2007 - Volume #31, Issue #5, Page #13[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Empress Splendor Trees
The 85-year-old wanted to add some of the unique trees to his existing collection of 35 different tree varieties. He has a 500-tree nursery, which he cares for with an innovative watering system and other tools he designed.
In mid-February, Leighton sent a check to World Tree Technologies in Arizona, ordering a small number of Empress Splendor trees. Separately, he also phoned John Garbini of Wonder Earth Partners in Myrtle Creek, Oregon (Garbini was featured in the same FARM SHOW article since he's an Empress Splendor distributor for World Tree Technologies). Leighton says Garbini was very helpful with providing information, and sent him a planting guide.
Although his cheque to World Tree Technologies was cashed, Leighton never received any trees from them. Five subsequent phone calls to president Wendy Burton resulted in empty promises of immediate delivery, before she finally said she'd refund his money. A month later (in June), he still hadn't received anything so Leighton mentioned to Garbini that he planned to contact his local TV station's "consumer trouble shooter" and have a story done.
Leighton went ahead and did an interview, and the troubleshooter's call to the Arizona company was not returned. But just a few days later, Leighton received a full refund along with a written promise that his trees will be provided free of charge next April. Leighton's pleased with this development, but will have to wait and see if the trees arrive in the spring, as his trust in the company is shaken.
When we contacted Wendy Burton for her side of the story, she told us that her company did initially send trees to Leighton by priority mail, but for some unknown reason, he didn't receive them. After double checking the address, they then sent another tree shipment with the same unfortunate results.
"We do our best to provide top quality customer service, and I'm pleased with the way we handled this situation," Burton says. "We only fill orders twice a year - in April and in September. This is because deciduous trees need to be planted in either the spring or fall. We provide a one-year guarantee with all of our trees û if they die, we'll replace them as long as the customer sends us back the dead tree."
Since FARM SHOW's first story about Empress Splendor trees, Burton says the company has been "totally inundated with inquiries and orders."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Maurice Leighton, 6560 Lindberg Ave., Placerville, Calif. 95667 (ph 530 626-0965) or World Tree Technologies, Inc. (ph 888 693-8733; 480 948-0188; www. worldtreetech.com) or Wonder Earth Partners (ph 877 960-5969; www. wonder earth partners.com).
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