Brussel's Bonsai Top Notch

Tiberious

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Just wanted to say that Brussels Bonsai is an awesome nursery! Everytime I have ordered from them the trees come shipped in perfect condition. Their material they have sent me has always been top notch. Good sized trees and nice material to work with. They have a great thing going on, and I am a most pleased customer. I highly recommend!
Thanks
 

Tiberious

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I wish I worked there. This forum is to post vendor experiences, and I was very pleased with my order, so thats all.
 
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I attempted to order 20 trees from there for a workshop once, after a couple unreturned emails and phone calls, I gave up and purchased elsewhere.

I won't try again.


Will
 
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I attempted to order 20 trees from there for a workshop once, after a couple unreturned emails and phone calls, I gave up and purchased elsewhere.

I won't try again.


Will
While any vendor can have missed emails or orders, I have always been pleased with the service I received from Brussel's. Brussel Martin is a real gentleman who has made a huge difference in the bonsai community in the United States, mainly because he has worked so hard to build a business that allows him to deal with the import restrictions as well as bringing people from all over the country to his Rendezvous every year. It's the opportunity to come and see headliners, take workshops, and go home with some good bonsai material that keeps folks coming year after year to Olive Branch, Mississippi. Well, that and his tremendous hospitality during the weekend.

I have dropped in on Brusse's Bonsai unannounced while Brussel was in the middle of having his next catalog photographed (a few years ago), and Brussel took time from his busy schedule to speak with me and answer some questions, which I now know were probably pretty basic.

There's no way to know what went wrong with one purchase, but ordering through a catalog or website is always surer than ordering by email.
 
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Thank you for your thoughts Chris.

However, poor service only needs to happen once with me, whatever the reason.

Brussel Martin has contributed greatly to the community, no one is debating that, however I base my purchase decisions on the service I receive as a customer from the business and not on who the owner may be or what he may have accomplished. In that aspect Brussel's Bonsai failed.


Will
 
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I would usually give the benefit of the doubt in such a case, since Brussel has obviously gotten where he is today by offering two things: value and service. I'd check my emails and see if they were within normal ordering parameters, i.e., was I seeking something that wasn't in the catalog, or asking for a significant discount?

If I received poor merchandise, that would be another thing entirely. In that case I would take my business elsewhere.
 
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. I'd check my emails and see if they were within normal ordering parameters, i.e., was I seeking something that wasn't in the catalog, or asking for a significant discount?
Chris,

None of your scenarios above are factual, these guesses would indeed be reason for a business to not help a customer, but even if they were the case, an explanation would be expected and customer service would still be a priority.

The fact is no discount was asked for. I personally talked to Dana on the telephone looking for 20 trees for a workshop within a certain price range dictated by the club hosting the workshop, he was going to see what was available and get back to me. This was after a couple inquiries by email were unanswered and after the conversation more emails went unanswered.

I ended up going to Wigerts and have purchased 40 trees from them since. Excellent trees, excellent service, and I was made to feel my business is important. I highly recommend Wigerts, I can not say the same for Brussels, based on my own personal experience dealing with the company.

Your argument that a business must be good because they got where they are is not a solid one. AT&T has been around for ever, hell they were the best, they are huge, but none of that matters if a customer is not satisfied with service or price, people switch all the time, I did recently, not because of a cheaper price, but because of poor service.

The Memphis Road House was an excellent restaurant that we went to quite often, big place, always booming, reservations were hard to get. They certainly never got to be that popular without reason, yet some poor management decisions that led to poor service peed off one customer after another, myself included, and people just went elsewhere. Business dropped, no reservations were needed anymore, business died down and last week I saw a big banner out front that said "Under New Management"

Being big or having a record of past success is no guarantee of present customer service, business's sometimes become blinded to the very things that made them in the first place and this is usually always customer service.

There is no excuse for poor customer service and less of an excuse for accepting it. The lack of communication from Brussels on what may have been a small order to them (I seriously doubt that a 20 tree order was small) made me personally feel like my business was not important. This may be an isolated incident, maybe not, but it doesn't matter, all that matters is my (the customers) perception of the service or lack thereof at the time business is transacted. I can say that Wilgerts was happy to take the order and they were pleasant, easy to work with, and that attitude earned them more business from me.

In closing, Tiberious came on and posted a note about his personal experience with Brussels, as is his right, I posted a note about my own personal experience with Brussels, as is my right. What resulted was a couple of customers, each doing business with Brussels, having two completely different experiences. I did not say that no one should go to Brussels, I simply said that the one time I did business with the company was less than satisfactory and that I would not recommend the company based solely on my own experience.

I do not reward poor customer service with my business.


Will
 
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All I was saying is that there is usually more to the story than first flush, and you have given more details that fill it out and give it the sense it needs. Looks like you had a poor service encounter, which I am sure happens in the smallest to the largest companies.

Thanks for all the other details too.
 

agraham

Shohin
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My experiences with Brussel's have all been very satisfactory.The numerous Rendezvous I have attended have been great experiences.The customer service has always been satisfactory.The people,facility and tree selection are all first rate.

Buying off the internet or by mail/phone order is always a risky business.A 3 dimensional object is difficult to describe or picture in an objective manner.I would suggest that if one has the chance,to visit Brussel's in person.It is a great place.

....and no....I don't work for them.

andy
 

bonsaibill

Seedling
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I used to buy from Brussell's but, the trees I have seen recently in their catalog are not worth my
money. It seems they have given up on quality for a fair price.

Bonsaibill
 

agraham

Shohin
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Bill...I think you are right.Their main business seems to have gone towards the drop shipping of inferior trees for florists,etc.But if you ever go to the nursery...the quality trees are there.I haven't bought anything from them sight unseen in quite a few years...I just received their latest catalog and it does seem to have better quality material than in recent offerings.Still....mostly beginner imported items though.

andy
 

Zappa

Yamadori
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sorry about the negitivity...but I have had bad luck with them :( ...but then I've had really good luck at Walmart.....
 

Tiberious

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I purchased some shimpakus from there and they were real nice, and had alot to work with in terms of branching. The trunk size was very good for the price. Not to say everyone will have good experiences, but mine just happened to be.
 

Bonsaichef

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I am in the business of customer service & I for one know things happen, we can't be perfect all of the time.
Brussel has done many great things for bonsai in the US. Some may question his methods but at the end of the day he is a quality person. I deal with people like Will from time to time when I screw something up. What you have to do is try to fix it and when you have done that and still can't please someone you have to know when to "fire" you customer. (I have been going to this nursery for the last 20+ years)
 

GrimLore

Bonsai Nut alumnus... we miss you
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I recently ordered a quintet grove from Brussels. It arrived in perfect condition and honest it looked even better then what they pictured. They included al the information needed to keep it alive and the delivery was far faster then expected. Based on my first experience with them I will be ordering again in the future - just my 2 cents ;)
 
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