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Balsam Hill


Poor customer service

Complaint Rating:  86 % with 14 votes
86% 14
Contact information:
Balsam Hill
United States
This is the worst possible company you could ever consider doing business with regarding purchasing a Christmas tree. We are a very dissatisfied customer being added to the long list that seems to be growing with this company. There are numerous negative reviews, poor feedback and complaints about Balsam Hill

After spending almost $2000 on a Christmas tree at the www.balsamhill.com web site, it was put up for Christmas of 2009, just after New Years Day a complete set of several hundred bulbs went out. We called their customer support department and they suggested checking the fuses. We did that and found they had blown. Immediately upon replacing them they blew again. A third attempt, they blew again. It was obvious now that there was some kind of electrical defect in the light string.
We called Balsam Hill again and they said a member of customer services would call back. They never did. So we called them again and were then told they couldn’t do anything about it until February. We called again in February and were told somebody would call us back. They never did so we called our credit card company to file a chargeback. Balsam Hill responded to that by saying we should call them again. We did, only to be told that they may issue an RMA but it will take up to 3 weeks for somebody to get back to us to do that and only if they think it will be necessary.
It has now been over 3 weeks and we have heard nothing at all from Balsam Hill. Having called them today, only to get the run-around yet again. This time told that there is nobody available in customer services to answer and somebody would call back. Sure, we have heard that one before! It’s not going to happen. I asked if the person had ever seen all the negative reviews on the internet about Balsam Hill and of course she said she has never looked and when questioned, why not? She said she was a temporary worker. This company seems to have an answer for everything.
I would never recommend this company to anyone. They have zero customer service and just do not care. Their products and their company appear to be nothing other than a rip-off!
Complaint comments Comments (23) Complaint country United States Complaint category Products & Services


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A  19th of Nov, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I agree, I am having problems with customer service also, they are really unfriendly-
N  19th of Nov, 2011 by    +1 Votes
N  21st of Nov, 2011 by    +1 Votes
We bought a Balsam Hill 7.5 Blue Spruce last year and had a really great experience. Today on Sunday, Nov 20 we got the tree out and put it up and low and behold, a string of lights were out. Tried everything I could think of to get that string working, but no luck. We emailed Balsam Hill at noon on Sunday (on a Sunday, WOW) and received a response a few hours later. They invoiced a replacement this afternoon. So I cannot agree with the negative comments I see here or anywhere else.about Balsam Hill. They have great customer service and the product I ordered is what I thought it to be and when a 3rd party vendor item, the lights went out, they made good on it.
Good Job Balsam Hill
A  29th of Nov, 2011 by    +1 Votes
CoYoooper is nothing but a viral marketing reputation defender hired by Balsam Hill to counter the THOUSANDS of negative reviews of this company online and its OBVIOUS. I'm one of the many that have been scammed by balsam hill and their horrible service and horribly mis-advertised product quality. These trees are OVERPRICED PILES OF JUNK. Go to WAL-MART, you will find better trees thats how crappy Balsam Hill's brand is. Don't be fooled by their shiny website and Oprah photos.
A  8th of Dec, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Just put up my blue spruce and four branchs are out, they won't replace the center of tree until Feb. They told up to put lights over the ones that don't work. I should have gone with Mountain King make in the USA. No lead like the ones from China. Balsam Hill is not a reputable company. The tree is beautiful and I was ready to tell everyone. Save a job buy american. I was in a hurry, how to ruin your Christmas
N  12th of Dec, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Balsam HIll has terrible customer services if a produce is defective. Do not do business with this company. We received a tree that was so wobbly at the top that it would have been unsafe, the pins would not hold in the stand, and the tree looked sawed off at eye level. We had to pay shipping costs to return it ($152), phone calls were either not returned, or not returned when promised. Verbal apologies were profuse, and "this is our busiest time of year" were the most frequent statements. They said they would have covered the tree under warranty in February 2012. The customer service at time of sales was excellent, and they will credit our account within 30 days for the full amount so we are ONLY out $152 and a lot of time trying to receive reimbursement for a defective product.
N  14th of Dec, 2011 by    +1 Votes
It has been 9 days since I requested by phone and e-mail, a replacement trunk for a damaged 7' Tannenbaum Evergreen Pencil Tree. I was told after wainting 30 mins on hold to speak to someone that an e-mail was being sent to me as we spoke & I was to attach pictures of the damaged trunk a.s.a.p. in order to expedite a warranty claim. Their replacement policy does not sit well with me and lack of a direct conversation with "Warranty Dept." within a timely fashion leaves much to be desired. After not receiving the e-mail an hour later I called again, yet to be automatically placed on hold for another 30 mins to then be assured that they did receive my e-mail and somone would be in touch.
Never having purchased such an expensive treeI viewed my purchase as an investment. As a new client, I felt confident that I would be pleased with my purchase being that your company has endorsements from such high profile celebrities. I realize that it is Christmas is an extremely busy time, but their customer service department seems not to concerned with the inconvenience I have been caused, not being able to decorate this new tree on a tightly scheduled Sunday afternoon with family.
Nine days later I received an e-mail, not a phone call, so poorly written and un-profressional informing me to donate the tree, send them the donation receipt that will be applied towards the purchase of another tree! This e-mail was not signed by an employee or department which tells me no one at Balsalm Hill, or any Department at Balsalm Hill wants to take responsibility for the their decisions or behind their companies policies.
My time is too precious to call yet again to argue the fact that I spent good money on a product that was as disappointing as your handling the situation. I do believe though that it would be time well spent to put a call into the Better Business Bureau.
A  15th of Dec, 2011 by    +1 Votes
We had a very similar (terrible) experience! We noticed after about 5 hours of use that there were a strand of lights out...the $500 tree was likely Dead On Arrival and we just did not notice the broken lights earlier.

