*Please read this first if you are considering ordering from Protero Inc.*
I would like to share my experience with attempting to order a Protero bagging system for my John Deere 1025R. This was for the PV18 w/PTO blower for my John Deere 1025R with 60D deck (60” deck). In short, it wasn’t pleasant, and I caution all of you who are considering. Please read this and learn from my experiences. Let me explain…
Let me preface this by first mentioning that I had done my homework on this system. I read all of the reviews on various websites, taking in all of the negative reviews, some positive reviews, and endless nightmare stories. I really wanted a dump from the seat bagger made of quality components, so I was willing to undergo the “headaches” and delays that others have experienced.
In summary, when I first called Protero I spoke to Bob, the owner, and expressed concerns that I have seen numerous complaints online regarding their company shipping incorrect parts, missing parts, and extremely long delays in shipping the products. Bob assured me that there would be no issue, and that I would have the bagger within 3 weeks of ordering the product. I ordered with him on the phone on 8/11/16 for the amount of $3,100. My credit card was charged in full that day.
10 weeks passed, and I never received a complete, working product. I am not in possession of a product. I had full intentions on receiving the product, hence why I spent countless hours and days over the course of 10 weeks trying to obtain it. I was more than reasonable and patient with this company.
Ultimately, Protero canceled my order without my consent or opinion, and issued a refund of $2,500, which is not the full purchase price of $3,100. I have had no further contact with Protero after they canceled my order without my knowledge, as my previous communications with them have only resulted in failed attempts, lack of customer service, wasted time and extreme frustration.
At 7 weeks into this horrible experience, Protero issued me a $600 credit for all of my inconvenience: taking time off of work, having to spend hours on the phone, additional time emailing requesting my bagger, taking photos of the damaged and incorrect parts, purchasing new grass seed and replanting it due to the lawn dying from the leaves that had fallen over the weeks I was left waiting for the arrival of my bagger, for the cost of hiring a company to have the leaves blown off of my lawn, as a result of the company failing to send me the product, etc.
Included are my very detailed notes of the countless emails and phone calls I have had with Protero, Inc. in attempt to order the bagger for my tractor. I have also included the email chains, in addition to photos of the incorrect and damaged items (that were returned), and the damage my property sustained as a result of Protero’s delays and blatant dishonesty.
History of my order with Protero Inc.
Spoke with both Bob Doran (Owner) and Jim Seeger
5401 Boone Ave N
New Hope, MN 55428
8/11/16 - Spoke with Bob. He assured 3 week shipment date. Ordered bagger for $3,100. The amount of $3,100 was charged to the Chase card immediately.
9/7/16 – (4 weeks after order) Called and spoke with Bob. He said there was a delay and that it would ship by 9/14.
9/14/16 – (5 weeks after order) Called and spoke with Bob. He said there was another delay and that it would ship by 9/16.
9/16/16 – Called and left voicemail for Bob. Stated that I was following up to confirm the shipment of my bagger as he promised it would be shipped today, and requested a callback today. I then sent an email via their "Contact Us" tab on their website:
I placed my order for the PTO driven bagger for my John Deere 1025R with you on 8/11/16. I expressed my concern about the "gimmicks" experienced by others when ordering with you, specifically relating to delayed shipping. You assured me multiple times during that conversation that you are 3 weeks out and that my unit would ship within 3 weeks of ordering. I have spoken with you twice since then, both times receiving excuses and promises of shipment within a few days. The last time we spoke (9/14/16), you stated that my unit would ship today (9/16/16), which is a few days away from being 6 weeks since I ordered. I have yet to hear from you or receive an email update. I would like an email or phone call back today.
9/19/16 – (6 weeks after order) Received email from Jim at Protero simply stating that my bagger has shipped. No mention of my previous email or concerns.
9/23/16 – (6 weeks after order) Picked up damaged bagger at trucking company. Arrived home and began to unbox bagger. Found the following: severe damage to both bagger and motor assembly, missing driveshaft, all connector parts were incorrect (all were for 54” deck, not 60” deck). Damaged and inoperable. Called Protero and spoke with Jim, who did not seem concerned and simply requested photos.
9/26/16 – Sent the following email to Jim at Protero:
Jim, As a follow-up to our phone conversation on Friday afternoon (9/23), I am sending you the numerous photos showing both the damage, missing and wrong parts that were sent to me, as you requested.
