I placed a few medium size orders for last season from this company and there were several problems. Of 5 Lilium 'Landini', 2 were the beautiful black-purple Asiatics, but 3 were much taller gold and orange inverted blooms, clearly the wrong bulbs. Another more subtle issue was the Lilium 'Trebiana', offered as pale greenish yellow, but was instead a bright true yellow. I emailed them 3 times, once even including a picture of the incorrect 3 Landini bulbs. They never responded at all.
As I send this, I pulled out my order and noticed that the Begonia 'Switzerland' I ordered last year was from them too. Of 5 bulbs, two emerged, but only one of the 2 had dark foliage. Not a good experience.
Stinky111 Jersey City, NJ (1 review) February 22, 2016
I've been ordering from KVB/Dutch bulbs for years now and the only reason for that is they have always fixed what they or their growers screw up.
I have had experience with many different online sites and overall KVB/DB is the best of the lot.
If you are looking for live plants I would suggest a nursery or a big box store. Places like HomeDepot and Lowes have taken notice and (@ least around here) are being supplied with a better quality product then say 5 years ago.
Bulbs, tubers, bare roots etc... I have found and in my opinion, you go to KVB wholesale. Are they perfect? No. Have they had everything I have wanted to plant? No, I have shopped at "easytogrowbulbs.com and Vanengelen.com" and a few others to find everything I need. Have they ever screwed up an order? Absolutely. Have they ever sent me bulbs, roots, tubers, plants that look as though they had been lost in the warehouse for about 2 years? Certainly.
Have they done their best to rectify each situation? Yup!
I order every year, sometimes in the fall and sometimes in the spring, the quality as as it is with many online groups but the quantity and price trump most I've been able to find.
Thanks for your time.
sagebird Laramie, WY (5 reviews) November 18, 2015
Ordered bulbs beginning of sept. Bulbs est delivery by end october. Still havent received all order and now NOV !8 ground is very frozen solid with inches of snow. Weather colder and colder . How am i supposed to plant bulbs . VERY crazy delivery - one package after another randomly and very LATE. I am avoiding in future .
Negative experience. I ordered 4 different bulb collections 5 days ago and was told they would all be shipped in 18 days; no back orders. My credit card statement arrived 3 days after my order was placed with the bulb transaction charge. I had not received my order. I contacted van bourgandian, and was told they had a new policy of immediately charging the credit card, even if the order will not be completely shipped until 6 months later, which, oh-by-the-way, I'd have to wait until spring for part of my order. I have ordred from the van bourgondian company for years, they'd never charged prior to shipping, what's up? Oh, didn't you know, van bourgondian sold out to gardens alive. A company i would never have done business with if i had known.
ncbill West Jefferson, NC (6 reviews) June 13, 2015
I ordered a variety of bulbs. Good prices. Shipped quickly. Bulbs were packed nicely, were big and healthy. No complaints. No problems. As as expected and hoped. I will shop with Van Bourgondien again.
blancalj West Des Moines, IA (1 review) May 10, 2015
Years ago, when I was an active IA State Ext Master Gardener, I purchased from K.Van Bourgondien often and until recently had some of their excellent bulbs. When I decided to replace my dahlias,tuberose, freesias, lilies and glads I did not hesitate to order from them. The prices are good and they arrived promptly, the lilies and glads were wonderful, the freesias ok but the dahlias and tuberoses were sad! The 10 dahlias I received might have had 3 viable pieces, and the tuberoses looked chewed on!
When I emailed them hoping for replacements or partial refund all I received was a "we care and will respond' email, that was over a week ago and I'm still waiting for a real response.
Very disappointed and will make sure to let gardening friends know.
reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) (46 reviews) April 14, 2015
What I received is similar to others. Broken, rotted and unviable plant material. This company should be sued for fraud. This is absolutely ridiculous to pay money for what they picture on their website and then send something that could not possibly produce. I'm done with them! Stay away from Gardens Alive and its subsidiaries! These people are crooks only concerned about your money and are no friend of the gardening community.
