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Balsam Hill / Deceptive advertisement!

1 50 Woodside Plaza suite 111Redwood City 94061, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 1-888-552-2572

I ordered an artificial Christmas tree from this company, being impressed with the photos and info. given in what to look for in purchasing an artificial tree. The tree that arrived at my home looked nothing like the photo representation. Balsam hill says that no wires or pole would be visible, NOT TRUE! I sent this company an e-mail with enclosed photos of my tree (major gaps, exposed wires, poor shape and fullness) compared to their advertised tree and told them I was returning the tree but did not feel that I should pay the return postage due to what I felt was deceptive advertising. I got a reply, the standard form I'm sure, that did not address my specific complaints, but did say the return postage was still my responsibility. I will never order a large item like this, sight unseen again.

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  • Ca
      14th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    I had the same experience. The tree that I purchased didn't look anything like the beautiful pictures on the website despite the hefty price. In addition, the tree was defective and didn't light. I have shipped the tree back at significant expense - BH wouldn't let me ship it to the local warehouse in Georgia that was relatively close to me but insisted that it instead go to California. I was told that the shipping cost is my responsibility even though the tree doesn't light. I was also told that it will take 30 days to process my refund which is beyond the standard for normal retail businesses. I would definitely not recommend doing business with this company.

  • Da
      10th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I wish I head read these complaints before spending more than $600 on a defective tree from Balsam Hill. In addition to being defective (I was told by one of their customer service reps to use duct tape so that the tree might stop wobbling), the tree looked nothing at all like the photos on the website. The BH rep agreed that I shouldn't need to duct tape a $600 tree and after escalating to a supervisor, they agreed to issue FedEx call tags to pay for the return shipping charges given that the defective tree was their error.
    On Dec 15 we began the process of returning the defective tree for a refund...8 calls and almost 90 days later, I have yet to receive this refund nor is their any sign that one will be forthcoming. I did learn from one of their customer service reps that they had a lot of returns (big surprise) which is delaying their ability to issue refunds. I am planning to report this company to the BBB and will be requesting my credit card company start an investigation given their business practices.
    I hope this email will protect others considering purchasing a fake tree from this company.

  • Ka
      19th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Oh, how I wish I'd have done better Internet research before paying $700 for the low-end piece of junk I received from Balsam Hill. Wildly cheap in construction, ill-wired and miswired, with near-useless assembly and electrical connection instructions to boot . . . . The stand is a cheap metal on plastic assembly that does not properlt hold the assembled tree upright. The website is truly wonderful - enjoy the visual appeal of it since that's what you are paying for. If you have several hours to fill with useless frustration, call Balsam Hill's customer service line. Its a hoot. This company is everything you fear when conducting e-commerce. If you are unconvinced, just think how much return shipping to Fresno, CA will be for the two (2) 75lb boxes you receive!

  • Br
      27th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    First of all, you all are complaining about paying for the shipping to get the tree back to BH. They have a free shipping policy when you purchase a Tree over $100, which means THEY pay to get the tree to you, just for your purchase... Just think about how much that is for shipping charges with all the customers who order.. QUITE a bit! And a lot of the times the tree that is said to be "defective" really isn't! It's merely because the customer's don't know exactly how to connect the lights, as this can be a tricky, if you don't pay attention to the instructions, or if you unplug anything that the manufactuers have plugged in. Last year in 2007, Customer Service had a Call Center located in a totally different state, actually across the US. That is why it was hard to get ahold of Customer Service, because they weren't in the same building. They have resolved this issue and now have everything connected, and their Customer Service is now 100% better than last years. They also do have policies that are on their website, that you agree to when placing your order. If you are an internet shopper, then you should know this.. Anyone should know this before you place an order w/ any company. EVERY company has different policies, so if you don't like their policy then don't order with the company. You have too look at this from a different point of view. Don't be Selfish! I hope this is helpful to anyone who is considering ordering from Balsam Hill! There may be a few complaints, but just remember that they sell A LOT of trees, and you don't hear from all the customers who have had GREAT expirence w/ Balsam Hill Company!

  • B9
      15th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree entirely with the negative reviews, poor product quality and customer service. My experience was the same. Poor quality, deceptive photographs of products, and poor customer service. I highly suspect that "Brittany" is an employee of Balsam Hill!

  • Dp
      16th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Sounds like this is typical. I am an attorney who called on behalf of a client whose tree started smoking, melted the plastic on the wire box and would not work thereafter. They were told to pay to send the tree back & wait for them to inspect it and if it was defective they would send a new one out, after Christmas. When I called them on behalf of my client I was told that they would pay the return shipping and then wanted to "end the relationship" by refusing to send another tree. A refund would be issued within thirty days ( a lot of good that does at Christmas time!).
    Thankfully, they purchased the tree with an American Express card and called AmEx to dispute the charge.

  • Dp
      16th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    FYI, Brittany who made the previous comment works in Balsam Hill's customer service center. I spoke with her today. Balsam Hill says that they are covered under California Law, but their policies are not in accord with California's law. Just one example is that they try to disclaim any liability for warranty of mercantability as well as implied warranties and torts. This is not legal in California. Not all of their policies will hold up in court, so don't let them "scare" you into following their policies!!