Customer Service (even my letters to the Found/CEO) refuses to pay for return shipping even after 5 phone calls and 2 emails to the CEO. They state only other option is to wait until their Warranty Service Department opens in February to get replacement parts!!! They want me to wait 60+ days for PARTS on a 5-hour used broken tree?! Then dig it out of the basement next summer, put it together with the new parts, test it, then box it back up in the basement, then open it again Christmas 2012 and see if it works still?! Moreover, they said I had to return it by Christmas 2011 (10 days from now) or I would not get a refund on my $500 tree purchase!

Writing Better Business Bureau and California Attorney General.

***Short of story: STAY AWAY FROM BALSAM HILL! ***

Google and read the other horror stories. There are even websites solely dedicated to Balsam Hill complaints!
A  9th of Nov, 2012 by    +1 Votes
I purchased a $300 tree one day last week. The next day we had a death in the immediate family and we needed the $300 for costs related to the funeral. The very next day, I called Balsam Hill to cancel my order. They told me sorry we already shipped it. I told them I needed to cancel and would return the unopened tree. They gave me a Return Number and told me to post this number and my order number on the outside of the box. I took the tree to UPS and it cost me $82.20 to send it back to California. Now this tree came from Delaware and my state is right next door. The cost to DE would have been 1/4 of the cost to California. I contacted Balsam Hill and they told me in 25 words or less that I was responsible to fully fund the return shipping and if it did not come back in 30 days no refund. Well my return will get to California by 11/14 so I am safe, Hopefully. Most sites will send a shipping label or charge a small restocking fee, but this cost is exorbitant. Will I buy a tree from this company in the future? You decided!
A  6th of Dec, 2012 by    +1 Votes
We are having the same problem with Balsam Hill Customer Service. They are unresponsive to our problem. We purchased the tree last November for $375.00 and used it for 3 weeks. When we set it up this year, an entire light section was out. It was diagnosed by customer service as having a bad light string due to a white based bulb at the beginning of the string (short protection). This indicated that the entire string was defective and we need to have the entire tree section replaced by them. I emailed the pictures of the tree (they required 7 pictures) to send to the warranty Dept. I called a week later for status only to find out that they lost the first email. I resent with the representative on the phone and she verified receipt. Now it has been 2 weeks and no one has gotten back to me. My calls to customer service were useless. They said the case was with the warranty dept. and they would contact me. No such luck so far. These people do not have "customer Service" in their mission statement. Warning: Never buy from them!
A  6th of Dec, 2012 by    +1 Votes
I am in agreement with a few others on here. My dealings with Balsam Hill have been horrible to say the least. I would give zero or negative stars if that were an option. We ordered a tree, but later that day noticed that it was going to be too wide for our area. Certainly this was our mistake and when we called Balsam Hill, they could not stop the order because it was in process. Again, this part is our fault, so we just figured we would bite the bullet and return it once it arrived. In doing so, we saw that it was going to be $100 to return the tree. While I hated this, it was again our fault, so we know that the $100 is on us. I contacted Balsam Hill to return the tree the day it arrived, but it has been two weeks and we still do not have the return shipping labels.