On 8/11/16, I called and spoke with Bob. I expressed my concern about the numerous problems other customers have experienced with ordering from your company, specifically relating to delayed shipping, and missing or wrong parts once the product finally arrived. Bob assured me multiple times during that conversation that your company was “3 weeks out” and that my unit would ship within 3 weeks of ordering. He assured 3-week shipment date. Based on his word and assurance, I placed my order with him for the PV18 w/PTO blower for my John Deere 1025R with 60D deck (60” deck). The full amount of $3,100 was charged my credit card that day. On 9/7/16 (4 weeks later), I called and spoke with Bob to inquire about the shipment of my bagger. He said there was a delay and that it would ship by 9/14. On 9/14/16, I called and spoke with Bob. He said there was another delay and that it would ship by 9/16. On 9/16/16, I called and left a voicemail for Bob, and followed up with an email as well. I received an email response from Bob later that day informing me that my bagger would be shipped the following Monday. I received an email the following Monday from you (Jim) informing me that my bagger had shipped, 6 weeks after I placed my order.
On 9/23/16, I picked my bagger up at [local trucking company]. As they were loading it in my truck, I immediately noticed several gashes, scratches, and abrasions on the bagger container itself. It appears I was sent either a used item or one that was damaged during transit. When I arrived home and unpackaged all of the items, I noticed several abrasions on the PTO blower assembly. In addition, I immediately noticed that a PTO shaft was not included with my delivery. When looking over all items included, it was easy to see that I was sent the wrong parts: the deck blocking plate, deck mount assembly, deck mount bracket, and baffle plate are all incorrect. The cover of the manual that was included states it’s for the John Deere 1000 Series 60”, however, the individual pages for the above-mentioned parts state they are for a 54” deck. Simply put, the mounting holes do not line up with my 60” deck.
I have spent 6 weeks, countless hours contacting your company for an update on the shipment, a day taken off of work to pick my shipment up, review all parts for accuracy, calling and speaking with you multiple times on the phone last Friday, all for nothing. The bagger is inoperable for my application, incorrect and damaged. As I mentioned on the phone, I had to hire a landscaping company to remove leaves that are falling due to me not having my bagger in the time promised, costing me hundreds of dollars. As a fellow business owner, I would be appalled by the delays, lack of accuracy, and subpar customer service if this were the reflection on my business - it would simply not be tolerated. I am requesting that you send me a completely new and accurate bagger system shipped directly to my home, and refund me $1,000 for all of my time and troubles. I would like you to personally review the order before it is shipped and ensure all correct parts are included, all items are in new condition and make sure both pallets are heavily covered in protection or wrap to prevent damage during transit. Please let me know when you can ship out my new system, and how you want to handle the return of the one that was sent to me.
As requested, attached are numerous photos. They are titled appropriately and show the damaged items, as well as the incorrect parts. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
9/27/16 – Received the following email from Bob:
I am not sure how your catcher got so damaged. It was truly very bad. As far as the mix up of the 54” deck, we have a new person who for some reason got confused with the two decks and thought they were the same. We will take it back immediately. Please put it back on the pallets. You can just use rope or twine to tie it down. Let me know when it is ready and I will have someone come pick it up at your home. I will have to check into timing for shipping you a new system. I apologize for the trouble. I am very sorry.
9/27/16 – Spoke with Bob. He apologized several times, and said that is the worst damage he has seen. He said he was going to have a truck come and pick it up tomorrow. He said he will be able to ship out a new unit next week, and it should arrive at our house by the end of next week (by 10/7/16). I asked him to personally review all items for damage and correct parts before it ships, he said he will. He also said he is willing to refund $600, so I said that's fine.
9/28/16 – Bob sent me the “Bill of Lading” for the shipment return. When I asked about when he scheduled the pickup at my house, he made me call the company for that. I called the company, who had no record of me or Protero – they don’t do residential pickup/delivery. Bob sent me another “Bill of Lading” for a different company. I asked about pickup date/time. He said it should be the following day.
I packed up both pallets, placed the “Bill of Lading” and numerous address labels in plastic on both pallets (as requested by Bob), and placed in my driveway.
10/6/16 – Both pallets still in my driveway. Received a call from Jim at Protero saying that they have not received the unit. I said that I was aware, as the pallets have been in my driveway for a week. He said the shipping company tried to contact me on several occasions, I told him that I did not receive a call from anyone. He forwarded me an email from the new shipping company saying that they were having trouble getting in contact with me. I told Jim that I would call them after I hang up with him. I asked him about the progress of my new shipment, as Bob promised it would be delivered to me by the end of this week. He said that they just received their cutting machine back yesterday, and that he would have to check with Bob and call me back. I never received a call back. I called the shipping company, and they said they would pick-up the pallets today around or after 4pm. Nobody came to pick the pallets up.
