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The scoop on 'Burgess Seed'

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  Company Profile  
Burgess Seed

Mailing Address:
905 Four Seasons Rd
Bloomington, Illinois 61701 (United States)

Phone: (309) 662-7761

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 1 5 6
Neutral 0 2 3
Negative 6 14 19
This company is affiliated with 10 companies:This company specializes in:Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
150 positives
57 neutrals
368 negatives

Comments:

Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative MAGENTAFARM
Hinckley, OH
(1 review)
May 22, 2017
Early in 2016 I ordered 24 Canadian Hemlock to form a hedge and send a message to my noisy neighbor. They arrived the last day of March and were promptly planted. I thought late March was a bit premature for NE Ohio but nonetheless they were in the ground and off to a healthy start. Two weeks later a freak but not uncommon snow storm hit the area. In the coming weeks I watched as each of plants died off. I contacted Burgess. I rec'd some conflicting info like a postcard that promised replacement plants in the Fall. Later I rec'd a refund certificate, only redeemable for merchandise. I reordered the Hemlock in mid-April 2017 and here it is mid-May when the replacement plants showed up. Upon opening I noticed the plants looked considerably different. A small strip of paper wrapped around the plants noted these were "substitute". I now have no recourse but to spend a day planting a hedge row that I really don't want. All Burgess related material will now go directly into the circular file. Very dissatisfied.
Negative newlantern
Redford, MI
(1 review)
May 20, 2017
THEY SELL INVASIVE SPECIES for profit! What reputable nursery actively ships autumn olive all over the country? Disgusting!
Negative tombaak
High Desert, NV (Zone 5a)
(25 reviews)
May 19, 2017
WARNING: If you close the account you paid with,
EVEN AFTER RETURNING ALL MERCHANDISE,
you will not get a refund.

THIS COMPANY IS HEARTLESS! Flowers are a symbol of love and life, and this company has taken the death of my mother in law as an opportunity to benefit their bottom line.

My mother in law placed a $600+ dollar order the week before her death. When the first box arrived a few days after she passed away I returned the box and contacted the company to let them know it was being returned and why. I asked them to please cancel any remaining shipments and was informed that 5 other boxes had just shipped. I told the representative that those boxes would be returned as well once they arrived.

This company uses MANY names. Dutch Gardens (the name I ordered from) refunded the contents of the first box, but when I called to find out why the other 5 boxes hadn't been refunded, the representative confirmed that all the merchandise had been returned, but told me that the company would only refund to the debit card that paid and since the debit card was no longer valid (checking account had been closed due to death) they had no way to refund the orders. I requested they issue a check to the estate, or simply give store credit for the remaining amount. I was told that the request would be forwarded on the the appropriate person.

It has now been 9 months, I have called several times, and each time I am told the request for refund has been made, but the company stands by their policy of not refunding returned orders if they are unable to refund to the card that placed the order.

Basically, this company does not dispute the fact that they received this entire order back. They simply refuse to issue a refund in any form other than to credit a debit card that is not valid, and won't accept a charge or credit.

I wish I had kept the plants and spread them around to her many gardener friends and planted some of them with my girls in our own garden to remember their grandma by. I was just so overwhelmed by the unexpected death that anything other than returning the boxes seemed more than I could manage.

The death of a loved one is a very emotional and exhausting time, and this company has made what should have been very easy, a difficult and enduring challenge.
Positive Vichka
North Tonawanda, NY
(1 review)
May 10, 2017
Positive experience, positive feedback. Ordered peony trees in the beginning of April, received in beginning of May (not a problem!) , they are saying on website about delivery time, it’s depends on weather, what zone you are, what zone they are, plants condition and other “plant related things”.
It’s not like you ordered something that can be shipped at any time, it is live thing – plant, so you have to adjust to it. I worked with plants for many-many years and I knew they will deliver when they are ready and weather and plants are ready.
So, I waited, checked with customer service email couple times, got very nice response back, and checked again like 10-15 days later, got update. And I received what I ordered, in great condition, all alive, nice size plants, not just something started this year, peony has good roots, leaf buds, all packed nice, roots are in plastic bags , not dry. I planted them and now couple days later they are doing fine, hope they all will stay.
One thing I can say : do not rush delivery, it’s not like you ordered table or clothes, it may not come next week. And think a little about people who are working there – 100 years in business! It’s not 5,10 or 50 years, with bad plants and bad service they will not be able to survive, so …
And they are taking good care of plants, they are not sending them right away, we all in different states, weather, temperature...
And different plants has different sensitivity, or how to say that…Some will survive trip, some not so good, some will not…We cannot be sure…the same with seeds, we are not sitting inside the seed to know if it will grow or not. So, it’s like a lottery, a little.
When I don’t want to wait or to take a chance, I am going to nursery, one or other; they will have what I want , eventually.
Plants are in pots and nice condition…the only thing is – they can die also.

All the Best to All Gardeners!

Company representative comment on May 17, 2017:
On May 17, 2017 10:12 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. We just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments.

Negative zora2017
Philadelphia, PA
(1 review)
May 4, 2017
I placed an order for strawberry plants, blueberry plants, and several trees. Having lived in east central Illinois for a long time including college and graduate school I assumed a company from the area would be a reputable one. I couldn't have been more mistaken! Long after planting time had passed my order still showed processing so I called to find out when it would ship. The woman I spoke with at the call center was incredibly rude but did indicate that cancellations had to be in writing or via email. So I sent an email which was completely ignored. A few days later I sent another email which took them several days in which to reply. Much to my dismay a day after they replied the first half of the order arrived. The plants were in a terrible state. One of the treed was in a plastic box that crushed all of the leaves at the top. That was the best of the lot.