I ordered bulbs most of two months ago. Finally, they sent email and told me this order was canceled. No substitute items was mentioned.
If they did not have enough items, why did they accepted the orders for such long time? So disappointment.
eolivas103 Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) (17 reviews) August 16, 2014
I have bought bulbs from this company for 3 years and I most likely will order from them again soon. I hesitated for sometime before rating them because well, I just was not so sure what I thought of them. On the negative side: I have a pet peeve and that is, please do not send me substitutes and they sent me a different Lily than I ordered. But busy with my garden, I never bothered to notify them or tell them and lucky for them, I do really love the Lily or I might feel a lot more negative. And their policies do say they can substitute but I really do not like that policy with any company. If a company does run out, I think they should call and ask what you would like substituted or refund your money. Also, I thought they failed to send me some Gladiolus I ordered but they just did not bloom for an extra season and when they did they have like 4 stocks on them. In the end, I got everything I had asked for with the Glads. But I have been thinking about this company a lot lately because there is definitely an upside to them. Their bulbs and the flowers they produce are HUGE. When they say they are big, they're big. Their Tulips are Huge. Their Gladiolus have been absolutely amazing and multiply rapidly. And of the Lilies I have bought from them, I have been happy. In summary, their customer service is OK, their substitution policy is not to my liking - They need a Please do not substitute checkbox. But in their favor, their bulbs are huge and produce really good plants (and flowers) that perform well year after year. That is why I recommend them.
On April 15, I bought $32 worth of Arium Metallicum, or red candle lily. The first order arrived in 2 pks of 5. Both packs were dried up, hollow chunks that could be crumbled. I complained through email and a customer service emailed a replacement certificate. I reordered the bulbs and they arrived worse than the first. They were so dry they were crumbling to powder like chalk. I don't understand why my order left both times like this but it's obvious this company is not in business to stay in business.
Pic here: http://s270.photobucket.com/user/cmitchprint/media/imagejpg1...
Be aware that Dutch Gardens no longer warranties their products past 10 days. My fall shipment arrived late in the season. Because of the early winter in MN , most of it failed to grow except for the bulbs. I was willing to pay their prices because of the guarantees. But without warranties it will be cheaper for me to by locally.
Ordered alstroemeria bulbs from them and when they finally arrived they were shriveled. They never even came up. Never purchase from them again!
prioreb Atlanta, GA (Zone 8a) (4 reviews) May 6, 2014
Want to place an online order with a company and never get your order #, order summary, and order details emailed back to you? Want to order plants that are supposedly available, but then find out after several calls that they are not ready? Want to wait a month after ordering to have to call and say what's going on? Look no further than Van Bourgondien! I will never order from them again. Apparently trying to order some Dicentra is like asking someone to part the Red Sea. Terrible customer service. I would tell anyone to run from them company.
Great experience... everything was delivered as expected.
cardoons Longmeadow, MA (4 reviews) February 4, 2014
I ordered Great American Lakes Dahlia Blend tubers last spring from this mail order company (not the nursery on Long Island with a similar name). Several of the tubers were damaged in shipping. Poorly packed, in my opinion. The damaged tubers never sprouted. Replacements were shipped; only half sprouted.
Once they bloomed, I found that NONE of them were actually Great American Lakes Dahlias. Some other variety I could not recognize. I will never again order from this company or any of the other Gardens Alive! companies.Company representative comment on February 11, 2014: On Feb 11, 2014 1:11 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. I apologize for the problems with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information.
coriaceous ROSLINDALE, MA (15 reviews) February 1, 2014
My company ordered dahlias from Van Engelen last spring. We only discovered that their product was mislabeled after growing them. We'd also had problems in the past with unacceptably frequent incidents in which what arrived was not what we ordered. We've given up dealing with this company.Company representative comment on February 3, 2014: On Feb 3, 2014 11:53 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting and I apologize for the problems you have had with your orders. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you.
