer orders queens for a particular date, he usually has splits made up waiting on those queens. If you consistantly overbook queens you can never catch up, sounds like poor planning on the queen producers part to me.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    All I know is that "Johnny on the spot" ships his queens on time and the product is great. Can't ask for more than that. To top it off he's very reasonable in price.Another plus.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Andover, Ohio
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Instead of the Seinfeld Soup Nazi its the "Bee Nazi." "No bees for you!"

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cedar City, Utah
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    ....Poor planning all around.
    Would it be unreasonable for me to at least be able to cancel my order? I can't even do that because Russell Apiaries will not respond to any of my attempts to contact them! No responses to mail or email. Nobody answers the phone. Their voice mail box has been full for at least a month.

    Again, my biggest mistake was failing to google Russell Apiaries which would have informed me that poor communication and late deliveries has been their mode of operation for at least 3 years. One can't blame bad weather -- even a tornado -- for a long-term failure to run a business in a business-like manner.
    A cold bee smoker is bad for the soul.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    DeSoto County, MS, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    I ordered a Sunkist Cordovan January 2012. I gave three possible ship dates. Two in March and one in April. I received my queen first week in May. I have no complaints about the delivery time. However, here it is June 9 and the hive she was placed in is already dead. She laid less than one frame of eggs and then stopped laying. Not sure what happened. Could have been something I did or could have been just a bad queen.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rankin, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Mr. Nay cancelled his order on 6/5. The funds were reversed then. His queens were caged and in the Georgia hub being bundled when they crew went to print his label and realized that the funds had been reversed. His queens were sent to someone else as a result. 5 days later than he requested. You can't please everyone. If 5% is late, that's unfortunate but not so terrible given the limited staff and high volume of orders. What's terrible is that 5% race here to make a big deal out of every delay. Then there are those that play devils advocate to cause panic and distrust. People read this and flood us with emails and calls. That's why we are so behind on responses. 50 queens a week is a lemonade stand next to a cola company. I alone deal with that many customers in a day and I am part-time. Of course the service will because I better with so few to cater to. I'm not suppose to be "fueling these fires" I just thought people should try to remember that there are two sides to every story and the devils advocates here make it seem a lot worse than it is. There are more rave reviews on the consumer reports than concerned customers yet there are more posts by the devils advocates than any actual customers. I don't have the time or energy to discuss it. Just want you all to think about these things when you are on here.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    I ordered a Moonbeam a couple of months ago for late June delivery be interesting to see if it shows up. I have already been charged for it. I leave July 1 for 10 days of camping with my sons. If it shows up then it will surely die.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,718

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    If you consistantly overbook queens you can never catch up, sounds like poor planning on the queen producers part to me.
    You may be a "Johnny on the spot" breeder . . . literally . . . lol. But how many queens do you sell a week, or a season? The fewer you have, the easier it is to calculate how many queens you need to breed and the easier it is to stay ahead of those orders. Are you turning any queen orders away?

    For example, if you sell 20 queens a week on average, if you count all your variables together, you should probably have enough mating nucs for 40 queens a week. Some weeks you may end up with 20 good queens, others you may end up with 35 queens, and on a rare occasion you may end up with 15. Overall the average wins out. But the larger the operation gets the greater the swing in either direction the numbers get. If you sell 2,000 queens a week, and you have mating nucs for 4,000 queens a week, some weeks you may end up with 3,500 queens. Others you may end up with 1,000 queens. When you are selling 2,000 a week, and you missed a week by one thousand, it's tough to recover. I don't consider that poor planning on the breeder's part. I consider that statistics.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,718

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by blainenay View Post
    Would it be unreasonable for me to at least be able to cancel my order?
    You already did.

    You disputed your order through paypal on the same day that they were bundling your queens to be shipped out. Their website states that if you dispute the order through paypal, the order is deemed canceled.

    Looks like you got your wish.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    You may be a "Johnny on the spot" breeder . . . literally . . . lol. But how many queens do you sell a week, or a season? The fewer you have, the easier it is to calculate how many queens you need to breed and the easier it is to stay ahead of those orders. Are you turning any queen orders away?

    For example, if you sell 20 queens a week on average, if you count all your variables together, you should probably have enough mating nucs for 40 queens a week. Some weeks you may end up with 20 good queens, others you may end up with 35 queens, and on a rare occasion you may end up with 15. Overall the average wins out. But the larger the operation gets the greater the swing in either direction the numbers get. If you sell 2,000 queens a week, and you have mating nucs for 4,000 queens a week, some weeks you may end up with 3,500 queens. Others you may end up with 1,000 queens. When you are selling 2,000 a week, and you missed a week by one thousand, it's tough to recover. I don't consider that poor planning on the breeder's part. I consider that statistics.
    Last year I sold around 15 per week to get a feel for how things would work out. This year I doubled that to 30 t0 35 per week plus 10 to 30 virgins. I am still learning but plan to go to 50 or 60 per week next year. I have been booked up every week since I started shipping the 1st week of april and have lost some orders because someone needed queens this week and I was sold out. But so far I haven't had to tell someone I can't ship you what I promised.

    You are right about the variability of queens produced per week. But the size of the operation doesn't matter. If I am short 20% one week and 20% over the next its the same as a big operation being over or under 20%.

    I do not bank any queens. If I have extra I call up next weeks customers to see if they want theirs early, many do. That way if next week is short I already have some breathing room. I also have a will call list of people who might want queens. Any queens not sold I use in my own operation to requeen or make nucs.

    Most large queen rearing operations bank excess for use in the next week in case they have a shortage. I have seen several post by Robert explaining about banking queens.

