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Balsam Hill / Defective Product and Poor Customer Service

CA, United States Review updated:
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My Christmas Tree Nightmare With Balsam Hill, a terrible company.

Lesson Learned: Do your homework and check reviews and opinions before you make an expensive purchase online.

About 3 weeks ago I was bragging that I had ordered a fake tree that was on clearance from Balsam Hill. I've never had a fake tree in my life, but I just wanted to try something different. I ordered an $800 tree on clearance for $429 (the is just supposed to be a discontinued item, not defective in any way). I know...it seems like a lot of money, but I thought of it as an investment for the next several years. Oh boy...was I wrong...

I couldn't make this up...I swear. Let me see how to summarize my horrific experience with Balsam Hill...

Ordered tree online on Nov. 23

Received box 1 of 2 on Nov. 28

Received box 2 of 2 on Dec. 2

I opened the boxes on Dec. 2 to find out that they had shipped 2 section B's of the tree and no section C. They had also not packed any instructions, gloves or extra lights and fuses. All of these things should have been included in my shipment. Essentially, I had 2 boxes of junk. I did not have the right parts to assemble a tree.

Here's where the nightmare begins...after daily phone calls and emails trying to get the right section C and all my parts, all I got were lies from the customer service reps and no call backs from the company, I finally filed a complaint with the BBB last Wednesday.

Finally, today...on December 15, I received section C of the tree, but still no extra lights, fuses, instructions or gloves. The fun doesn't end here...oh no...my husband was finally able to assemble the tree tonight and section D's post is too big for E so he had to rig some pvc and shovel handle to hold it together so it wouldn't topple over - He doesn't know how he's going to pry those 2 sections apart after christmas..lol.

The best part was when we placed section A at the top of the tree and we thought our troubles were done...

DH plugged in the lights and my entire tree has white lights except section A at the top...they are multi colored!

I almost blew a gasket...dh remained calm and said that we've learned our lesson and he's not sending anything back because he's tired of dealing with their cracker jack operation.

I did call them again tonight and a "lighting technician" was available to help me and he's sending me some white lights for the top of the tree. I did already get a shipping confirmation email from him. Thank gawd!

I tried everything...that's why I finally filed the complaint with the BBB. I called them everyday and told them that I wanted a refund and that they had ruined my holiday season because they had stolen my hard earned money and left me with 2 giant boxes of junk.

It's hard to get justice when I'm cross country from them and have to deal with them by phone and email.

And honest to gawd...I can't even imagine what kind of idiots they have packing these trees and supplies for shipping. How can you not know your A, B, C's and not pack all the right sections and parts??? What ###s!

I wanted to send the tree back from the beginning and get my money refunded, but the company won't budge on their refund policy...I would have to pay about $100 in shipping out of my own pocket and who knows if they would ever confirm receipt of the returned merchandise! They are flakes!

My PSA - Don't buy an expensive Christmas tree online.
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Di
  10th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have to say I totally agree with the author above. I just purchased an artificial tree (also for the first time).
I found Balsam Hill online and was impressed with their advertising and media coverage! I thought...if it was good enough for Ellen...it was good enough for me!
I figured if I was going to go artificial I at least wanted it to be "Beautiful". They said on the phone that the tree was 4.5 foot so I took a tape measure and measured where 4.5 foot would come up to and decided that was a good size for me. Much smaller than my usual 7' live tree but I thought 4.5 wasn't so bad once I put it on a table or stand.
Once the tree arrived it took alot longer to put together than I was told because of having to shape and mold every single branch but that was ok with me as long as it was going to look good.
I found though, during the process 2-3 springs came off in my hand and the base and post of the tree was a whole 1 foot which left the actual tree only 3.5 feet. Do you know how small 3.5 feet is for a Christmas tree...VERY small! The tree also has much more branches on the top half than the bottom and the tree has the outlets for the lights (already pre-strung) wrapped in a ball of branch material so it looks like I have 3 softball size, branch covered balls in my tree! Not pretty!! And to top it off it cost over $200 for this tiny tree on sale no less!!! With tax, S&H and all I was in for over $250 for this tiny Charlie Brown tree. Needless to say I am extremely dissatisfied.
I called the company only 1 day after receiving my tree and told them of my dissatisfaction. The first customer service rep "Deborah" from Maine was very condescending and rude and I did not want to deal with her anymore. I asked for the manager and at that point she continued to try and talk to me instead of immediately transferring me. I finally got it through her thick head that I was NOT interesting in dealing with her any longer and she put a so called "supervisor" on (Charity). (Not only will you not get "charity" but there is no "empathy" either!) I explained my dissatisfaction with her and explained how rude the customer service rep was. Her reply was that "She was one of the best service reps they have"! (I feel sorry for them!) At that point I explained to her that I was just letting her know about how I was spoken to and she can do what she wants with that information.
I asked her if she would be interested in matching the price of a comparable tree which is on JCPenny.com for only $99 or I will return it but I do not want to incur shipping fees since the tree is going back because it is NOT as shown on the website or explained to me by the rep.
At this point she repeatedly went over the return shipping policy because they do not match pricing. I explained to her that I know the return policy but...I am sending it back due to the company's misrepresentation of the item (they show a picture of the tree without the post and base so it looks bigger!). She again repeated herself about the return policy over and over and over and over again!
At that point I realized I was going to get nowhere with this person either so I asked to speak to the owner or a regional manager. She refused to transfer me, take a message, give me a direct number to call ect... I could NOT believe this person would refuse to give a paying customer the phone number to her manager or anyone else. That was it, I had to deal with her only and pay return shipping no matter how I felt about the issue?????? Is this common practice? Not in my experience of 50 years.
All I can say is DO NOT purchase anything from this company unless you want to buy a 7' tree and pay $729.00 and get a 6' tree! That is probably the only way you may be somewhat satisfied with your purchase.
I too am filing with the BBB.
Hope this helps future artificial tree buyers ;)
Sa
  21st of Oct, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I agree. STAY FAR away from Balsam Hill or their other cloaked brands which I've found to be the following: www.treeclassics.com www.treetopia.com and www.christmastreemarket.com. These jokers are selling the same garbage to people across multiple domains. If I were Google or Bing I would completely de-index this company from the internet. They are RIPPING PEOPLE OFF!!!

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Balsam Hill Logo Balsam Hill
Customer Service
Overall Satisfaction Rating

31 Reviews
1561 Adrian Road
Burlingame
CA
United States - 94010
+1 888 552 2572
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