• Report: #343654

Complaint Review: Fast Growing Trees

  • Submitted: Tue, June 24, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, March 08, 2011

  • Reported By:Winston-Salem North Carolina
Fast Growing Trees
4475 Morris Park Dr. Ste. J. Charlotte, North Carolina U.S.A.

Fast Growing Trees Trees are not the size they advertise Charlotte North Carolina

*Consumer Comment: too late for me

*Author of original report: Rebuttal to Wendy's post

*General Comment: Glad to read this report before i buy

*UPDATE Employee: An Unfortunate Honest Mistake

*Consumer Comment: There was an article here about some "fast growing trees" that do get large very quickly, but

*Author of original report: fast-growing-trees.com

*Author of original report: refund has been received

*Author of original report: fast-growing-trees.com

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I ordered 5 hybrid poplar trees that according to their website would be 3 to 5 feet tall. The trees arrived. They had been placed in a large box with nothing to stabilize them during shipping. Consequently, they apparently bounced back and forth in the box. Two of the trees were broken in half. One was completely bent over, not quite broken. None of them were 3 feet tall. The tallest one was 35 inches. One was 27 inches. They were all less than the diameter of a # 2 pencil.

I called the company and they asked for photo's of the trees, which I sent. They then asked for more photo's. They then said they would send me 2 replacement trees for the two that were broken in half. I said that was unacceptable as none of the trees were the size they advertised. For $29.95 per tree, you'd think they would at least ship a tree that actually looks like a tree, not a stick smaller than a pencil with about 4 leaves attached. Trust me, their stuff is not worth what they are charging.

I was still willing to accept replacement trees if they would send me 5 that really were the size they were advertising. The best I could get out of them was 2 replacement trees. After several e-mails back and forth stating I would not accept 2 replacement trees, I asked them to cancel the order and refund my money. They then stated they have a "no refund policy". I pointed out that under Federal Trade Commission rules that if I do not get the product I ordered, I'm entitled to a refund. I also told them not to ship the two replacement trees as I now would not accept them and no longer wished to do business with their company. I did not hear back from them. So, I filed a dispute with my credit card company and also filed a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's office since they are located in NC. I'm also located in NC, which makes it even more convenient.

This company is using deceptive advertising in that I did not get trees that were the size they advertise on their website. I noticed that several of the other complaints about them stated the trees they ordered also were not the size the website stated they would be. There was nothing on their website that stated what the circumference of the trees would be but I was shocked when these arrived to see how skinny they were. I'm not kidding when I say they are not as big around as a pencil.

I'll post an update as to whether or not I get my money back.

Faye
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/24/2008 11:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fast-Growing-Trees/Charlotte-North-Carolina-28227/Fast-Growing-Trees-Trees-are-not-the-size-they-advertise-Charlotte-North-Carolina-343654. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

too late for me

AUTHOR: too late charlie - (United States of America)

I placed my order yesterday before reviewing all the comments below and the BBB website.

I now feel that this company isn't trustworthy enough to get my business.  This morning I called to cancel my order; mind you it has even been posted to my CC.  They told me there is a 10% surcharge to cancel a credit card order. I've never heard of such a thing.  The order isn't supposed to ship until April 1st.  They are so full of it!  Needless to say this will not happen without a fight.  Buyer beware, this companies practices are suspect.  Make sure you read all the fine print.
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#2 Author of original report

Rebuttal to Wendy's post

AUTHOR: Faye - (U.S.A.)

Wendy is correct.  I HAD purchased $400 worth of plants from this company a few months before.  I ordered about six Holly plants that were supposed to be "fast growing" and get to 6 feet tall.  It is now two years later and although the Holly plants are still alive, they are still less then a foot tall.  I also ordered an Empress Tree, also was supposed to be fast growing.  Two years later, and it looks nothing like what they said it would look like.  It has grown maybe two feet in height and has about 5 scraggly looking branches on it.  It is quite possibly the ugliest tree I've ever seen.  Do not believe them when they tell you their Empress Trees grow 6 feet a year.  I bought the large tree because I wanted a large tree quickly.  It was about a 6 foot tall stick when it arrived.  Two years later, it's a 6 foot tall stick with 5 branches sticking out of it.

I made the second order because the other plants had not been in the ground long enough at the time for me to realize that "fast growing" is nothing more than something they stick on their website to suck you in.  I'm probably more disappointed in the Holly I purchased from them than anything.  I really wanted a barrier behind my house.  I have Holly bushes that should be getting fairly large by now and they are not at all.  They are very slow growing.  I'm not sure they'll be six feet tall in my lifetime.