docknee Murphy, NC (Zone 7a) (10 reviews) January 6, 2014
A recent Spring mailing offered 50% off making many selections attractive if not competitive. Upon checkout the shipping was $19.95 on a $55 dollar order - even if it really was worth $110 that is almost 20% for shipping - I moved on. Found everything elsewhere for same price or better with some offering free shipping.
wnyGardner ALFRED STATION, NY (2 reviews) November 17, 2013
I orderd a few items last week. The packaging sizes were great and the prices were reasonable. The order arrived at the expected time. It was complete and the bulb quality was good and comapred well with the other whole-sale suppliers. I had good experience with KVB. I will order from them again. I recommend it to others specially if they like to try many varieties at smaller package sizes.Company representative comment on November 19, 2013: On Nov 19, 2013 9:52 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with our company. Enjoy your garden.
Great prices & order arrived promptly.Everything was there,no missing items like I seen other complain about. Did have a couple bulbs (& I do mean just a few out of a large order) that were either dead or undersize-- called Cust. Serv. & they were great!!!! gave me a credit since they were already out of the items..very polite & helpful & credited full item cost when there was only partial loss. WILL DEAL WITH AGAIN & DEFINITELY RECOMMEND AAA+++ much better customer service that a lot of other companies & overall very happy with the bulbsCompany representative comment on November 16, 2013: On Nov 16, 2013 2:37 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I placed an order with Van Bourgondien on October 3rd for a poppy, foxtail lilies and hosta, as well as another order October 16th for Bearded Iris (their end of season sale)
Well...Its November 12th now .. I have 2 inches of snow on the ground. The poppy arrived last week but I have no lilies, no iris and no hosta I will plant them when ever they do arrive (I pre-dug the holes and have thawed soil to fill them) but I do not expect much survival
Learned a lesson on this - next time I will check Dave's Garden reviews before ordering. Company representative comment on November 16, 2013: On Nov 16, 2013 2:44 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. Have you received your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you.
I couldn't have been more happy with the service from this company. I order over $200 worth of bulbs and was extremely satisfied. The product shipped earlier than the promised date, shipped 100% complete and the quality of the bulbs was excellent. I almost canceled my order based on the amount of negative reviews I saw on this website - I'm glad I didn't. I couldn't be happier with the quality of customer service and the product received. I will definitely be ordering from them in the future and would advise others to do the same.
Marisa MayCompany representative comment on November 16, 2013: On Nov 16, 2013 2:52 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you Marisa for your feedback. Enjoy your garden.
Awful....I ordered from them....after I ordered from them, the email I received from them mentioned that the items would ship in about 4+ weeks....yet I was already in prime bulb planting season, and 4+ weeks from now is "Frost City" where I live....I realized, after reading reviews of the company, that this was a DUD of a company...I called the company and cancelled out...why wait WEEKS (or more) to have your item shipped, when you can have your item shipped from a different company almost immediately?...this company was giving me flashbacks of another company, Michigan Bulb...they seem to operating in the same bizzarro fashion...find a better company than this one...
Never again....Company representative comment on November 16, 2013: On Nov 16, 2013 3:21 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
We appreciate your posting. We use the USDA shipping chart so we know the best time to ship our products. I apologize for the delay.
Everything very positive! Bulbs I received were larger than advertised. I needed my items before the promised date because of surgery, called them with my request, and within 4 days received my orders, 10 - 15 days before the promised date. I have done business with this company many times before, and service had gone down until last spring. Now service is excellent, and so it the product. JohnCompany representative comment on November 16, 2013: On Nov 16, 2013 2:55 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you John, we appreciate your posting. Enjoy!
carolmo Olathe, KS (Zone 5a) (12 reviews) September 19, 2013
Took a chance and ordered fringed coral lace gladiolus and a lavender daylily. The gladiolus bloomed pink - not coral (had several times before and know what the correct one looks like). Will not know until next year if daylily is also mismarked. Contacted them - they gave me a code to use with another order. Last year, black landini asiatic lily bloomed orange - they also gave me a code to use with next order (but the code did not work, so I did not order then). They do not refund. You must order more and get stuck with a shipping charge. Never, never again. Good grief - why can they not send the correct items? If the daylily is wrong too, I will be screaming. Company representative comment on September 20, 2013: On Sep 20, 2013 11:32 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and we will take care of these problems for you.