I immediately called and was told I would have to pay to send their dead plants back to them but that I should wait until the rest of the order arrived. So I wouldn't have to pay twice to send their compost quality items back to them. The day the first half of the order arrived, it was still listed as not yet shipped on their website!

I certainly will never do business with them again. It is impossible to actually speak to anyone at Burgess. All calls go to a call center staffed by unprofessional rather rude people. I did speak to one person who was actually polite but one out of 4 does not speak well even of their call center.

Supposedly you can write to someone named Grace Avery but after all my interactions with this company I doubt that is an actual person. More likely that it is the name to give out so you know which mail is a complaint.

Bottom line poor quality plants and even worse quality company.
Company representative comment on May 17, 2017:
On May 17, 2017 10:14 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative catharris1
Everton, AR
(1 review)
May 3, 2017
Ordered plants & seeds over a month ago; website indicated shipping would be 2-3 weeks. My inquiry email was met with a rude response that there was 1 day left to be 3 weeks. No shipping date.

Called - it is now over a month - and asked if my order was shipped and if not, when will it be shipped.

Answer: no idea, but they expect it will be soon, probably, maybe.

Contacting my credit card company to reverse payment so I can cancel order.

I should have read the reviews before I placed an order with Burgess - this was my first & last experience.
Company representative comment on May 17, 2017:
On May 17, 2017 10:30 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this problem. It does state on our site to allow 1-2 weeks for the order to process. The orders are then shipped based upon weather and availablity.

We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.

Negative MidnightDBA
Irving, TX
(1 review)
April 28, 2017
This company is nothing but a joke. I ordered 2 roses and the order came in a plastic bag and both "bushes" were broken in several places. I was told by the company to plant them anyway. So I did, and I wound up with bushes that were much smaller than they would have been, but they grew. When they bloomed, they weren't at all what I ordered... not even close. I emailed and they said I had to have my original shipping label. Why would I still have that?
Then after a little more back and forth with them, they agreed to make an exception on the shipping label if I provided them with my CC statement proving I paid for them.

Are you KIDDING me? Is this a JOKE? You want me to disclose all my financial transactions to you so you can verify something you should already have in your records? I mean, you keep records of your business, right? I even sent them my receipt in the email and they said they could only do it via snailmail. OK, now I know there's something wrong with these guys. I mean, who does business on the internet and won't take one of their own order receipts as proof? Just check it against your system to make sure it's accurate. No dice. They won't budge. Either I disclose all my financial information in my CC statement or I can't get the plants I ordered.

Nobody is this dumb. This business has to be a scam. I've now seen some of the other reviews on this site and one of them said that customer service said things had to be one via snailmail because the manager didn't use phone or email? Do they think we're morons? Who refuses to use a phone?

I order things from dozens of other sites all the time, many of them nurseries and I've never been treated this way. And I see that their customer service has come on here many times to say they're sorry and that they take pride in their customer service, etc. That's garbage. Nobody who takes pride in their customer service tells you to physically write them a letter because their boss doesn't ever use a phone or email. Nobody who has good service makes you save a shipping label for months on end until you're sure the order is right. Nobody who has good service expects you to dig up plants and pay to ship them back. Nobody who has good service expects you to disclose all of your financial transactions to prove you bought something when they should have a record of the transaction themselves. Nobody who's proud of their service sends live plants in a plain plastic bag so it can be crushed. Nobody who has good service takes weeks to answer an email.

This company is a fraud and I guarantee you that's why they have to do business under to many names. And I'm sure that someone from customer service will come on and give the same boiler plate crap about being sorry that things went poorly, blahblahblah. I don't care. If you were really sorry you would actually do something about it. I don't believe it for a second. I can see through that kind of cover-up. Get a negative review, and then go online and make a semi-contrite statement to make it look like you're actually handling the problem. It's the formula for controlling damage without having to do anything about it.

So Burgess, if you're thinking of writing a reply to this review, put it in a letter with a written copy of the review you're replying to and send it to the owners of this site.
Company representative comment on May 17, 2017:
On May 17, 2017 10:37 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of the problems with this customers order.

Our guarantee regarding replacement is as follows:
If any item you purchased from us does not live, or if you are certain that your plants are dead, for a FREE REPLACEMENT just RETURN THE ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL along with your written request within 1 year of receipt. Replacement guarantee is VOID unless the original shipping label is returned.

This is stated on our website, on email confirmation as well as on the label itself. We assure you this is not a scam and we stand behind our guarantee.

We have contacted the customer via D-mail to try to help with this situation.

Positive bigrockcreek
Gering, NE
(1 review)
April 24, 2017
I was pleasantly surprised to receive my Burgess order today. I placed an order for one lemon tree, one dwarf banana tree, and 10 asparagus roots. Based on the negative reviews I had read on the internet, I expected my trees to be "dead" and scraggly. Yes, they are small, but they both have beautiful green leaves and a healthy root system. I planted them right away and have them in my little outdoor greenhouse now. I'm hoping for the best.

My asparagus roots look like...roots. :) But, they are healthy enough they are even trying to grow through the plastic package they came in. I do not know how they will all grow or how it will turn out, but I got more than I expected, and I'm hopeful I'll get a good return on my investment.
Company representative comment on May 17, 2017:
On May 17, 2017 10:12 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. We just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments.

