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Discussion Starter #1
I recently ordered some supplies from Brushy Mountain through their website. Everything I ordered was listed as "in stock."

A day or two later I got an e-mail saying one or more items was out of stock. I undersand that computerised inventories and real-world inventories will often not be perfectly synchronized, and this is the busy time of year, so I wasn't bothered by that.

I called to get more information before deciding what to do, and was told the only item that was out was the one-pound of foundation wire. The lady I spoke to said they still had half-pound rolls, so I asked if they could substitute two half pound rolls. She put me on hold for a while, then came back and said they couldn't do it, I would have to pay the regular price for half-pound rolls. It only came out to about $2 difference, so I agreed.

Then she said that my order wouldn't go out for another two weeks, unless I paid an extra $10 for expedited processing, which I reluctantly agreed to.

I've received the items, and they are all satisfactory. However, I am still bothered by a couple of things. I don't currently run a business, but I have before, and a few times I had to take a loss to meet a customer's needs. I've found that talking to the customer, explaining that you don't have exactly what they need, but working out something that satisfies them pays back large dividends in repeat business. I'm surprised that when I called Brushy Mountain I wasn't asked "Will two half-pound rolls work? We'll lose a bit of money on it, but if that will suit your need, we'll make that substitution."

The other thing that bothers me is I wasn't told it would be two weeks to process until I had already agreed to a more expensive order. What if my order had just sat in the pipeline for two weeks? Maybe they would have had the one-pound wire back in stock by then. If not, get in touch with me then and we'll work things out. If they had waited to see what was in inventory when they actually got to my order, I would have ignored the two-week delay as being just part of the busy season.

Yeah, it's only $12, but between not being willing to make a substitution, and charging me for a substitution that may not actually have even been necessary...

Well, I hope they enjoy the $12 because they will not be my first choice of supplier in the future. I'm not saying I'll never do business with them, but I will be strongly inclined to try other suppliers first.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

Easiest way to remedy that would be to say the following words "If you cannot substitute two smaller quantities to make up for the larger quantity missing and not charge me, CANCEL MY ORDER"!

There are other places to order from. Still might take you the same amount of time to get the items from another supplier, but it lets the first business know you are not happy and are willing to go elsewhere. I work in sales and service. I have made service price reductions to keep a customer (within reason). I think $2 is within reason. I have also had to tell people "I am sorry, but we cannot do that" and had customers go elsewhere (For instance customer demanding free service, heavily reduced price, etc).

That being said, I have ordered 3 times from Brushy Mountain. I have no complaints on my end.

Not sure why they charged you more to ship the items when it was still within the original processing time frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

I didn't want to cancel the order, because I already knew that the other suppliers I usually use were out of stock of (or didn't carry) some of the things I wanted. Honestly, I had other things to do than hunt from supplier to supplier find everything I wanted in one place. Some days I have more time than money, that particular day, I had more money than time.

The products I've gotten from them in the past have been good quality and fairly priced. But when it comes to a non-routine interaction - something requiring customer service contact - my single experience was disappointing.

And again, I'm not totally writing them off. I'm just moving them to the bottom of the four or five places I buy from when I need stuff.

EDIT: Also, the $10 was for same-day processing. By that point, I just wanted to get the transaction over and done with.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

Kelley's usually ships the same or next day. Usually where I go if it is needed NOW.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

Only 12 bucks? for 12 bucks, I can get 2 Big Carl meals at Carl's Jr. That is dinner for 2 days in a row!
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

So far I have only purchased bee supplies from Brushy Mountain. I believe they are a good company.

One bit of business advice I received a few years ago was "Don't step over dollars to pick up pennies".
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

I've bought from Walter Kelley, Dadant, Brushy Mountain, and Mann Lake. Mostly Dadant because they are between me and some land I own, so I can stop in and pick stuff up without paying shipping.

They've all been pretty decent. this experience with Brushy Mountain has been the only one that I was less than happy about. And "less than happy" is probably the best description. I'm not mad or anything, just a bit disappointed.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

i cant say anything about BM but Walter Kelley did sort of the same thing with me stepped over dollars for pennies. i will be reluctant to do business with them again. i hope it was worth the long term bad press for them.

