Customer Service Failure From Integration Acres (Albany, Ohio)

img_1222I don’t like to talk negatively about a business. Often, when I find a business with poor customer service, I just promise not to return and move on. Poor customer service is one thing. Apathy is something else.

You can read my earlier posts about the paw paw. It is on my “to do” list to try it for the first time. Sadly, I missed the season for fresh paw paw this year but I remembered a post that listed Integration Acres as a place to buy frozen paw paw. I ordered a bag a frozen paw paw pulp and two flavored paw paw pops. I was excited at prospect of tasting paw paw and writing about it.

First Integration Acres shipped the package of frozen item via UPS Ground. It took three days to get to me. All of the items were fully defrosted and the box had a stench when I opened it (see photos). A sad situation but easily corrected.

img_1223I called the number on the nice letter included in the package. The letter thanked me for my purchased and said to “call, text or email with questions, comments, experiences and suggestions”. I explained the situation and the nice man on the phone asked me to send an email with the details. He promised they would fix the issue. I send an email with details and photos.

Two days go by with no response. I called the number again and get voicemail. I leave my name and number and said I was confirming they received the email.

I get a text a few minutes later saying, “I’ll call you right back”. That was two days ago.

Promising to fix an issue then not responding is worse than poor customer service! Instead of writing a post praising Integration Acres for helping me solve a problem! I’m writing about this. Any ideas how to handle this?

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!


10/26/2016 – Update – Along with this post, I also did a review on Integration Acres’ Facebook page. They replied in less than two hours with the following, “Brent, we’re sorry for the delay in resolving the matter. We are processing fruit and shipping at the same time, and fell behind. Will issue your refund immediately, and will try to see what happened with UPS. Again, we’re sorry for not taking care of it sooner.” I got a credit a couple days later.

Found Some Paw Paw

paw-paw-photoI’ve written about paw paw in two posts, Presenting The PawPaw and The Search for a Paw Paw. I was looking to taste a paw paw this season. I nearly missed it!

I called a couple farms that sell paw paw. Both told me the season was done for this year. Paw paw season starts around the last week of August and can go until the middle of October. This year, unfortunately, there was a cold spell that ended the season early. In short, no more fresh paw paw this year.

This presents a question and a problem.

The question – You can get apples, bananas and other fruit nearly all year around thanks to global trade. Why can’t I find paw paw out of season? Well, here’s a Youtube video with the answer. I simple terms, I’m told the paw paw tastes great, but it doesn’t travel well. It’s a very fragile fruit.

The problem – How can I taste a paw paw this season? Thank you global trade! It’s too late for fresh paw paw but I can get it frozen. Integration Acres Ltd. sells seedless frozen paw paw pulp and other paw paw products. The frozen paw paw is only available while supplies last. I order a bag of frozen paw paw and two flavored paw paw pops (1 cherry & 1 strawberry). I got an email the order was shipped today. I’m looking forward to this.

I saw a post that’s great timing for my little project. Smithsonian Magazine did a post called, “Tired of Apples? Pick These Exotic Fall Fruits Instead“. It lists the paw paw along with six other exotic fall fruit. More stuff to try. What a wonderful world!

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

The Search for a Paw Paw

dreamstime_xs_59258417 - Common Pawpaw FruitI did a post on the Paw Paw back in February. Well, this is the season for the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. Tasting a paw paw is on my bucket list and I only have 3 weeks to go for the 2016 season!

Paw Paw trees are find in many Maryland State Parks. I’m told there are trees on the Billy Goat Trail along Maryland side of the Potomac River. That trail is also on my bucket list. That’s two for the price of one! I’m hoping to find a fruit stand on my way to the trail.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Presenting The PawPaw

dreamstime_xs_59258417 - Common Pawpaw FruitThe pawpaw (also paw paw or paw-paw) is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. The tree can be found in some Maryland State Parks. My interest in the fruit started back in September. Both the Elk Neck State Park and the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary sent Tweets with photos as the fruit was ripening on trees at their locations. Comments like “delicious” and “a cross between a mango and a banana” were shared in the tweets. I made a mental note to look into this.

Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Program has a web page with information on the pawpaw related to the state. The fruit can be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Fruit develop on the trees in September and October.

I will try the fresh fruit when they come into season for 2016. To get a taste sooner, I’ll have to try a preserved version. I ordered pawpaw jam from a specialty foods company. I’m looking forward to tasting something that’s “a cross between a mango and a banana”. Let me know if there are any paw paw fruit stands around Maryland.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!