10/7/16 – Called and spoke with Jim. Told him that I was scheduled for a pickup yesterday at 4pm for the shipping company to pick up the pallets, they never showed. I asked about my shipment, he put me on hold. He came back on and told me it would be sometime next week for them to ship it out. I told him that was unacceptable, and explained numerous concerns – he was not sympathetic at all. I asked to speak with Bob, he said he was not in but would have him call me when he got in. I immediately sent the following email to Bob:
I just got off the phone with Jim. His lack of concern for my order is appalling and unacceptable. You need to address and resolve this today.
On 9/28/16, I packed up both pallets, placed the latest “Bill of Lading” and numerous address labels in plastic on both pallets, and placed them in my driveway. Both pallets are still in my driveway. I received a call from Jim yesterday saying that your company has not received the unit. I said that I was aware, as the pallets have been in my driveway for a week. He said the shipping company tried to contact me on several occasions, I told him that I did not receive a call from anyone. He forwarded me an email from the new shipping company saying that they were having trouble getting in contact with me. I told Jim that I would call them after I hang up with him. I wish you and your company had the same urgency to deliver my correct product as you do with regards to the return of the defective/incorrect product. I asked him about the progress of my new shipment, as you promised it would be delivered to me by the end of this week (today) when we last spoke on the phone on 9/27/16. He said that he would check with you and call me right back. I never received a call back. I called the shipping company, and they scheduled to pick-up the pallets yesterday around or after 4pm. I took off of work to be home, and nobody came to pick the pallets up, they are still in my driveway.
On 8/11/16, I called and spoke with you to inquire about purchasing the bagger. During our conversation, I expressed my concerns about hearing endless complaints about your company from other customers - late shipping, wrong parts and endless excuses. You assured me several times during that phone conversation that there would be no issues and promised a 3 week delivery. It is now coming on 9 weeks since I ordered from your company. You drafted my payment the same day I ordered, yet, I have not received my product or my partial refund you promised to issue.
The damaged/incorrect bagger has been in my driveway for over a week. I should not have to be wasting my time, that burden should be on your company. I have wasted countless hours calling your company, emailing you and Jim, taking detailed photos of the damaged/incorrect parts, calling multiple shipping companies, taking off of work to pick up the bagger and taking off of work to wait for the shipping company to pick up the bagger from my home (which they never did). This is completely unacceptable, and I am not going to tolerate any further excuses or delays.
During my brief conversation with Jim a few moments ago, he stated that you recently received your cutting machine back and will likely get my bagger out sometime next week. Not acceptable.
-You will issue a $600 refund to my credit card today.
-You will have your warehouse complete my bagger and ship it out today or tomorrow, even if they have to work over the weekend. Make it happen. With 2 day shipping, I expect the bagger (in perfect condition and with ALL correct parts) to arrive in my driveway by Tuesday 10/11/16.
-You will personally review all parts for accuracy and damage, and ensure it is packaged properly to prevent any damage during transit.
This has gone on long enough. If this is not resolved today, I will be doing the following next week: I will be contacting the Better Business Bureau (you already have an F rating) to file an official complaint. I will be filing a Consumer Complaint with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office. I will be contacting several local news channels to share my experience with your company. And finally, I will file a dispute claim with my credit card company for a full refund of the purchase price.
I expect you to take ownership of this major issue caused by your company and resolve this today. I don’t want any further excuses, just a resolution. I have been more than fair.
Received a voicemail from Bob, only stating that he would call me again in an hour. Never received a call back. Did receive an email from Protero stating a $600 credit will be issued. The shipping company picked up the bagger around 5:30pm.
