I have ordered seeds from VBS for a long time and have had no issues but in recent years, several gardening catalogs have consolidated their ordering address to JW Jung's address in Randolph, WI probably to save on overheads through centralized management. This is where the problems have arisen. Those answering queries are not knowledgeable or helpful. A classic case in point, their most recent catalog has a bicolor Corn pictured on p.21 but they cannot tell which one of the three varieties listed below depicts the actual photographic portrayal. This sort of a 'customer service' is quite inadmissible in this country and this information-intensive age. I will take my shopping elsewhere as I have done with other companies that have relegated their ordering to JW Jung.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible
I went to their website to request a catalogue. It directs one to an external website. After a long "click trail" one is told that the next mailing is NOVEMBER 2013.
Really, they are not interested in doing business with anyone for a year. I am 56 years old and this is the worst example of disdain for customers I have encountered. At the least, instead of sending you on this wild goose chase to the external website, VB should just put - NO, we don't won't your business, we are not sending our catalog out and not waste people's time. Does VB really think that will motivate one to order a pig in a poke from its website since they refuse to provide product literature? Company representative comment on January 29, 2013: On Jan 29, 2013 11:14 AM, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
We are sorry you don't like our new policy. Anyone that has ordered in the past 3 years was sent a catalog and anyone that requesetd one before the mailing went out got one. But we are not getting even a small return on the money spent sending catalogs every week. Businesses can't continue to lose money and stay around.
I ordered seeds Sunday and had them by Saturday that same week. Haven't planted them yet so I can't report on germination rates. Also had a very pleasant experience with customer service. I never received an email notifying me of shipment (as i did from both of the other companies I placed orders with) nor did the order status on the website ever show anything (just stayed blank) but an email to customer service late one night was answered the next morning telling me the seeds had shipped two days previously. So far a good experience. Also all seed packages are labeled with all pertinent planting info which is a little lacking on their site. Also liked their selection though they didn't have a few the more exotic vegetable plants I was looking for as their main focus is on beans.
Have been buying from this company and their sister companies for a number of years and have been very impressed with the company since Jung Seed took it over. I have only ever purchased dry beans for shelling from them, but have been well pleased with the quality and true-to-type seed.
Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:
It is the stated policy of the Garden Watchdog that companies can NOT pose as customers in submitting customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so
I have ordered from this company for several years and have gotten good service. I like the diversity of crops offered and the array of varieties. The seed I ordered came promptly. I also ordered Irish and sweet potatoes, but they won't be shipped until planting time.
Spookycharles Langley, WA (Zone 8b) (29 reviews) September 25, 2009
I ordered twenty-nine varieties of beans from the Vermont Bean seed company around January. Their prices are low and the amount of seed in each package high. Shipping is reasonable even for large packages.
Seeds from all twenty-nine varieties were planted out in July. Every one of the varieties had excellent germination rates.
I ordered tomato and pepper collections (live plants) and although I received my order in a timely manner, the plants had been shaken out of their flimsy plastic containers during shipping and everything was in a jumbled mess, the majority of the plants having broken stems. As the plants were no longer in the containers, I couldn't tell what variety was what! They need to re-think their shipping/packing methods. I sent an e-mail to customer service one week ago and have still not heard back. I will not be ordering from this company again.Company representative comment on May 8, 2009: On May 8, 2009 11:13 AM, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
Your email must not have reached us. Please call 800-349-1071 or you can email me at email@example.com
Fed Ex helped design the new packaging for the tomato and pepper plants we are using. We agree with you, it is not working. As soon as you contact us, you have your choice of a re-shipment or a refund.
Have dealt with this company for several years and always been please with their service and seeds. This year, 100% correct in 8 days from order
Tink2U Rockford, IL (10 reviews) February 22, 2009
I actually got my seed orders in early this year (Feb) and Vermont did their part as well! Complete order, received in one week's time...I was a bit startled at how fast I got it. Have used their seeds before and they have always given me great results! I love the selection of beans and herbs!!
lettucelaw Woodinville, WA (5 reviews) February 21, 2008
Although ordering just before the company's professed busiest time (a day or two before Feb.1), I received my order in five days at my home in Seattle! The freebies tossed in were a nice touch, and the prices were good. Will report back if having problems with germination or other plant failure, but all looks good to date!