I also dont understand how these supplers order. dont they have stock rooms to order enough to meet demand? 2 weeks dont cut it when i need it tomorrow. each year these suppliers have reoprts as to how much was sold last year, get more to meet demand! or people will go elsewhere for supplies.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

Over time all the suppliers will disappoint in one way or another. The market is still comparably small and the demand is high with everyone jumping into bee keeping.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

They were the first company I ordered from and were thoughtful, pleasant and answered all of my questions. I had backorder issues, but that was only in the top of the bee season. I suspect that's an issue with anyone you order from and it's because Brushy is so busy with customers. I can't imagine trying to keep ahead of all the new beekeeper's, it has exploded in the last 12 months.

I think it's important to plan ahead for your needs and expect that things aren't going to go smoothly if you order stuff at the last minute.

They were very considerate with me and did everything they could to lower my shipping costs with Alaska and even gave me an expensive free item when it had been backordered.

If you are as sweet as honey, you'll reap the same. I think they're a "super" company and I'd go back to them anytime!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

If you are as sweet as honey, you'll reap the same.
I'm glad your experience with them has been good, but I resent the implication of the quoted portion of your reply. You seem to be saying I am somehow responsible for their failure to practice good customer service. When I was talking to them, the entire exchange was polite and friendly on both sides. I did not threaten to take my business elsewhere, raise my voice, make accusations, deliver ultimatums, or anything like that. I'm not sure what you might think I should have done to be "sweet as honey," but it seems to me that expressing what would make me happy (two half pound rolls for the same price as a full pound roll) should be all the impetus they required to realize they had a good chance of locking me in as a repeat customer if they met that $2 request. And with the expedited processing they would *still* be up $8.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

i cant say anything about BM but Walter Kelley did sort of the same thing with me stepped over dollars for pennies. i will be reluctant to do business with them again. i hope it was worth the long term bad press for them.

I also dont understand how these supplers order. dont they have stock rooms to order enough to meet demand? 2 weeks dont cut it when i need it tomorrow. each year these suppliers have reoprts as to how much was sold last year, get more to meet demand! or people will go elsewhere for supplies.
I cannot speak for the big guys but I have been helping out my local store and they have had a hard time keeping up with demand, so far sales for the year are up 50% over last year, stuff that has been on the shelves for years is flying off. It is almost impossible to keep enough on hand for every contingency. Even if they had the $$ to stock unlimited merchandise they just do not have the room, plus this "busy" spell typically only goes from Feb -Apr here, the rest of the year will be relatively quiet. It also does not help when folks show up to collect their package bee orders and ask for ready built boxes anf frames on the spot, advanced notice is a great thing.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

I placed an order with kelley online. The next morning the lady called my cell and asked if knew that my frames and foundation didn't match and wanted to make sure before she shipped. I ordered on sun. nite got my order wed. morn. Now that is SERVICE ;)
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

Had a positive experience with both kelley and brushy here, although I did find the interactions with Brush to be a bit "warmer" than Kelley.

Otherwise, goods delivered as expected.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

I didnt order from BM or Kelly based on the shipping prices. I ship stuff all over the nation, atm parts and things, that far outweigh(literally) any order of bee supplies and do it for cheaper than either one of those 2 can. Sad but true. Now i order from Dadant. Their shipping is more in line/poundage.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

Ive been ordering from BM too and all my orders sit for about a week before they ship. I contacted them and they said their shipping dept is just that far behind. Understandable but an inconvience. Maybe BM should be bringing in some seasonal help in the shipping dept to get orders out? I would if it was my company. Let the college kids come in and package orders. I have been buying most of my stuff from Simposns and they are wonderful. They are small time and i like the small time business and person to person service. i will continue to do business with BM I still really like them and their prices are good.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

I've never had a problem with Kelley's, even with a couple of special requests. And their shipping is usually same day. I've also found Dadant's shipping to be fast also...same day or next day.
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

They did the same to me but I just told them no thanks and went to my local hardware store and got the wire I needed. I understand it's a busy time for them but they should keep the web updated because they know people are ordering. You can find a lot of what you need at the hardware store. Good luck to you
 

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Re: Disappointing interaction with Brushy Mountain

I must say I have been very disappointed by Brush Mountain. I ordered on 4/2/2010. They did not have some stuff in stock that showed to have in stock on the website. I cancelled some of the missing items. The Lady I talked to said 5 to 7 days and was also stated in an email. I emailed 10 days later and still no shipping date and now they will not even respond to my emails and still no product. So I think I will have to avoid them from here on out. I would have to advise others to do the same.
 
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