Our last post outlined the wide variety of guarantee policies among the Garden Watchdog Top 30 companies that sell live plants. A handful had no stated guarantee, while another handful guaranteed their plants forever. The vast majority put some kind of condition on refunds or credits. While that’s certainly understandable, many could have chosen their words better. Here’s a sampling of the guarantees that might give customers pause:
• If the plants that you are purchasing are cold sensitive, we feel that it is the customer’s responsibility to take this into consideration when placing the order.
• If you think you would rather pay more for plants that have a guarantee, check out the customer ratings for some of the well-known places that offer refund or replacement guarantees for their plants: [MENTIONS SEVERAL COMPANIES], and see how frequently unhappy their buyers are.
• If we find it appropriate, we will replace your damaged plants…
• Another company has a multi-section “Shipping and Returns” statement, with several sections starting with “We cannot” – i.e., “We cannot accept returns for…” or “We cannot be held liable for…” Don’t make the negative the first thing that hits the customer!
In addition, about half the qualified guarantees are looooong, with the company trying to cover every possible eventuality. I know they’re trying to explain how reasonable they’re being, but the daunting length is likely to raise suspicions among customers.
Next time, we’ll outline some of the best practices we found among companies making limited guarantees.