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Disappointing experience with flow hive cedar box - don't buy it


#1

I bought one of the original hives and the cedar box hasn’t lasted well. I needed another super and they were out of stock of Arucana so I ordered regretfully cedar . It arrived and I let the wood weather for quite a few weeks (undercover). The joints had bowed so I tried to tap the sides together with my hand. THe side (that has the opening/“door” cut out snapped! Then I had a look at the door/cut out and it had a full side to side crack in it. I put pressure on the crack because I didn’t want to oil it, set it up , have the bees take up residence and then for the thing to break.

And it snapped after about 1 second in my hand. I reported this with photos to Honey Flow team. I glued everything back together so the box could be a box, went ahead with oiling and set up anyway. After being offered a replacement, I said I’d like to wait and only if something went wrong could I have a replacement.
It was then that the support team really weren’t very supportive.
It was no - I can’t have a replacement because I used glue (only because it was broken!) and I should be aware that cedar is normally “fine”.
Then when I got annoyed about that, I was told again that the cedar is just fine and it’s my fault for “hammering” the wood and snapping the cracked door in my hand.
I found that to be such a crappy attitude when I thought I was fairly reasonable to start with. Its not a cheap product and the product was not fit for purpose without repair. Blaming customers and refusing to help is really disappointing and something to be aware of.
I think the description on the site of cedar having “minor defects” is misleading.

I note that there is nowhere online to leave reviews and I can’t help thinking that quality issues and poor after sales support might be the reason.


#2

Hi @Laney_Clancy, I don’t work for Flow but I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience. I think if you go through the posts on this forum you’ll find 99%, if not 100%, of people have had good experiences dealing with the Flow team. There are also a number of Flow staff that check the forums (like @Faroe) so perhaps one of them will reach out to you and help you with a successful resolution.


#3

sorry to hear that bad experience- but just to say- we have multiple cedar flow hives in their 3rd year in the weather and they are all doing well- and still in good shape.


#4

I’m not sure if I’m reading the story correctly. It appears that you were offered a replacement in the early stages, but you knocked it back. Maybe you should have accepted that offer instead of waiting to see if something went wrong later on.

I also don’t work for flow.

Anyway it’s wood, I’m sure it can be fixed.


#5

I too don’t work for flow hive but I do work with timber a lot. I wonder why you didn’t take the offer of a replacement when you showed them with pics and reported the problem.
Any timber, including cedar, can split or bow as it dries out. I bought two hoop pine Supers and frames and after assembling them I elected to paint them as paint lasts longer between re-coats.
I think someone from Flow Hive like @Faroe might pick up your thread and look into the issue for you, they really are looking at having happy customers.
Welcome to the forum, there is lots of advise here from friendly nice bee keepers.
Cheers


#6

For those two who were wondering:

  • I didn’t take the replacement because I had glued it all back together and it looked like all would be well. I thought I’d be helpful and not make too much fuss when I had a working box and I had spent time on it already. I just wanted them to know and I wanted to be able to get a replacement should my gluing be an unsuccessful solution. On reflection, given how disappointed I was with what the team said, I wish I had.

A product should be fit for purpose and should not fall apart immediately no matter what its made of - I think that’s basic consumer expectation (and law). Well, that’s mine anyway, I’m surprised people in the responses above would be OK with their boxes breaking. But horses for courses I guess.

Thanks @SnowflakeHoney , I’ll see if @Faroe gets in touch.


#7

The product wasn’t fit for service & you were offered a replacement. What more could they do? I’m not a happy OR sad flow customer because I’ve never dealt with them.

As a fair minded person, I believe that flow met their basic consumer obligation by offering you a replacement, which you knocked back.

You could try glue & clamps next time to see if that works. If you send it up to me or @Peter48, one of us could fix it for you. cheers


#8

I’ve had the same experience with the cedar hives and boxes. And I think the wood itself is bad. There were so big gaps in the joints , that I could look through it from the inside. But everything that was broken or very curved ,they have replaced. But the poor wood or the poor craftsmanship,that is your own problem.
Cheers maid


#9

Hi Laney,

I’m really sorry that you have been disappointed with your Flow Super Hybrid box. This was sold with a discount of $130 because of possible imperfections and because it was older stock.
I do however agree, that it should be fit for purpose, and that is why replacement parts were originally offered.

I’m also sorry that you feel that you didn’t receive the customer support you deserve.
Flow always tries to work with our customers to come to the best outcome. I can see that you were offered replacement parts, and even a replacement Super box when you realized you ordered the wrong size.
In this case you are getting an extra box (hopefully no further issues). You should be able to put it together with possibly some sanding of the finger joints. It is better to sand rather than tap wood together, as this can split the wood.
In regards to the glue, this is a case of misunderstanding, and I apologize for any inconvenience or frustration. My colleague thought you had glued the box together, aka the joints, and in this case, replacements are not possible, as you normally can’t take a Super apart that has been glued together at the joints. I hope you understand what he meant in this circumstance.

You can write a review on any of our product pages and we also send out emails asking our customers for feedback and reviews (we normally wait a little while until they have had a chance to assemble and/or use before we send the review email).
You can see some reviews on our homepage and on each individual product page:

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I really hope that Flow customer support will be able to make you feel happy and satisfied, as this is our main priority (as well as providing a top product).

If you would like some painting and wood treatment tips you can have a read of this faq here:
https://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/all/what-paint-or-varnish-is-safe-to-coat-my-flow-hive-with/p/152
It is also discussed extensively on the forum, (searching in the top right hand corner of the screen) e.g.

Please be in touch with customer support if there is anything else we can do for you info@honeyflow.com