Plants can play a crucial role in people’s well-being and never more so than now. Among the many contacting Crusader, some hard-pressed health workers and those in isolation have been in touch. “I haven’t been well and bought the plants to cheer me up, now I am doubting I will ever get them,” is a common refrain we are hearing.
++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer and small business champion Maisha Frost on firstname.lastname@example.org ++;
After Crusader’s inquiry last week into the sector-wide supply chain hold-ups, scam threats and the unprecedented demand online sellers were seeing retailer Primrose moved to reassure customers about refunds and the new availability of bedding and vegetable plants.
It has also sorted out particular complaints we took up on behalf of customers, although others are still waiting.
Some among the green-fingered brigade have told us too they are also losing patience with another seller Gardening Express.
These complaints have a familiar ring – orders not delivered when expected, imprecise automated updates, and the lack of a direct response after customers indicated they wanted to cancel.
But time sensitivities were a major worry too, with customers fearing their orders would arrive after the planting dates, leaving them unable to reap full benefit.
Gardening Express, which communicates via online, quickly sought to reassure customers when we raised their concerns saying the “vast majority of the 150,000 orders taken since lockdown – a five-fold increase on this time last year” have been fulfilled, but a small minority had been delayed due to “capacity issues”.
“The company has pledged to fulfil every order,” it explained. “We are working round the clock. We ask customers to please be patient. Some of our plants are marked as not being ready for shipping until mid-May – we want to ship when they are able to thrive and not be killed by a ground frost. This is clearly stated on the website.
“Customers can cancel orders for a full refund at any time if the order has not been shipped.”
Orders placed prior to April 7 should have been despatched, it added, promising if customers are still waiting they should send a support ticket and this will be rectified.
Buying PLANTS online and your REFUND rights
Consumer protection law (Consumer Rights Act 2015 – the CRA) states goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and meet any description given to them.
This still covers you when buying items online, but the Consumer Contracts Regulations (CCR) also kick in, but the cancellation rights here don’t apply to perishable items or those with a short life span.
However consumer rights expert, lawyer Joanne Lezemore of advice site consumer-genie.co.uk, says: “the CCR also state that goods should, unless otherwise agreed, be delivered within 30 days.
“Even when the goods cannot be delivered within that time, the trader should contact customers and offer the customer the choice of an extended delivery date or to cancel the order and offer a full refund.
The refund must be made within 14 days.”
Published at Sun, 10 May 2020 23:01:00 +0000