Worm Weight Loss During Shipping

Good question from John:

Hi Bentley, What is acceptable weight loss for worms in transit? I ordered 10 pounds of reds from {Business Name Omitted}. The box came across the p.o. scales at 9# 11 oz. The empty box/bags were 13oz making the worms and peat under 8#. They were shipped Mon and delivered Wed am. The box did not have any air holes for moisture to escape. I want to get into the business and this doesn’t seem quite right. {Business Name Omitted} has not answered my enquiry. Thanks

I actually responded to John already via email, but then decided this should be posted where everyone can see it. Obviously I’m not going to name names here, but I’ll be honest – there is ONE particular name that continues to come up over and over again (in emails I receive) linked with reports of poor product and terrible customer service. It makes me angry, and I’m tired of seeing people taken advantage of – so I felt it was important to say something about it.

With that out of the way, here is gist of what I said to John about worm weight loss during shipping…

YES – there absolutely can (and usually will) be some weight loss during the shipping of composting worms. After all, they are basically just little bags of water. They are shipped in boxes with dry bedding materials – so it’s inevitable that there will be some moisture loss. This may be especially true during warmer months (as you might imagine). Generally speaking, this isn’t something you should obsess over or worry to much about.

That being said…

During the winter, if you receive less than 8 lb worms AND peat moss for a 10 lb worm order, you’re not being treated fairly. If that was only worm-weight I could maybe see how it could be reasonable (especially during warmer months), but even that’s a stretch. Bottom-line, there is NO way your order ever contained 10 lb of worm biomass, if your final weight includes the peat most they were shipped in (and is still below 8 lb).


I know from experience that shipping live worms is not without its challenges. There are certainly cases where customers are difficult to please regardless of how much care and attention you put into the harvesting/packing/shipping process, or how hard you try to make things right. As such, I try to avoid taking a “soap box” stance about these sorts of things as much as possible.

But when the same name comes up over and over, and OVER again – it just gets a little ridiculous! If you are a worm supplier and you receive a LOT of complaints (many of which you seem to ignore), perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate how you do business. Perhaps it’s time to put more focus on product quality and customer care/satisfaction than on marketing and revenue generation. Aside from the value of actually helping others – this just makes good sense from a long-term business perspective!

News travels fast these days – especially bad news. So it’s only a matter of time before these sorts of practices will come back to bite you!

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Comments

    • Bentley
    • January 31, 2013

    Man oh man – I think I really opened a “can-o-worms” with this one! lol
    Sorry folks – if you make reference to who you think I’m talking about, the comment will be removed.

    Definitely not trying to wage war with this post (and associated comments). More of a warning – and not just to the company in question.

    Thanks for your co-operation!
    🙂

    • Bentley
    • January 31, 2013

    One other important thing to mention…

    In all fairness to the business in question, I have since learned that they did eventually respond – and have actually offered to send a replacement batch of worms. So perhaps they’ve decided to turn over a new leaf!
    😉

    • john w.
    • January 31, 2013

    haha…no fun 🙂

    • Ben
    • February 1, 2013

    You’re being very protective of a company name that consistently provides the Ultimate in abJect service to its customers.

    Yeah, I’m subtle. Like a ton of bricks. >_>

    • Bentley
    • February 1, 2013

    I’ve never personally dealt with them, and I don’t feel that – as a worm seller myself – it’s very professional to make direct accusations. I felt this was a better approach than simply saying nothing at all. Not my aim to “protect” them although I guess I can see how you would view it that way since I’ve removed “freedom of speech” from the comments section of this particular post.

    Food for thought!

    • Cindy
    • February 1, 2013

    I just wanted to say…. Thank you. I received my worms yesterday. I have just started this acventure. I was worried how they’d do in this cooooold weather…. Well. They showed up without any problems. Ummm. At least I haven’t heard any worm sneezes yet *’-‘* Thanks again.

  1. Selling by the count is one way a certain supplier avoids the weight issue.Actually had quite a few count their worms though.It was way short!Lol! Having sort of the same discussion over at a certain forum i’m on.Believe me Bentley,the certain shipper doesn’t like me at all.I got two shipments from them in the beginning.If you can remember that far back you tried to help me with what i thought i was doing wrong.Didn’t know i had gotten Blue worms buddy! Know they give you the willies! Ha Ha!!!!

    • Bentley
    • February 2, 2013

    LoL
    Hey Larry! Nice to see you ’round these parts!
    😉
    I can’t imagine ANY supplier literally counting their worms (Red Worms anyway). They would seriously be devaluing their time if so! My assumption has always been that suppliers are simply using the “1000 Red Worms = 1 lb” rule (which MAY be an ok way to estimate numbers, but certainly isn’t close to a set-in-stone law) when they claim to sell by the count.

    • Peter
    • February 3, 2013

    I don’t know if it’s just the USA due to their Corp/lawsuit laws, but might be best not to name just in case. I saw it first hand with my aquarium hobby. A certain fish supplier sued a few individuals for $15 million due to comments posted. Then sued sites who posted ads for a defense fund. Then sued Google. As the person represented himself, it of course cost him no money. Not sure if the rules of what you can say, or restrictions to lawsuits have changed since then.

    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/02/10/03/1239211/google-sued-as-petswarehouse-lawsuit-continues

    • Ben
    • February 6, 2013

    Yeah, not using the name is a good idea. The protective comment I made was because I was going to try to work in another acronym, and then deleted it because the sentence ended up even more fragmented than it already was. 🙂 And I can attest to the fact that Larry is quite outspoken in his hatred of them. I, personally, have never had to deal with shipping worms thankfully. Portland has a number of avenues for procuring worms, but if I did. Bentley would be my guy. I don’t think I’ve EVER heard a complaint about his worms. On ANY forum.

    • Bentley
    • February 6, 2013

    PETER – Yikes! That’s sobering. Now I’m really glad I kept things hush hush!
    —–
    BEN – thanks for the kind words! I’ve been lucky to connect with an awesome supplier, and I work hard to keep the channels of communication open with my customers.
    🙂

    • Krystal
    • February 10, 2013

    Could someone please let me know where you have bought worms that had great customer service and you recieved what you ordered. I am new to worms and I really need this to work out or I will behearing a BIG ‘I told you so’ from my husband. And is it better to order by the lb or by the count?

    • Miles Cunningham
    • March 13, 2013

    Would it not be better to sell worms on volume rather then weight? “I’ll have 3 cups please”. It would make it easier for the sellers don’t you think?

    • Bentley
    • March 13, 2013

    KRYSTAL – must have missed your comment (sorry about that). So as not to sound too biased (lol), I’ll recommend that you ask this question on the “Vermicomposters” or “GardenWeb” forums. People will help get you pointed in the right direction.
    ————
    MILES – volume of worms would be subject to the same issues as poundage. What starts as say 3 cups of worms, could easily be less after being shipped in hot dry weather since a lot of the water volume could end up being released (and then evaporate)

    • Pat C
    • May 16, 2013

    If so many people are having this many problems with a particular company, I would think that someone should have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau by now. Of course they have been known to give triple A ratings for some that would make you raise your eyebrows in amazement. But I guess they use a different rating scale other than public opinion. Just a thought though if this is a real problem.

    My husband and I are business owners and customers are our bread and butter so to speak. We certainly don’t need our customers ticked off with us! We understand that they can certainly shop elsewhere if they choose to.

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