SeaMist Carlsbad, CA (1 review) September 11, 2013
I ordered 12 items in May and they shipped 8 of the items in June.
Today I looked up my Order Status on their website and it said one of the 4 remaining items had been cancelled but made no mention of the other 3 items that I have email confirmation of having ordered in May.
I called Customer Service and the first person I spoke to said she didn't know why the one item was cancelled but the other 3 items were out of stock. I asked why I was able to order out of stock items? Why these items weren't showing up on the Order Status page? And why I hadn't received notice that 4 of my 12 items would not be shipped? She again said she didn't know so I asked to speak to a manager.
The manager (Sheryl) said she doesn't know why 3 of the items were not showing up in my Order Status on their webpage but that she could see them in her system. She also said that they send notices when items are out of stock -- implying that it is somehow a failure on my end in receiving no notice.
I asked how I can have confidence in ordering through them again given that so many items were out of stock, she doesn't know what is wrong with their Order Status webpage or their notification system, and is not communicating an intent to find out? Her response...I don't know.
Enormously unhelpful. I do not recommend this company if you want to receive more than 2/3 of your order or any semblance of customer service.Company representative comment on September 12, 2013: On Sep 12, 2013 12:31 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I am so sorry to hear about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you.
I was looking for daffodil bulbs to order for the fall and reached this company's page by referral. It was July and they were running July specials. The problem began when i started looking at the different subtitles of the daffodils such as pinks and doubles. I found they had a buyers favorite and had a price and a buy button. When i went to the cart to look at what i had listed to purchase the number of bulbs in the package had changed. with 50 to 75 % fewer bulbs for the price quoted. I emailed the company and they offered me a special offer which was less than what was on the web page. When i called their customer representative offered no explaination or adjustment. This seems to be bait and switch at its worse and completely illegal.
When i checked the web site the next day after not hearing anything back from the company they had changed the pages i had pointed out but there were other pages that still showed this misrepresentation. I have copies of emails that have copies of the pages in question. There is no way i would deal with this company with such shady business practices. Company representative comment on August 23, 2013: On Aug 23, 2013 8:59 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback and I apologize for the confusion over the pricing on the web site. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and make sure this is taken care of.
My Grandmother, mom and I placed an order together. Here was our order and what happened with each flower/plant:
-BLEEDING HEART - Blooomed nicely
-ORIENTAL LILY CASA BLANCA - Bloomed nicely
-DAHLIA NICK SR. - Bloomed nicely
-HARDY GERANIUM JOHNSON'S - Got Purple instead of Blue flowers when it finally bloomed.
-BLUE HARDY GERANIUM LAVENDER PINWHEEL - Bloomed nicely
-HARDY GERANIUM PRATENSE SPLISH SPLASH - Got plain white flowers when it bloomed
-YELLOW GINGER LILY- Did not bloom at all
So 42% of our order was unsuccessful. I think that is a high percentage. I was disappointed when my geraniums blossomed and were not what I ordered. I will probably order from them in the future because I have had great experience with them in the past with tulips, daffodils, and irises, I guess maybe just stay away from the geraniums. They are unpredictable. Even the ones that blossomed nicely didn't have anywhere near as spectacular a color as shown in the photo. Company representative comment on August 15, 2013: On Aug 15, 2013 11:10 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback we appreciate you letting us know about any problems you have with your orders. The Johnson's Geranium usually bloom a purple/blue color, they are not a true blue. The Splish Splash should have a purple color as well as the white. I will have one of our customer service representatives contact you for your account information and we can reship the items that did not perform as they should have.
