Sort of related, but sort of not!
Interesting story, you may be right about a change in policy...
I'll add a return I saw: Up pulls a landscaping truck (sign painted on the door), out jumps 2 guys, they proceed to unload 6 nearly dead cedar hedge trees.
Now I must tell you I saw these for sale almost 3 months ago, the Costco where I am gets a whole shipment of plants in, sells them off in the spring (once a year).
Ok, admittedly the next obsevation is mine, but, it would appear that they bought too many for their project, never even bothered to water the trees they did not need and just finally got around to bring back the extras... all brown and dying!
I guess they didn't have to explain why they didn't want dead trees!