I have purchased bulbs from Dutch Gardens for years and have always been happy with them and referred many people to them. This year however, has been dramatically different.
It started with my first order that contained dahlia bulbs that were labeled with a different name than what I had ordered and 2 Thomas Edison Dahlias that were all shriveled up. I called after trying to get the TE bulbs to come back to life after several weeks, and they sent replacements. I asked if they could rush them because we were getting late in the season but they said they couldn't and it took a really long time to receive the new bulbs (something like 4-5 weeks) I again received 2 Thomas Edison bulbs (that did not look healthy) and other dahlia bulbs labeled with different names than what I had ordered. By the way, I currently have 17 very healthy dahlias in my yard (4 which I purchased from Dutch Garden's last year) so I have experience with Dahlias.
I called customer service and said that it was too late in the season (and they take too long to re-ship) for me to get replacements on this last shipment. I asked for a credit to be applied to Fall bulbs I was planning to order but I also asked to be credited for the shipping charges because I knew I would have to pay for the shipping charges on the new bulbs. The Customer Service Representative was very unpleasant and kept saying "you got product from us so you received the shipping". I told her I understood that and would have no problem covering shipping if I made a mistake in ordering but, that they shipped me defective product and the wrong product (on two occasions). She just kept repeating her same phrase over and over so I asked who else I could talk to. she told me I had to write a letter (could not call or email) the Office Manager.
I wrote a letter to the Office Manager detailing everything that happened and also explaining that I needed these particular bulbs because I had a garden design company and my yard was being showcased in a charity event and that now there were empty spaces. I included the list of the $75+ worth of fall bulbs I would be ordering if they would refund the shipping.
My response was a form letter with a credit for the defective and incorrect bulbs (no shipping charge credit). In the meantime, another dahlia bulb I have ordered has still not bloomed (one of the replacements for the wrong bulb they sent me) and it's the end of September. I would guess it is also the incorrect bulb.
I am so disappointed in not only the defective bulbs I received this year but by the rude and unresponsive customer service I received. I will no longer recommend Dutch Gardens to friends and clients because of this.
If anyone has suggestions for a better bulb company I would love to hear them
On May 29, 2014, yooperexpat Louisville, KY wrote:
Posted on May 17, 2014, updated May 29, 2014
Posted on April 9, 2014, updated May 17, 2014
been ordering from this company on and off for 40 years, always excellent quality .This year ordered plants and DG can teach other companies how to ship. Each plant completely protected in a cardboard collar, no damage whatsoever. Not like other companies.
On May 17th, 2014, yooperexpat changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I spoke too soon. My first order was fine. The second I waited and waited and waited, emailed and called. Finally got the "top size" lily bulbs, one type were very small and the other were seedling bulbs. Had to cancel the plant I ordered also and am still waiting for a refund. I did not realize the company had been sold. Probably will not do any more business with them, too bad as they were a good company.On May 29th, 2014, yooperexpat added the following:
last comment: it is the end of May. I still have not received any refund for the cancelled plant. I was told I had to mail back the bulbs to get a refund thereby throwing good money after bad. Will not do business with them ever again and suggest that others don't either. On May 29, 2014, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On May 21, 2014 11:14 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We are the same great company that you ordered from previously. We provide top-sized bulbs and healthy stock by the best growers in Holland and the U.S.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.
On May 17, 2014, neveragaindg Bloomington, IN wrote:
I've just had a terrible experience with Dutch Gardens and will never do business with them again. The main problem is a total lack of information and communication. My order was way late in arriving so I called to find out the problem. One item was back ordered, so I said to cancel it and ship the rest. The person on the phone couldn't tell me when my order would ship. "Well, I know they'll be doing some shipping this weekend....". In the meantime, local stores have had these plants for sale for over a month. Why don't they do partial shipments when something is back ordered like other companies? Several days passed and still no plants. Unlike other companies, this one doesn't alert you when they're shipping products. You just have to check mail delivery every day, day after day, waiting, wondering. So I called again. Still no one could tell me when/if I would ever get my plants. I said to cancel the entire order and refund my money so I could buy the plants locally. "You ordered online, so you can't cancel by telephone." You've got to be kidding. So I went to their website and sent a message via "Customer Service, Contact Us." Still nothing. So I called again. This time a wonderful woman actually helped me. She said messages from telephone calls must be hand-written and sent to another building. Not much effort is put into internal communications, let alone with customers. Evidently there's a lack of computerization at Dutch Gardens. She put me on hold and found out they had never received my Customer Service message. They think that function might not be working. Really? So I sent an email message, then waited and waited, wondering if I would have to file a small claims suit in court. I sent them an email message titled, Can Someone Please Help Me? explaining my situation, but no response. In the meantime, my order arrived yesterday. I've never had this much trouble dealing with what appears to be a large company. If they can't join the 21st century and provide decent customer service, I don't think they should be in business. Terrible experience. If you do business with them, expect lots of frustration, and good luck to you.
