Receiving your Christmas trees is normally a simple process. Getting them to you can be a different story, however. Several parties are involved, and a multitude of factors can arise and affect your delivery and order. It is essential that all parties know and follow guidelines in order to successfully transfer the possession of your trees from the farm, to the driver, and finally to you. Bishop and Mathews has to account for all of the trees on the grower’s tally. Most of the time the farm tally matches up with the customer’s, give or take a tree or two, and everyone is happy. In the unfortunate case that a customer has a large discrepancy to claim, however; the customer must follow certain steps and procedures for us to be able to prove a discrepancy exists, we then present it to the farm, and get credits processed
From the farm to your lot
- The farm loads your trees one at a time by placing them on a conveyor belt. A different person tallies each tree as it passes by. In case of multiple receivers, farms use systems to differentiate or separate one order from another. Common dividing systems are plastic netting and plastic sheeting. Some farms differentiate loads by painting dots on the butts of one receiver’s trees, but not the other’s; instead of placing a barrier between them.
- Once the de-truck is loaded, the driver signs for the trees, and puts a seal on the doors. He has now taken possession of these trees and is responsible for delivering them per farm tally to you.
Once you verify the seal is intact, the driver opens the doors. For a multitude of possible reasons, farms occasionally have to make last minute substitutions/changes to customers orders, whether we like it or not. We agree to substitutions when we enter in to our Purchasing Agreement. As a result the trees that the farm loaded may not always exactly match up with what you ordered.
The farm/driver tally sheet reflects what the farm actually loaded for you and shows what the driver is responsible to deliver to you. It is your responsibility to accept this tally sheet upon delivery and re-tally as you offload your order. By following this procedure, a tally is created which can be compared to the farm tally, to check for errors, shortages, substitutions, mispicks, or mistags at the farm, or a previous stop.
- If discrepancies between the 2 tallies exist, call Bishop and Mathews immediately and alert the driver. The driver needs to double check, agree, and verify the discrepancy in writing. This creates a reliable document that Bishop and Mathews can present to the farm if credit is requested. We will then also immediately get to work doing everything possible to make things right again for you and your customers.
- We vigorously pursue our customer’s concerns with the growers. If you do not have this documentation, however, it can be difficult and often impossible for the farm to understand and agree with your request. In this case, we would be obligated to pay the farm per their tally for your trees, would bill you for the same, and create a conflict between us that would not resolve well, so lets not do that!!
- The Customer should email or fax should Bishop and Mathews within 24 hours of delivery for credit due to damage, quality, grading, sizing discrepancies, etc., It must include photos of every tree, and show it’s defect. Credit requests will not considered at the end of the Season.
- Our purchasing agreement also provides guidelines for us to follow so that we can successfully work together and achieve the common goal of you the customer’s satisfaction.