10/11/16 – I called at 9:40am and Jim answered. I asked to speak with Bob, he said that he was not in and that he'd have him call me. Never received a call back. I called again at 3:30pm, Jim answered again and said Bob was on the other line and would call me back. Bob called me back about 20 minutes later. He said that he has been getting their machines up and running, and people were out sick again. He said he has a unit ready to ship out tomorrow, but wanted to send me pictures of the catcher first. Bob said, "With the plastic we use, there's always some kind of little scratch on it. There are certain corners that always have scratches due to the way they are stacked, and I don't know what you're looking for as far as perfection because this plastic is very durable but very soft." I replied that spending over $3,000, I would like to have it in brand new condition. He replied "Brand new for us with this kind of plastic, it's going to have some sort of scratches in it, that's why I want to send you some pictures of it first before we send it. And before we send it I want to make sure it's ok, otherwise, we'll have to say it's not going to work out, because I don't want to send it out if you're not going to be happy with it. If it's ok, we'll ship it tomorrow and it will be there Friday.” I said I'll review the pictures and that if there's a small scratch here and there that's understandable, but I don't want one in the condition of the last one. He said that the last one was terrible gouges and not sure how that happened, but did say that they occurred from both his factory and possibly in transit. He kept saying that he'd prefer I look at the photos before he sends it out so I can understand what it's going to look like otherwise "we're wasting our money shipping it, we might as well just say hey it's not going to work for you, which is fine."
Waiting for email containing photos of the scratches on the catcher.
10/12/16 – Never received the email containing photos. Sent Bob the following email this morning:
Not to my surprise, I never received the email containing the photos of the scratches on the catcher that you said you would send me yesterday for me to review during our phone conversation. If the unit has to ship out today in order to arrive at my home by this Friday (in 2 days), I would like to review them as soon as possible. I am not ok with this stretching out yet another week (which would be week 10, when you promised a 3-week delivery). Please send the photos to me ASAP. If it would be easier or faster, you can text them to me (the number you call me on is my cell phone).
Also, if I am ok with the scratches, I would like for you to package both pallets in such a way that more scratches cannot be easily made during transit, i.e. wrap the catcher and blower in cardboard before tying down.
I called this morning and Jim said Bob was on the other line. I told him to have him send me the photos he was supposed to last night. I received an email with a few pictures of the plastic catcher, which showed scratches and abrasions. Bob then called me to discuss. He said that this was the best condition one that they have, and that they all have some sort of scratch on them, they come from the plastic factory they work with that way. I told him to package both pallets in a way that would prevent further scratches/damage – he said that they would shrink wrap it a lot to prevent damage. He also said he would personally review ALL items with the warehouse guy before it ships to ensure all items are included, including the driveshaft, and ensure the parts are for the 60” deck, not the 54” deck. I told him to please go ahead and ship it, he said it will ship today and be here in 2 days (Friday). He will send me the tracking information when available.
10/14/16 – Never received the tracking information. Sent Bob the following email this morning:
I haven't received the tracking information you said you would send me after you ship it out on Wednesday. Do you know if the shipping company will call me before arriving today, or just arrive at my house to deliver the catcher? I need to have it today, so I would like to make myself available. Please let me know at your earliest convenience.
After multiple calls to Protero, I finally reached Bob at 6:17pm. I told him that I rearranged my work schedule so that I can be home today to wait for the delivery, yet I did not receive the delivery or a phone call regarding the delivery. He asked “did they call and say they were delivering today?” I said that nobody called me and that he told me that he was shipping it out on Wednesday via a 2 day delivery which would be here on Friday, which is today. He said “I don’t know, Jim did it and Jim is was out this morning, and I’ve been in meetings this morning. Well, where are you located?” I told him my location. He replied, “There’s no way it’s a 2 day, there’s nobody that does a 2 day to you, I never told you it was going to be a 2 day.” (He told me on the phone several times and assured me that it would be here today, and it was discussed in previous emails). I told him several times he did. He kept denying it, multiple times, saying “there’s not a 2 day to [my location].” He then said, “Let me find it, give me a minute, I’ll find it and give you a call back in a minute.”
Bob did not call me back, but rather sent the following email:
I don’t know where Jim put the shipment tracking. Everyone was gone here and I have to leave for an appointment. I will check first thing Monday and let you know.
10/17/16 – (10 weeks after order) Out of the blue, received an email from Bob stating that they have canceled my order without my approval or say so. They emailed me a refund receipt for $2,500, not the $3,100 purchase price:
After Friday we have decided to cancel your order. We contacted the freight company and are having the catcher returned to us. We have refunded the balance of your payment. Attached is the receipt. It takes about 3 days to get back into your account.
I did not initially respond to Protero, as I have wasted 10 weeks already and felt that I would not get anywhere with them.
I extremely caution anyone who is considering purchasing from this company. I am not the only customer who has experienced this type of trouble with this company. If you do proceed and order, I wish you the best of luck.