Monday, March 9, 2009

Sigh ... Vermicomposting Disappointment

For months I have been planning to start vermicomposting, that is, having worms eat my kitchen waste. The advantages of this are both environmental -- less trash to landfills -- and economical -- free high-quality garden fertilizer.
At Christmas, I received a book (Worms Eat My Garbage) on how to set up a worm bin in your home. I didn't get around to tracking down an online retailer and ordering worms until a few weeks ago. While I was waiting for my two pounds of redworms to arrive, I shredded a bunch of old bills for their bedding, had my husband drill some ventilation holes in an old plastic recylcing bin, started saving food scraps for them ... and waited.
And waited.
After a couple of weeks, I began to suspect that the worms would never arrive, or if they did, they'd be DOA.
Today I emailed the worm farm down in Flordia, which said that they'd mailed my worms two weeks ago. To an apartment I'd lived in two years ago.
Huh? How could this happen? It's not like I'd ordered from them before and had an old address on file.
Turns out, when this company takes orders, they don't ask the customer for their shipping address. They just send it to the billing address, which in my case was an old address that was still associated with my PayPal account.
Now they say they won't do anything about it because the worms were delivered and not returned. (Since our old landlords use our former apartment as a city pied-a-terre and spend most of their time at their home out of town, I imagine the worms are rotting in their foyer. Lovely.)
And the bill for the worms and shipping was $41!
What do you think of this? It's true that I made a mistake by not updating my PayPal address. But shouldn't retailers ask you where you want something sent, especially something as (literally!) perishable as worms? Certainly any other retailer I've ever dealt with has asked me to type in my address or at least asked if I wanted it sent to the billing address.
I'm not linking to this retailer, just yet. I let them know I'd be opening a case with PayPal, and gave them some time to respond to my second request for a refund.
In the meantime, no worms. :-(


Helen said...

Goodness! That is ridiculous. Also, I would have been wondering why it hadn't asked me for my shipping address! Doesn't sound like the greatest company to be dealing with. Good luck!

Queen of the Urban Jungle said...

i've never heard of a retailer deciding on thier own where they want your order shipped! i hope they refund you at least some of your money

Sarah Eliza said...

That's really strange... but doesn't Paypal offer some kind of insurance program? I'm pretty sure they do, at least for ebay so I'd assume for other items as well. Err though maybe you shouldn't mention that the address was old lol...

That's really lame though! =/

Carrie said...


I am reporting this to PayPal and I will be totally honest -- yes, I made a mistake, but I also don't think retailers should make assumptions about where you want your purchases sent based on second-hand information. I'll let you all know of the results.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. said...

Anonymous was not intentional, as you can see we listed all our info for anyone to see,I'm not familiar with blogging. Oops!

Carrie said...

Note to readers: This is a message posted here by the company. I deleted it because it contained personal info I didn't want to share, but here is the bulk of their message, unedited:


We have the best prices around and have an excellent reputation with thousands of very happy customers, who knows, you could be doing some great advertising for us. I am being polite and professional and am not releasing your personal address, but there is enough information below for anyone to do their own research. Meanwhile check out our score and comments from other customers over the years at both our web sites and E-bay where they are posted. Look us up our seller name is bestbuyworms and direct farm order save even better shipping rates.

Rabbits, Etc
Mike & Dee Blaha
16362 Wilson Blvd.
Masaryktown, FL 34604-7335

352.796.0459 352.573.0166 352.573.0167

You just don't get it.
We have NO WAY of knowing whether you have submitted a billing address OR shipping address. ONLY ONE address was provided and we SHIPPED to it.

This, once again, is PAYPAL'S FORM and we ARE REQUIRED to ship to the address INDICATED by PAYPAL that's how their Buyer and Seller protection program works. I spoke with Paypal and they confirmed it is YOUR responsibility to provide us with the address you want the order shipped to. YOU unfortunately did not provide the CORRECT address. Please do file your complaint, you will not be refunded.

I am not afraid of your threats. It is clear that ethics are out of your reach, condemning us for YOUR misdoing. There is no stopping you. You are right, let your readers decide. I think it's only right that others should hear the ENTIRE story unslanted, as it unfolds, so here they go. The best we know, the post office delivered the worms and you received them, and are scamming and using threats to get another order for free. They have not been returned to us as the tracking CLEARLY shows.

bestbuyworms said...

