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"This is the most beautiful tree I've ever had. I used the gloves, and a friend helped me and she even had a pair of gloves to fluff the tree. So full, and all the lights worked. Just love it."
"We bought a 7.5 ft noble fur tree in January of 2017 and did not put it up until November. We had issues with the lights not working properly. After spending 2 hour on the phone with the technical department, changing plugs etc. ,they agreed to send us another tree. We got it a week later. The lights on this tree didn't work at all. After another 2 hours on the phone with the tech people, changing plugs etc., they determined it was the Controller box and said they would send another. That wasn't it either. Another 2 hours on the phone and we gave up. We sent the tree back on December 6 and asked for a refund. They promised 3-5 days. It's been 2 weeks and all we get when we call them is a run around. I guess we will need to hire an attorney to get our money back. In the meantime we bought another tree at Home Depot. It's also 7.5 foot fur tree. It looks More realistic, the lights are better and it was half the price! Balsam hill is a royal rip off!!"
Published Thursday, November 16, 2017 Updated 5 days ago
I had no idea the bad reputation this …
I had no idea the bad reputation this company had with it's customer service, until I decided to search after my nightmare. I ordered my 9ft flip tree on 10/27/17. On 10/30/17 I received an email informing me the tree shipped and provided shipping numbers. After checking on the tracking numbers daily and noticing no tracking info 4 days later I called, and that is when it began. Dialing option two (for existing order issues) automatically dispatches you to someplace in the Phillippines, which would be fine if they knew what they were doing. They offered no help and kept giving me bad information. They could not explain why there was no tracking info if the tree had been shipped, they said they would ship another tree under the same tracking no (never knew that was possible). A tree arrived on Nov 9th damaged. I reached out to the Phillipines asking if they can send the top tip of the tree since the plug that plugs into the main body of the tree was cracked. They told me they would have to replace the whole tree and to donate mine to a non-profit and get a receipt that they would send me an email with further instructions. Called our church to inquire if they were interested in a tree and once they accepted I asked them if they could please wait until I get further instructions. When I didn't receive an email 3 days later I called again. The U.S. person that answered told me they had given me wrong information, they were going to send me a prepaid Fedex label to return the tree and they could not replace the tip or the tree since both were out of stock (tree was in stock online) and they would give me a refund , I was made to feel like a nuisance and someone they couldn't be bothered with. I have yet to call my church out of pure embarrassment to give them the news they will not be getting a tree. When I didn't get the shipping label for the tree I called again. They told me wait another 24 hrs and call back if I didn't get anything (which was the on going theme wait another 24 hrs and call back) and that my replacement tree had shipped. (wait what ??!!), but I had no email or tracking so I didn't get my hopes up. Today the company that delivered the damaged tree reached out to me to make arrangements for the pick up the damaged tree (so much for waiting for the email for the prepaid Fedex labels once again bad info) So I called inquiring about the replacement tree again and given wrong info again. They sent me on a wild goose chase calling My Seko Shipping company with phony UPC numbers. When I called they told me they haven't worked with Balsam in 2 years, of course they haven't. I called back and was told "lady your tree is set to ship and arrive by Thanksgiving, no we don't have tracking info yet. If you don't get it by Thanksgiving we will give you a refund, that's all we can tell you it's not like I can go to UPS and get the tree for you.". Where was the accountability!!? or the attempt to rectify the horrible mistake they have made in the hopes of reinstating the customer's faith that they put behind their brand?. For a tree with a price tag of $2,000 it's completely unacceptable that this is the kind of customer service they give their customers. I don't understand how they are still in business. The caliber of service and the treatment I was given and made to feel is not one that equates with a reputable company that sells a quality product, it's more like a company that cons and swindles people out their holiday cheer and money. This truly has been a complete nightmare that has ruined my holiday and left me without a tree. A one star rating is too good for them. I shared my story in the hopes to save someone the heartache and headache.
Update : 11/22/17 After 6 days of receiving an apologetic reply from the company along with a promised of expedited shipping I decided to call in and check on the status. The first person told me the tree has shipped but they have no tracking number to provide me with, but to wait for a call from a delivery company that should happen "very soon". I decided to call 6 hours later today to ensure the information was the same and I was told that the replacement tree was denied they are so sorry I was misinformed. I just can't with this service. It has been horrible, it has definitely ruined my Thanksgiving and Christmas as I sit here and write and realizing I don't have a tree. Again I share this experience to warn anyone to avoid the headache and heartache I am going through.