Sos07 IJAMSVILLE, MD (Zone 7a) (6 reviews) August 1, 2013
I have placed many,many orders of all sizes over the past ten years.I have not even once had a bad experience .I am a member of Dave's garden and can not believe all of the negative reviews.I find their prices very good.I have always been sent what I ordered.Company representative comment on August 6, 2013: On Aug 6, 2013 4:10 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. Happy Gardening!
Cshewlett Deatsville, AL (2 reviews) July 30, 2013
I was SO disappointed with this company! I placed two separate orders, both in March the 8th and the 21st. The first was tuberose, summer cheer daffodils. Lord Lieutenant anemones. The second was Lord Lieutenant anemones, purple ranunculus and mixed ranunculus. The ranunculus was for my mother for Mother's Day. Well, Mother's Day came and went with no order arriving. The anticipated delivery date kept getting pushed back every week - finally in mid June I lost my patience because the order for tuberose was cancelled as they were out of stock. Really? You couldn't have figured that out 3 months ago when you put it on sale? So I sent a strongly worded letter letting them know they dropped the ball on the ranunculus, and seeing as I had already paid for the tuberose I wanted my money back. They did respond same day - and my money was refunded to my checking account the next day. My ranunculus order magically appeared in the mail 2 days later. However, they had substituted my anemones I wanted with blue and white anemones.
Never again will I purchase anything from a nursery that claims they have the right to substitute items without notice.
Company representative comment on August 6, 2013: On Aug 6, 2013 4:12 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I apologize for the problems you had with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and see what we can do to rectify the problem.
First, everything charged on credit card upfront, months ago. No one else does this, they charge as they ship. Second, shipping in mid June to St. Louis? It's pushing 100F; lilies in bloom everywhere here. Third, quietly updating statuses to 'cancelled'. No email, no offer of replacements. (Of course I still get a daily junk mail regarding their special deals). Stuff just out of stock, which I had to learn by going back to the catalog. It was not offered up as a cancellation reason. Fourth, $51 worth of elephant ears just dropped off the order. Of course, I was charged for them, but now they've apparently been cancelled along with everything else, not apparent on invoice. So, approximately $240 worth ordered, only $85 shipped. Amount credited back to my card does not match missing stock. Everything else now out of stock, almost all out lilies, and all my elephant ears. Got the beds tilled up and waiting, now too late to find good stock at local nurseries. NEVER AGAIN, I would rate them right there with Michigan Bulb CO, the 'dead stick' people. I don't care how beautiful the catalog is. If you can't provide the product, don't offer it. If indeed they are located in Ohio, I could have driven there in late April/early May and picked the stuff up. It would have gotten a proper start, although it remains to be seen whether the few items that we actually received are going to grow. Hard to say, now that the tender stuff has to face extreme heat. I would suggest a revision of the zones shipping schedule. But I will not be around next year to find out. Absolutely the worst online/mail order experience with a nursery, ever. I wish I had read here first, live and learn.Company representative comment on June 20, 2013: On Jun 20, 2013 11:27 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I apologize for the problems you have had with your order. We would be happy to check this out for you and make sure you are taken care of. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information.
I ordered from Van Bourgondien for the first time this year. My order was fairly small and late in the season (May 1), but everything was listed as in stock, and my order confirmation said the estimated delivery date was 5/15-6/5. One item, 3 egret flowers, shipped on time, but they failed to grow. Everything else was delayed. I received a couple of geraniums Friday, but I am still waiting for some hostas and irises. I just noticed today that the White Feather hostas which were the primary reason I placed this order were quietly canceled at some point. A refund was issued to my credit card, but since pricing information was not included in my order confirmation, I have no way to verify that it was the correct amount.
I probably won't bother with this company again.Company representative comment on June 20, 2013: On Jun 20, 2013 11:24 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
We appreciate you letting us know about any problem you have with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check this out for you.