Negative luigitom
East Rochester, NY
(1 review)
April 23, 2017
I am going to sound like a broken record!! I should have read reviews BEFORE I ordered from Burgess. But as you all know their plants are gorgeous IN THEIR CATALOG!! What you receive is completely different, twigs and roots. I NEVER would have ordered from them knowing what I would receive. First, my order-there were 3 "live" plants, poker primrose. They were beat up, crushed and a mess, maybe 1 might survive, but it looks terrible-only $8.79!!! 1 lavender plant was missing, and calling them plants isn't really correct, twigs and roots, and 2 lily of the valley plants were missing!! I did plant the twigs/roots about 10 days ago, 1/28 looks ok, 8/28 have a bit of green showing. Bottom line, after contacting Burgess, they told me to wait 6 WEEKS, to request replacements!! Do you really want to wait 6 weeks to get your garden going?!?!? And you have to send them your shipping label, you've got to be kidding, don't they know what they shipped and to whom. So for $48+, I may get a couple of actual plants!! Go to a LOCAL garden store, give them the business AND if your plants don't live or thrive, they will replace them without all the hassles and waiting. I think Burgess is a rip off and would NEVER order from them again.
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:37 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of life.

If the items were received crushed in the mail we do not ask that you wait the 6 weeks. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Negative DarleneCooper
Clewiston, FL
(1 review)
April 19, 2017
I wish I had read these reviews before ordering! Ordered 1st of March, called at the end of the first week to get tracking info. They told me to wait two weeks to process the order. I have been waiting almost 2 months and have nothing. I called today and asked when they would ship and they said they had "no idea"....gah! How can they run a business like this? At the very least they can send email updates in case something is backordered or not available. Just taking the money and providing no information is just shady and inexcusable in this modern age of computers. Even a form letter would do, something....anything! To just take peoples money and refuse to give them product or communication is just criminal. Glad I'm only out $100 but still an expensive lesson learned. Let's see if I ever get any plants, I really wanted to do a lot of business with these folks, their catalog was so wonderful. :(
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:35 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

It does state the following on our website:

"Please allow 1-2 weeks for your order to be processed. We will then ship based on weather and availability of the plants."

We are still getting a lot of nursery stock in from the fields and are shipping as soon as the plants are prepared.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.

Negative lbaker1947
Hot Springs Village,
United States
(1 review)
April 19, 2017
order # 34716368 Included seven roses and two types of watermelon. One rose was delivered dead and the remaining six roses were very scrawnier sticks with some tiny leaves. Arkansas has mild winters but I just dug up four of the roses that are dead. So 5 out of seven died in a year. Watermelon I had two runts. Not enough to eat.

Replaced the five dead roses with healthy bare root roses from Home depot. Have done this in the past but thought I would get "exceptional" plants from Burgess Seed and Plant Co. WRONG - Stick with what works.
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:33 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:


A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants and do hope that the customer takes advantage of this guarantee.

Neutral sharebear29
Acworth, GA
(1 review)
April 13, 2017
I have ordered several years from Burgess a couple plants at a time. They all were received "dormant" and never did anything. To be completely honest I didn't take great care of them so I didn't contact the company regarding their guarantee. However, last year we had just moved into a new house on 10 acres and I needed a lot of plants to put in several areas. I was unsure about ordering from them but I needed so many items and their prices were a lot less expensive so I order about $200 worth of plants and I was very careful about planting, watering, etc NONE of them grew. I was very disappointed however, I did keep all of the packing information and have sent it to them regarding replacements. So far, I have not heard anything back. I am waiting to give them time to send me replacements before posting a negative.

Sharon Dozier
St. Stephens Church, VA
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:31 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.

Negative mishmaria
Irving, IL
(1 review)
April 13, 2017
We wanted to order cucumber seeds but had a question. The book simply listed as small or large packets. No information on how many ounces. We tried calling multiple times and only got a busy signal.

Decided to just order the large packet online. The item finally arrived and the envelope only had maybe 10-15 seeds! The purchase for the seeds only was over $20 with $10 shipping fee. I emailed for an explanation and never got a response. Phone line is still busy.

This company is ripping people off! Not just the price they charge for the seeds, but even the shipping fee of $10? Postage on their envelope to send them to us states 99 cents!

We normally order from another company and spend hundreds of dollars with them and only went to this one as a "test". I can tell you that they will NEVER GET A SINGLE DIME FROM US AGAIN. I ALSO PLAN TO TELL EVERYONE I KNOW HOW DISHONEST THEY ARE!
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:29 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative Abales
Yadkinville, NC
(1 review)
April 9, 2017
I placed an order with Burgess Seed for several things including vegetable seeds, strawberries, and multiple flowers on March 9, 2017. I did not read reviews on the company prior to purchasing, my mistake. I received the vegetable seeds in the mail a few days ago but have yet to receive the strawberry plants or other flowers I ordered. I have emailed the company.to request an expected delivery date of my order. I live in NC and the strawberry plants should have been planted already. No respone to my initial email. I sent an additional email advising if the original strawberry plant I ordered was unavailable it would be acceptable to exchange for another. Still no response. I attempted to call them multiple times on Saturday only to receive a busy signal each time. The status of my order online only states received and not yet shipped. After spending a significant sum with this company I am concerned I may not get my remaining order
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:27 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. As many know the weather this year has been very unpredictable. While it may be warm in your location we have to take into consideration the transit. We want to make sure the plants reach our customers in the best condition possible.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Neutral llanoridge
Llano, TX
(1 review)
April 3, 2017
I placed an order for strawberry plants with Burgess on 03/12/2017 based on the reviews by a producer of a YouTube video. I had not checked the online reviews...my bad. Burgess states that they ship in early March to the southern states. I live in Texas and received my order within 3 weeks on April 1st. My order was complete and in apparently good shape. I transplanted the strawberry plants to net cups for the hydroponic system we are building. I placed them in tubs with nutrient solution and my the next morning they were already looking great. So I can state unequivocally based on how the plants are responding that they were in good shape when they arrived and were ready to be planted.
My one and only complaint is that Burgess doesn't keep the order status up to date and I had to call to find out the actual status of my order. Every time I checked it only said "Received". The only time they responded to an email was when I sent an email to tell them they could substitute a different variety of strawberry if they could not fill my entire order with the variety I had ordered. I emailed another time after I had read the negative reviews and after checking my order status....again. I stated that I feared I might not get my order as promised, but they shockingly never responded to that one. LOL. I noticed they are open on Saturdays so I called this past Saturday and spoke to a man who told me that my order had been shipped. Really? Not according to the website so I asked for the FedEx tracking number and was given two. Then I checked FedEx tracking and lo and behold they were in my mailbox according to the tracking information. The Friday postal carrier did not deliver my order even though it was in their possession so it stayed an extra night at the post office but that is something I will have to resolve with them.
At this point I don't know if I will order again from Burgess or from their myriad sister companies that are all owned by Gardens Alive. It seems like most of them have negative reviews. Maybe they are too big to care about the individual customer. The least they could do if they are that big is to hire people who will respond to emails, update the status of orders, AND send customers the tracking information so we don't have to call and ask for that too.
Company representative comment on April 7, 2017:
On Apr 7, 2017 10:35 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care and try to answer emails within 24 hours.