On May 17, 2014, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On May 21, 2014 11:10 AM, Dutch Gardens 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 which has started our shipping later than usual. 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.
On May 9, 2014, dandolly Lake Saint Louis, MO wrote:
Posted on May 9, 2014, updated May 9, 2014
Posted on May 9, 2014, updated May 9, 2014
Posted on April 21, 2014, updated May 9, 2014
I am a 20 year customer of Dutch Gardens, and was always happy. But since 2013, it's been problem after problem. For my fall 2013 order, they sent 1) the wrong daffodils (so now I have a mismatch) and 2) "mixed color" crocuses that were all white except for 5 of 7 purples and no yellows. Today, the final indignity. I received a $100 gift card for my birthday, but when I called to use part (for two spring-planted perennials) but reserve the rest for my fall order, I was told the gift card was "use it all, or lose it." I have never heard of such a thing! They plan basically to steal some money already paid to them unless I use the card all at once. They were a nice company; now, just more greed and incompetence.
On May 9th, 2014, dandolly added the following:
What Dutch Gardens wrote in response to my post is a lie. 1. They never contacted me. 2. When I called back a few days later to try to divide the gift card, I was given the same "use it or lose it story"—that is their policy, even though they deny it here. 3. I worked it out with them that I could make my fall bulb order along with my small spring order, so that I could use the whole gift card at one. 4. Two weeks later, I called because my spring order had arrived, and was told my order was "dead" because of some technicality they could not explain; since I had discarded my gift card (having thought I used it all up) I asked for replacement card number so I could order again, and was told they'd have to check into it. Bottom line: Dutch Gardens has effectively taken $100 of gift money without providing any product in return (also called stealing). This once excellent company has been sold to an outfit called Burgess, and is now an operation designed for now other purpose than to steal customer's money, either by providing shoddy product or no product at all. Long-time Dutch Gardens customers be warned: THIS IS NO LONGER THE COMPANY YOU KNOW. It is a sleazy operation.On May 9th, 2014, dandolly added the following:
Oops, typo in point 4: "…because my spring order had NOT arrived…"On May 9th, 2014, dandolly added the following:
We do apologize if this customer was given misinformation. We would of course let her carry the balance of the gift card. We have contacted this customer to be of further assistance regarding the certificate as well as the Crocus.
On May 13, 2014 1:50 PM, Dutch Gardens added:
We have, again sent a Dmail on 05-11-14 to try to resolve this situation. We do show an fall order that was shipped on 09-25-13 as well as a new order placed on 05-01-14. Both orders were placed using the gift card. We are sorry to hear of the confusion but we do show that we have done what was requested."
The orginal owners was Quite Good, Not these guys
This Company has been SOLD to someone who does not
care, I ordered some fernleaf peonies from the orginal company, But before I received them, the company was sold
I did not get what I ordered,
I won't order here anymore
SAVE YOUR MONEY AND ORDER SOMEWHERE ELSE!
I will never use Dutch Gardens again. I specifically sent an email requesting my order be canceled and I be refunded my money and they went ahead three days later and shipped the order and charged my card.....NEVER AGAIN.
On Mar 21, 2014, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Mar 26, 2014 9:28 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. It does become very difficult to cancel an order once entered into processing. We do have a refund guarantee and we have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance."
On Feb 25, 2014, gardenvetlee bayonne, nj United States wrote:
I spent a lot of money on bulbs in the Fall. While planting, I realized I needed another set of a certain iris to maintain the symmetry of the garden so I called to order it and they told me they were in stock. I had to pay twice as much for shipping than the bulbs but I accepted. The wrong bulbs arrived and when I questioned the company, I was told that my item was no longer available and they shipped what they had. I explained this was not acceptable and wanted a refund and my shipping costs. They stated that it is written somewhere in the catalogue that they have a right to replace one item when another was not available. I have yet to find that statement in the catalogue - although I'm sure they have hidden it somewhere. So, I had to change my plantings and I was out close to $20. I tried to reason with the salesperson but they were adamant. I order almost exclusively from online sources and have always been satisfied but I will never use this company again and I make sure all of my gardener friends know what they did. Very dishonest!!
On Feb 25, 2014, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Mar 5, 2014 11:43 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problem with this customers order. Our substitution policy is as follows:
Orders are filled by item number exactly as received. If a variety is sold out, we reserve the right to substitute one of equal or greater value.
If the customer is not happy with the substitution we will happily send the correct item once available, or refund the purchase price. In both instances the customer gets to keep the substitution.
We have contacted the customer to see if we may be of some assistance."
I am another very long time customer who was poorly served last year. My order was months late - didn't arrive until the heat of summer. The plants were pitiful and the "full size" bulbs were miniscule. I did not contact the company to give them a chance to set things right - the order fulfillment was so awful that I'd be crazy to depend on them again. What a disappointment after years of spectacular products and service.