I sent ihs company a rather sizable order on 5/1 and started getting "pending status" updates almost from the first day-moving the shipping date farther and farther into spring.
The latest pending status had dropped three items (all of which I had planed in my garden) and when I asked why, I got this:
"Thank you for your email. Due to the popularity of these items and the conclusion of our shipping season, we are unable to process your order ..."
6 weeks after they accepted my order and I designed my plan, they are sorry.
I was at a local garden center the last week in May and could have bought the PLANTS. Called them today, none are available.
NEVER AGAIN Company representative comment on June 14, 2013: On Jun 14, 2013 1:11 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I apologize for the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you.
AprilsWin24 Bowleys Quarters, MD (3 reviews) June 12, 2013
Posted on May 20, 2013, updated June 12, 2013
Last winter, I ordered Forget Me Nots for spring shipping. I kept getting notices that my shipping was going to be delayed. This is understandable since they ship based on the best time for each person's zone, however, when an order did arrive for me, it was a shipment of 36 gladiolus meant for someone else. That person was sent my Forget Me Nots. When I contacted them they told me my plant was no longer available and I should just keep the gladiolus as a consolation prize- their words. No refund offered or given. This winter, I ordered pagan dance reblooming bearded iris- probably should have learned my lesson the first time. When the fans arrived they were tagged as Pagan Dance. Now, that they have started blooming it is obvious they sent the wrong flower. Pagan Dance is a black and deep purple iris. The iris I have is Let's Boogie- a purple and white/yellow bearded iris that doesn't rebloom. No apology or offer of a solution from them. On June 12th, 2013, AprilsWin24 added the following:
Update: I was promised a refund was being processed and would be seen in 2-3 weeks. Well, its been 3 weeks and the refund hasn't shown up. I also just found out the lily's I ordered are also incorrect. They were supposed to be a lime green Trebbiano Lily and are instead a pale yellow lily. Company representative comment on May 22, 2013: On May 22, 2013 11:30 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your post. I apologize for the mix up with your order and there should have been a refund for the items you received incorrect. Also a reship should be processed for the wrong iris. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this.
50Carrots Chesapeake Ranch Estates-Drum Point, MD (9 reviews) May 3, 2013
In October 2012 I ordered 145 fall planted bulbs including: Daffodil “Golden Ducat,” Irene Copeland , White Passion blend, and the Wild Flower Bulb Mix (100 mixed bulbs) which was not shipped. I called the company and the mixed bulbs were shipped right away. The first shipment also included a package of 10 Muscari blue- purple bulbs which I did not order. I planted them anyway and this spring ALL the bulbs I ordered and the Muscari thrived and bloomed. I was ordering bulbs for my White and Yellow Gardens, so I did not think I would like the Muscari and I planted them in another section near my roses. They have just been a delightful spring flower and a great pop of bright color considering the roses are just putting out a few leaves in the spring. Excellent customer service.Company representative comment on May 8, 2013: On May 8, 2013 9:35 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for sharing your experience with our company. Enjoy your flowers!
Posted on August 23, 2012, updated March 27, 2013
Posted on August 13, 2012, updated August 23, 2012
Posted on June 29, 2012, updated August 13, 2012
I agree with many of the negative comments noted on the forum already although they have been pretty reasonable with replacements. I bought from them years ago and then this spring with two significant orders. I've called them 5 or 6 times already regarding the first order because of wrong shipments and wrong # of items. Most calls I was put on hold for 15-40 min. (They don't respond to emails -- you immediately get a ticket # but nothing happens). Now I have to call them because of problems with plant growth : I bought 3 types of trumpet lilies (5 bulbs ea) and for each type, only 2 or 3 of the 5 have buds on them. I bought 18 oriental lilies, 15 sprouted and of the ones that are growing it looks like very few have buds on them. I bought 40 lily of the valley and less than a quarter have sprouted (almost 2 mo). I bought 6 Virginia bluebells -- one was rotten on arrival, 2 of the 5 sprouted but never made it past the one-leaf stage. Only 1 of 4 ostrich ferns sprouted ; hoping they are just slow. A tree peony I planted 6 weeks ago hasn't sprouted (hopefully it's just slow because it is bare-root). It is curious that in contrast to other companies which ship bare roots in the fall, Van Bourgondien shipped them in the spring-early summer.
