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3 BAGS Multibuy OFFER - Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes 50L
3 BAGS Multibuy OFFER - Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes 50L

1.0 out of 5 stars crazy palava, 20 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hate lugging compost home from the garden centre, so when I saw it was available on Amazon I decided to purchase even though the price was high.

I needed the compost by a specific date for planting a hedge and arranged my diary around its delivery as there were several large bags. Nothing happened. Response from the suppliers was speedy but ineffectual once I used the Amazon email system. They told me they had left a phone message saying they were out of stock and asking whether I'd accept a substitute. They hadn't. They promised delivery the following day and nothing arrived. Again I contacted them and they wanted a long chat about courier problems. I just wanted my compost! They promised delivery the following morning. Again, nothing happened and we went through the same chat. To be fair the owner did then offer to drive the substitute compost a couple of hundred miles on a Sunday, which wasn't practical for either of us and did agree to my compromise solution of delivery Monday morning + carrying the bags through my house. (This turned out to be unnecessary as the bags were much smaller than I'd envisaged).

So we had here a friendly company who did try and remedy the situation but missed the point about customers purchasing through Amazon partly because of reliability. I was concerned that both times they called me they represented themselves as being from Amazon and it was only several minutes into the conversation that they said they weren't "but most customers get too confused if we say who we are".

I shop online a great deal and have genuine confidence when the supplier is Amazon, but I have had some bad experiences recently buying through the Marketplace.

- I don't think Amazon should do business with organisations that offer no tracking facility (bizarrely this supplier agreed with me!)
- I think there should be very clear rules about third party suppliers stating who they are and not pretending to be Amazon staff
- I am dismayed by the number of purchases I've made recently on the Marketplace where goods have transpired to be out of stock
- Customers should be able to adjust their settings to stipulate how they'd like to be contacted in case of a problem

I would really urge Amazon to require third party suppliers to meet its own delivery and communication standards.


Cross Common Nursery Olea europaea 70cm spiral Olive tree
Cross Common Nursery Olea europaea 70cm spiral Olive tree
Offered by Cross Common Nursery
Price: 27.50

5.0 out of 5 stars so impressed with this brilliant nursery, 6 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently purchased six plants from Cross Common Nursery including this gorgeous spiral olive. Writing reviews usually falls to the bottom of my 'To Do' list, but I had to take time out to do so in this case as the service from Cross Common was nothing short of superb.

All the plants arrived in perfect, in fact lush, condition two days after ordering. The packaging was robust, not one leaf or tendril was damaged and the soil was moist, despite transportation of 300 miles in a heatwave.

Cross Common offers fantastic value for money. All plants were an extremely generous size and the olive even came in a classy terracotta pot.

I have reservations about ordering plants by post, partly because they are usually very expensive, partly because I like to choose my plants myself and partly because I'm concerned about the impact on local nurseries. However, I'm increasingly feeling that many nurseries have only themselves to blame if they're struggling.

I have recently moved back to my home town after living 200 miles away in the South East. I was looking forward to rediscovering the excellent nurseries and plant centres I used to visit ten years ago and, as I am starting a new garden from scratch, was expecting to buy a lot. I have largely given up in frustration. Garden centres have turned about 50% of their space over to homewares and seem to be stocking about a quarter of the lines they used to, whilst the nurseries I have so far visited (included one listed in the Times Top 40) frequently offer mangy, virus-infected, liverwort- covered specimens. It is the first time in my plant-buying life that I have struggled to fill my car rather than struggled to fit all the plants into my car! I'm not sure whether the recession is biting harder here in the East Midlands than elsewhere but conventional plant sellers don't seem to be trying very hard. If you can't even water or dead-head your plants please don't complain about DIY stores and online retailers stealing your business.

If you're a keen plants-person reading this you'll understand the state of near mourning I find myself in faced with row upon row of surfinias where there used to be a rich variety of hardy and tender perennials. Which brings me back to Cross Common. You deserve to do brilliantly. You've restored my confidence that I can buy lovely and unusual plants without needing a week's leave to trail all over the UK. You stock a great variety of plants in great condition at a great price and I'm placing another order today! Well done you guys.


Fantastic: When Being Good is Not Enough
Fantastic: When Being Good is Not Enough
by Alan Austin-Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would love to see this on the school curriculum, 8 Jan 2013
As with his previous books, Alan Austin-Smith conveys the message about 'the difference that makes the difference' just, well, fantastically!

Don't be fooled into thinking that 'Fantastic:When Good is Not Enough' is aimed at the hairdressing fraternity. Alan's astute observations apply whatever your walk of life or stage of life. He has a unique, highly-readable way of inspiring you to turn your daydreams into reality. Alan's anecdotes bring the book to life and his sometimes irreverent take is a breath of fresh air. I loved the section on setting 'failure goals'!

'Fantastic: When Good is Not Enough' is both thought-provoking and accessible and I would love to see it on the school curriculum, giving young people confidence in their ability to shine whatever their circumstances.


Fantastic: When Good is Not Enough (Fantastic... Series)
Fantastic: When Good is Not Enough (Fantastic... Series)
by Alan Austin-Smith
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to give every young person a copy of this great book, 16 Oct 2012
As with his previous books, Alan Austin-Smith conveys the message about 'the difference that makes the difference' just, well, fantastically!

Don't be fooled into thinking that 'Fantastic:When Good is Not Enough' is aimed at the hairdressing fraternity. Alan's astute observations apply whatever your walk of life or stage of life. He has a unique, highly-readable way of inspiring you to turn your daydreams into reality. Alan's anecdotes bring the book to life and his sometimes irreverent take is a breath of fresh air. I loved the section on setting 'failure goals'!

'Fantastic: When Good is Not Enough' is both thought-provoking and accessible and I would love to see it on the school curriculum, giving young people confidence in their ability to shine whatever their circumstances.


The Fantastic Boss
The Fantastic Boss
by Alan Austin-Smith
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational, 13 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Fantastic Boss (Paperback)
This book is a must-have if you work in a creative environment and want to learn how to motivate and inspire your team to delight your customers and think ahead of the competition. Although Austin-Smith's books are aimed primarily at the hairdressing sector, their messages are equally relevant to any organisation that relies on its front-line workers. Vibrant, fun, and written in a lively, engaging style, this is a book you and your management team will actually read cover to cover... and then read again.


The Fantastic Hairdresser
The Fantastic Hairdresser
by Alan Austin-Smith
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for front-line staff in any sector, 13 Nov 2011
Alan Austin-Smith's book may be aimed at the hairdressing sector, but its message is equally valuable for any organisation that wants to ensure its front-line staff really 'get' what makes great customer service. Austin-Smith puts across the latest thinking in a highly accessible and visual form - the book is bright and vibrant, incorporates eye-catching diagrams, and is written in plain English with plenty of thought-provoking anecdotes. I purchased the Fantastic Hairdresser series for 100 front-line staff in a completely different sector and they loved it. It's particularly effective for right-brain, creative thinkers who get bored and bogged down with lengthy academic tomes. I cannot recommend The Fantastic Hairdresser and The Fantastic Boss highly enough if you're determined to keep your workforce engaged and thinking ahead of the competition.


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