On Jan 6, 2014, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Jan 11, 2014 1:33 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problem with the plant. We would be happy to issue replacement and do hope that the customer takes advantage of our guarantee. We have sent a Dmail to the customer requesting further information.
Dutch Gardens does not ship what they advertise and does not refund their mistakes. Avoid this company unless you want to deal with frauds. I ordered Oriental lily Bergamo and was sent a different lily. When I sent them my invoice and requested a refund they started asking a bunch of nonsense questions designed to give me the runaround. NEVER AGAIN!
On Oct 21, 2013, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Oct 29, 2013 10:03 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as 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
They have been great with bulb orders over the years. However I will never again order any perennials from Dutch Gardens.
Similar to a previous poster, I called them at least twice last fall with concern that I had not yet received the brunnera and euphorbia I ordered and was told each time that "they are shipped at proper planting time". I received and planted them finally. No sign of two of the three euphorbia this year.
Plants fail sometimes - I get that. Euphorbia have been tricky for me. I get that. However because I KNEW I received them late and had tried to get them earlier I was not happy and called.
So I called Dutch Gardens three times (which makes 5 phone calls in total after my on-line order):
Time One: was told they were sorry. I asked for a refund and the gentleman said they would be happy to replace the plants. Since I WANTED the plants I said Great.
Time Two: approximately a month later, was told the request was in the system and it was probably taking a little time to get through their system. I was concerned as I was leaving on vacation and did not want them to come while I was gone. Oh they will get there by THEN I was told.
Time Three: almost end of June and still no plants so I said forget it and send me a refund. This time I heard there are no refunds unless you report a problem within 30 days of planting. This was of course ridiculous as how would I know before spring at the earliest. Then he said the plants were for appropriate for fall planting so I wasn't going to get them in the summer. I gave up.
I have to say this was the most unsatisfactory exchange I have had with a vendor in a long time, and I recommend staying AWAY from Dutch Gardens for perennial purchases.
I also received tulips that were incorrectly labeled and unwittingly planted them in a bed with many other tulips. They came up the wrong color, which clashed with the existing tulips. I contacted Dutch gardens. After sending them pictures, I received a refund in the form of merchandise credit. However, my experience is still negative. I now have to dig out the entire bed and give way the clashing bulb mixture, buy new bulbs for the entire bed and replant the entire bed to get back to where I thought was last fall.
Dutch Gardens sent me the wrong tulip bulbs twice in two years. The colors were completely wrong. When I called to explain that the wrong color tulips had just come up again this spring, the customer service rep told me I had to email my complaint with photos, which I did. She would not help me over the phone. Subsequently, I received in the mail a certificate to use to reorder from them. The certificate was not enough to cover the wrong two orders that I received. In my email, I had asked for a credit to my credit card or a reshipment of the right bulbs, but all I got was an insufficient certificate. Nonetheless, I called Dutch Gardens today to use the certificate to reorder only to be told I had to fill out the order form in the catalog and mail it to them with the certificate. I have done this today, paying shipping yet again. I have no assurance that the tulips that come up next spring will actually be the ones I ordered two seasons ago. I recommend that gardeners deal with a company that correctly fulfills orders the first time and that makes it easy for the gardener to get what was ordered if the company has made a mistake. Dutch Gardens made a mistake two years in a row and I still do not feel they have treated me fairly, but I have no other recourse with them at present.
On May 20, 2013, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 1:07 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problem with the tulips. 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.
LIke may others, placed my order (and was CHARGED for the full order) back in February 2013. Living in the Mid-Atlantic area, didn't expect my order until at least April . . . when I heard nothing by mid-April, started contacting customer service, and got generic, form responses, "we will ship when weather is appropriate for your area, blah, blah, blah." I was about to cancel the order when at the very beggining of May I received a partial - less than half - order. So, OK. Expected the rest shortly, but no such luck. Here I am mid-May - most of my order outstanding yet paid for. No response to my email status request so I tried calling. First no answer, and then continually busy first day I tried. Finally got through today, and reached someone who said they were sorry but didn't know if or when my order would ever go out. So I have emailed again stating I want the order or a refund immediately. Since they already have my money and have been so unresponsive up to now, I have a feeling I'm in for a battle. Needless to say I will NEVER order from them again, and will shop local, where I get what I want and what I pay for. I would advise NOT placing a large order, should you decide to take a chance and place an order with this company.
On May 14, 2013, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On May 28, 2013 1:04 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
Orders are typically processed within 1-2 weeks of receipt. Because we inspect, hand select and hand wrap every plant to ensure the highest quality product and the safest shipping, you can expect us to ship your order within 1-2 weeks of receipt. Also, please keep in mind that an order may ship out later depending on availability of plant material and weather conditions.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.
I placed an order on January 23, 2013 with Dutch Gardens.
