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17 February 2023

Your wins: Bunnings delivers unsuitable garden mix, customer doesn't dig it

Bunnings makes it right with a Consumer member after a garden mix mishap.

Peter* took delivery of two cubic meters of garden mix last spring from Bunnings. Before he planted camellias into it, he carried out a pH test and found it was completely unsuitable.

Compost soil

The garden mix had a pH level of 8 when the ideal soil for camellias is between 5.5 and 6.5.

“The prospect of having to dig out and dump two cubic litres of unusable product was not a happy one,” Peter said.

He even got the garden mix tested by a local laboratory which confirmed the result of his initial testing.

Most garden mixes should have a pH level of 7 or lower because it suits most plants. At a higher pH, it’s more difficult for plants to get the nutrients they need. A high pH is usually from too much calcium carbonate which comes from lime, eggshells or seashells.

Under the Consumer Guarantee Act (CGA), it’s up to the retailer to put the situation right.

Peter said Bunnings was very helpful and supplied him with pumice to help bring the pH level down. But the company overlooked reimbursing Peter for some peat moss he bought from another retailer for $80.

After approaching our Consumer Advice Line, our adviser Maggie explained that under the CGA the retailer should reimburse Peter for any foreseeable costs to rectify the faulty product.

Peter emailed Bunnings asking for the reimbursement, which he received on the same day.

Bunnings head of merchandise, Carl Halford, said its provider of garden mix, “is a long-time supplier of ours and is really popular among our customers for its reliable garden products”.

“It has an industry-leading quality assurance program that ensures all its products are of high quality and meet the required standards.”

“We’re always happy to help customers with any questions or concerns they have regarding products they’ve purchased in our stores,” Carl said.

Peter is very happy to report that the camellias are now growing well in the modified garden mix.

*name changed for privacy

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