Tanked

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bye-bye tank! So close, and yet, so far away.

So, I spent a lot of time in March and April, purchasing a large water tank for irrigation using rain catchment. I found a company in Florida, GEI Works, which had potable water pillow tanks that could be shipped to me in Washington. It was a far journey. but the prices were right and the tank design was doable in my location. I happily worked with a gentleman via email to make sure I had all the parts and space to set up such a large tank, and clarified that, as a small farm, I would not have a forklift or tractor to take the 500lb. crate off the truck. They said a lift gate would be fine, and assured me the tank could be delivered.

Well, it came May 1st, without a lift gate, so they drove away with my tank. Then we rescheduled for Tuesday the 8th, and no truck came. The delivery company is Saia, and the driver told me they had no lift gate trucks with unloading ability available to come here, that they all stay in Seattle for urban delivery, and never leave the city area. I told GEI Works about this, and offered to plan a delivery in a few weeks, after I was able to contact someone locally with a tractor, and have them bring it to the farm for the delivery. GEI didn’t want to pay storage fees for the tank while I got unloading equipment, and assured me the tank would come Tuesday.

Tuesday I was on site all day with my phone in back pocket on full volume. I hate having my phone on my body all the time, but didn’t want to miss the call when the truck was on its way. No call came, and by 6:30 that evening I was back on the phone trying to negotiate what happened. Saia told GEI that I had not answered the phone, but the Saia policy is to deliver anyway, so someone was not taking responsibility, and instead blaming the client. They also lied about the call, as i have no such call in the record of my phone. I’ll say this much, Saia is an awful shipping company.

GEI Works is not much better, as they emailed me with a phone number and said to reschedule. I had the unfortunate experience of working for both companies without pay, calling and chasing people to try to get my merchandise, which I had already paid for in full. Meanwhile, everyone else I talked to was being paid by the hour and taking their time in figuring out how to help support the delivery. We tried again for Thursday the 10th, and I said I could be there waiting till 5pm. I stressed this because I had made plans that evening.

Guess what happened? At 4:45, I called the Saia help number and asked them to track my truck delivery. They did, and informed me the truck had two more stops and would be to me before 9pm. This was not what I had scheduled, and I said so. The lady on the other end was helpful, telling me the delivery was scheduled from 9am to 9pm. She then called the truck driver and made sure he was coming my way. After confirming this, I hung up and waited. Another phone call, it was the driver. He would not be able to deliver the tank because he did not have a lift gate. He again informed me that no lift gate truck would come from Seattle. I said that was not my responsibility, and thanked him for his time.

I’ve written GEI Works and demanded a full refund. This has been the worst business experience I’ve ever had, for something extremely costly and important to the farm. It was classic miscommunication, and instead of taking responsibility on their end, both businesses were putting it on me. Apparently, if you have the word “farm” in your business name, it is assumed that you have large equipment and plenty of time on your hands to wait for others to figure themselves out. A greater question from this is how are these businesses still in business? Oh wait, they usually work with large companies that are being paid by the hour to work with them. Because I am not, I lost on all fronts, from not getting my tank, to having to spend several days waiting for nothing and being lied to on both ends of the deal. This is not how I do business, and I am concerned that large companies like this do, but it’s not a surprise.

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