Janna Mahwah, NJ (Zone 6a) (26 reviews) December 28, 2007
I ordered the seeds and had very nice experience. The quantities were generous, quality and germination very good. I was pleased with my order and will order again.
bibbykitty San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) (36 reviews) September 28, 2007
I ordered seeds from this company, and received them quickly. I like that they have seeds in lb sizes not just packages.
I haven't planted them yet, but I'm sure they will be fine as all companies have to meet germination standards.....
The peas, pole beans, lima beans, and bush beans failed to germinate at all or in some cases at a rate of less than 20%. A total of 5 varieties were ordered and planted at least once and in several instances twice or three times. I also noticed that they did not put the year for which the seeds were packaged and that makes me suspicious that I am receiving older seeds. For a company named Vermont Bean, this is totally unacceptable.
mickgene Linden, VA (Zone 6a) (4 reviews) May 8, 2007
This company had a good price for Wall O' Waters, a product I have used for 5 years and been so happy with that I ordered 12 more from Vermont Bean Co. What they sent me are not the well-designed, name brand WOW's, but a cheap knock-off that is a poor imitation. I discovered their shoddiness after taking 2 hours just to set up 9 of them last weekend. In that process, I broke 3 of my plants when the products - heavy with water - fell over on them, this despite being careful not to overfill any particular side which would cause the product to lean. Since real WOW's have an actual foot to stand on and the water is self-leveling inside the WOW, I have not had this problem with WOW's. Additionally, the substituted products do not form the protective teepee shape of a WOW unless you follow their suggestion to use a rubber band to close the top. What jerry-rigging!
If VBC had sent me the advertised product I thought I was ordering, I'd have been happy. It has been 4 days since I e-mailed them requesting a resolution; but I have not heard a word from them. It is inexcusable to substitute such a crummy product for a well-known product.On May 9th, 2007, mickgene changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
The same day I posted the comment, VBC rep Ruth d-mailed me for more info and to track the e-mail I'd sent them last week. She explained how the WOW maker went out of business when the catalog was going to print, so they'd substituted what they thought was a comparable product. But since I was quite dissatisfied with it, they are promising a full refund. That's good customer service, so I am now giving them a positive rating. Others in their customer service dept. should be as responsive as Ruth has been.
I ordered from Vermont Bean company and checked to be shipped early. After a few weeks I called and asked where my order was they said Ohio is late ship....I said look at my request and the woman told me I had early ship checked. I said yes where is my order.She did expediate my order and I received it 10 days later with the 2 Garlic collections backordered. Today I received the 2 Garlic collection and 2 of the 3 kinds were soft and moldy. The Elephant and the California. I cannot believe they would even ship this garbage. The bag is clear on one side and you can see the mold and feel they are mushy. I am really disappointed in the seeds and plant material I received from them. I was a first time buyer from them and now I am a last time buyer.
