Balsam Hill Christmas Trees — Customer service direction leaves product unusable!
On July 20, 2007, I contacted Balsam Hil Christmas Tree Company via the internet to purchase a Norway Spruce, 9-ft full 79", with Color+Clear lights. The purchase price was promptly billed to my credit card. It was delivered on time as indicated by the shipper with no visible damage evident due to shipping. Because it was seasonal merchandise, the boxes were opened to verify receipt of the correct product and then stored without further action.
On November 1, I opened the tree boxes again and began checkout of the tree for its functionality and ability of the lights to operate as required. When Section D of the tree was checked to verify the lights would operate, several pieces of plastic and glass fell out of the tree when the wrapping was removed from that section of the tree and a section of clear and multi-colored lights did not come on when electricity was applied. Balsam Hill warrants this tree to be free from defects for a period of 10-years and the lights to be free from defects for a period of five years.
I immediately contacted Balsam Hill Customer Service by telephone and spoke with a female Customer Service Representative. She asked for every detail of the problem with Section D to be described to her, which I did. I then asked if it would be my responsibility to rewire the tree and, if so, would they provide instructions? The lady at Balsam Hill was very quick to respond that I would not not have to rewire the tree; instead, I was to throw that section of the tree away, or destroy it, and Balsam Hill would send me a replacement Section D. I thanked her for her help and she indicated that I should receive the replacement Section D within three business days. What I received was two strings of lights which arrived three business days later, in accordance with their warranty.
I did not discover Balsam Hill had shipped the lights instead of a replacement Section D until Monday, November 5, 2007, when I checked my E-mail account at work. At that point, I immediately responded in writing to Balsam Hill Customer Service objecting to the lights instead of the replacement Section D as promised by Customer Service. I also verified that my local trash service had already run that day and I wouldn't be able to retrieve anything placed in the trash as I had been instructed by Customer Service on November 1.
On November 6, Balsam Hill sent me an E-mail signed by "Jean" with a Customer Service E-mail address. Jean apologized for the problem and said, "We are currently working on the best way to handle this situation for you. We will get back to you within a day or so with the final decision on how best to handle this for you." When no update had occurred by Balsam Hill by November 8, I again E-mailed them with my concern due to the lack of their response and added that they were now impacting my ability to get this tree decorated on our schedule.
On November 12, I again checked the status on the Customer Service ticket they had opened on this problem, only to discover that the status had changed from "Open" to "On-Hold". I again sent them an E-mail as another addendum to the same Customer Service ticket, stating they had now prevented me from being able to decorate this tree in time for the beginning of the holidays.
As of this date, the Customer Service ticket on this complaint remains "On Hold". The obvious settlement is for Balsam Hill Christmas Tree Company to honor the commitment made by Customer Service on November 1 to replace Section D of the tree. If that is not forthcoming, then I should be refunded the entire purchase price of the tree because a tree with one section missing is of no use. Instead, they have chosen to ignore the direction provided by their Customer Service Representative which was over and above their written warranty.
BECAUSE BALSAM HILL DOES NOT HONOR THEIR COMMITMENTS MADE BY THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, I WAS LEFT WITH AN EXPENSIVE TREE THAT IS UNUSABLE.