We do assure you that we care about our customers which is why we do have the guarantee available. While we are associated with other sister companies we are not associated with Gardens Alive.

Please feel free to contact us at any time as we would be happy to keep you updated on the status of the orders.

Negative 1780Farm
New Boston, NH
(1 review)
April 1, 2017
Schlocky customer service that doesn't appear to really put great emphasis on customer care or satisfaction. I can't comment about quality of plants because I never got mine. I placed an order at the beginning of March for bare root trees. I was fine with them saying the order would take 1-2 weeks to be processed. Okay, it's their policy, I reasoned. Then a few days later I saw my credit card had been charged. Possibly my order had been processed and had been shipped, I thought. I called a few days later and asked the status. I was told the order was still processing. I explained that because my credit card had been charged, I thought my order was at least processed. No, they said, the order was still processing. The next day I received a slight glimmer of hope. An email from customer care arrived, stating that they had started to ship to my zone, and I should receive the order within the following week. Great! Apparently the order was processed, and things were moving along. Well, the anticipated week of arrival came and went. Curious as to what was going on, I called. I was told my order "might" ship within 2-3 weeks. The customer service rep claimed she had no way of knowing where my order was, when it would be shipped, or who I could speak to to find out. I then said I would cancel the order, and would do so through our email correspondence. Quite simply, something just wasn't "right" with all of this. After not getting a confirmation of the cancelled order, I called yet again. On that occasion I was told to call back in 2-3 weeks. Finally I just called my bank and explained what happened to the bank. A dispute was filed and the bank dealt with them to have my refund issued. I won't be ordering anything ever from this nursery again. Terrible experience. Caveat emptor concerning Burgess Seed.
Company representative comment on April 7, 2017:
On Apr 7, 2017 10:14 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Our website does state 1-2 weeks to process and then the orders are shipped based upon weather and availability. We are currently shipping hard goods and seeds to all areas. We have begun to ship nursery stock to the warmer climates and are working our way to the cooler climates as weather permits.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative Jckbtt7
Grandview, MO
(1 review)
March 27, 2017
I ordered some stuff from Burgess last spring over half my purchases were either dead or died shortly after planting. I did as told wrote letter sent with order form asking for voucher not same order replacement because I needed apple tree sooner to pollinate other tree I already had didn't want risk another dead stick that would not grow or take forever to help. They sent replacement dead apple stick and more dead phlox. I called explained again the problem wrote another letter requesting voucher not replacement thinking I would be better off using it to get vegetable seeds instead of dead plants. This time they did send voucher. So I waited for spring catalog and ordered 17 packs
of seeds on February 9th . About 4 weeks got half seeds ok. I called ask about other half and was told call back every week find out when they will be shipped. So I call a few times not shipped. Then was told they were just waiting on one pepper seed that just came in should ship couple of days. Ok I call back after about a week and they can't tell me why not shipped yet. It is now March 27 the and I call and they say now they were just waiting on one lettuce seeds and should ship couple days. Being that they are a seed company you would think they know we need 8-12 weeks to have them ready to go out. I am 3-4 weeks from time put out plants. So I guess I will have to go buy plants from local nursery which will cost much more than had I just grabbed seeds from store before now. So yeah I am pretty mad!
Company representative comment on April 7, 2017:
On Apr 7, 2017 10:10 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.


A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Positive Ouizee
Osteen, FL
(1 review)
March 15, 2017
I received all products ordered over a few weeks. They explained in their catalog it would take a while to ship all ordered to Florida. No problems with anything. All onion starts, shallot starts, garlic starts, in excellent condition and are all taking off already in the garden. Robust and healthy!The best onion starts were the candy apple red ones. I have ordered from Burgess in the past and have never had any issues. This most recent order was also good and I had no problems. Thanks, Burgess!!
Negative djschoen
Lake Oswego, OR
(1 review)
March 7, 2017
One of the worst retail experiences of my life! I ordered four trees from the company. They came wrapped in plastic and were like twigs, not trees. The trees were the diameter of a pencil.

I planted these in Oregon - where the weather is not that cold or harsh - despite this, they all died after 5 months. I ordered other trees from a different company and they were all MUCH thicker and healthier looking and they all lived and are starting to show signs of early spring growth already.

