This Conversation came as a result of a customer accusing OxfarmAg Company of con, it was in a Facebook group – Buyers beware Kenya. The Post has since been removed.
The post from the customer said that OxfarmAg conned her Ksh. 380k.
This interview was carried on 16th Feb 2021 for clarification on the part of OxfarmAg Ltd, by Mr Cliff to the OxfarmAg Manager Nebat.
CLIFF: Explain about the issue of a customer losing 380k after ordering the seedlings from Oxfarm.
NEBAT: OxfarmAg Ltd started 2015 and was later formally registered in 2017. We are Licensed and Certified by Horticultural Crops Directorate Authority (HCDA) & Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) to propagate and sell fruit plants seedlings to farmers. We market ourselves with brand names Oxfarm Organic Ltd and Oxfarm.co.ke. Our websites are oxfarmorganic.com and oxfarm.co.ke.
As Oxfarm we acknowledge the issue on social media and we say it’s not a con. The farmer has the seedlings so to our knowledge he has not lost the cash.
We have various pixies seedlings sizes, small @Ksh. 250, medium @ Ksh. 500 and big @Ksh. 1000. When the customer came to our demo farm she needed Medium sized seedlings 1900 of them but at that time we didn’t have that number so she opted to go for small sized seedlings.
After payment was made on 16th December, we delivered the seedlings as agreed with an excess of more than 200 plants. The Customer communicated to us that she was dissatisfied with the sizes of some seedlings and we sent our representative to iron the issue.
CLIFF: Why was there a variance in sizes of delivered seedlings?
NEBAT: I must say there was a difference in the samples she had bought earlier after her visit to our demo farm and the seedlings she ordered and delivered. The samples she had bought were medium sized at discounted price of Ksh. 400. The ordered 1900 pixie seedlings were for small sized with a discount from Ksh. 250 to 200. What we didn’t meet is the customer expectation on sizes for some seedlings that she said were small.
The allegation that we delivered some pixie seedlings that were not grafted is not true since all our citrus fruit seedlings we sell are grafted apart from lemons. The scions might have been small making them seem non-grafted but they there all grafted.
CLIFF: What really transpired till the client had to complain on social media?
NEBAT: The client called us and said that the seedlings were small in size. When company representative was sent, there were 32 damaged seedlings, most were favorable sizes and some were small but not non-grafted. We agreed on replacing the small ones but also pointed out that he should give us 2-3 months for the seedlings we had to attain the sizes they needed. The farmer pointed out that he would communicate with the family members and then later gets back to us on either a refund or replacement. The client never got back to us.
CLIFF: How are you now handling the situation?
NEBAT: We have sent our representative (Mr. Mwangi) to the farm. He has confirmed about the seedlings that were planted 800 of them and also there were other seedlings not planted.
We have agreed with the farmer on refunding the unplanted seedlings.
CLIFF: We have seen other farmers dissatisfied about your seedlings, what are you doing about it?
NEBAT: First I must say we deal with very sensitive products. Plants are living things and need utmost care and proper management. In this case some of the seedlings get damaged on transit and as soon as the farmer communicates with us we do replacement. We have agronomists who visit famers in their farms for proper guidance on management of plants and also in our demo farms.
We insist on farmers to have an understanding that what they plant need much care, some farmers follow the guidelines we give them while others don’t and they end up blaming us for their failure.
We have happy farmers that we have served and also unhappy ones.
CLIFF: Kindly give your clients a protocol to follow whenever such an issue arises.
NEBAT: We welcome all our clients to visit us in our farms in case such an issue arises. If any client has an issue kindly visit us in our farm, call us or email. Our contacts are always provided in our website. Let us solve issues as soon as they arise not rushing to social media it causes more problems than solutions.
We really apologize to the customer for not meeting the needs as expected. We will play our part and ensure agreement we have made is fulfilled.