SimoneB Lake Zurich, IL (4 reviews) March 15, 2007
I placed seed order on February 15th along with many other orders to other seed companies including Seymour Seeds and Vermont Bean Seed Co which are related to Jung. I had not had problems in the past with Jung. In early March, I rec'd my credit card statement and was billed for the items but the items had not arrived. Meanwhile, all of my other seed orders came in about 7 days of ordering. I emailed Vermont Bean Seed Co on 3/3 and no one responded. I sent a second email on 3/5 and was told they had shipped weeks earlier. They said if I didn't receive by 3/9 to email and they would express mail replacement. I emailed on 3/12 and got no response. I emailed on the 13th & 14th and received no response. What horrible service. I am so angry that I have missed the deadline to plant many of the seeds ordered. To make it worse, I ordered product from two different web sites Vermont Bean Co and Seymour Seed Co and neither of the seeds have come. I will never again use this company for seeds or materials. It is frustrating to deal with customer service who obviously are understaffed and lack training. It is more frustrating that this company bills before they ship. ALL of the other items I ordered from various companies Pinetree, Select Seeds, etc.. -- over 70 packets of seeds -- were billed upon shipment - not upon order. So now, since they are not communicating anymore I will have to contact my credit card company to refute the charges. If you are a serious gardener please buy from this company at your own risk! They get an A+ for the catalog but a complete F for service and customer support.On May 8th, 2007, SimoneB added the following:
Saw the comment left on 3/20/2007 - I really do not like this "answer" as the problem lies within the programming of your web page. My zip code is 60047 - unfortunately Hawthorn Woods shares the same zip code as Lake Zurich. Many of the other seeds from other companies (Burpee, Select Seeds, Pinetree Gardens) ordered were addressed to Lake Zurich and they managed to get delivered along with all the other junk mail I receive with this same zip code on a daily basis. When you punch in your zip code 60047 on your web site there is only ONE SELECTION which is LAKE ZURICH. No matter how many times you try to change it and write in HAWTHORN WOODS as soon as updated it defaults to LAKE ZURICH. How is it possible that you use the same programming at Jungs and Seymours yet their orders get to me (late). I think I have spent close to $1000 over the last few years at Jungs/Seymours and am truly disappointed at the way these companies operate. This reply on 3/20/2007 really is a sorry excuse for the fact that your company failed to deliver as promised. PS - it would be in fairness that you credit my account this order that was not received. I told my cc company that the goods were not rec'd and I didn't feel fair to pay. They have been trying to contact your company. Instead of this continued argument why don't you just issue my refund or credit so that we can both move on? Or is this the way you conduct business with all the people that have a problem? Company representative comment on March 20, 2007: On Mar 20, 2007 1:33 PM, Vermont Bean Seed Company added:
This is the perfect opportunity to remind everyone that with internet ordering please watch the auto fill cities. If your zip code has more than one city listed in the directory please check that you have not just entered through the field, but that you have picked the correct city for us to ship your order to.
I plant a lot of dry beans. For a number of years my experience with this company on "dry bean seed" has been good. Many varieties offered are a plus here. Germination, growth and yield has been good regardless of the variety of the bean. I pick and choose seed companies based on the factors above. However I don't buy all my garden seed from this company.
Azurel Youngsville, NC (10 reviews) January 19, 2006
Ordered orienpet lilies at a very good price but they back-ordered them. When they finally arrived, they were sealed in a plastic bag & very moldy & mushy. They gave me a partial refund when I complained but only 3 came up & they were tiny little things, too small to ever bloom.
Also, poor germination with some of the seeds (Delicata Squash, Mixed melons, English cukes). Several items back-ordered. On the positive side, they gave me free pea seeds that came up like crazy!
Barry56 Springfield, MA (3 reviews) August 11, 2005
Nice company to work with. Cust service was polite & efficient. Seeds were packaged in very nice printed paper packets, an ample supply of seeds were included.
Ordered seven different types of beans. Received my order in a very timely manner and have had excellent germination with the seeds. Also ordered Datura seeds and had 100% germination rates with those. They may not be in Vermont but a great place to get a nice selection of bean seeds.
This was my first time doing business with this company. The catalog is very nice and my order was filled promptly and everything arrived in very good shape. All products and seeds seem to be of very good quality. When I called customer service on the phone they were very nice and polite. I plan on doing business with them again.
I placed small seed orders with Vermont Bean Seed Co. both last year and this year. Both times my order was shipped within 10 days and both were accurate and professionally handled. Seed count is generous, and their germination rate is good. I will order again from them.
Buddy44 Eagle Rock, VA (24 reviews) September 24, 2004
I have ordered from this company for years. My orders have always been shipped promptly. The seeds I have received have had excellent germination rates and excellent productivity.On June 9th, 2007, Buddy44 added the following:
2007 was another good year for seeds from Vermont Bean Seed Company.On March 19th, 2008, Buddy44 added the following:
Another year and another great ordering experience.
