October 9 2015
The views expressed in this op-ed are those of the author only and not necessarily those of The Oregon Herald. Responses and critical commentary are invited in the comments section below.
REVIEW UPDATEDST PAUL, Oregon - We wish to apologize to our readers for giving Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery a positive review. Several of our readers pointed to what could be serious problems with the nursery. Additionally, we've now seen a few of the same problems.
With sadness, the positive review The Oregon Herald wrote earlier about Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery needs to be amended to negative.
After reading this negative review, one might wonder why we took the time. While we understand the loss, we gave the store every opportunity to correct mistakes and each time the staff refused.
The simple answer is that the sort of problem we highlight below is rampant in local businesses all over the country. The problem seems to be a lack of leadership and conscience. We only point out Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery as an example. I do not intent to imply they stand-alone or that my observation is or should be the last option, and that, even though I've attempted not to be, I am subject to error and bias myself.
One alternative was to simply remove the review and forget it. However, while simple, that remedy may be unprofessional and dishonest to our readers, and especially to those who have already taken time to complain.
I wrote the story based on information given to me by one of our staff, a responsible and extremely objective senior member of The Oregon Herald. So part of the problem is The Oregon Herald was too anxious to write a very positive review, acting on impulse rather than digging deeper. It's difficult to admit The Oregon Herald made a mistake in giving such a positive review when, after additional evidence suggest it, it should have been less than positive. If I had known this up front, I simply would not have written a review. But once our readers began to complain, I felt I needed to attempt to correct the mistake. I did not simply take the word of our readers. I investigated further. I could elaborate but feel it could be a bit too negative for Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery.
In addition, Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery has problems with their website, which would take only a few minutes to fix. The site is sloppy and disorganized. But actually, they don't even have a website. It's run by the people who run laurenwyliestudio.com and only as an addendum, an attachment to that site. That website is Lauren Wylie Studio. They seem to have created part of the problem by allowing extremely important links to receive 404 errors. Lauren Wylie Studio's business seems to be DESIGN! I don't see much design here.
On the surface, Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery seems to be a wonderful place to visit. And for some, we're sure it is. However, dig deeper and one may find problems. We repeatedly attempted to reach the owner. Ultimately, and only after talking to their garden staff, we decided we had to remove our previously good review and suggest to our readers that if they must visit Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery, they do so carefully. The experience with Ferguson's from a few of our readers has been negative. All of them. Those readers report they were totally ignored by everyone at Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery. Those potential customers simply gave up and went elsewhere.
The net result is that we feel that in certain areas, Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery cannot be trusted to serve customers in a timely manner, cannot or will not get back to potential customers requesting information or follow-through. While this opinion is subjective, it's based on experiences that demonstrate a lack of common decency, consideration, and lack of attention to detail. There are too many garden shops from which to select. From our meager amount of experience with Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery, we have concluded, thus far, that, in certain situations, they are incapable of understanding how to serve their customers. We hope this will change and we may revisit next year.
Until then, we suggest the owner, Danielle Ferguson, to become more involved. Customers have reported that Danielle Ferguson refused to answer their email to her, or anyone at Ferguson's, even a simple email from us. Each time we attempted to contact Danielle Ferguson, she was nowhere to be found. Note that her mail server reported email messages were delivered to her and to her staff, and have admitted to having received such email and admitted not responding.
If this fault is with the owner, Danielle Ferguson, we suggest she get involved, consider making herself more available to her customers. Ferguson's may not yet be equipped to react positively and interact with many potential customers in a genuine or timely manner. While others may have quite a different experience, we cannot, with a clear conscious, recommend Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery.
Photo: Ferguson’s Fragrant Nursery
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