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Red Wax Pears from Solstice - London

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I read about Solstice on this forum, and thought I would give them a try. I live in sunny Worcestershire, so I knew that delivery would be by commercial carrier. I placed a £119.86 order, including £12.86 of shipping, in early April.

When the boxes arrived, they were flimsy cardboard --- the grade that's used internally (if at all) and not in a shipping environment. To make matters worse, the boxes had cut-out "handles" on both ends, which their courier company had used and this meant they were really torn. I'm not especially fond of receiving £119.86 of groceries in what were essentially open boxes.

Some of what I ordered was particularly good. Some mediocre. And some very disappointing. In particular, I bought six red wax tip pears --- at £2.99 per kg. We'd had red wax tipped pears while at the Olympics in Torino and they were delicious, so I hoped for something similar.

Instead, we received bruised and sliced pears. I took this photograph of the pears --- £7.15 worth of pears, excluding shipping charges --- as soon as I took them out of the box:


I gently complained, and replacement red wax pears were sent --- but they were no better. I obliged by sending photographs of the shipping cartons, etc., in the hope that if the folks at Solstice could see how their goods were arriving at their customres' premises they could enhance their service.

I was promised a refund for the inedible, rotten pears. I am still waiting.

I had really hoped that, in Solstice, we had found someone who could bring some of the great things you can easily get in London to the provinces. I was willing to pay the price for the food and the service and shipping: in exchange, I expected at least reasonable customer service, and good quality merchandise.

Sadly, I received neither. I will not be using Solstice again.

Any suggestions on a company that might be able to deliver on its promises?

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I have always enjoyed my Solstice orders and the fact that they deliver in nice solid , wooden trays. My last order was by courier rather than Solstice van and was a mess with several items crushed and the more delicate things simply smashed. I have yet to have a complete order and usually make 2 or 3 calls to try to get a refund for the missing items.Annoying when you are planning a dinner and the main ingredients are missing.

My guess is that when Solstice take care of things themselves it all works out fine, in the hands of a courier it is a disaster waiting to happen.

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I ordered way back, gosh, last year?

I was very dissapointed with my order and never ordered again, I was offered a discount on my next order.

perhaps within london all is well, but when shipping outside, with couriers I think the produce is to delicate.

Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

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Yes, I read on this forum how the shipments arrived in nice, strong wooden boxes --- but it was clear that this was in the London area only.

The cardboard boxes they used for shipping were way, way too thin. They were the type of thin box you'd use internally for lettuce, etc. --- not up to the challenges of being handled by a courier company, stacked in a truck, etc.

Here's a photograph of one of the boxes just after it arrived: all of the boxes were in the same poor condition:


Here's a photograph of the replacement Red Wax pears that I was sent by Solstice. They were little better than the first set:


And here's a close-up of one of the replacement pears. This was photographed just after we removed the pear from the bubble wrap:


Solstice thanked me for my feedback, taking the time to send them these photographs (sent by me to them on April 13), etc. --- and they promised a refund. But my two subsequent requests for the missing refund have been ignored.

It's as if they just had enough of this problem --- and were just hoping I would go away.

Well, I certainly have gone away as a customer. Life is just too short to hassle with suppliers --- particularly suppliers who supposedly sell an expensive, quality product to the carriage trade. I paid almost £8.00 for those lousy pears --- and while they did replace them graciously, the replacements were just as lousy.

And then they washed their hands of me, having promised a refund that has (so far) failed to materialise.

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