Local News

Mismatched Mulch Has Homeowner Seeing Red

Posted May 20, 2004

— It is the time of year when weekends are for planting, pruning and mulching. When rain faded a Harnett County couple's hard work, they called Five On Your Side's Monica Laliberte for help.

Red-dyed mulch, made from chopped wood pieces and dyed red, is popular because of the color. That was the reason Ronnie and Carolyn Tart chose to buy it.

The color will fade over time, but fading after one day was a little to fast for the couple.

A couple of weeks ago the Tarts spent hours putting down the red-dyed mulch.

Part way through the job, they ran out of mulch. They got a second load of the mulch from a different store, Big Blue Store, in Clinton.

"You could not tell any difference in the two loads at the time," Ronnie Tart said.

Then, it rained the next day.

"We looked out the window and we could see red on the sidewalk," he said.

A lot of the mulch from the second load lost its red color. Tart called Big Blue Store.

"As the clerk passed the phone, he says, 'It's someone else about that red mulch.' And I thought, 'Well, good. Someone else has complained. I know that they'll make it right,'" Tart said.

Tart spoke to General Manager Tim Clifton. Clifton told him the dye probably had not been on the mulch long enough to dry, so the rain washed it off.

"I said, 'Well, I understand that, but you know that sounds like a problem between you and your supplier. Whoever you got it from, so what can you do for me?' He said, 'There's nothing I can do for you,'" Tart said.

Tart called Five on Your Side.

After Five On Your Side called Clifton, he agreed to give Tart new mulch or his money back. He says he would have done the same thing when Tart called, but says Tart was "irate" and hung up on him without leaving a phone number.

Tart disputes that, but is happy to have his $47 back to use for more mulch or some other backyard project.

Clifton says he had one other complaint about this and he resolved that one, as well. He says sometimes the mulch in the middle of a big pile has not had enough time to dry, and if it is out in the sun for a day or so, it should be fine.

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