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Gardening Express pursues delivery company for loss of earnings

Published: 16 May 2007
Chris Bonnett, chief executive of online garden centre Gardening Express has asked his insurers to pursue home delivery specialists Amtrak for loss of earnings.
Mr Bonnett took umbrage against its soon-to-be outgoing agents after it pulled out of providing a daily service which, after numerous non-deliveries, his customers described as 'appalling'.

He told diyweek.net that losses are estimated at "£30,000 plus around £10,000 of lost orders".

In addition to his financial claim, the ceo is chasing Amtrack over the 'goodwill factor'.

He said: "We've had a lot of angry customers, who we have had to refund because we could not ship, and negative comments have been posted about us on internet message boards."

According to the ceo, on Tuesday April 24, 2007 Amtrak said that from Monday April 30 they would no longer be able to handle Gardening Express' deliveries.

Mr Bonnett said he was unimpressed with a 'ridiculous period of notice' and issued a letter demanding sufficient time to recruit an alternative delivery provider.

After negotiations Amtrak has now resumed full collection, but this, he says, was after "thousands of orders were delayed just as plants came into season ready for despatch".

Amtrak responds

Amtrak told diyweek.net that although it entered into an agreement with Gardening Express to carry boxed shrubs, it felt that the presentation of large unboxed trees to its collection vehicles was not part of the original contract.

However, it then proceeded to deliver the trees to Gardening Express's customers, but says it informed the online retailer that 'it was no longer prepared to carry this business' and the servicing of the trees had to end immediately.

The delivery provider says negotiations ensued and extended the notice period orginally for the boxed shrubs from one week to 30 days, and then for the large trees following further talks.

"Collection of the trees did not constitute a contract with Gardening Express and Amtrak," it said in a statement

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