Shipping Your Product
Since most shipments of hardwood flooring are larger and heavier than a typical package, orders must be shipped by freight carriers that use much larger trucks and equipment to handle the material. So instead of your order being placed in a box, material will be stacked on top of pallets or blocks and secured together with heavy duty straps and/or wrapping. It will then be loaded on a trailer to begin transit from one shipping terminal to the next, until it arrives to one in your local area. From there, a customer service rep from the freight carrier will contact you to schedule an appointment at your location.
Delivery times will vary on each order. If you live in the eastern or central part of ths US, then the majority of transit times will fall between 2-4 business days. West Coast shipments are more likely to fall between 4-6 business days. All delivery dates are estimated based on the tracking information provided when the product is picked up and begins transit. If a product is in stock when ordered, the shipment is likely to be picked up within a day or two of the order. The freight carrier handling your shipment will contact you at least one day before your delivery to schedule the time for the shipment to arrive. All delivery dates and times are estimates, so it is important not to schedule your installer until you have received your product. This also applies to any hired assistance for bringing the material inside the residence at the time of delivery. Be sure to confirm an exact delivery schedule with the freight carrier before arranging help. Transit times are estimates only and NOT guaranteed. Nature Wood Floors can not be held liable for any charges incurred by the customer because of schedule differences.
Freight Carriers are limited on how long they can hold an order once it arrives to the local delivery terminal. Most carriers allow 48 hours from the time the product arrives in their location to when they must have a delivery appointment scheduled with the customer. It is important for the customer to be available at their provided phone number for when the freight carrier calls to schedule a delivery appointment. If not, a return call must be made back to the carrier right away. Storage charges can be incurred to the customer if they do not schedule delivery within an appropriate time with the freight carrier. Orders can also be returned at the customer's expense if the customer denies these charges or does not give a response in time. It is important for any customer to plan ahead when placing orders that require a specific delivery date. In most cases, orders can be placed with a delayed shipping status to accommodate a specific delivery date range. This requires proper instruction from the customer to a Nature Wood Flooring rep before the order is processed. Call for additional details.
Unloading Your Shipment
Deliveries are mostly curbside and the driver is not responsible for bringing the flooring material inside your home. For deliveries that are located on a limited/restricted access road (ex: Cul-da-Sac, Low Power Lines/Trees, Unpaved or Curvy Conditions), the driver may not be able to get to the end of the driveway. In these situations, the driver will make a decision on where is the closest & safest place to deliver. Liftgate service is requested with most deliveries and can be an advantage to you for assistance in unloading the material from the truck, however, liftgate service is not guaranteed for all deliveries. In the instance where weight, length, volume, or location restricts the use of a liftgate, the customer must be prepared for those situations and cannot refuse a shipment based on this. We recommend to all our customers to always have a plan with additional assistance to help in unloading the material and bringing into the residence. Bundles/Cartons of flooring can weigh anywhere from 35 - 90 lbs, so it is important to plan ahead if assistance is needed. Someone 18yrs or older must be present at the time of delivery and able to sign for the material. Drivers are NOT allowed to drop material off without someone to sign for it.
Picking Up At The Freight Terminal:
When a shipment is arranged to be picked up at the freight terminal, the customer must be properly prepared and equipped to do so. Since flooring material is much larger than your typical shipment, customer's are required to arrive with an appropriate vehicle or trailer that is capable of handling the large size, length, and weight of the product. Freight terminals will typically have forklifts on site to assist in loading the material, but sometimes material must be hand loaded depending on that terminal's equipment available, if the customer's vehicle or trailer cannot handle the full size of the pallet, or if the pallet itself is of an abnormal size or shape.
Another thing to consider when arranging a direct freight terminal pick up is the timing of when the material arrives. Once there, the freight carrier will allow only 5 business days for the customer to pick up the material. Since most terminals are limited on space, and because these shipments are larger than normal, freight carriers must limit how long shipments can be held. If the customer cannot pick up in the 5 day span, or the freight carrier cannot get a hold of the customer for a response, daily storage fees can be applied and/or material may end up being sent back at the customer's expense. The customer is responsible for ordering material and having it shipped on a schedule that works for them. Nature Wood Floors can not be held liable for any storage or return fees if the customer is not able to receive the shipment after already approving an order to ship.