    I still consider it poor planing on the producers part if you cannot deliver queens and responses in a timely manner.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,384

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    Looks like you got your wish.
    What he really wished for was communication and bees arriving when he asked for them giving plenty of lead time. The refund was only wanted after he found himself in a bind when the bees didn't show up as planned.

    "The charge is there. They have my money -- paid in full. I'm leaving town on June 13 for three months of work away from home. If I don't get my queens by then, they will die in the Post Office. I planned my order based on my work schedule -- not on a supplier that can't even answer the phone."
    Regards, Barry

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cedar City, Utah
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    Looks like you got your wish.
    Not quite.

    1 - I needed queens. I didn't get them.
    2 - I disputed the order through PayPal nearly 2 weeks after requested delivery date and 6 futile attempts to communicate. I waited as long as I dared to initiate the dispute so that the transaction could go though without having the queens arrive after my departure date. Only after the dispute did I get a response from Russell Apiaries -- a claim that I canceled my order (I did not). I do not have a refund.

    No, I did not get my wish.

    One good outcome though: At least the queens won't die in in the Post Office.
    A cold bee smoker is bad for the soul.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,718

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Quote Originally Posted by blainenay View Post
    2 - I disputed the order through PayPal nearly 2 weeks after requested delivery date and 6 futile attempts to communicate.
    Not true.

    You requested a shipping date of May 28. Two weeks have not passed SINCE THIS POSTING. You began complaining on here about it two days ago. At which point your order had already been canceled because you disputed it on Paypal. You didn't wait two weeks. You didn't wait "nearly two weeks."

    Quote Originally Posted by blainenay View Post
    Only after the dispute did I get a response from Russell Apiaries -- a claim that I canceled my order (I did not).
    Their website states their policy. If you dispute the transaction through Paypal, your order is deemed canceled. You did cancel your order when you were too impatient to wait. If you are satisfied that your order got canceled, I don't see the point in continuing to complain on here. If you didn't want your order canceled, why did you dispute the transaction with Paypal?

    I'm not saying everything has run like clockwork at Russell's this year. But you should call things like they are. If you waited one week and didn't want your order anymore, fine. Don't tell me you waited two weeks, then magically your order got canceled when we both know that isn't true.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Is SpecialKayMe Dr. Russell or something? I have never seen so much time spent by a disinterested third party attacking consumers who have experienced less than stellar service from a vendor.

    Okay - granted Dr. Russell must make some kind of magic bees, and that is great. But why the aggressive attacks at people who have spent their hard earned money purchasing queens that they never received, or have received late.

    I can understand how many of the people are upset - maybe they are just hobbyists, but it still doesn't make it okay not to provide them with good customer service and contact. For many people - $100 - $200 is a lot of money, and to have sent it to someone and them not deliver the goods, and then to be unable to contact them either by phone or email, is very upsetting.

    And I don't think it is wrong for people who have received poor service to come on a forum and state as much. No one complains when someone spreads good information by word of mouth. People posting their bad experiences help inform others into making good decisions with their money.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,718

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    No, I'm not Dr. Russell. I've been on this site before he showed up (selling to individuals) and he has long since moved away from this site. He considers it a waste of his time.

    No doubt individuals should inform others of poor service. I'm actually an advocate of that. The invisible hand always wins.

    But if you really got bad service, post it. Don't make it up. Don't exaggerate the truth. Don't tell me your order was two weeks late when it was 3 days late. Don't tell me you can't get a refund when you disputed an order through paypal and the vender already refunded your money.

    Quote Originally Posted by bnm1000 View Post
    People posting their bad experiences help inform others into making good decisions with their money.
    And people lying about what happened, or exaggerating the truth, benefits no one, informs no one of anything, and prevents individuals from making truly informed decisions in the future.

    Call things like they are. That's all I ask. If that's "aggressively attacking" someone, I apologize. I don't think so myself, as I think it's more about making someone accountable for what they say, but I understand where you are coming from and I'll try to be better in the future. More reasonable?

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    Specialkme, I agree with you.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    I have no axe to grind here. In fact, I have been excited about acquiring some Russel queens in the future. I completely understand the agricultural, weather, hard luck issue. However, i do not understand the lack of communication issues. To me, that is a zero tolerance issue, when doing business on the internet. In today's technology, an immediate response and tracking info is something that even the most basic laymen (like myself) can achieve. There are tools out there through paypal, UPS, and Fedex, that make these things automatic. There is no excuse for a client to go days, weeks, or months without any communication or acknowledgement of their order. I'm sorry, but i don't care if you offered the cure for all diseases and pest and there was a waiting list. THIS ALONE would be enough to discourage me from placing an order. NO EXCUSES. JMHO and in no way am I questioning the quality od the product.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    I thnk Russell Apiaries has gotten the message by now. Selling to the general public is a different game than to commercial apiaries. They responded to my email within 6 hours. If they desire an online retail presence they will get their act together. There are plenty of software tools for them to utilize to increase the customer experience. If they don't they will revert to providing queens to commercial operations as they have done and eliminate the sideliners and hobbyists like us. It is a financial decision they will make and we will all know soon enough. So far they have been forthright and honest with me. I look forward to introducing their Moonbeam genetics to my area.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Woodstock, NY,United States
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: R. Russell queens

    No need to get into the details (drama) of my order to Russell Apiaries because there is always room for debate but PayPal contacted him and he agreed to a refund.

    Got a notice from PayPal this evening telling me the refund was issued and then another about an hour later telling me it failed because it did not clear their account.

    Just a heads up, looks like they have bigger problems brewing.

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