|Make It Green Standard Plant Warranty|
|Make It Green Extended Plant Warranty|
|Warranty Background Information|
|MYKE (MYCORRHIZAE) AND OTHER THIRD PARTY WARRANTIES|
Under any of the following circumstances and upon presentation of the plant in question and its’ receipt we will replace the plant you have purchased with an equivalently valued plant:
1. Your plant fails to leaf-out in the year you purchase it.
2. Your plant succumbs to a disease which in our opinion it had when purchased.
3. Your plant is not the variety it was purported to be.
Extended warranties which may entitle you to a one time only replacement for hardy (Canadian zone 5 or hardier with some exceptions) trees, shrubs and evergreens with a value of $99.99 or more are available for a period of one to five years depending on variety. There are several conditions under which you may void an extended warranty. Please see the document titled “MAKE IT GREEN EXTENDED PLANT WARRANTY” before purchasing this coverage. Coverage may be purchased up to 15 days after your initial plant purchase. Your cost for this extra coverage is based on the regular selling price of the plant. Extended warranties are available at a cost of 15% of the regular selling price for container trees, shrubs and evergreens and 25% of the regular selling price for wire basket trees, shrubs and evergreens. These rates are subject to periodic review. Make It Green reserves the right to refuse to sell you extended warranty coverage.
Plants installed by Make It Green are automatically covered by this extended warranty unless other arrangements are mutually agreed upon.
Under all other circumstances we will offer you a replacement tree, shrub or evergreen for purchase at half of the current regular price, regardless of the original purchase price of the plant, provided you can produce some evidence such as a receipt, plant tags, credit card statement or bank statement and the original plant complete with roots. This warranty is applicable regardless of how long you have owned the plant and applies to any trees, shrubs and evergreens rated Canadian zone 6 or hardier.
At our discretion you may be able to purchase an additional warranty for your replacement plant.
Perennials have a 60 day, one time, free replacement warranty upon presentation of a dead plant and the receipt for same. Plants which have gone dormant such as astilbes, bleeding hearts, columbines and trilliums will not be replaced. Please call before you dig.
No warranty claims will be entertained before June 1st in any given year. PLEASE call before you dig. Over 30% of the plants returned to our store have been alive and well until they were wrenched from the ground!
The purpose of this extended warranty is to protect customers from the cost of replacing trees, shrubs or evergreens which have died. The following are situations under which a plant of these types will not be covered under this warranty.
- Plant was planted in a container. Container planting subjects a plant to significantly more stress than planting in a garden.
- Plant not planted in a timely fashion. Plants left in the pot require constant maintenance and are often subject to a very high level of stress.
- Plants willfully or inadvertently damaged by items such as, but not limited to, whipper-snippers, lawn mowers, axes, shovels, cars, skateboards, boots, dog chains, trunk protectors, stakes, tree ties, ice build-up, skating rinks, etc.
- Plants with soil placed over their root systems whether during planting or after planting. See makeitgreen.ca/plantinginstructions for planting instructions.
- Plants wrapped for the winter where burlap or a similar product is allowed to touch the foliage or where inadequate ventilation is provided or where the protection is left on in warm weather. See www.makeitgreen.ca for over-wintering instructions.
- Plants which have been planted and subsequently moved to another location. Transplanting is a significant stress for a plant and you do so at your own risk.
- Plants returned to the store which are still healthy. Over 30% of the plants we see each spring are alive and well and doing fine except for the stress of being dug. Please call 613-599-3419 or email email@example.com before digging a plant up and bringing it in.
- Plants damaged by deer, rabbits, porcupines or other animals.
- Plants which have been over-watered or over-fertilized (using fertilizer spikes and "deep root fertilizing" applications will void your warranty!).
- Plants which have been neglected including lack of watering.
- Plants which have been subjected to, accidentally or otherwise, pesticides (including herbicides) to which they are sensitive.
- Plants which have been over-dosed with salt or other ice-removal products.
- Plants over-dosed with pool chemicals (generally from pool draining).
- Plants which have been damaged or infected by poor pruning practices.
- Plants which shift due to settling of the earth (generally occurs in new housing areas or in an area where recent (last five years) excavation work or lot grading has taken place).
- Plants which have already been replaced under warranty. We will only replace a plant once. If your replacement plant dies then our standard plant warranty applies. You may, at our discretion, purchase an extended warranty on your replacement plant.
There are times when a plant is not dead but will also be replaced under this warranty. Any one of the following conditions will be grounds to have your plants replaced provided none of the previous conditions for voiding your warranty applies.
