Last year I bought a tree for $1229 from Balsam Hill Tree after checking out their branch kit. Spent a whole day trying to set up but found many defects - broken stand, balls of wired lights (not spread around the branches) branches coming out due to lack of push-pins & more. They delivered it promptly and later, via phone, agreed to issue credit upon return (they paid for return ship), but it took 2 months of calls, emails, which they didn't respond to, and it wasn't until I contacted Better Business Bureau that I got a credit. Very nice when you're buying but agonizing experience trying to get a credit. Doing business with them is risky! I wrote a version of "Night Before Christmas" out of frustration. It tells my story!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.
Stressed from the problems with our Balsam Hill Tree,
Fell asleep with his pliers while up on one knee.
The pets were nestled all snug in our beds,
While visions of tree lights danced in their heads.
And papa in fleece, and I in my sweats
Were contemplating whether to contact Fed-Ex.
When out of the den there arose such a clatter,
The base had collapsed and the tree lay much flatter.
Away to the doorway I flew like a flash,
Switched on the light to check out the crash!
The realistic branches with lights that we loved,
Came tumbling down--no push-pins above!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Our Balsam Hill tree lying front over rear!
With so many branches loose and detached,
I knew in a moment we must send it back!
More rapid than eagles my spouse did sing,
And he whistled, and shouted, get rid of this thing!
Now crap, now ###, now g------ s---!
Damn branches, damn lights, damn stand, that’s it!
To the top of the window! To the top of the wall!
A star would be if this tree were any good at all!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
But--down to the ground the branches they went,
With the tree full of lights and realistic tips all bent!
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the phone,
Jean from Balsam Hill saying you’re not alone.
As I listed the flaws of my beautiful tree,
She told me a credit she’d issue to me!
I got dressed and came in to look at our tree,
Picking up needles with tape stuck to me.
Five bundles we needed to wrap up real tight,
To haul to the boxes with all of our might!
The lights how they twinkled! The branches so real!
The needles so soft and the stand made of steel!
The vision we had of this beautiful tree,
So many problems, twas never to be!
The stump of a toothpick I held tight in my teeth,
While listing the problems and, yes, no receipt!
I had a red face when I voiced my concerns,
Worried that they would take no returns.
Then she was helpful, as nice as could be,
Yes, we laughed, twas Jean from Balsam Hill Tree.
She told me a call tag she’ll issue ahead,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
She spoke a kind word and went straight to her work,
Contacting Fed Ex and reaching the clerk.
And a return we decided after so many talks,
Our beautiful tree will be packed in the box.
He sprang to his van after loading the tree,
And away he drove, and how sad were we!
But my husband exclaimed, ‘do not despair, ’
A real tree we’ll get for many a year!
Twas a week after Christmas and still not a word,
Not a credit appeared, how downright absurd!
After dozens of phone calls and emails from me,
I couldn’t get through to Balsam Hill Tree!
I couldn’t get nestled all snug in my bed,
I dreaded no refund and a battle ahead!
For six weeks I angrily stirred and paced,
Over Balsam Hill Tree who I endlessly chased!
When out of my brain there arose such a clatter,
Contact my VISA, they’ll help with this matter!
I wrote them a letter to explain the debacle,
That Balsam Hill caused and the problem we’d tackle!
I still tried to contact Ms. Davis to see,
If she’d send me my refund to end this misery!
I kept calling and calling but to no avail,
Customer Service was closed for a post-Christmas sale!
Contacting Balsam Hill reps was tough,
Being jerked around for six weeks was finally enough!
Better Business in California I finally did call,
When I tried every means and then hit a wall!
More rapid than eagles I got a reply,
BBB did their thing and I guess s... did fly!
In less than a week, how shocking was this,
A Balsam Hill apology for “PERCEIVED” lack of service!
How nervy, I thought, to use these words,
“Perceived lack of service, ” that’s for the birds!
A lack of service as real as can be,
Was prolonged for six weeks by Balsam Hill Tree!
And then in a twinkling I saw on my bill,
My refund for $1229, what a thrill!
Two months since I bought that Balsam Hill Tree,
That caused the worst Christmas I ever did see!
Balsam Hill Tree they nailed to the wall,
My refund I got, but that was not all!
The interest I lost on my VISA I got,
And satisfaction that Balsam Hill Tree got caught!
If ever a lesson I learned from this mess,
Is to research a product, it’s maker, and yes,
Check Consumer Reports and the BBB,
You’ll be much better off, less worries, you’ll see!
Be smart when you shop in stores and online,
Know all of the rules and then you’ll do fine!
Hope your Holiday’s happy and out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!