Update: I felt like I finally got someone on the phone on Wednesday the 22nd when I tried calling once more and got a hold of Wanda from leadership who promised she was going to personally handle my case "locate this tree and where it is on route" and call me back. That I was done talking to anyone else because she is going to take care of it personally and call me back on Friday the 24th. You guessed no call. On Saturday the 25th I tried to reach out 3 times was told they can't transfer but they can certainly leave a message for her to call back. Today the 26th I called and I was told by Elaine today was the day they were going to resolve my case. I was on hold for 1 hour. Somewhere in between the talking and holding talking and holding somewhere it was mentioned to me that they have to confirm receipt of the damage tree (I am not sure if
I am more appalled or offended) and they are looking through my case to find a resolution. It's beginning to sound more and more like I have been waiting for a tree that was never shipped, perhaps I was in a bit of denial or insanely optimistic that this company would redeem itself. After being placed on hold for an hour , I was finally told that my case would have to be handled by their "leadership" dept and they would have to call me back I finally reached my breaking point. I am putting myself out of my own misery and get my refund and try to salvage what's left of this ruined holiday. Balsam Hill you should either be sued or be out of business for the unacceptable way your run your company and treat your customers."
"Horrible Customer Service - Damaged Tree Never Replaced"
"Ordered artificial tree on Nov. 20th. Tree shipped on Nov. 22. Delay in delivery because of Thanksgiving. Tree arrived on Nov. 28th damaged. Contacted company immediately and told a replacement would be sent right away. Several days later, following hours on their live chat and several calls to customer support, they have not shipped the replacement yet, but advise me it is 'ready for shipping'. They are sending the replacement via standard ground. I requested upgrade shipping because 5-7 business days for standard ground is unacceptable at this juncture. Balsam Hill said they are unable to accommodate my request. My credit card was promptly charged for the full amount of the merchandise. Their website advertises that the items, if in stock, will be shipped the day ordered, or following day if ordered after noon. Their standard shipping is advertised to be 3-5 business days. Don't believe a bit of that advertising. If you want a tree that works and arrives in time for your Christmas party, do not order from Balsam Hill."
"BEWARE!! NOT a UK Registerred Company, VAT Fraud, Unreachable, Late Delivery
For the Rolls-Royce of Christmas Trees it sure feels like I am buying some stuff of the back of a van.
I made my purchase the last week of November'16. I had a look on-line and I only saw great reviews however since I placed my order this has changed. Everyone including myself seem to have an impossible time getting hold of ANYONE at Balsam Hill UK. I have tried calling them during off peak and peak hours, it makes no difference whatsoever. After being on hold for 10's of minutes the call gets cut off.
I did e-mail the social and UK e-mail address, no response.
My issue was that I actually wanted to change my order for a bigger tree, essentially begging them to take even more money from me but they are having none of it:)
INFO FROM UK SITE:
"ABOUT BALSAM HILL UK
After years of shipping our lifelike trees from America to customers who were frustrated with the artificial trees found in the United Kingdom, we launched Balsam Hill UK in 2011 to introduce our most popular trees to customers across the UK and Ireland. Each of these trees features LED lights designed specifically for the UK market, so finally the world's most realistic faux trees are ready to plug in and light up your home without the hassle of using a step-down transformer."
Unfortunately I did not see the statement above nor did I bother to check the company with Companies House to see if it was a real UK company trading in the UK which makes you wondering how are they trading in the UK and how are they charging VAT if they are not VAT Registered either?
***** UPDATE 5th December
I have been contacted on Face Book and received a call. Apparently once the order is in the warehouse they cannot change/cancel it. Not sure how hard it is to call them up and say "Please change BOX Y for the bigger box X", don't think printing a new label would cost them anything. I was also told that during this time it can take 5 to 7 days for orders to arrive.
***** UPDATE 7th December
Order still not shipped, over a week since order was placed. If the tree is coming late I will make sure that no one will be at home to sign for it. UPS will have to return it back to them and I will just get my money and look elsewhere. My Credit Card and deal with all the hassle if they are being difficult refunding the money. I already called my CC and made them aware of the situation.
***** UPDATE 8th December
I have raised my issue with the Citizens Advice consumer helpline as per previous review. I have received no UPS tracking number nor was I sent any official e-mail response. It is quite clear that the initial order let alone the upgraded order will not get here on time.