  • Sq
      27th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Ive personally set up several of these trees and know that these trees look great...As long as you spruce up the trees first. This means use the gloves (provided in the box), and fluff and shape the branches. This is a little work the first time you set up the tree, but the sebsequent years are much easier. Ive given these trees as gifts, and everyone who gets them likes them. I also own a vermont white spruce and havent had any problems with it either. I think if anything its your expectation that this artificial christmas tree should sing and dance too. Well, sorry to pop your bubble...its just an artificial christmas tree (although much nicer than their competitions), so lower your expectations.

  • Ba
      21st of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    This is one of the worst e-commerce retailers out there. They just don't care about their products or their customers. I spent $2000 on a 12' tree from Balsam Hill. It arrived defective and has continuous lighting problems. This year more than 2000 out of the 4000 light bulbs do not work. Balsam Hill just says, oh well, you have to do maitenence now and again. The tree was bought at the end of 2009. Its in its second season this year. Balsam Hill is full of excuses and promises to call you back or send spare parts. Its all false promises. Once they have your money they just don't care. The Better Business Bureau shows dozens of complaints about Balsam Hill. Actually, all you have to do is Google the words "Balsam Hill Complaint" or "Balsam Hill Reviews" and you will find hundreds of unhappy customers. One customer has a dedicated web site called ! Please, do not but a Christmas tree from Balsam Hill. It will be the worst experience you have. Its a shame the recession didn't wipe-out this shady outfit!

  • Ti
      28th of Feb, 2014
    0 Votes

    It has been over 60 days since I returned the unopened box with the tree. I had buyers remorse the next day and emailed a cancellation but they said it was too late to cancel. I have the 50 bucks shipping being taken out but am still waiting for my half grand refund. I thought I could cancel within 3 days and emailed them about that but they sent me a form letter citing the exception to the 3 day refund law. They told me I have to wait for them to examine the tree for possible damage before I can have my money. I never unpacked it as I said so they are just dragging their feet and making interest on my money. Do not buy from this company.

  • Al
      4th of Mar, 2014
    0 Votes

    Hi tinkodaat349, please accept our apologies for any delay this has caused. Please send us your Order ID through so we can review your account details and follow up on your refund. Thank you.

  • Ha
      3rd of Dec, 2015
    0 Votes

    Balsam Hill's website is a total misrepresentation! They state that if you purchase prior to 12pm ET the tree is sent out same day. After 12pm it is sent out next day. Well...I ordered a VERY expensive tree 4 days ago and it still hasn't shipped out. Today I get an email stating it's going to be another 1-2 days! I based my purchase on the information given on their website. When I called customer service today to find out why my tree hadn't been shipped I get perky "Kristen" on the phone who tells me "I have GREAT news for you...your tree is on the Fedex truck!!" I ask her what my tracking number is she proceeds to tell me that "they haven't given her a tracking number yet". What?? How can it be on the Fedex truck without a tracking number?? I get a long story about how Fedex picks up the tree and has to scan it and then they send BH the tracking number who then forwards it to me. Do they think I'm stupid??? Balsam Hill is the one who initiates the tracking number and then Fedex comes to pick up the package!! She tells me I will have my tracking number by the end of the day which, of course, never came. So now they are just lying to customers. I called customer service again this evening and this time I get Carlos (because you can never speak to the same person twice). I requested to cancel my order because I'm not going to wait another 2 days for my tree to possibly ship out and he informs me that my order cannot be cancelled. I speak to him for over 20 minutes only for him to tell me there is nothing he can do for me. My only recourse is to wait for the tree to be delivered, call them for a return authorization and then pay $25 PER CARTON to return it!!! I told him it's not fair that I have to pay ANY money to return it when they are not abiding by their own business practices! What happens next?? He puts me on hold to speak to his supervisor and he hangs up on me!!! Guess he got tired of telling me he couldn't do anything for me. Word of mouth...I will tell everyone that will listen what a crap company this is! Oh yes...the website also displays a map that shows transit time to my state is 1 day...that is until customer service told me that it takes anywhere from 5-7 business days!!! Can you say MISREPRESENTATION?!?!

  • Sm
      24th of Aug, 2016
    0 Votes
    Balsam Hill - Poor quality products
    Balsam Hill
    United States

    This is a nightmare of a company to deal with. I have personal experience of buying a 12' tree from Balsam Hill at a cost of around $2000. The biggest mistake I made last year. Once you have bought your Christmas tree from them it all goes downhill from then on. Lights burn out and whole sections stop working. They have very little technical support and customer service is there just to blow you out. That's if you are lucky enough to speak to anyone. They always seem to have some kind of excuse and are happy to tell you that you will get a call-back. You never do. The light bulbs on their trees are unique to them so when you get a problem you have to try (and 'try' is the key word) to get replacements. That doesn't happen. If you attempt a credit card chargeback they place your file on an internal blacklist because they moke note about everything. They have the nerve to say their customer's are rude, when that is not true. Balsam Hill is a shady outfit. The internet is full of negative reviews about this company. Just go Google the words "Balsam Hill Complaint" and you will see dozens of complaints. The Better Business Bureau has them listed with over 50 recent complaints. Even the Facebook page of Balsam Hill is full of unhappy customers (until they delete the comments). My advice is to stay away from Balsam Hill and their web site because their products are nothing but trouble. One of their customers has even built a web site about them warning others to stay away.

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