Interesting how much she deleted, all the tracking info, which I DID submit WITHOUT her personal information, but enough that you could see for yourself,her paypal reciept, with her personal info xxx'd out and all the e-mails back and forth, minus her info, and HER threats. As well as, including our initial offer to reship if the worms were returned.
Gee, she was not about to keep OUR info out of her blog.
Most of all I just learned how blogging REALLY is not everything someone says or thinks because it can be controlled by the owner of the blog. Feel free to contact us for all the information BEFORE you add to this blog so you can do so responsibly. Wonder how much of this messagwe she will allow through. Freedom of speech is only one way for this gal.

bestbuyworms said...

Apparently, Paypal very quickly ruled in our favor and Carrie's claim was denied. Did not know if she was going to post that or not, or if she even has the decency to post that she was found WRONG.

If she would like to reorder with the correct information, we will split the difference of the cost of the worms, we will ship her 2# of worms for the cost of 1# and shipping. A $41 value for $26. All she had to do was be fair with us, instead of threatening us, this world is becoming way to angry!

Kaylea said...

Wow. Just, wow. What a profoundly unprofessional company! The tone and language in those comments speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

i'd take the loss and never deal with that company again, even if they decide they want to send you your original order free of charge. that's just bad business manners.


LoveandSalt said...

There is no possible excuse or explanation for this company's rudeness, except that they clearly have no idea how to deal with the public. Not a class act.

EarthWorms4Sale said...

Holly cow. I can't believe the nerve of that grower. It is one thing to deny reshipment of a replacement order, but quite another to attack you publicly and privately.

When it comes to online stores, all you have is your reputation. I sell worms myself and we have a money back guarantee. Having an unhappy customer is not worth it, cause they will spread the word like you did! If you are still interested, you can try us out for your worms. I promise I always talk nice, even if we don't agree on something!

beebiz said...

Most of you all seem to be either missing, forgetting, or ignoring some extremely important facts. First, Carrie ordered the worms online and paid for them using PayPal WITHOUT CHANGING HER OLD ADDRESS TO HER CURRENT ONE!!! Had she placed her order over the phone, BBW WOULD HAVE HAVE ASKED FOR HER ADDRESS!!!!

But, since she ordered and paid for them online, and did so without changing her PayPal VERIFIED ADDRESS, and without alerting BBW of her current address (by phone, email, snailmail, carrier pigeon, smoke signals, or other form of contact) BBW had no choice but to ship them to the VERIFIED ADDRESS that PayPal had on file!!!! And, Carrie placed the address on file with PayPal... NOT BBW!!

BBW did not simply check with their crystal ball or their psychic advisor for an address to ship the worms to. And, they DID NOT simply snatch an address out of the air!! Had they done any of these, I know the worms would have been shipped to me!! LOL

Speaking strictly of the transaction ONLY, BBW did NOTHING WRONG!!!!!!!

That said, I agree that BBW should not have called Carrie a b*tch. But, from what Carrie has said on the internet and what one of the owners of BBW told me, Carrie was certainly acting like one!!!

Carrie, BBW went above and beyond the call of duty by offering to pay for 1/2 of the cost of a replacement order... even though they AND PayPal said they owed you nothing!! But, you would have nothing short of a COMPLETELY FREE replacement.... even though the mix up was 100% your fault!!! So, as I told you elsewhere, grow up, get a life, and leave BBW alone!!! THEY DON'T NEED THE HEADACHE OF A CUSTOMER LIKE YOU!!

Go to earthworms4sale! He says he'd like to have your business! But, I suspect he doesnt' know what he's wishing for!!!!!!!!

Laura said...

I had to go back and read these "infamous" comments. Dee, regardless of whatever mistake Carrie made in not updating her info with PayPal, it isn't unacceptable for you to post in such a snarky and malicious way about her on her own blog, or to continue calling her nasty names. I can't imagine a situation in which is would be okay to treat a customer this way. Your lack of ability to stay calm and respectful reflects very badly on you and your company. Sorry, I guess this just hit a sore spot--I work in customer service and I pride myself on doing my best to make sure everyone has a positive experience with the company I work for.