Here is the big problem, it has been two weeks since our first contact with Balsam Hill to return the tree and we have to get it back to them within 30 days or they will not issue a refund. My wife and I have been on the phone or emailed with them daily for a week and a half and really I feel that the customer service representatives are no help at all. They tell me that my ticket is in the right area, but then why don't we have our return labels??? I asked to speak to a manager, but to do this I had to have another ticket issued and they will call me back. Like many others, I work and can't stay available for hours waiting for a call back at some unknown time.

The original hope was to ship this one back and exchange it for another one, but this seems out of the question now given it is the first week of December.

I should also add that the tree really did not look significantly better than the $400 trees I saw elsewhere. The one we bought from Balsam Hill was $800, I am not sure there is $400 in additional value added by the Balsam Hill tree. If you love them, great, my big issue is simply trying to return a tree to them. I live in Dallas and almost want to drive it to California to return it, but that probably isn't the best use of my time :)

Good luck to you all. I am sure they have a few really nice trees, but dealing with them reminds me of dealing with an airline...they just are great when making the sale, but if you need to change anything, get ready.

A  7th of Dec, 2012 by    +1 Votes
The customer service is run manage by supervisors who do not want to hand the calls so they make the customer service workers call back customers with their complaints to delay the action that they can take. Let's face it they should not be in business if they can not handle high end customers. Apparently, there is a big problem with their business model especially the call center in Boise. The supervisors are people that you can get off the streets and have no management experience, especially with dealing with high-end customers. They should get some real managers and take the whole lot and fire every single one. Why do you complain about a company, just sue the crap out them and drive them out of business.
A  9th of Dec, 2013 by    +1 Votes
I purchased a table top tree from Balsam Hill - When I removed the tree from the box, the tree stand was broken in two different places, one leg was completely broken into and another leg was cracked halfway through. The top of the tree was so badly bent that I could not get it to straighten, and when I plugged in the tree, the lights came on, flickered and then went off, I checked the wiring had came into which could have been a danger if not detected. I sent the company a email and they sent back a form reply saying that to mail back the tree there would be a $50 charge. I received a damaged tree that broken, bent and had cut wires (lights) you could not even sell this tree at a yard sale, it is absolutely worthless. I paid $99 for the tree, I am a senior citizen and purchased this to be able to have a tree to enjoy, the customer service or should I say the NO customer service is a great disappointment. I am filing complaint with BBB and also going to take this to social media if Balsam Hill does not refund my purchase price. The whole thing is regrettable.
A  7th of Jan, 2014 by    0 Votes
I could not agree more, I have replaced virtually every light on the tree, at my expense, written to them, to no avail, I am just hoping against hope they can get me some more bulbs because as I am taking it down, many are out again. It is a beautiful tree when it is lit and decorated, but I went to an artificial tree to avoid these hassles, now I have the hassles and the expense!!
A  11th of Oct, 2014 by    0 Votes
DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY! On Sunday afternoon, I ordered a Christmas tree, then almost immediately changed my mind after finding TONS of negative reviews - most from the BBB. Within one hour of purchasing online, I emailed to cancel (no telephone help is available on Sunday). Within a few hours (on Sunday evening), I receive an email response indicating that they could not cancel my order, it was already being processed. I called first thing Monday morning, was told my tree had shipped, but they could not give me a tracking number so I could refuse shipment - they said they did not yet have the tracking number. The only way for me to get the tracking number was to call them back each day to see if they had it yet. Of course they did not. The tree arrived late on Thursday. I refuse to open the tree, and am attempting to ship it back to them, however, I must contact them - during business hours - to get a return shipping number. I read the policy beforehand and understand that I am on the hook for the return costs. I just want this thing out of my house and Balsam Hill out of my life! It is working out just as all Customer Service reviews I have read said it would. DO NOT PURCHASE FROM BALSAM HILL!!!
A  11th of Oct, 2014 by    0 Votes
I agree
N  29th of Oct, 2014 by    0 Votes
We’re sorry for the experience you’ve gone through thus far, bfarm. Thank you very much for taking the time to reach out to us. Please let us know how we can help by sending in your Order ID to social@balsamhill.com. We would also like to review the specifics of your order and hopefully provide you with possible options. Thank you.