After much debate (because I didn't want to be put on hold) I called them about the tree peony, to my surprise the customer rep says they have no record of my purchases. After a bit of back and forth, I got a little annoyed (the rep kept saying "let me tell you...ma'am) and asked to speak to her supervisor, which is when I learned of the changing of hands and they have NO records of orders. Additionally all of their catalog#s have changed - no wonder the rep has no idea what I am talking about (but instead of 'fessing up about the new ownership, she kept ma'amming me).
I also agree with someone's point about the company charging our credit cards for the full order even when half the shipment isn't planned for several months. I don't know of any other online company that does that.
Since half of my order is still pending (fall shipment), I hope this changing of hands isn't going to derail that order. On August 13th, 2012, Lee21 added the following:
Still maintaining a negative rating. The company rep sent me an email to which I responded but never heard back.
I was supposed to get a refund for a plant when I called on 5-28 that has not come through. I got an email confirmation on 6-18 and called again on 7-19 at which point they said it's coming. Now 2.5 months later, still nothing.
Still have to deal with them regarding a second large order (many plants never even sprouted or were rotten on arrival).On August 23rd, 2012, Lee21 added the following:
I dreaded having to call van B regarding my second order but finally had to bite the bullet. Half of the plants I ordered either did not produce buds (lilium), did not sprout at all (lily of the valley) or were DOA (Virginia blue bells). I thought now it is the end of August, surely they have their records straightened out (WRONG!) and that they can send replacement plants for fall planting (WRONG!). As far as I can tell, they are not making any attempt to transfer old orders (the last one I placed was in 5-2012 so that should have been under new management already!) and they are not honoring their warranty. So I was told today that they will not be sending replacements (even though the items are in stock for fall planting) and the only recourse is refund. But the refund is not fair exchange! First of all the prices have all gone up considerably. For example lily of the valley was $7.5 for 10 plants when I ordered them in 5-2012, now its $14.99, a 200% increase. So a refund will not buy me the same number of plants that I paid for. Second, the refund doesn't cover the shipping cost. Since I want to sever my relationship with van B ASAP, I opted for refund. We'll see if they actually post the refund this time.
Bottom line, I will NEVER buy from van B again.On March 27th, 2013, Lee21 added the following:
It's spring and I am finally ready to use the credit that they issued me for $50.97. First I found I cannot use it online, so I had to call and waited for 10 min before someone picked up. Then they couldn't find the credit memo and put me on hold for another 10 min or so. Came back and said yes they found it but it was for $50.79. I said, it's a small amount but it should be $50.97 (it's the principle of the matter) - I can email them a photo of the postcard they send. The customer service person was a bit rude and said "if it is such a big deal, I'll take 18cents off". Well 18 cents here and there could amount to quite a bit. Besides, a company has to be honest to generate loyal customers. The customer service rep was a bit huffy for the remainder of the phone call (e.g. asking her if I will receive a confirmation via email... etc).
Bottom line, I am done with this company, new management or not. Plenty of other companies around.Company representative comment on July 19, 2012: On Jul 19, 2012 10:33 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.
vivianjp Chapel Hill, NC (4 reviews) March 26, 2013
I have spent the morning reading & making comments here. I now see that all my complaints have been due to Gardens Alive. Thank you for that information.
I have many beautiful plants that are still thriving from vanB. I placed an order recently in which 1 item (phlox David) was dead; but customer service was excellent, & they immediately shipped a replacement.
So sad when a decent company gets bought out & destroyed by predators. Shame on those of you who blame the victim!Company representative comment on March 26, 2013: On Mar 26, 2013 4:29 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting, Happy Gardening to you!