The order was not a small order, my credit card was charged for $407.31 when the order was placed. It is now April 26,2013 and I have only received three of the eleven different kinds of plants I ordered I received the three plants after I called about my order in early March, they said they would send what they had available. March 15 - I received a small order. I called again two weeks later and was told that all but three kinds of my plants were ready to ship, but they would all be ready to ship in two weeks and they prefer to ship them all together. Since I still have not received them I called again yesterday, April 25 and was told they are still waiting for one plant I ordered to get big enough to ship. I told them I would like all of my other plants that were ready to ship to be shipped out. I was told how their shipping department works, when I persisted I was told they would send a note to the shipping department and see if the other items could be shipped without the single plant that was holding up the order. I was told that the plant could possibly be ready and the system may not have been updated and I could call back again in two weeks to check if I do not receive my order. It seems as if their phone personnel are trained to give the two week answer as I get it every time I call and am very unhappy with the service I have received from Dutch Gardens.
Three or four years ago I ordered a hardy fuschia from DG. The plant arrived in good condition and it grew and flowered well that spring and summer. The care instructions said to cut it back to the ground in late fall/early winter for my growing zone-which I did. The following spring nothing came up. I waited until the middle of May to call DG about the problem and the girl I spoke with told me to give it more time to start regrowing,which I did! When I called in June to report that the plant was dead, I was told once again to "wait and see". I was never offered a replacement or an apology! This year I inquired about the size of the Elodie lily, since other catalogs claim a height of 4 feet, but DG says 20 inches! I received an email which simply qouted the catalog description-what a waste of time!
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
On Nov 5, 2012, georgefleck Philadelphia, PA wrote:
Posted on September 7, 2012, updated November 5, 2012
In late spring I ordered a Sanguisorba obtusa, Japanese Burnet from this company. They charged my credit card
but never told me they would not ship until August When the plant arrived, it was a bare root plant and looked dead.I planted it immediately, and this morning I chucked the plant. Nowhere in their website or catalog does Dutch Garden mention (like most other nurseries do) that the plant is shipped bare root. Do not buy from this company.
On November 5th, 2012, georgefleck added the following:
They finally sent me a store credit for $12.99, but no refund for $8.95 (for shipping me a dead plant). I ordered a Japanese Iris using the store credit, and in three weeks I received the Iris. When I opened the box I found a small tangle of very dry roots in a plastic bag. Put the roots in sugar water overnight and planted in potting soil. After 2 weeks of careful watering, I dug up the roots and they were absolutely dead. I didn't call the company and ask for a replacement as I would have to pay another $8.95 in addition to the $31.89 I had already wasted. I don't know who does their packing and shipping, but evidently they cannot tell a dead plant from a live one. Shame on me for ordering from a company with a high negativity rating of 22% without checking Dave's Garden. On Nov 5, 2012, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problem with the plant. It does state in the catalog that this plant is shipped as a bare root. We would be happy to issue replacement and do hope that the customer takes advantage of our guarantee. We have sent a Dmail to the customer requesting further information."
On Oct 13, 2012, boardwalkgal Jenkintown, PA wrote:
Posted on August 15, 2012, updated October 13, 2012
Let me start by saying that I have been a Dutch Gardens customer for about 25 years. I was always pleased with the quality of their merchandise until 3 years ago when I was shipped inferior quality bulbs packed in plastic bags, as opposed to the usual paper bag and organic matter delivery. In the heat of delivery, the bulbs sweated and had no holes in the bags for moisture control. I thought I would give them another try this year for some of the unusual lilies that I grow. I ordered about $145 worth of bulbs for fall delivery and much to my surprise, they were delivered in the heat of the summer on August 10 to PA. The box was banged up and upon opening the package; I found the bulbs to look shriveled up, small and spongy to the touch. Upon speaking to Customer Service the responder indicated that the Lily Mix was from last years catalogue and that he would send another shipment on October 1. He indicated that he had nothing to do with bulb selection and this was the warehouse.
After thinking all of this over, I decided that they had sent me last years stock, based on his comments. I called back and this time spoke to another worker, she indicated that these were not last year’s bulbs. I told her that this bulb mix was not listed in the catalogue but only appeared on the Internet. She stated that it was listed in another catalogue, which I did not have. I then asked her to request that the warehouse handpick my bulbs so that I could be assured of quality control. She said that was not possible. I then asked for the name of the CEO so that I could write a letter. She would only give me the name of Emily Watkins, the office manager. She further indicated that a refund would only take place 2 weeks after return of damaged goods and that I would have to pay shipping.
This woman asked me “what company are you ordering from” which suggests that customer service is not part of Dutch but a general calling center for a myriad of companies.
I will update you upon delivery of my October shipment.