The worst part was my experience afterward.... I called 8-10 times and received a busy signal each time. When they finally reached them, they insisted that I send the shipping label back for a refund. Who saves a shipping label for 5 months??? When I told them I did not have that, they told me I needed to get a receipt from my credit card company and mail in a letter asking for new trees. I told them that their trees were poor quality and were like twigs compared to other companies, they lady on the phone LAUGHED !?@!@

No email service available, hard to reach by phone. Poor product and a customer service that literally laughed at my dissatisfaction. I mailed in my request with credit card statements and am waiting for a refund, I suggest avoiding this company at all costs!!!!

Company representative comment on April 7, 2017:
On Apr 7, 2017 10:08 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them. We do also have a customer service email that is available and typically answered within 24 hours.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Positive tsantini
Middletown, CT
(3 reviews)
January 25, 2017
I've always had good luck with Burgess. Last year I ordered 4 shrubs. All were a bit scraggly and slow to emerge, but that has been my usual experience with bare root plants. The all lived through the season and I expect to see them back this spring.
Positive tngardener865
Knoxville, TN
(1 review)
January 16, 2017
Similar to a review further below, I created a log in just to give a positive review to this company and the Direct Gardening family of companies. I also saw a lot of reviews about people being unsatisfied with the return policy, with the quality of the plants, shipping timing, etc. I took a chance on purchasing 2 different variety of blackberry bushes, hydrangea trees, strawberries, and grape vines, along with the free gifts. I've ordered a variety of live plants from other sites, and was very pleased with the pricing, timeliness of shipping, return policy, and quality of plants from this company, and will be placing a larger order this spring. Most of the plants I purchased have already come out of dormancy (unseasonably warm winter unfortunately, hope they make it when the cold weather hits), and have thrived. The company is very clear about their return policy (which is the best return policy I've seen with online nurseries) and the fact that the plants are dormant, and you can't reasonably expect full size, fruiting plants when you're buying 3 blackberries for $5. They shipped much quicker and much more affordably than a lot of other sites that I ordered from (I waited 5 months for some grape vines from a different company that gets great reviews here). To anyone that wants to try this company, please do so (after educating yourself about the return and dormancy policy)! I continue to tell everyone about how great these companies are to garden on a budget. To be fair, I have not had to deal much with their customer service (outside of a few questions, which are answered promptly), but the majority of the reviews I see are from being either uneducated about their policies, or unrealistic about the size/immediate liveliness of the plants.
Company representative comment on January 20, 2017:
On Jan 20, 2017 8:37 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments.

Positive Gravypants
East Rochester, NY
(2 reviews)
October 25, 2016
I placed an order for over 60 various bare-root plants with this company in the spring. After placing the order, I read a number of negative reviews on the company, so i really didn't expect much to show up. When the plants arrived I planted them right away. Approximately 70% of the plants began growing and still look fine. 30% of the plants never showed any signs of growth (including some items they substituted for out-of-stock plants). I mailed them the packing label and requested replacement plants in the fall, To my surprise, I received all the replacement plants, including the originally requested out-of-stock plants, within 3 weeks. I will have to wait until spring to find out if the replacements survive. So far, so good.
Neutral mylittletrees
Corning, OH
(15 reviews)
September 21, 2016
Overall my experience with this company was satisfactory. The trees that were ordered survived and leafed out. However I felt like I had to really baby them along and be patient. My only complaint would be what felt like very slow delayed shipping. Our spring order arrived at a time much later than I would have liked. It was very warm, but maybe it was just an unusual year. The order contained things like Elm, Cherry, Laburnum, and Maple.
Negative MGBD13
Bunceton, MO
(1 review)
September 13, 2016
I wrote twice to the company about the problems and received a form letter the first time and no response the second.

Dear Burgess CEO,
This is my THIRD letter to you about my original and replacement orders. On June 10, 2016, (my second letter to you) I specifically requested an adjustment for the Flavorfest strawberries, one pussy willow, and two Blackhawk raspberry plants which were not viable after almost two months, plus a refund for the four Hazelnuts and the three dewberries, because it was too late in the season to plant them.
Frankly, I am very surprised by what I received in response to my letter of request:
1 package of Flavorfest strawberries, look OK, but too late to plant; 2 scrawny pussy willows, 4 inches of tops evenly broken off, nothing green under the skin and no life to the bud nodes; 3 Blackhawk raspberries - no sign of green under bark or bud nodes; a “Replacement Certificate” for $18.91.
There was no letter, notice, or mention of the refund for the dormant (dead) sticks that I received on April 28.
Within 5 minutes of receiving and opening the package, all the dead looking (dormant?) dry toothpick width sticks were placed in water to jump start the end of dormancy, and were potted up the next morning. However, two months later, the dormant/dead twigs still never showed any sign of life.

On 8/19/2016 I decided to use the replacement certificate and order some seeds. I called your company AND WAS ASSURED that the seeds I would receive would be packaged for 2017. Guess what - the seed packages that I ordered came 3-1/2 weeks later and all say “packaged for 2016.” To add insult to injury, I had to pay $9.99 to receive seeds that were already one year old.

I am very disappointed with the plants, the plant packers, and your dishonest customer service, and wonder why a large firm with a lovely catalogue would respond to their customers so slowly, knowingly send them dead plants and old seeds, and then treat customers so poorly. You make it impossible for me to recommend you to friends or my fellow Master Gardeners, and I will NEVER order from you again.
Unhappily,






Company representative comment on September 28, 2016:
On Sep 28, 2016 2:40 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this problem. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.

