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Frequently Asked Questions
Is this just a shopping cart with a cute name?
No, this is a slightly different system. Because our farm's output is changeable and we need to spend most of our time out in the fields and orchards, we've designed our website to show what we hope will be available. The shopping basket provides a way for you to request products, and for us to communicate with you about their availability.
When we get your request, we check to make sure we can fill it, recalculate the price of the items you requested that we can send you, add shipping and handling, and send you an email advising you of what we can send, and how you can pay us. We reserve your goods for a reasonable period of time to allow you to arrange for payment.
Promptly upon receiving your payment, we ship your goods.
We like the extra steps in this system, because we believe it preserves some of the personal aspects of the transaction. Automated shopping cart systems, when they work right, take the people right out of the exchange. We like a more cordial, personal relationship with folks who buy our produce.
Please note: book orders and Orchard Calling Cards go directly through PayPal. If you are ordering other items at the same time, not to worry -- we are human on this end and we will package your order together.
Okay, I've tried and tried, and now I'm frustrated. Should I just give up?
Goodness NO! We're sorry for any inconvenience. Help us solve the problem. Write a short email explaining what went wrong and send it directly to the Heartsong Farm websters. We'll get right back to you, do our best to resolve the problem, and arrange for a nice little gift by way of thanks and apology.
Like we keep saying, it's so much better when you come visit us at the farm ...but who's to stand in the way of progress? We've done everything we can to make your online shopping experience humane, efficient, and pleasant, but if you're experiencing difficulties, we need your help to make sure problems don't recur.
I'm confused. I have something in my basket and I want to order more. What do I do now?
By all means, order more! Click any of the department links to go directly to those items, or click the Order More link to return to the page you were on when you added something to your basket.
Oops! I ordered something I don't want. What to do?
You can either click Remove to make the item go away, or replace the number ordered with zero then click Update. If you want to completely clear your basket and start over, click Clear Basket.
I want three of something but the basket only has one in it. Can I get more?
You bet. Just replace the 1 with the number you want, then click Update.
I know you grow the product I want, but I can't find it or it says it's sold out. Is there anything I can do to make sure this doesn't happen again?
Yes: Buy a Reserve Note at the beginning of the season. We're a small farm, and our produce is limited by the weather, seasons, demand, our time, and numerous other factors. Nevertheless we want our loyal customers to get the garlic, herbs, and other produce they need, and that's why we offer Reserve Notes.
These days, small farmers face special confounds, and your purchase of Reserve Notes for the special items you cannot live without goes a ways toward making our work easier. Like the Community Supported Agriculture arrangement in many communities, consumers help farmers finance the crops as they go in the ground, and are rewarded with a reliable and preferential source of food at harvest time. Reserve Notes are a way for you to express your confidence in us, and for us to be sure to reserve enough of our crops for you.
Okay, I've put everything I want in my basket. What next?
Click Check Out. You'll be asked for your email address (which we promise is safe with us) and then, if your coordinates are already in our records, we show you what we think we know and give you a chance to set us right. If we don't know you, you'll get to fill up a form with your address and shipping data. If you want to send the order to a different address, you'll have a chance to enter that address. Finally, you'll be asked to confirm the items in your order. Up to this point you can go back and order more, remove items from your order, or abandon your basket altogether.
As soon as you confirm your order, our computer sends you a confirming email, and notifies us of your order. One of the folks here will review your order as soon as possible, and will send you an email requesting payment and explaining any changes that we have had to make in your order.
I'm nervous about giving out my email address. Can you promise me you'll never reveal it to anyone else?
Yes, absolutely. We will NEVER share or sell our precious email list with anyone else. For more about the ins and outs of what we do to preserve your privacy, please read our Privacy Statement.
How do I pay you?
We're a small business, and don't want to add the cost of Amazon-style shopping amenities to the prices you pay. Therefore we have decided to ask for your personal check -- our first choice -- or payment via PayPal, a large and very secure payment portal that offers small businesses like ours, and their customers, reasonably priced payment services.
When you get your payment request from us, it will explain how to arrange for payment by one of these two means. Sorry, we cannot accept credit card payments ...and if you'd like to pay cash, may we suggest you drop by the farm and pay us directly? That's really our favorite way to do business.
I have heard bad things about PayPal. Should I worry?
We, too, have had unsettling experiences with PayPal ...and have also read horror stories about abuse of online shopping carts and widespread credit card fraud. In our experience, the threat is exaggerated.
We firmly believe that our shopping basket system, and its interaction with PayPal, is as secure as, say, letting a server in a restaurant take your card in payment for a meal. In fact, because our volume is small and PayPal's security efforts are comprehensive, we expect that your payment through PayPal is safer than walking across the street.
We do have some specific advice for our PayPal customers: educate yourself about phishing. This is a big enough deal that the US Federal Trade Commission has an online alert. PayPal itself is painfully aware that it, and a few large banks like CitiBank are favorite targets for scammers, and has placed a special advisory on their website explaining how to identify fraudulent emails -- or "phishing expeditions".
The simplest advice we can give you is, Ignore any emails purporting to be from PayPal that claim your account is in jeopardy and you must click a link and update your account. PayPal never sends emails like that. If in any doubt, always start your web activity at the PayPal home page, paypal.com.
When clicking on a link in an email that purports to connect you with PayPal, make sure the actual web address you are sent to really is PayPal and not a site belonging to some bottom-dwelling scum-sucker. You can practice this with the payment request email you will receive from us when you order. Bogus web pages, pages that pose as PayPal and ask for your account information, will look suspicious. Real PayPal addresses always START with www.paypal.com.
This is a big deal for PayPal and CitiBank, but not for honest folks like us. Your credit card company indemnifies you against internet fraud because they want you using their cards online. Whole rooms full of smart employees at PayPal work 24-7 to protect against fraud. You can be confident that as long as you use common sense and pay attention, your identity and credit card are safe.
PayPal seems a little cranky and difficult. Why use them?
First off, if you're nervous about sending money electronically, come to the farm and hand us cash! Or mail us a check. We're old school, too, and prefer the personal interaction. But for many of our customers, online ordering is a convenience and we want their business.
PayPal has rules and procedures that it requires, and like all bankers, its insistence on customer compliance with their demands is narrow. This proves inconvenient and even impossible for a very few customers, and if you have an experience like this, we want to hear about it. In our experience, however, once you have established a PayPal account, you will find that using it for online purchases is even more convenient than conventional shopping cart systems that scatter your personal data onto computers all over the place. We chose PayPal because it is comprehensive, secure, and simple... we don't want to sound like a broken record here, but: ...as long as you use common sense and pay attention.
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