On October 13th, 2012, boardwalkgal added the following:
On October 13, 2012 I called Dutch Gardens to inquire about my order since I did not receive it. To refresh your memory, refer to my previous comments regarding a shipment of rotten bulbs received in August. I was promised a new shipment in October. I spoke with both Mandy and previously Mike who indicated he would notify the warehouse. This time Mandy stated that all shipments have gone out and they have no copy of my order and it would take several weeks to research this. Incidentially, I never received a follow up call or letter regarding my August phone call. They have repeatedly given false information.On Oct 13, 2012, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Aug 21, 2012 10:26 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problem some of the bulbs. We still receive our plants and bulbs from the same wonderful growers as we always have. We always strive to select top size/top quality bulbs and plants for our customers. We have contacted this customer for further information.
This company is a mixed bag, but overall the experience was negative and I feel it was not a good value for the price. No shipping/ tracking info was provided and my email inquiry to the company advised me they had no record of my order. I called and they located the order I found the confusion unusual as my card was charged already. I spent almost $200 with them. Some plants were generous (Salome daffodils) other very disappointing. The grape hyacinths, blackberry, iris and blueberry plants were of lower quality than the ones i have seen at Home Depot. Today I went to HD and picked up grape hyacinth bulbs of much better quality and for cheaper than I received from DG. Do not buy from these guys. I just got a new house and have tried multiple vendors. These are not the absolute bottom of the barrel, but they are shooting low on the value scale. Save yourself the trouble.
On Oct 6, 2012, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Oct 8, 2012 12:46 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do provide top-sized bulbs and healthy stock by the best growers in Holland and the U.S. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information."
I have never had such bad customer support in my life. I was a loyal buyer from Dutch Gardens for over twenty-five years and bought two rose bushes from their web site in June. Two months later I have now received one of them and have felt that no one, and I mean no one, is listening to me when I contact them. As I told the rep on the phone this morning, I tried eight times to call and the line was busy every time. I emailed at least six times and all I got was a form response. I felt the gentleman I talked to this morning was rude and condescending on the phone. I will never order from Dutch Gardens or anyone associated with this group again. I did not know that Dutch Gardens had been sold and it's a shame that a company can take the name of a reliable and well thought of vender and trash it like this.
On Aug 15, 2012, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Aug 21, 2012 10:24 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this problem. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. "
On Feb 1, 2012, pirl (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on May 2, 2005, updated February 1, 2012
Dutch Gardens is the catalog I'd choose if I could have only one to order from! I emailed them because ONE of the three poker primroses seems to have died. Just planted them about two weeks ago. They emailed me this morning that they were sending replacementS! I've only had the best experiences with this company.
On June 15th, 2005, pirl added the following:
Received and planted the replacements and they're doing just fine - no complaints!
Also ordered their waterlily dahlia collection and everyone was a smashing success. Didn't really expect them to grow faster and taller than Swan Island's but they have.
When I emailed them and told them about my review they emailed back and said they passed it around the floor. Such nice people!On June 15th, 2008, pirl added the following:
Four more orders from Dutch Gardens during the last year came complete and without any problems whatsoever. Last week they sent a coupon for $15.00 since the hosta they shipped was not Fire and Ice (an error on the part of a grower) but Stained Glass instead. That's honesty! I still could not be more pleased with any company than Dutch Gardens.On February 1st, 2012, pirl changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
So very sorry to have to change my rating on this once wonderful company. I ordered Blue Light clematis and this pitiful 4" tiny piece of root arrived. I complained and they replaced it with an equally pitiful clematis. Neither ever grew - not a single leaf. What a huge disappointment for the high price I paid.
Now that Burgess is the owner of Dutch Gardens the quality has taken a deep nose dive.
I'm so sorry to have lost this once great company.On Feb 1, 2012, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear this! We have contacted this customer to assure her that we still receive our plants and bulbs from the same wonderful growers as we always have. We always strive to select top size/top quality bulbs and plants for our customers.
BEWARE! I have been a long-time customer of Dutch Gardens, with overwhelmingly good products and reasonable customer service on the rare occasion of problems. Most recently, however, I received an order in which more than half of the plants had rotted or died en route. When I contacted customer service to request a refund, I got a nearly automated response that I had to return the plants within 14 days to get a refund. When I further explained that the plants were in no shape to be mailed (iris rhizomes reduced to slime, etc.), I got another automated message to send a refund request in writing (as though email is not writing...) I will now mail this request to the company and see what happens, but the quality of merchandise (including size of those items that weren't dead), packaging and customer service has deteriorated badly--it is as though they are a different company entirely.
On Aug 17, 2011, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 7:25 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
An order was received from this customer totaling $84.88 on 07-28-11. As per our guarantee a refund may be issued if the items are returned within 14 days of receipt. We do show a refund for the dead items (totaling $15.98) was issued, as well as a credit voucher for $7.99.
All emails are personally answered by a customer care representative and are not automated. As for the product, use have used the same Holland and U.S. growers for years and always receive top-sized bulbs and iris!