I ordered seeds from this company in Feb.2004. They arrived in a decent amount of time 2 weeks. When I planted 25 of the seeds only 4 of them grew. I found out that the company is owned by Jung Seed Co. so I went to there store in Sun Prairie, WI spoke to a guy by the name of Jeff who refused to give me a refund or to replace my seeds. He told me that all the companies that are owned by Jungs, the seeds are all packaged in the same place in Randolph, WI Just put in different packages. I will never buy from these guys again.
Was going to order from them until I saw that they weren't even in Vermont...using the good name only. I emailed them asking why they called themselves the Vermont Bean... when they weren't even in Vermont, it seemed deceptive. I never heard from them, just ignored me.
autremike Ludlow, MA (Zone 5b) (20 reviews) March 7, 2004
I have ordered from this company a few times in the last several years. Overall, the delivery and quality is good enough so I do not throw away their catalog like some other companies.
One of the reasons that I order only every couple of years is the fact I order too much. I guess I did not need 5 lbs. of bean seed...
I have used VBS for several years now.
I find it a good source for bean and pea seed.
Shipment times have always been acceptable (but I usually order early maybe that is the secret(.
seed quality, germination, and packaging have always been superb.
I made an online order with this company. Seeds were shipped to my door just days later. The prices and shipping costs were a good deal. I looked in the seed packets and it seems that in all of them there were more seeds than what was stated in the catalog. I think I once read something in their catalog about them just recently making some service improvements. They must have done so, because I will be a returning customer to them. I really reccomend that others should give this place a try.
Our story is similar to that of others. We ordered from this firm based on advertising in a "country" journal we subscribe to. We ordered various vegetable and flower seeds. When I tried, after several weeks, to find out where our order was, I learned the company was shipping from the midwest, not Vermont. I got a man who indicated, after I complained, that our order would be sent out immediately. This was after waiting about four weeks for any piece of the order. (Needless to say our money had already gone through their till.) The rate of germination of the seeds was the poorest we've had in over twenty-five years of gardening. We also bought plants that were clearly stressed (long leggy, light-starved appearance) and did not survive more than a couple of weeks. We will not order from this company again. (I wish I'd known about this WEB site before we ordered the first time! Thanks for a great service fellow gardeners!)
I ordered all my seeds, from 3 different companies, on the same day. The 2 other orders came within 10 days. After a month of waiting for Vermont, I called and was told my order hadn't even been processed yet, and would be sent to the order-filling department in 10 days to 2 weeks. After another 3 weeks had gone by I called again and was told my order would be sent to the order-filling department in 10 days to 2 weeks! At that point I cancelled. Under no circumstances would I recommend anyone use this company!!!
Plants ordered never arrived. Customer service says shipped 10 days ago - but can't track shipment because they didn't chosse to use UPS or Fed Ex. For seeds, some packets ordered not included in shipment. Avoid at all costs. Excuse by customer service, "Overwhelmed by orders." Shouldn't be a problem next year. This misjudgement on my part to be resolved through the credit card company.
DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) (49 reviews) May 9, 2003
Each year I order seeds from a variety of companies. This year I ordered from J.L. Hudson, Select Seeds, Park's, Seymour's, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Cook's Garden and others. The yields were anywhere from 80 to 100% except for one company: Vermont Bean Seed. The yield was 0%. I sowed a second batch. 0%. Given that I germinated the same seeds (just different colors) from other companies at the same time and same conditions I would have to say that this is not a company I would order from again.
I placed an order in January, and a lot of the seeds I wanted to order were already out of stock. It also took 2 mos. for my order to arrive. When it did arrive, the order was correct. I probably won't order from them again unless there are some seeds I cannot find anywhere else.
This used to be a good company. I hesitated this year when I saw their address as I recognized it as associated with another company which had disintegrated into a very poor company to deal with. I should have listened to my instincts as I have been unable to acquire a refund or my seeds well past the time when they should have been shipped.