Monday, January 13, 2014

Meyer vs McMurray

I know this topic has been done before, but I wanted to have my own thread based off of my own experiences.

So far I have ordered from both places.  I ordered from McMurray last year, and I had good experience with the chicks I bought from them, and the customer service was outstanding.  I also had an excellent chick survival rate (until something funky went own in my own coop, but I don't think that it was a hatchery issue).  About a week after I received my order, one of my chicks died, and when I called them, I got no hastle, no bad attitude, and the woman was so warm and nice.  A friend of mine wanted to go in on the order with me, and we ended up ordering from both companies.  What led to ordering from Meyer was the price of their chicks, and they offered a few different breeds with an option of ordering only pullets.  I felt if Meyer would get online and personally respond to posts that I have seen, they must have great customer service so I wanted to make a point to support that as well.  I also read many reviews to indicate Meyer is a good place to buy some back yard chickens.  Both orders are scheduled to arrive first week of February so my review will take some time to complete.

From Meyer we ordered two Olive Eggers and several Easter Eggers, along with Barred Rocks, Salmon Faverolles, and Welsummers.  Obviously the Olive and Easter Eggers are both Ameraucana mixes, so how will we be able to tell them apart?  I had a couple of suggestions to have the Olive Eggers given dye marks at the hatchery.  Horray!  I get to put my customer service review to the test since I had to call them. I may as well add a couple more pullets to the order (two Buff Orpingtons).  The woman who answered did not give me a good sense of customer service.  She sounded depressed and tired, and when I told her what I wanted, she acted like she was being bothered by me asking.  When I asked about the dye marks I received a couple seconds of silence and she said, "Well, all I can do is make a note on the account to see if they can." (remember, depressed tone)  I said my thank you and hung up.   I wanted her off the phone so badly I didn't even wait for a good bye.  That experience was my first to ever talk to a representative from Meyer and I do not want to call them ever again.  That was NOTHING like when I called McMurray.

From McMurray we ordered Speckled Sussex, Black Star, and two Mottled Houdans.  (We also opted for the Free Rare Exotic chick).  I haven't had to call them yet, but I did send them a message regarding ordering extras and what happens to the males that aren't sold.  Here is their reply:


You may call us or check our website frequently before your order is shipped to see if there are any more females available of the breed you desire.

Typically, we do not have extra males available as some customers order males only.  If we do happen to have some extra males we have a contract with a local person to purchase them.  

Please let us know if we can be of more assistance.

Even though it is easy to fake a happy note through e-mail, I still appreciated they took the time to answer my questions honestly without giving me a sense of feeling bothered.

Summery:  McMurray wins Customer Service hands down.

I forgot to mention that I had spoken with a Sales Representative with Meyer through their Online Chat, and was pretty pleased with the information I was given.  She seemed nice and informative.

After I posted the above article through a thread in BYC, I received a PM from an online representative stating:

At first I was put off that they would be disgusted with me for my opinion not disgusted with my situation.  I just brushed that off.  I think it could have been worded a bit differently so I as a customer would not feel offended.  I haven't heard anything else regarding the subject from the hatchery, so I assume everything was taken care of.  I'm not looking for compensation or anything, just curious what will happen from here.  The subject was monitored for a while after the subject came up.  ::shrug::

Some one replied with a statement Customer Service doesn't matter, just the health of the chicks and of course what is ordered is correct.  I had to disagree.  With my reply:

I don't agree.  Regardless if it was leg-banding or some other type of marking.  I'm new to ordering chickens. I didn't even know there was an option to mark different breeds, how was I supposed to know banding is what is typically done?  I want suggestions and information, not attitude.  Where the health and the order itself is important, customer service is going to determine if I would be a return customer and recommend a helpful company to some one like me not really experienced in ordering.  As far as judging an entire company based off of one employee, the employees are the front of the business so to speak.  The employees set the tone for the entire business, regardless if it is just one it could potentially put a bad vibe on the entire experience.  One person not seeming like they want to be bothered could lose the company a lot of money. 

My review is meant to make it helpful for someone (and my own) decide which hatchery they would rather deal with.  This would include customer service if calls are necessary.

Edit January 23, 2014:  This past Tuesday I called McMurray Hatchery to add two Black Jersey Giant pullets.  I know. What was I thinking?  At least, that's what my mother said to me when I called her to tell her about it.  I couldn't help it!  I also want some Lavender Orpington pullets, but I'm not going to pay $35.00 for a chick of hatchery quality.  It's just not going to happen.  I am in the middle of seeking out good breeders to purchase hatching eggs or day old chicks that's at least within driving distance.    Anyway, I'm getting away from myself and my ADHD is running rampant again.  When I called, I enjoyed talking with the representative.  I even remember her name.  Peggy!  I think I talked to her last year too.  She is very nice and is quick with the keys.  ;)  Anyway, the experience was pleasant.

After I got off the phone, I looked up the Meyer Hatchery order and found they added an EE pullet at no extra cost.  Not bad. Then there wasn't any extra payment for the Buff Orpingtons I ordered, or the extra shipping.  That's nice of Meyer Hatchery to do that, though I wish I would have gotten an e-mail or something confirming the order change.  To double check the last statement, I went online, and it looks like the "payments" tab isn't working right now so I cannot say that's true yet.
It is true (unless they go back and charge the card later).

If they actually keep it this way, they will have completely redeemed themselves, though I still think I should have gotten an e-mail to indicate the change, and a "I'm sorry this is what happened so this is what we are doing to compensate that experience with you."  Instead, I'm thinking they payment may have been overlooked so my moral standing is saying, "give them a call to make sure it hasn't been over-looked."  I'm not complaining, I'm really not.  It's just an observation.

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