- The plant is terminally ill. Some plants may hold on for several years after contracting a serious disease like verticillium wilt, fire blight or crown gall. We would like to be pro-active in replacing plants afflicted with a terminal illness to stop the spread of the disease to other susceptible plants in the area.
- A grafted standard tree which is dead above the graft but still alive below.
- A tree which has had the majority of its branches die. Some fast-growing trees can recover within a season and be all the more vigorous in the future. Under no circumstances will Make It Green compensate you if your tree has major dieback and you elect to keep it anyway, however if the tree performs poorly within the warranty period you will still be covered.
- A topiary which looses a major branch or has serious dieback during its first year will be replaced. After the first year topiary warranties are covered under the normal extended warranty only and will not be replaced for cosmetic reasons.
Plants which are still alive but don’t meet any of the four conditions listed previously will not be replaced. These include but are not limited to the following.
- Plants with leaves, stems or roots attacked by insects or diseases. Insects and diseases are a normal part of gardening and must be expected from time to time. Under no circumstances will we replace plants for cosmetic reasons (except topiary in it’s first year). It is important to be pro-active when plants are newly planted and monitor them from time to time. Make It Green has many staff members who can diagnose problems and make suggestions on treatments if required. Most problems that occur are minor in nature and due to stress induced by transplanting, poor location, excessive or insufficient moisture, weed control products or over-fertilization.
- Plants which fail to flower. Many plants spend their energy in the first few years growing support systems such as roots and leaves. Plants fed too much nitrogen or planted in too rich a soil may also not flower.
- Plants which don’t grow as quickly as you expect. Plants can need time to root and adjust. Ripping a plant out of the ground because it doesn’t grow as much as you expected will void your warranty.
In order to make a warranty claim and have your plant replaced we will need to see proof that the plant was under warranty and the plant itself (complete with root system). In cases involving a large tree or evergreen a photograph may suffice. If we delivered the plant but did not plant it then you will be required to pay for delivery of its replacement (if required). If we installed your plant then we will deliver and plant your replacement at no charge provided the original regular price was $99.99 or more. We reserve the right to charge a partial delivery fee for locations more than 15km from the store and a full delivery fee if we have to return to your site more than once. Plants we installed with a regular price of less than $99.99 will be replaced but delivery and installation will be the responsibility of the customer.
If you have a valid warranty claim then Make It Green will replace your plant with a plant of similar size and cost. If you purchased your plant on a clearance sale then the size of your replacement will be based on what you actually paid. You will not be compensated for lost time (yours or your plant’s), fertilizer, water, etc. nor will you be issued any kind of credit if your replacement plant is on sale or currently less expensive than your original purchase. Conversely you will not be charged extra if the regular selling price of your replacement is higher than the price you originally paid. Make It Green’s sole responsibility and liability in this matter is to replace your plant. In the event that your plant is not in currently in stock you will be issued a credit note and we will endeavor to acquire a replacement as soon as feasible. Please don’t loose your credit note as it is your sole proof that we owe you a plant!
Many garden centres and big box stores have a one year full replacement warranty. Why doesn’t Make It Green?
For many years we had the most comprehensive hardy plant warranty in the business (5 years). In the interest of good customer relations we found ourselves replacing thousands of dollars worth of plants every year. In one case we replaced over $4000 worth of plants for a customer whose pool builder had dumped soil on the evergreens we had installed 3 years earlier (see planting instructions if you don’t know what a problem this can be). At the other end of the spectrum we replaced a $25 plant for a customer who watered it heavily every day despite repeated instructions to the contrary. We also had many customers, despite our instructions, wrap their evergreens for the winter and kill or severely damage them. When asked why, they generally said because they saw the city or a neighbour do the same thing. On average 92% of our warranty returns were caused by human error. For years our thinking was that we would try to educate our customers and we were very generous with plant replacements.
Another type of return we were seeing, and often a sore point for staff and customers, was the return of the undead. I’m not talking about a horror movie (unless you really empathize with the plants), I’m talking about plants which had not leafed out yet being dug out of the ground and brought back as dead. Most customers became quite upset when we told them that their plant wasn’t dead (yet) and that they should have called first and should also take it back home and re-plant it. Their anger and dismay paled when compared to that of the people who tried to outright cheat us. One of those, more candid than most, told us that we were a big business and could afford the $800 worth of replacement plants which he had never bought from us. Several others said that we shouldn’t care because we could send them back to our suppliers (this is absolutely not true – standard grower warranties are 60 days). Another annual summer ritual was the return of the unplanted. People with the best of intentions would buy their plants, bring them home, water them once and not look at them for several days. Plants in pots require a lot of care and when they don’t get it, they don’t like it. People would often bring back their half-dead plants and want a replacement.
