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Gardening Express Slams “Delivery” Company


Chris Bonnett, Chief Executive of Gardening Express, a leading online garden centre in the UK has today slammed its soon to be outgoing delivery agents, Amtrak, for what customers have been describing as an “appalling” delivery service.

“I would firstly like to take this opportunity to offer an apology to all customers that have been affected by late or delayed deliveries from us, as a result of the problems we have experienced with Amtrak. I currently have the matter in hand with a number of other companies pitching for the business to deliver our orders. I will also be writing to all customers affected in due course with an apology and goodwill gesture in an attempt to regain customer loyalty and reputation, that I fear has been substantially damaged by Amtrak’s lack of service.”

Chris explained, “I can’t go into all the technicalities for legal reasons, however, I can tell you that since Amtrak was bought out by an investment company, the service provided has declined significantly, not just for Gardening Express, but also for other firms involved in the mail order industry, I know of a very small firm that despatched two orders – and one of these, valued at over £700 was ‘lost’. I take the view that they have attempted to use bully-boy tactics against us a smaller company – but we’re a terrier, and not afraid to bite back.”.

Amtrak informed Mr Bonnett by telephone on Tuesday 24th April, that from Monday 30th they would no longer be able to handle Gardening Express’ deliveries. “Obviously I met such a ridiculous period of notice with a letter demanding sufficient time to recruit an alternative provider for deliveries. Previously they had been struggling to keep up with the volume of orders we were despatching each day, and ended up leaving a few despatches behind. If you are spending five figures a month on shipping, you would expect the company to be interested in keeping the work, perhaps adding some flexibility to their model or discussing any problems that may have crept in. Turning away a potentially lucrative contract would make me worried if I were an investor in Amtrak.”

A letter confirming Amtrak would continue to service the contract was received after Chris made his demands, however, come Monday 30th April, Amtrak failed to provide the service promised in the letter, and again on the Tuesday. It wasn’t until after frantic negotiations that a partial service was provided by Amtrak in an attempt to mitigate the situation. “The provision of 2 transit vans collecting parcels each day is hardly sufficient to a business more used to filling half an artic each day. Thousands of orders have been delayed, and we have had to make costly last minute alternative arrangements to try and get them moving again. Amtrak will be hearing from our legal team, and insurers regarding this matter in due course. In the meantime, I am trying to get the day to day running of the business back on track, and fighting for the provision of adequate service of our existing contract until the full notice period has been served”.

- Ends -

Further information:

Gardening Express - Chris Bonnett, 08000 33 61 61,

Digital images & interviews are available on request.

About Gardening Express

Gardening Express, based in Chelmsford, Essex, is a leading online Garden Centre in the UK. The business was created by Chris Bonnett, after he decided it would be a fantastic idea to combine his passion of the great outdoors and plants with the Internet. Over time, Chris built up the business, whilst studying for a degree at Writtle College, world-renowned in the world of horticulture. Since graduating 2 years ago and concentrating on developing the business full time, with a dedication to quality, service and value for money, Chris has turned the firm into the UK’s second largest online garden centre – with an eye firmly on the number one spot.


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