This year I ordered 2 sets of the Halskraag Dahlia Mixture (3 different colors). When the dahlias bloomed, 4 of the 6 were plain yellow, not one of the colors shown in picture or even close. This was disappointing as it ruined the color contrast that I had planned for that section of the border.
In previous years of Dahlia orders from this vendor, the colors were okay but the quality inconsistent even in the same variety.
I don't plan to order from them again. The dahlias in my local Lowes or Home Depot are at least as good quality.
On Jul 4, 2011, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Aug 31, 2011 9:16 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We have tried to contact this customer via Dmail and have received no response. Halskraag means collar, and refers to the interior ring of petals rather than a color scheme. This mixture can contain a variety of colors and patterns. If the customer has in fact received an item in error we would be happy issue replacements as we do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants! We always buy top quality, top size from our Holland growers!
Posted on April 22, 2011, updated June 3, 2011
Communication with Dutch Gardens is horrible. First, contacting them by phone is very difficult because the phone is always busy. Their email response is very slow. Clearly their internal communications are very slow, too.
I placed a large order for plants in early February. However, after attempting to get feedback for over two months about shipping dates, and because plants were appearing for sale in local stores, I decided to cancel the order in mid-April. As instructed on the website, I tried calling. I finally got through and was told that my order had not yet shipped but that I had to send an email to cancel. I had already emailed in desperation and received a response the next day that my request had been forwarded to the appropriate department. I emailed again to request confirmation that my request had been received before the order had shipped. The response was merely that they had forwarded the request to the appropriate department. I assumed therefore that the order had been cancelled and I would receive a refund to my credit card.
To my surprise, the shipment arrived on April 21. I immediately called Dutch Gardens to ask what I needed to do and was told that the order had shipped on April 15 (which was 2 days after I had phoned and emailed the cancellation request. The customer service representative told me to return the parcel postage prepaid and to include a letter to the office manager requesting reimbursement for the return postage. I was told that Dutch Gardens does not offer the service offered by some businesses of providing a postage paid return label. When I queried this via email, I was informed that "as per our guarantee", I must return the package within 14 days postage prepaid for a refund and that a refund will not be issues until the package is returned.
I am appalled. This is Dutch Garden's error, not mine, and there should be no question of my having to pay any shipping costs and having to beg for refunds. This is the first time I have ordered from Dutch Gardens and it will definitely be the last.
On June 3rd, 2011, RobertaJ added the following:
June 3, 2011:
Dutch Gardens is unbelievable. I returned the shipment unopened at my own cost (approx. $20) within 4 days and have sent a copy of the tracking information showing signed for delivery on April 26. STILL no refund of any of my money . I have been working with the BBB in Illinois and received an unsatisfactory response from Dutch Gardens as a result of that complaint, which is still active. No help from the Customer Service Dept at Dutch Gardens either. I have ordered plants online from other companies many times (Springhill Nursery, for one) without problems or, if there were problems, they were promptly and satisfactorily taken care of.
DO NOT ORDER PLANTS FROM DUTCH GARDENS.
Also, they are still sending me email solicitations and paper catalogs - there seems to be no way to stop these!On Jun 3, 2011, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 12:45 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear that this customer had a difficult time reaching us. We generally answer emails within 1-2 business days. The customer’s order had already shipped on the day she tried to cancel. A refund has been issued for this order. "
On May 19, 2011, sherry_butcher Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
Placed an order in January when I receive their catalog. One of the items was "dust" in a bag so I requested a replacement. The replacement was not much better but I was told I cannot have a refund, having tried twice with out success, but rather a "certificate" to use when I decide what I want to replace them with. Since that time three of nine corkscrew vines have died. I ordered from them two years ago and got wonderful plants. Was surprised to find out that they have been sold. Unfortunately the business model of employee owned has not been carried over. Still have not received certificate.
On May 19, 2011, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 7:24 AM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We did receive an order from this customer on 03-03-11 totaling $223.85. As per our guarantee a refund may be issued if the product is returned within 14 days of receipt. We do show that a replacement was issued for the item that died which shipped on 5/9. On 5/19 we processed a credit voucher for this item of $18. We contacted this customer via Dmail to let them know that the voucher had been processed and should arrive soon.
We are happy to hear that the plants received 2 years ago were wonderful as we are still using the same growers with the same outstanding quality!
On May 8, 2011, Lilyofthenight Victoria, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Posted on May 8, 2011, updated May 9, 2011
Posted on April 22, 2011, updated May 8, 2011
I rarely order plants via mail, except for a daylily farm in Missouri that is awesome, ANYWAY, I suddenly started getting these mail order magazines from Dutch Gardens and a a couple other places that I noticed were all in Illinois.
Two years passed and I was looking through one of the mags and noticed some hybird willows that form a hedge and are supposed to grow rapidly. They seemed to grow anywhere.
Soooo, I ordered 40 of them. After measuring my back property line according to the spacing suggested that's how many I needed.
