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I happened across this and felt the need to add something. I am in no way affiliated with Pense Nursery but I am from the area. What you do not know is that not only did Mr. Pense lose him wife he also lost one of his sons this past year. From what I know of their business I think he will be in a lot better shape in the future. Losing a wife and son is a load to bear and unfortuneately his business has probably suffered during this last year because of his tragedy. I would give him another chance and see how he does in the future.
Has anyone bought ochit blackberry plants from pense nusery in last 2 years i set out 1250 plants from pense 2 years ago and at least 800 plants bloomed but did not bear a thing, the state of north carolina is searching the d&a of my plants and we were wondering if anyone else has had trouble with them i think the plants have a virus but until the agricutural people at nc state say so we don't know, if anyone has had trouble let me know
On May 1, 2010, cramsey1 Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on April 24, 2010, updated May 1, 2010
I am not sure of the quality of the plants from Pense Nursery since I have still not received my order. I placed my order for couple of different raspberry varieties back in Feb 2010 and asked that they be shipped out by April 15th so that they could be planted before it got to hot in my area. When I placed my order I had to call several times to get to a live person and ensure that I did not leave my credit card information on an unknown voice mail. Prior to speaking with Mr. Pense, I had left 3 other voice messages the previous month and had not received a call back. I was a little concerned, but I had read on Dave’s that the overall rating of the company was very good with only a few complaints. I placed my order as outlined above and my credit card was charged immediately for the full price of the plants plus shipping. I waited patiently for some sort of confirmation notice via email, USPS or phone that things were ok. I did not hear from them. Anytime I have wanted to know information about the progress of my purchase or when it would be shipped, I had to make out reach phone calls to them or send them emails. Notice that I said “PHONE CALLS” and “E-MAILS” this is because I have sent many of both. I only get answers if I am able to speak to a live person which is difficult at best. I do not know why they have an answering machine or an e-mail address because I have never received a call back from my phone messages or an email answer to my inquires. The lack of communication from this vendor is the worst of any company I have ever experienced, period. My last live conversation with someone at the nursery was the week of April 9th and that was after making 5 out reach calls. I was calling to ensure the my plants were going to ship on time so that I would be available when they arrived to plant them immediately. At that time I was told that Mr. Pense was very busy getting out his orders because it had become very warm there and he was trying to get everything out as quickly as possible. I was assured that my plants would go out the week of April 15th or the week after that at the latest. It is now April 24th. The week after the time they said my plants would be shipped out. I still have not heard any information from them regarding the shipment or why it might have been delayed. I am very frustrated with the apparent poor communication, poor customer service, lack of responsiveness, inability to keep commitments and general disregard for common courtesy. I may change my negative comments to neutral if I get my plants soon or at least hear from them, but I doubt that I will ever do business with them again. It is just not worth the aggravation.
On May 1st, 2010, cramsey1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was saddened to hear of Mr. Pense's loss. I do understand how devastating such a loss can be on a family. I realize that this might be one of the reasons for his very poor communication with customers. However, it does not excuse the lack of common courtesy in returning calls or emails requesting information about delivery of items and services that have been paid for. I placed my order with Mr. Pense in January of 2010. If he had told me at that time of his loss and that it might effect his ability to communicate and provide the plants in a timely fashion, I could have made an informed decision on whether to proceed with the transaction. However, I was not given that option, and was lead to believe that business was normal and that items would go out as stated. I had asked that my plants be shipped by 04/15/10. When nothing arrived by April 21, I started to place calls the company, but no one answered the phone and the voicemail box was full. I proceeded to send emails and place numerous calls at various times throughout the day in an attempt to contact a live person, but I got no reply. After daily phone attempts and several emails, I a sent final email stating that the order would be cancelled if I did not hear from someone by 04/30/10 and that I would pursue a charge back from my credit card company and contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. On the morning of April 30, when I still had not received a confirmation or acknowledgement of my numerous attempts to contact Mr. Pense, I wrote and sent a letter of complaint to the Arkansas Better Business Bureau and filed the dispute with my credit card company. That afternoon my plants arrived via UPS. They were large well packed, excellent quality and very healthy. However, I now need to get back to my Bank and reverse the charge back and also follow up with the BBB to remove the complaint. All this could have been avoided if Mr. Pense had taken 30 seconds to answer an email or at least sent a tracking notification for the UPS shipment. It would have helped to reduce my frustration and that of other customers. One of the sad things about this whole situation is that I will not do business with this company again due to the poor customer service nor can I recommend them to others. The prices were good, the quality of the plants I received were excellent and they were packaged well. I wish Mr. Pense well and hope that he and his son’s quickly heal from their loss. I just hope it happens before the poor customer service kills his business.
We had ordered and paid for 1000 blackberry plants from Pense Nursery, and they delivered only half the plants, of 1 variety, as ordered for spring 2000. They promised the other 500 plants of 2 varieties for fall 2000, but did not ship them then and did not return our money. We finally got plants of 1 variety and root cuttings of the other (when we'd ordered plants) a year later, but the root cuttings were tiny and only 4 plants grew out of 285 cuttings. After repeated letters and phone calls, we finally got our money back for bad plants and the price difference between plants and roots cuttings in summer 2001, 18 months after we'd paid. Two years after we got the field ready with raised beds, we'll finally finish our blackberry planting with plants from another nursery. We had also ordered 2000 strawberry plants from Pense, which they buy from another nursery, and the plants had started deteriorating by the time they sent them to us. We planted the ones that still seemed OK, but almost all died, so again we had to completely replant the field the next year with plants from another nursery (those plants did great). So I'd warn anyone not to place a big order with Pense.
I did some checking--got ahold of someone from Winfrey Valley Nursery, another spinoff from the father's (Loyd Pense) original nursery. I asked the person I spoke to there about Pense Nursery and was told that Philip Pense has had back problems during the past year and his wife, Donna, is sick (I'm not sure how serious or how long). In my eyes, that could explain the apparent discrepancy between early postings and postings during 2000. I contacted everyone I could who'd posted about Pense Nursery…The response was consistent with the postings, a mix of good and bad. Using a search engine and the information I had at hand, I also learned that the Pense family has had a significant, longstanding presence in Winfrey Valley. Thoughthere appear to have been some recent problems with the business and I was never successful in reaching Pense Nursery directly (after multiple tries over a four-day period), corollary evidence suggests that Pense Nursery is NOT afly-by-night. For my own purposes, I probably waited too long to order anyway (Arkansas is well into Spring, while Western New York is still getting snow at the time of this posting). I was hoping to make a limited trial order to make a risk assessment on several varieties while I do site preparation for a larger planting in Spring 2002. I'll pay a bit more to get what I need from other nurseries (there are a number of other excellent sources out there), but might place an order with Pense Nursery at some time in the future. In the meantime, I wish their family the very best.
I placed an order for a good number of wine grapes, blueberries, and other plants via fax this spring. Pense never delivered my order, never responded to my e-mails, nor returned numerous telephone calls. I am not sure if the company actually exists. Due to the lack of any response, I did not place an order with another nursery, fearing I would over-purchase stock. In the end I entirely lost my spring planting season. Hope others have better luck!