Negative MikeMdavesgarde
Saint Louis, MO
(2 reviews)
August 13, 2016
Posted on June 9, 2016, updated August 13, 2016
Posted on August 17, 2015, updated June 9, 2016
I HAVE BOUGHT PLANTS FROM MANY ONLINE NURSERIES.
BURGESS IS BY FAR THE WORST!
1. Vague responses that do not answer your questions days later on emailed questions.
2. Extremely rude customer \\\"service\\\". They clearly have many customers calling them upset everyday.
3. They will charge your credit card, then not send you any plants for months, even in summer.
4. When you call them to ask nicely about when your plants will ship, they will interrupt you and rudely declare \\\"read the website, no one ever reads the website then they waste our time asking questions\\\".
5. If the info wasn\\\'t buried in the website and it was presented upfront, they would be out of business.
6. No one will wait for months, then receive different plants \\\"it says we have the option to send you different plants\\\"...what?

THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A HUGE MIDDLEMAN WHO IS OUT OF CONTROL AND IS PLAYING A NUMBERS GAME. \\\"IF WE LOSE 2 OUT OF EVERY 3 CUSTOMERS, SOME WE REFUND, MOST BE IGNORE, WE STILL HAVE 1,OOO\\\'s OF PLANT ORDERS!\\\"

LET\\\'S DRIVE THIS WASTE OF TIME AND FRUSTRATION OUT OF BUSINESS. NONE OF US NEED MORE PROBLEMS IN OUR LIVES!
On June 9th, 2016, MikeMdavesgarde added the following:

UPDATE:
1. They said they would replace the plants that never \"came out of dormancy\" 10 months after they sent me dead not dormant plants - 5-1 plum tree, 2 Nanking cherries, Gooseberry, Jostaberry, White currant.
2. The order got here after sending them their required proof...Out of Jostaberry (sent black raspberry), Sent a blackberry twig instead of the 5-1 plum tree (only plant I really wanted and by \"coincidence\" by far the most expensive plant)
3. I lose again.
THIS IS A MEGA MIDDLEMAN, INCOMPETENT SCAM COMPANY. YOUR BILL WILL STATE \"DUTCH ROYAL\" SHOWING THE CORPORATE GIANT THAT IS REALLY PULLING THE STRINGS.
DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM THESE CON ARTISTS!
On August 13th, 2016, MikeMdavesgarde added the following:

2 months later, guess what...
- THE WHITE CURRANT NEVER LEAFED OUT, SHIPPED DEAD
- THE 3 BLACK RASPBERRIES NEVER LEAFED OUT, SHIPPED DEAD.
- THE PLANT THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A 5-1 PLUM THAT WAS ACTUALLY NOT SENT, A PRIME ARK BLACKBERRY TWIG WAS SENT INSTEAD, NEVER LEAFED OUT, SHIPPED DEAD.

THIS IS A CORPORATE MIDDLEMAN CON.
THEY ARE "SHIPPING 100'S OF THOUSANDS" OF PLANTS SO IF MOST ARE DEAD, SO WHAT, THEY STILL WILL KEEP YOUR MONEY, NOT RESPOND AND SEND CATALOGS TO THE PEOPLE THAT THEY HAVEN'T SCAMMED YET.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS!.
Company representative comment on August 22, 2016:
On Aug 22, 2016 2:26 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:


We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative vircotto
Concord, NH
(1 review)
August 8, 2016
Beware of this company. Ordered a couple of tree peonies and one was dead on arrival. (It was sent US Postal Service in a flimsy envelope and had to sit in a hot rural mailbox all day). Tried to get a quick replacement but the company said I had to wait six weeks and then remember to keep the original label and make the request again. Their business model is to send out slick marketing materials but after-sale service is terrible. I suspect they know that they are not providing the best products and don't want to be bothered after they have your money. That explains why they operate under a variety of names. They hope to fool you again if they can. You have been warned.
Company representative comment on August 22, 2016:
On Aug 22, 2016 2:29 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.

We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Negative timonsgirl
Mount Prospect, IL
(11 reviews)
July 7, 2016
I've bought from them once in the past with no problems but never again after the experience this year.

The shipped 24 arborvitaes to us during a week when we were having several inches of snow. There's no excuse for it, as they are in the same county as us so it's not like they didn't know what the weather was like.

When I sent them a complaint they said we could just store them for several weeks since they ship their plants dormant and they should be fine. Really? Arborvitaes are evergreens and don't go dormant. They were live plants and they didn't look well, not to mention we don't have the room anywhere to store 24 plants for any period of time. So we had to plant them in the snow and had to dig in the almost frozen ground. You can just imagine what a pleasant experience that was.

They also shipped two gaillardias at the same time. One had come loose from it's case, got tumbled all around in shipping and arrived dead. The other we couldn't plant either, as it also was a live plant and not dormant and cannot be planted in the snow as the arborvitaes could.

They told me I could just put it on a sunny windowsill until the proper planting time. The proper planting time was weeks away and we have awnings - meaning no sunny windowsills in the house. Needless to say the second one also died before we could plant it.

I return my label to get a replacement on those. When they finally arrived several weeks later both were almost dead. I planted them right away, watered them, fed them and tried to nurse them back to health but both of the replacements were also dead by the end of the week.

I suppose I could have asked for another replacement but why bother? So I could receive two more dead or dying plants that I would waste my time and energy trying to save?

Yes, the prices look tempting and you might get lucky like I did on the first order several years ago. But I wouldn't hold my breath. Just not worth it.


Company representative comment on July 13, 2016:
On Jul 13, 2016 10:28 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience as the first experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.

