Posted: 12/06/2013 at 21:34
Your reference to late delivery and poor condition rang a bell for me due to my first ever delivery from a particular mail order firm. But I'm with Berkley here. Politely complain if you aren't happy and stay firm.
My experience was with The Canny Gardener which is, I think, a smallish firm, with an excellent website and a monthly catalogue. They sell seasonal plant plugs and bulbs.
When I politely drew their attention to the quality control issue of my first order with them, I received what I feel was excellent customer service. It is true I sent photos with a nice but firm email but I received an apology, a refund and replacement plants.
Also they go the extra mile on the phone.
It is in the interests of any firm to maintain excellent service with their customers and I believe if we, the customers, always convey to them that we would like to believe the best of them - eg that their latest shortcomings are 'not the norm' - most sensible firms should be falling over themselves to prove they agree with you. That then becomes good publicity (like this posting).
Any firm that doesn't respond positively, or worse is rude on the phone, is still back in the dark ages and deserves everything they get in bad publicity and lost custom.
Here endeth my rant. Hope it helps.