All of the Hybrid Poplars were sent back to them.  She says they were unaware that one was not damage but that is not true.  I have still have the e-mails I sent to them at the time.  I told them it was not damaged.  It also was NOT the size they had advertised on their website.  Not one of the trees they sent me was 3 feet tall, which is what they advertised.
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#3 General Comment

Glad to read this report before i buy

AUTHOR: trees - (United States of America)

i was just about place an order for $2500 dollars including shipping. I wanted to create a privacy fence with 6 ft tall Thuja trees but after reading these reports here i don't won't be ordering from this company. Thank you all for filing the reports.

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#4 UPDATE Employee

An Unfortunate Honest Mistake

AUTHOR: Wendy Sea - (U.S.A.)

It was unfortunate that the wrong size tree was sent to Faye and we do aplogize that the mistake was made. The complete amount of her order was refunded shortly after her notifying us. We were notified on 6/19/2008 and the money was refunded 6/25/08. When this amount was refunded we were still not sure that she had indeed received the wrong tree.

We will always strive to find better ways of shipping packages as well as better techniques of packing. We do our very best to educate our employees on these procedures, unfortunately mistake will occasionally still happen.

Faye did send us photos. We could not get an accurate perspective of height from the photos. Nor did we realize one of the photos she sent with a tape measure was of a tree that was intact and had not suffered shipping damage.

We do not use deceptive advertising. This is another area we frequently update to better inform the customer. One example of this would be the Willow Hybrid page.
www.fast-growing-trees.com/WillowHybrid.htm which clearly states "they may not look like much... they look like young bare-root, thin trees."

In her complaint Faye made no mention of her previous order of over $400. I do not believe if we had been practicing deceptive advertising that she would have placed a new order 5 months later.

We have a very well laid out website clearly stating all of our Terms of Service and Replacement Guarantee. On the check out page it clearly states by submitting your order you are agreeing to our Terms of Service. You can review the Terms of Service and Replacement Guarantee at:
www.fast-growing-trees.com/TermsOfService.htm &
www.fast-growing-trees.com/Guarantee.htm

Wendy Sea
Customer Service Manager




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#5 Consumer Comment

There was an article here about some "fast growing trees" that do get large very quickly, but

AUTHOR: Friendly Help - (U.S.A.)

because of their fast growth rate they also become structurally unsound as they become larger and can then fail in high winds, causing damage. You might want to investigate this before pursuing any more ''fast growing trees''.
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#6 Author of original report

fast-growing-trees.com

AUTHOR: Faye - (U.S.A.)

Another update. While this company DID refund my money, I had already filed a complaint with the North Carolina, Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Department. Today, I received a copy of the letter the Consumer Protection Department got back from someone named Debbie Zboch, Office Manager at Fast Growing Trees.

Ms. Zboch told them that ALL of the trees they sent me "were well over 3 feet tall". That is a complete lie. They were SUPPOSED to be 3 to 5 feet tall. One of them is 28 inches. None of them are 3 feet. They look like twigs with a couple leaves. She also told them that I "refused to return the trees". That is another total lie. I have the e-mail where I asked them to advise me when FedEx would be picking them up. I never heard back from them.

She told them that they offered me a discount on the trees to make me happy. Another total lie. Never did they make such an offer. She told them that 3 of the trees I received were perfectly fine. Another lie. I ordered 5 trees. 3 of them were broken. All of them were less than 3 feet tall.

Do NOT order from this company. I did get my money back but the stuff they advertise on their website is not what you will receive. They charged me $29.95 for each of these twigs (they were less than the size of a pencil in circumference) that are about 30 inches tall with maybe 5 leaves on them. For that amount of money, I can go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a real tree that is about 6 or 8 feet tall and they won't look like freaking twigs.
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#7 Author of original report

refund has been received

AUTHOR: Faye - (U.S.A.)

In spite of this company telling me that their terms of service stated they do not issue refunds, just replacements, I have now received a full refund for the trees.

I did file a complaint with the BBB and also with the State Attorney General's office charging they are using false advertising when they state the tree will be one size and it winds up being a twig. I had spent over $150 for what I thought was going to be 5 fairly good size trees. I got 5 twigs. However, I do now have a refund for the purchase.

Moral is don't buy plants on line. You're better off going to Home Depot or Lowes where you can see what you're buying.
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#8 Author of original report

fast-growing-trees.com

AUTHOR: Faye - (U.S.A.)

After this company refused to issue me a refund and stated that they have a "no refund policy", I pointed out to them that under Federal Trade Commission rules, if they do not ship me the product I ordered, I am entitled to cancel the order and receive a full refund. I then advised them that I had filed a complaint with the NC Attorney Generals Office, consumer complaint division, for false advertising in that they advertise 3 to 5 foot tall trees but they ship trees that are twigs and not 3 feet tall.

This morning, I received an e-mail from the company that stated they were going to issued me a full refund. I guess maybe they DO have a refund policy. You just have to prove them wrong and point out the law to them but then you'll get your money back.
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