I have ordered from this Co. for about 20 years. I have no complaints. Several yrs ago I was short one bulb in pkg of 5. I called and was sent a whole pkg of 5 bulbs. I have my usual spring order in process. Don't expect any problems.Company representative comment on February 19, 2013: On Feb 19, 2013 11:50 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback, we truly appreciate it. Happy Gardening!
Netcub Bowling Green, KY (2 reviews) October 22, 2012
Ordered 48 Daffodil Bulbs. They Came exactly when they were supposed to come and looked Great. Called Customer service Once and they were very nice as well. No Problems here.Company representative comment on November 2, 2012: On Nov 2, 2012 10:19 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. Happy Gardening!
Posted on September 27, 2012, updated September 27, 2012
Just wanted to add my experience over many years and tens of thousands of dollars spent with this company. Best deal anywhere, hands down. I look at all these negative reviews and see a lot of folks who expect too much and don't know what they're doing. Tiny orders usually go to folks who are inexperienced, so there will be lots of negative reviews from them. Clearance items are just that. These are end-of-season closeouts that have been stored in damp, musky conditions for months. Do y'all really expect them to be in first class shape? I have items that I order every year and they die every year. Same if I order them from anyone else, though. Everything doesn't do well everywhere. I keep trying different growing methods and microclimates and I'll figure out a way to get them to grow here, but I imagine there are many items that a hobby gardener would never get a satisfactory experience with. And while I have occasionally ordered plants from kvb, I usually don't. They're a bulb company. I typically don't order plants from other bulb companies either, nor from seed companies. Now the worst thing is that all of these negative reviews certainly contributed to the bankruptcy of my preferred supplier of bulbs, who have now been taken over and will be cannibalized by Gardens Alive. They've already ruined it. Check the prices and the quantities available now. Overpriced and small quantities, even for wholesale. Their awesome sale prices are gone, too. Geez. On September 27th, 2012, TropiTiki added the following:
I wanted to add that the positive rating is really for the company that I know, not the one now owned by Gardens Alive. I don't see myself ordering from them in the future because I can get better deals locally. Actually, you can get better deals from other online sources for pretty much everything they offer from all of their different companies. Gardens Alive ruins everything they take over.Company representative comment on September 27, 2012: On Sep 27, 2012 10:16 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I apologize for any trouble you may have experienced with any member of the Gardens Alive! family. Is there anything I can assist you with from a previous order from one of our sister companies? Gardens Alive! is now the proud parent company of VB and hopes to extend it's customer service to existing, as well as new, customers. Our excellence is evident by our new and repeat customers that have made us one of the successful and prosperous catalog and online gardening suppliers for 27 yrs. Please give us the opportunity to extend our world class service, or allow us to resolve any past issue you may have had with Gardens Alive! or any of it's member companies.
pyracantha San Francisco, CA (3 reviews) August 14, 2012
I know it's tempting to order from them with their discount incentives and I have been guilty of purchasing from them when I knew that I would be taking a chance but this year I have put myself on a K Van B. ban.
I've ordered from both their wholesale and regular sites for years and for years had mixed results with the quality of the bulbs and their service. The biggest problem was always delayed shipping or completely lost orders. I order for my clients so I spend a lot of money here and place my orders very, very early but still 75% of the time they failed me.
Last year they simply broke the camel's back which ended up costing me a lot of money and delayed planting which made work look less than what my clients had come to expect. I consistently called to check on my order and was told they would be shipped "any day now" for weeks and weeks. Then finally they said they lost my order so I ended up frantically buying from retail places in town that had limited quantities and selection. They said I should put a new order in so I did put in a new but smaller order for the items I couldn't find in town and when the bulbs did finally arrive late they were shriveled and moldy. I was unable to get them to do anything about it while being put on hold for 20 minutes at a time.
So just bite the bullet and don't be tempted by the prices and pictures. Just don't do it. Company representative comment on August 16, 2012: On Aug 16, 2012 1:03 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.