***** FINAL UPDATE 9th December
After doing some due diligence I have found out that this is not a UK company nor UK VAT Registered. They are a US company using the UK site as a front. If anything goes wrong you are stuck dealing with a company outside EU trading. I would imagine this is why they cut the calls, because the number re-directs to the US. Shipping is also coming from the US hence the long waiting times or replacements under warranty.
1) Contact via social and customerservice unanswered.
2) Phone contact unreachable.
3) UK Face Book message unanswered (make sure you send them a message not post on FB page).
4) US face Book messages answered but no help.
5) Order not dispatched after 10 days.
6) UK Website registered to US address.
7) Not UK Registered Company, Not UK VAT Registration. No UK company information available on their UK website which is a legal requirement in the UK.
8) Contacted Trading Standard which have informed me because they are US based company there isn't much they can do so I should contact the Federal Trade Commission which is the US equivalent.
9) Contacted Citizens Advice to raise my issues, contacted my credit card, will contact HMRC to report them for VAT fraud.
I have now looked at the National Tree Company (US company) products which are sold in the UK by UK merchants and Black Box products. I have decided to go with the National Tree Company product as I found an Amazon shop which is 15 miles from where I live (Alton Garden Centre in Essex) they offer two amazing looking trees: (Bayberry Spruce Feel Real and Weeping Spruce Feel-Real). Much easier to go in, look at the product and decide, also much easier to deal with any returns:)
Balsam Hill Response on face Book this morning, nothing via official e-mail:
"Since the package has already been sent for delivery, when the package arrives it must be refused for delivery. Please advise us when you have refused it and we will issue a refund. If delivered, you may contact us for return of the package at our cost and subsequent refund of your money. We apologise for any inconvenience."
I was also provided with a UPS tracking number which clearly shows that the package is coming from the US. However this is not my order anyhow:
Manchester, United Kingdom 03/12/2016 14:25 The shipment has been dropped off and is now at a UPS Access Point™.
03/12/2016 14:25 The UPS Access Point™ location has prepared the package for return to UPS.
03/12/2016 14:25 Package collected at UPS Access Point™
Manchester, United Kingdom 29/11/2016 19:04 UPS Access Point™ possession
29/11/2016 19:00 Delivered
29/11/2016 14:15 The receiver was not available at the time of the first delivery attempt. A second attempt will be made.
29/11/2016 2:16 Destination Scan
29/11/2016 0:21 Arrival Scan
Tamworth, United Kingdom 28/11/2016 23:55 Departure Scan
28/11/2016 18:42 Origin Scan
United Kingdom 28/11/2016 12:09 Order Processed: Ready for UPS
Hilarious considering my order was placed on 30th of November:)))"
I have been contacted on Face Book and received a call. Apparently once the order is in the warehouse they cannot change/cancel it. Not sure how hard it is to call them up and say "Please change BOX Y for the bigger box X", don't think printing a new label would cost them anything. I was also told that during this time it can take 5 to 7 days for orders to arrive. We shall see what happens at the end of this month. I will now set-up my old backup tree just in case.
Order still not shipped, this is now 7 days since order was placed. I have asked them to change the order via FB and E-mail to the bigger tree however if the tree is coming late and it is smaller I will make sure that no one will be at home to sign for it. UPS will have to return it back to them and I will just get my money and look elsewhere. My Credit Card and deal with all the hassle if they are being difficult refunding the money. I already called my CC and made them aware of the situation."
"Before I made my purchase last week I had a look on-line and I only saw great reviews however since I placed my order to today this has changed. Everyone including myself seem to have an impossible time getting hold of ANYONE at Balsam Hill UK. I have tried calling them during off peak and peak hours, it makes no difference whatsoever. After being on hold for exactly 10 minutes and 15 seconds (give 2 secs - +) the call gets cut off. They don't respond to e-mails.
I did e-mail the social e-mail address, currently waiting on an answer. I also left a Face Book message at both UK and US sites. US site did answer very quick and said they would get in touch with the UK Team however being unable to contact the seller makes you wonder what happens if you need to call on the warranty.
My issue was that I actually wanted to change my order for a bigger tree, essentially begging them to take even more money from me but they are having none of it:)
I am also quite concerned that the tree will not get here in time for Christmas even though it was purchased at the end of November.
If I receive the tree I will update my review however due to the poor customer service received just for wanting to change an order I doubt I would ever be able to give them 5 stars, regardless how (if indeed) realistic and great the tree is."