Negative Tropicman
Bushland, TX (Zone 6a)
(9 reviews)
June 10, 2016
Do not to business with this company,I repeat Do not buy from them. First plants where dead on arrival,but planted them,gave them 12 weeks no sign of growth,contacted them,sent original invoice as requested in order to get new replacement plants,them do were dead,scratch test was done at base of plant,brown no white or green was showing as to whether there is any life to plants,in fact whole plant was brittle and snapped in half. I sent them pictures and they wrote back that they need to be planted for at least 6 weeks,if no signs of life,refund can only be made with the return of plants and original invoice,well they have the invoice when I sent it back to get replacement plants,so without invoice no refund,I wrote and told them they are what giving the horticulture industry a bad reputation.
Negative raychris
Saint Paul, MN
(1 review)
May 16, 2016
Placed an order with these guys, I ordered some Jostaberry, white tag said "No longer available" so did I get some gooseberry, Noooo.
Did I get currants, Noooo, because that might make sense(??) they sent me Logan Beach Raspberry instead, WTH eburgess, I have Raspberries, I can tell you those things will never replace the strain I got for FREE from an 80 year old farmer, those logan berries got fired right into the trash can, it isn't about the money but I promise for as long as I draw a breath I will never order from any of your front companies again and I promise I will let everyone know your bait and switch style of Business. I just checked your site, as of 5-17-2016 your still showing that you have "Jostaberries" for sale. You might want to fix that.
Negative angelsun
Garrettsville, OH
(3 reviews)
April 30, 2016
Never again. Took almost 3 weeks to "process" my order. It was shipped in a plastic bag. Unbelievable.

They also substituted trees. Who makes substitution without first consulting the customer? Let alone TREES?!?!?
I would have rather had none than be stuck with 2 trees that I don't want. Now, have to reorder the ones that ordered initially elsewhere.
Positive Pskip
Nampa, ID
(1 review)
April 23, 2016
I registered an account at Dave's garden just to post this positive review. I read all the negative reviews about Burgess seed before placing my order, and I assumed that the complaints I read came predominantly from people who a) don't know what a bare root plant is and b) didn't read any of the information regarding processing orders, replacing items, or how to care for your plants when they arrive. I assumed correctly.

My plants arrived immediately after the weather warmed enough to permit shipping, clearly labeled, with a booklet about how to care for them and some free seeds and bulbs. Six out of eight trees are now thriving, and since my first email to the company to change part of my order was answered promptly I have every reason to believe I'll get the promised free replacements for the two persimmon trees that have not budded yet (a scratch test still shows green towards the base of the trees, so I'll wait longer before requesting replacement). I saved an enormous amount of money, I got plants that are not available at any local nursery, and I've already placed a larger second order.

I'm extremely pleased with what I got, and I would encourage anyone who's willing to follow instructions and give a little pampering to their new plants to take a chance on Burgess seed.
Negative curiousgood
Cincinnati, OH
(1 review)
April 18, 2016
I placed an order on April 5. I had received their catalog in the mail and a friend had said he was happy with the raspberries he had gotten from them.

I found it a little weird that my credit card was charged immediately and that I received no updates or communication from the company as to when my plants and seeds would arrive (since should ship immediately, right?).

Then, I found this site and after reading all the negative reviews, decided that I needed to cancel my order. I called Burgess on April 14 and after finally getting through (the phone was constantly busy) I was told I would need to send an e-mail to cancel my order. I was also told it would take a "long time" to cancel it. The customer service rep had no idea how long it would take.

I sent an email that same day requesting a cancellation. I received a response the next day stated that part of my order had shipped and "Do you still wish for us to try to cancel the remainder of the order before shipping occurs?" I replied that I had received no notification of shipment of part of the order, and that I had read several reports that this was a common Burgess practice. I received no response.

Today (4/18) I received a packet of seeds. I wanted to be fair: They might have really had it ready to ship prior to my calling to cancel. When I entered the tracking number into the USPS web site, I found that my order's shipping label was created on April 16. A full two days after I'd requested a cancellation.

I forwarded this information to the Burgess e-mail and received a canned response saying that now my WHOLE order is in their shipping department and they may be unable to cancel.

I called again. This time, I requested to speak to a manager. The manager told me there was nothing she could do and that if I wanted to go higher than her I needed to send a written letter because their office manager didn't use the telephone or email. She suggested I send the seeds back (I would have to pay for the return shipping) along with my letter.