Inspecting Your Shipment
When your order arrives, you want to be sure the quantities match what you ordered. To guarantee customer satisfaction, please make note of the following when receiving your order:
- Visually inspect the condition and entirety of the shipment, make sure to note missing items or damaged materials. The order confirmation email you received lists all the materials and quantities you ordered. You will need to examine the shipment and count each item to make sure everything ordered has been received.
- Once unloaded, it is recommended that you store the flooring material in the location where it is to be installed. This will will allow the flooring material to acclimate and will reduce the number of times you will have to move the flooring.
- DO NOT let the driver leave until you have verified the material received is in good condition and that all material has been accounted for. Any damaged or missing items must be noted on your delivery receipt. If not noted, Nature Wood Floors cannot file a claim on your part to replace the lost or damaged items. In such cases, you will be required to file a claim yourself directly with the carrier.
Damage can occur from time to time during the transit process of your order. It is important to understand that a small percentage of damage is allowable/expected and is figured into your original 10% waste factor when ordering your material. That 10% is mainly made up of your own installation waste, but does allow for the occasional manufacturer defects that also include minor shipping damage. Although, we understand there are still cases where excessive damage can occur and a claim can be filed with the freight carrier if that happens.
If damage or missing items are noticed upon arrival, it is important to inspect the shipment as much as possible to confirm how much has been affected and to note it on the delivery receipt the driver provides. Without a note, the customer is accepting the shipment and saying it has arrived fully and in good condition. If you end up with a shipment with damage, just know that most damage that happens is typically minor and shouldn't affect your installation. If your product arrives in cardboard boxes, make sure the damage received isn't only to the packaging. If damage has been done to the board, inspect it closer to see which side of the board was affected. Most factories package material upside down so that any potential damage only affects the bottom. In which case, this would not affect the installation of the board. Other minor damages that can slightly affect your installation are damages to the ends of the boards and Tongue & Grooves. These types of damages fall within the acceptable amount of defects as long as they are not excessive. Boards with damage to the ends can be used at the walls since you will need to cut the board to fit in the space anyway. Tongue & Groove damage is easier to deal with as long as most of the tongue is left intact. Small areas where the tongue is broken off will not affect the integrity of the board as long as the rest of the tongue and groove can attach. Any damage to the top side of the board must be monitored for how many boards are affected. As long as it is not an excessive amount and falls within the allowable defected percentage, than it should not affect you completing your installation, especially if a good portion of the board can still be used after cutting out the damage.
In order to provide us with a better understanding of the damage you received, we require our customers to provide photos of the material so we can inspect the boards with you. This is typically done by taking photos with a camera or phone device and emailing them to our customer service department. The more photos you can provide, the better we can help come up with a solution for you. Be sure to contact us at that time so we can help provide further details.
Never Refuse A Shipment
Refusing a shipment will incur additional shipping charges that the customer will be responsible for paying, as well as delay any claim that can be made against the shipment. Refused shipments are subject to return shipping costs and any restocking fee incurred by the supplier. If you have received damage and believe it to be extreme excess, please contact Nature Wood Floors right away for assistance. Although, it is extremely rare that an entire shipment has been destroyed during transit. It is much easier for you to receive the product and make a note of the damage that is present. We will then work with you and the freight carrier to have replacement material sent. If a shipment is refused but found to have minor or no damage, the customer will be responsible for a redelivery fee charged by the freight carrier.
Do not discard any of the damaged material or packaging until told to do so by the freight carrier or Nature Wood Floors. Once reported, the damaged material is the property of the carrier, by law, and they have 120 days to decide if they wish to inspect, pick up or advise to discard the damaged material. Nature Wood Floors cannot be held responsible for any damages or shortages. The carrier is responsible once the product leaves our possession.