THIS order was placed in January!!! (Down here in South Texas we can plant in Feb.) Finally in March my order arrives. ALL 40 plants wen in the ground within 2 days.
19 actually formed growth. 21 are dead. I called customer service appox. a dozen times before finally getting a live person to speak to. Now, here is where it gets good...... My boyfriend threw away my shipping label, I spoke with Julie in customer service and explained my situation, SHE was very nice. She said for me to simply go to my bank and get a copy of my statement that showed the purchase. I agreed..even though it was a hassel, and for me to mail it to them and ask for a replacement of the 21 trees that failed to grow. I was told I would have them in 2 weeks.
2 weeks later I got a very curt typed and signed letter that stated in BOLD letters SEVERAL times that my refund would not be honored without original shipping label.
This was repeated over and over, each time the bold print was larger and larger. (Sort of like when some people speak louder and louder to those of us that have hearing deficits.)
DO THEY think I won't understand the typed letter in front of me unless the font is constantly increased?
I was furious.. however after another couple dozen phone calls..each time a busy signal again I finally got customer service.
It was Julie again, at least I lucked out there.
ANYWAY, I repeated my situation to her, and what she had informed me to do...THIS time she suggested I enclose a handwritten letter of explanation of why I needed a replacement along with my bank statement. I had already done so the first time,
SO I suppose the shipping department can't understand anything that "I" have to say unless I send it twice ! Who knows, I have yet to hear back from them and remember this all started in January, It's almost may now.
If I continue to get the same reply I am going to keep sending my request in a larger envelope (or BOX) for that matter UNTIL I get a response to my liking! That's my way of saying I did not appreciate that nasty little letter with the growing fonts!
IF I still don't get a reply I will report them to the BBB and call every single day until I get an upper level manager.................
NEVER Again will I order from them. Good luck if You do!
On May 8th, 2011, Lilyofthenight added the following:
Here it is May and I am STILL not Happy with this company. I was contacted by a customer service rep. AFTER They read my review here. It's been a couple weeks of D-Mail back and forth.
To make this short... I had to keep repeating myself and my problem. I was even asked for the same info over and over.
My boyfriend jumped on the computer once when I was leaving yet another response to the customer rep. HE was not nice, as he was just as upset as I was over the whole ordeal.
SO.... After that a got a VERY short e-mail that my order was going to be replaced. We shall see. I am not holding my breath. ALSO all the trees are dead now. They were barely even twigs to begin with. So even if I do get replacements it will only be for half my order. I refuse to go round and round any more with them as my patience is wearing to thin. I have better things to do.
I would like You to note that this company is also owned by Burgess Seed. They also have sister companies called Royal Dutch, and Van Bourdain something or another. I forget the name of that one and glad I did as I will not deal with them.
If You have any doubts of who you are ordering from... If the company is from Bloomington, Illinois there is a high chance they me a sister company. Check it out first.On May 8th, 2011, Lilyofthenight added the following:
Update.... I did a zipcode search in Garden Watchdog and look at all the companies I found in Bloomington, Ill. WITH TONS of negative comments. ALL are owned by Burgess Seed. MY, My , My...
0 miles Dutch Gardens Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Inter-State Nurseries Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles House of Wesley Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Burgess Seed Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Direct Gardening Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Honeycreek Nurseries Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Four Seasons Nursery Bloomington, Illinois
7 miles Royal Dutch Bloomington, IllinoisOn May 8, 2011, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 12:46 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
In doing further investigation we have found that this order was not placed with Dutch Gardens. We have been in contact with the poster."
On Feb 26, 2011, laurahteague Madisonville, KY wrote:
It has been a few years since I ordered form this company, but I was not happy with their products, so I haven't ordered again. The daffodil bulbs I ordered were fine. However, when I ordered other items, I was shocked at the tiny plants. The daylilies did survive, but took years to get to the size that plants bought from other sources achieve in one or two years. Everything else died.
On Feb 26, 2011, Dutch Gardens responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 12:47 PM, Dutch Gardens responded with:
We are surprised to hear that this customer was not satisfied with the size of the plants and bulbs that we shipped. We do provide top-sized bulbs and healthy stock by the best growers in Holland and the U.S. Most of our potted plants are shipped in 3-4” containers and the pot size is listed in the catalog. "
This is NOT a very good company to buy products from, I strongly recommend buying from someone else. I have bought many products from other companies and something like this has never happen before. This company has burned my trust with them, I will not be comming back again.
I ordered blubs back in late September 2010, a month later, they still have NOT sent me anything. I request to cancel my order due to weather conditions and requested a refund. They told me they couldn't cancel my order because it was the last week of shipping, but they will try to cancel it. Finally in the middle of November 2010, they refunded me my money (only after I threaten them with a law suit), but they didn't refund me all of it back, they still have some of my money. They never told me from the very beginning that they would refund only part of my money back. To this day, they never refunded all of my money back and I contacted them, but they will NOT give me an answer. They have hung up on me and won't answer my emails as to why they are doing this. I have given this company plenty of warnings and been extremely generous with giving them enough time to refund my money back. To this day, they won't give me the rest of it back. I am very upset by their lack of morals and their customer services and supervisors who are unprofessional, they hang up on you when you ask tough questions. It's like their hidding something.
