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GrannySal Walloon Lake, MI (1 review) April 9, 2013
In February, I ordered 4 reservoir wick pots from Volkmann Bros. Greenhouses. They arrived a month later with NO WICKS! I have asked them 4 times to please send 4 wicks with no response. No one seems to be minding this store.
I have been ordering Volkmann Brothers products for years, ever since the brothers had their greenhouse in Dallas, Tx. I even met and spoke with one of the Brothers, who was quite old at the time. I have litteraly ordered hundreds of times without a problem until a few years ago.
The Brothers closed their greenhouse in Dallas a few years ago and I figured they were either getting too old and had retired or one or both of them had passed away. It was about this time that noticed that the ordering address had changed.
With this address change the orders started coming slower and slower over the months to come. I am only guessing, but I think that someone in the family must have received the rights to sell the products or someone had bought the rights to sell them. What ever the case is, things have definitely changed.
Even though the delivery of the products has slowed, I have always received them and they are always correct. By the way, I have only received one email from them in response to an email that i wrote them concerning an order that I had placed. it said "Your order has been processed".
I love the Volkmann products and hope that I can continue buying them. In my opinion their products are the best.
I ordered a large bag of Volkmann's Wick Watering soil on May 26, 2010. When I hadn't received it about 2 weeks later, I attempted to contact them. Their fax number is out of service; other numbers that I was able to obtain either simply ring or go directly to voice mail.
I contacted the African Violet Society of America; they had literally just gotten off the phone with another member who had also had problems with Volkmann Bros.
The Violet Showcase in Englewood, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) has posted a message on their Updates, Specials, and Close-outs page that says:
"We have had a number of inquiries as to why we no longer offer Volkmann Bros. wicking saucers as we have for many years. As far as we can determine Volkmann Bros. has gone out of business. This is based on our experiences over many months of orders to them going unfilled, and phone calls, e-mail messages, postal mail inquiries, and fax messages being unanswered. We regret not being able to offer the wicking saucers any longer."
As of today, 15 Jun 2010, the company has still not - but of course they managed to take my money INSTANTLY (I ordered online - something I've done hundreds of times on other sites without issue). I hate to have to post a message like this, especially as I have done business with them for a LONG time (I used to live in Dallas, not far from their original greenhouses) but their web site is still up and active. I just wish I had seen the message from the previous poster (from 2007!) before I spent my own money. Hopefully I can prevent this from happening to others.
hotmama Willow Springs, IL (20 reviews) September 11, 2007
r July 24,2007 I sent in a small order to Volkmann Bros.greenhouses. They weren't listed on GW, but had a full page ad in African Violet Magazine, so I took that as a plus.
I used snailmail & personal check, expecting that my order wouldnt be sent out until my check cleared. Fine. Bank statement came & went - check was cashed - No response from vendor.
Emails & voice mail were ignored- frustration growing. My sister from the southwest was due to arrive 9-13 for a very short stay. She had wondered how her houseplants(streps) would survive during her upcoming winter vacation. I suggested wick watering. Having no personal experience with the method(I live in humid midwest) I ordered a wicking kit for her, and a couple items for myself, so I could experiment with the system.
August came & went - no order confirmation, no shipping info.tracking # - zilch. I left a message that I would be reporting my experience to Garden Watchdog and that I hoped the vendors first review would be a favorable one.That seemed to open lines of communication.
Vendor said he had been in an accident 7-20, had head trauma and was only just getting back. They always manage to cash your check tho, don't they?
Then got some contradictory emails. package went out - (never arrived here must have landed in the black hole), he would send order & refund my payment (sure). Most recently an email saying package had gone out 7-21 (I didn't mail in my order until 7-24).
It was a small order $ 17.43 - a third of it postage. Just a simple order: wicking pot, wicking saucer, 10 feet of wicking material, a wicking kit for my sister. I stressed that the whole idea was to present to my sister when she visited 9-13. I needed the order by that date.
Got an email that he would triple check with manager re:package that allegedly went out much earlier. Another email saying that he personally took package to p.o. & I would receive before 9-13. priority mail.
Well the package arrived today(9-11), he beat the deadline. I have been as patient as possible in not posting a scathing review- I cannot abide by deceit. GW readers know all the excuses vendors cough up- divorce, accident,illness, the dog ate the package, etc. but, I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt.
I considered customer relations to be sorely lacking but,hopefully this criticism will be a learning experience, so I am posting a Neutral.
Package arrived somewhat battered. There was no invoice, no packing material . Inside the wicking kit was a small package of wicking soil mix - in an open ended plastic bag., it has scattered over the items in the box.
Items sent were not the type to be easily broken, so maybe they didn't care to use any peanuts, or newspaper to pack. However, they do bend. which was not of great consequence.
Pots, saucer, appear to be good material. The wicking soil mix (what remained in bag) was totally dried out and hard lumps.(peat moss). You know how hard it is to re-wet parched peat moss. I'll toss that and make up my own to give my sister.
In all this was a very frustrating experience that ended(finally)on a good note. Maybe others will have a better encounter.
Would I order from them again ? No, once bit, twice shy.