The last several years have seen a natural market trend where younger people, without the benefit of gardening experience gleaned from hours working with their parents in the garden, have started to garden (hurray!). Unfortunately they are making rookie mistakes. It’s only natural and now that we realize this we have taken steps to help insure the success of these new gardeners. Meanwhile the cost of replacing plants was becoming unmanageable. During the summer of 2005 we surveyed our customers and asked if they would prefer a 5 to 7% price increase to cover increasing warranty costs or a new warranty structure that kept prices down. Over 96% preferred prices be kept down.
Our new warranty approach still covers you for plants that had a problem when they left our store (historically the average is less than 1 in 1000). We thoroughly inspect all plants upon arrival and have an industry wide reputation as the fussiest garden centre when it comes to plant quality and health. Early spring shoppers may buy a plant which doesn’t leaf out. Although we do check for viability on plants when they arrive we can’t always tell. If the winter has not been very snowy with multiple temperature swings then trees and shrubs will likely see more root damage which will affect their viability. In 2007, 0.2% (1 in 500) of our plants purchased before the end of April didn’t leaf out properly. This was exceptionally high as the closest previous year was under 0.04% (1 in 2500). You are also covered for plants which are not true-to-name. For shrubs and trees this is extremely rare and generally caught in our inspection process. For perennials it always seems that there are one or two varieties every year and no way to know until they bloom. In most cases these plants are warranted by the grower and we are compensated for the cost (excluding shipping and handling) so the impact on our business isn’t too severe and the extra work, patience and understanding of our customers is much appreciated. If you have a tree or shrub that doesn’t leaf out then please let us know. In the past people have waited until the next year to give the plant a chance (I’ve only seen this work once!). If we don’t know there is a problem we can’t make a claim.
The rest of our warranty is a 50/50 affair. Whether your neighbour dumped his pool water, your dog repeatedly peed, you wrapped it up tight for the winter and didn’t take it off until the summer, you bought it with every intention of planting it and didn’t get around to it or your helpful teenager dumped three inches of soil from under the birdfeeder onto your cedar, its dead! You can bring it in and with the barest minimum of proof get a replacement for half of the regular price, no questions asked. If you want to know why it died then we will be happy to look at it and tell you. No one will point fingers or do anything to belittle or upset you. We would also be happy to make recommendations on how things can work out better next time (but only if you want us to). If your woody plant isn’t dead but you think its doing poorly, too gangly, too attractive to bees, too blue, too prickly, too much work to maintain or whatever, we will also sell you a half (regular) price replacement (please try to dig it up carefully as it may wind up planted at a school, in our gardens or at a staff members house!). We don’t want to be judgmental. We just want you to have a happy gardening experience. Woody plants which are not quite hardy in this area but do well in sheltered spots or with winter protection (such as Japanese Maples and Magnolias) as well as woody plants in containers can also be replaced at half regular price. This gives gardeners the opportunity to plant a borderline hardy plant and still have something to show for it if it doesn’t work in their site.
We like working at the garden centre. We like the customers and the plants and we want to avoid the stress of returns. Many of our competitors have numerous restrictions on their warranties (often for valid reasons). Others have had to get more strict due to customers trying to return cheap, prone to die, west coast cedars which they actually purchased at a big box store. This 50/50 "no questions asked" policy removes a great deal of the stress from our work environment and allows us to keep our prices lower at a time when many costs are rising.
Recently we have begun selling Premier Tech's Myke product which is a beneficial fungus and greatly helpful in the establishment and continue good growth of most trees and shrubs. If you purchase this product and use it when planting (must be on same receipt as the plant in question) then you may have a valid warranty claim through Premier Tech if your plant dies. There are restrictions on this warranty (www.usemyke.com) and Make It Green will work with you to make your claim. Please understand that this is a third party warranty and not one that we are directly responsible for. Other warranties come up from time to time. This year Easy Elegance Roses are going to be guaranteed to flower and perform well for two years (www.baileynurseries.com) by Bailey Nurseries. Again this is a third party warranty and we will work with you if you need to make a claim but we are not responsible or liable when it comes to third party warranties.
Make It Green sells a number of brand name hardware products. Pond equipment, gardening tools and other items often have a manufacturer's warranty. In most cases if you bring in defective product and a receipt and are within the warranty period then we will replace your product right away. If we have to order the product then we will try to lend you a replacement if required (pond pumps come to mind). Sometimes a manufacturer goes out of business or we clear out equipment from a supplier that we have elected not to deal with anymore. In these cases we will help you to deal directly with the supplier for product replacement. Failing that we will provide you with an equivalent product for half of the regular price.