I've filed a dispute with my credit card company, and I'm getting ready to file a BBB complaint. Ugh.
Negative mikesw
Lake Oswego, OR
(1 review)
April 18, 2016
Bought 100 seed potatos (Yukon gold), 12 grew (greenhouse with 50F soil), 3 horseradish starts-noe grew, 2 flame grass plants, neither grew, and radish seeds, planted 4 weeks, 3 weeks, and 2 weeks ago, 5 sprouts total. Called and was told that I could receive replacements, but for a refund I had to return the shipment. The fact that the seeds and potatos are rotted did not seem to register. I am tempted to dig up the rotted potatoes and seeds and send them back, but am cheap and do not want to spend $25 to get a "possible" $55 refund. They could offer free products and I would avoid. I registered a complaint with the BBB. Run, do not walk, from this company.
Negative Marigold345
Des Moines, WA
(1 review)
April 14, 2016
Stay far away from this company! Bad business! I ordered a large quantity of plants from these guys and they all arrived dead and I had plants missing from my order which they claim were shipped. The only way to get a refund is to ship all the dead plant back and pay for return shipping. They also want you to send back the shipping label, otherwise you will not get a refund or replacement. I had a friend ship back the shipping label for replacement and this company says they never received it which means there is no way to get a replacement or refund. The company claims they had sent me all of my order, but they didn't. Now in order to get a refund, they want me to ship back the plants that never were delivered. I tried disputing it with my credit card company but they would not give me a charge back. This is a very dishonest company and they should not be in business. The plants they sell are VERY expensive for what you actually get. Yes, they all look beautiful online and in their magazine, but what you get are tiny seedling that could barely survive the shipping! All the plants I received had brown dried up leaves, maybe a yellow leaf, with only one or two leaves if I was lucky!
Positive sandstone
Frenchburg, KY
(1 review)
March 29, 2016
Just received replacement items for last year's 2015 shipment. These items were sent earlier at my request and were in very good shape, unlike last year's items that were sent much later in the spring. Customer service was very nice each time I contacted them. They told me not to ask for replacements until their 2016 catalog came out so I would receive fresh plants. They kept my shipping label on file for me and never asked me to send the dead plants back. Trees are very small, but they usually grow well after they start to grow. You can't expect large trees at these prices. I ordered from them because they handle plants I can't otherwise get. I'm sorry to hear that many customers seem unsatisfied.
Negative craddock
Lerona, WV
(1 review)
March 27, 2016
Our experience with Burgess Seed is similar to many of those posted here already. Last year we ordered seeds and more from Burgess. Our order came in two shipments via USPS - the first contained various seed packets we ordered; the second was supposed to be potato eyes. The second shipment was empty except for a free seed packet, which we did not use. Their customer service rep said we had to return the shipping label along with a written explanation of the problem. After explaining that this would make for a late date for planting the potatoes, we were told that this was the Burgess policy, and we did as required. We received the potatoes a few weeks later. As the package had not been tampered with or damaged in any way, it was obvious to us that their shipping department had simply failed to include our ordered potatoes. Still, we had to go to extra work to obtain product for which we had already paid. Don't expect to ever order from Burgess again.
This year we received a Farmer Seed and Nursery catalog and considered ordering from them. Noting that the photos and other content of the catalog reminded us of Burgess, we went online and saw that Farmer and Burgess are part of Plantron, Inc. Don't expect to place the first order with Farmer Seed and Nursery.
Negative PoorWolf
Melody Hill, IN
(3 reviews)
March 23, 2016
As an avid gardener, I have relied on DavesGarden for many years, and turned to the Garden WatchDog for help making informed purchases and encouraged friends to do so as well. Ahh, Burgess Seeds now. I quickly learned it was an organized, corporate ripoff. A friend recently called and let me know I had a few blackberry plants on the way as a birthday gift and I just hoped he chose well. The plants came yesterday from Burgess, as a thornless blackberry collection of 3 plants. Alleged plants. They were 3 tiny twigs, each with very few brittle, hair like roots. Tiny plants, as in the size of a toothpick, all in one small plastic bag in my mailbox. Such a shame to abuse consumers as well as the plants. I hope more complain, as Burgess just seems to buy more nurseries and get by with poor plants, poor customer service, and absurd replacement process. Soaked, and now potted I hope for survival as we all do.
Negative rosepetal2
Danvers, MA
(8 reviews)
March 21, 2016
Posted on March 19, 2016, updated March 21, 2016
Ordered two Consort currants and two Red Lake currants earlier this winter. Received four 6 inch twigs that had been rooting less than 3 months. I didn\'t pay that much so the size was not too surprising although disappointing considering the description online. I soaked all four cuttings overnight than planted in growing medium and placed into my indoor greenhouse. After a month or so only one Consort budded and leafed out. The two Red Lake and one remaining Consort show no signs of life. When scraping the twig, there appears to be no vital inner bark and no cambium. The three were obviously sent to me dead. They were inserted into small clear plastic baggies and mailed during February to Massachusetts in a green plastic bag so there\'s likelihood the little cuttings were subjected to subfreezing temps but the cambium would still be intact - it was missing completely in all three. I\'ve written and requested replacements. I\'ll update once I hear back from them.
On March 21st, 2016, rosepetal2 added the following:



If it were possible to thoroughly damage this company's reputation I would be first in line to do so. They are CHEATERS sending immature often DEAD plants and then requiring the original ship label for return or refund. They know this is not something a vast majority of customers would be able to do. After all, we actually believe their plants will break dormancy and grow weeks later. They shipped to me in early February with no concern over freeze damage. I have filed a complaint with our state attorney general internet fraud unit, noted their name on our state's master gardener website as a vendor to avoid, noted their name on my business gardening website and post here.

AVOID THIS UNSCRUPULOUS COMPANY ALONG WITH ALL THEIR SUBSIDIARIES.
Neutral RobertCrandall
Capac, MI
(8 reviews)
March 6, 2016
I consider buying from Burgess like buying from a local big-box store that does not specialize in Plants of any particular kind. I have had some good luck such as the Hanska Plumcot which 2 out 3 lived and are growing nicely. I also have some Hybrid Poplars and Willows which are doing well. I like the prices and variety but don't really expect much. I ordered 8 Kiwis and only received 4 they said I had to mail in the original shipping label. I did and they sent the other 4. When they didn't grow at all, I asked them to replace them but they told me that I had to send the shipping label. When I explained that I already did they told me it was a one-time deal so they would not replace them. I haven't ordered since but I may buy some Yuccas this year. They are inexpensive so if I loose them I am not out much. I am done with any big orders from them though.
Negative scottPi
Milwaukee, WI
(8 reviews)
February 18, 2016
Check out what a group of us on Facebook think of this vendor: [HYPERLINK@www.facebook.com]

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