A  29th of Oct, 2014 by    0 Votes
I had a very bad experience with this company, and tried many times to get it resolved. Finally in the end thanks to the BBB it was resolved, I am thankful to the BBB because without them nothing would have happened. I would never order from Balsam Hill - they have no customer service and are not truthful at all. This is a BAD company to do business with.
N  3rd of Nov, 2014 by    0 Votes
Hi S Welch, thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. We are very sorry to hear that you were not happy with the service you received from us. Currently, our BBB rating is at an A+ as we have made every effort to resolve any consumer complaints. We have forwarded your feedback to the appropriate department for further development of the customer experience. Please let us know if you have further concerns so we can have them immediately addressed by sending an email to social@balsamhill.com.
N  21st of Nov, 2014 by    0 Votes
I have been going through these various complaints. It is a shame a company that operates in theis manner is allowed to remain in business. I too have my problems with them, but for an entirely different reason. I have no idea of the quality of the product as it hasn't been unpacked as yet. In my case, I made the mistake of ordering online rather than by phone. The software that is used in the checkout process is flawed and you can end up with multiple orders. There is no confirmation that your order has been completed and ends with what they call a capcha that you have to duplicate the figures. This is normally used in the case of Voting to prevent someone to use a vcomputer to cast multiple votes. If you do not match the figures ( it happens ) normal it will tell you and reset them for another try. In the case of this site, you are taken to another page telling you that it wasn't correct and to try again. Hitting the back button will not take take you back to that page. It will take you to an empty cart. The logical thought is that the order failed because of the missed capcha, so you go through the process again. The fact is, everytime you do this, you are placing another order. I discovered it and tried to cancel the order, but there were no provisions to do so, so called customer service ans was eventually told that it couldn't be done. The second person I talked to, told me not to refuse the second tree as there woulf be a $75 refusal charge plus the return shipping fee. I was told to just hold it for 30 days then I could return it. That was total B.S and I knew I was being scammed. Had I done that, they would have said that it needed to be returned in 30 days and I have gone beyond the alloted tiime for returning it. You will get hit with additonal charges trying to return the additional tree(s). I only had two orders that ended up getting placed and have been in contact with someone who wanted one tree and ended up with 4 orders and went through the same thing I am going through trying to return the unwanted trees. From what I have seen online, it would seem that a class action is in order and am seriously considering it. As for the BBB A+ rating and the good reviews you see online, that is probably due to shills being used and not actual customers. Companies will do this to offset the bad reviews. Barring that, they will just remove bad reviews. That in and of itself is deceptive. From what I've seen, it appears that most are just trying to get their issues resolved and then move on. I want to get my issue resolved, but from what I'm seeing this company is operating in a criminal manner, and I don't think it should be let go. I placed my order this past Saturday ( Nov. 15th ) I did recieve a return Authorization last night, BUT I will be responsible for any other fees incurred. As I told them, I am not someone to be trifled with and I AM seriously considering legal action as I think it is warranted. This was not my first company of choice. I was looking at one at Tree Time. The reviews are good and the products look good. They sold out of the tree I wanted, and I had seen the ads for Balsam Hill. I checked them out and found a tree very close to the one I was looking at and at about the same price and decided to order one from them. As I said, I have yet to unpack the tree aso I don't know if I have a tree or junk. This is primarily about the company itself. Be advised, in case you haven't noticed, these trees are made in China. Their QC may be suspect, but even so, they can get damaged in transit. I build custom Computers so order a lot of parts. It is rare, but you will get a defective part at times. It is an inconvenience, but you call customer service, tell them the part is defective and you like to exchange it. No problem, They give you and RMA # and you are good to go. There are cases when you decide that you want to use something else after you have ordered. They will gladly RMA it and send you what you want. If the replacement is more, you will get charged the difference. If it is less, then you will get refunded the difference. That is the case with any decent Company. They value thier customers. This company does not.

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Balsam Hill Logo Balsam Hill
Customer Care Service
1561 Adrian Road
United States - 94010
+1 888 552 2572
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