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Ordering a Christmas Tree Online - Things to Know

Posted at 8:30 AM, Dec 24, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — The newest way of getting a Christmas tree is to mail order it! No more lugging home a giant box, or a live tree on the roof of the car. But consumer reporter John Matarese found us why you need to need a lot of extra time... so you don't waste your money.

Many families are now mail ordering their Christmas trees because you don't have to haul it home, and it arrives at your doorstep. But one family is learning the downside of ordering a tree so close to Christmas.

This is not what you want to see in December, an empty spot in your family room, where a Christmas tree should be. But Beth Schirmer says that's what she and her kids had to look at for almost two weeks after she mail ordered a tree.

"I ordered Sunday, November 25th, and their website said orders received by 2pm would go out the next business day." Beth ordered from "Balsam Hill," a california company that gets top ratings on amazon for high quality, realistic trees.

"I was looking for the nicest artificial tree i could find." She figured she had plenty of time. "their standard shipping said 3 to 5 business days." But after a week, she received nothing, not even a tracking number.

"I’ve never received a tracking number, my husband has spent hours on the phone trying to talk with a supervisor." Turns out beth's not alone. A quick check of online forums and the better business bureau finds dozens of similar complaints about tree delivery delays.

"There are even people who paid for expedited shipping who are not getting their tree when promised." The BBB gives balsam hill an "a plus" for responding to complaints, but it gets just 1 out of 5 stars with 161 complaints the past 3 years. The company tells the BBB: "our delivery dates are presented as a range to the customer. we are aware of a shortcoming with our previous shipment partner, an issue we are actively addressing."

"So now I'm just aggravated." So we emailed Balsam Hill, where a p-r spokeswoman promised to get Beth her tree in the next 24 hours, and we are happy to report that the next day, her tree arrived, and Beth and her kids will now have Christmas.

This is a good warning not just about trees...but about anything you are ordering during a busy time that you must have right away. Be sure to allow plenty of time in case there's an issue so you don't waste your money.