Posted on June 8, 2009, updated July 20, 2010
I ordered 6 oriental lilies this spring.
Nice packing. Fast email reply. Healthy bulbs.
One bulb didn't grow. I got my replacement within a week. They sent me a bag of 3 bulbs. The replacements are shooting out now.
On July 20th, 2010, eyfng changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Don't do business with this company! The products are expensive with poor qualities. The customer service is awful. The process for replacement is rediculous.
On 6/2, I requested for replacement for my last year's order of Red Hot Lilies because only 1 has grown. The customer representative said it will take 2 weeks to process my request.
On 6/17, 2 weeks later, the customer representative said my request has been processed for 1 week only. It will take 1 more week to process it.
On 6/23, the customer representative said the replacement will be shipped out soon.
On 6/28, the customer representative said my request has been sent to the shipping department, I should get the shipment in a week.
On 6/30, the customer representative Brad said I won't get the replacement until fall. I got the feeling that I was deceived by the previous lousy customer representatives.
I told Brad that I don't want to wait till fall to have the replacement. Brad said I can have a refund. So, I said I want to have a refund because I don't want to waste time to deal with this company anymore.
On 7/8, the customer representative said there is no record indicating that I can have a refund, I can only a merchandise credit and no idea of what Brad had said.
On 7/10, the customer representatives David and Matt both said that the merchandise credit has been issued on 7/8. Again, no idea of what the previous customer reprenstatives said.
I told David if I use merchandise credit for a new order, I have to pay the expensive shipping again. I may as well get the replacement with no shipping charge. David said I can send back the voucher when I get it, the company may consider giving me a refund.
On 7/19, I received a letter from the company with David's written details of my request for refund. On the letter a hand written sentence in red saying" You may return the voucher for refund consideration."
Today, 7/20, I talked to the customer representative Mary to clarify why I have to return the voucher for refund consideration only. She said that it is the other department's issue and she doesn't know what the result will be and how long it will take to process the consideration.
I am so upset by this company's customer service. I really want to have a refund because it is a nightmare to deal with the company.
I placed an order last spring. Most of the items I received looked pretty healthy. But the next year when some of my perennials were established enough to bloom there were two items that were not the right color (for instance what was supposed to be a dark purple Japanese iris with white veins turned out to be a solid light pink). I sent an email asking for replacements and I got a reply back a couple days later saying the email had been received. But its been a couple weeks now and I haven't heard anything from them.
I decided to purchase from them when I saw a $20 off coupon. Turned out they would not honor the coupon, so I canceled the order AS SOON AS I PLACED IT (in January 2010). They said they could not cancel it. They shipped the scrawny items (WAY over priced Dalhias, hostas and a coneflower plant) and I called customer service to return. They told me to just use the enclosed packing slip to return the items. There was no enclosed slip, so the woman gave me the details of my order to write down along with the address for returns and told me to enclose the written out sheet in my return. I did this.
I received a letter from an Arrabella Jansen saying that I needed to return the packing slip (original copy) on the outside of the box to her for my refund. I sent that to her on May 17th, and called customer service to speak with her- they said that Arabella does not communicate with people over the phone. I have heard NOTHING from them since. And it is obvious that there customer service people have no authority or knowledge on how to handle return issues.
I went out to the Better Business Bureau of Illinois. Do you know that House of Wesley (which goes by the several names including Burgess Seed & Plant company and owns Dutch gardens) has a D- rating with 497 complaints waged against this company!!!!
I will be reporting my experience with Dutch Gardens to the BBB of illinois as well. It is unethical to hold my money hostage the way they have without any communication.
This customer's refund had already been credited to her credit card on 6/3/10--two weeks before this posting. The customer contacted the BBB on the same day as making this posting and the BBB was also notified that a refund had already been issued.
The customer requested in January that we apply an expired coupon to her order. We explained to her that the coupon was no longer valid. If the customer had requested that the order be canceled in January, this would not have been a problem as we had not begun shipping for the season. A failure to honor such a request would have been an error on our part for which we apologize. The order shipped in April, and the customer returned it. We wrote to her with a question which she answered at the end of May. Her refund was processed June 3.
I echo tfreudiger's comments. The person I spoke with on the phone was not knowledgeable about flowers. The email I received in response to my complaint looked like a canned response and was very unhelpful. I spent LOTS of money with Dutch Gardens in the past few years after buying a new house and will not be ordering from them in the future. I sincerely hope that the previous employee-owners made out well on the sale because they were great. This new company is awful.
Dutch Gardens has changed in the last couple of years, having been bought by Burgess. Before that, I had great service and products from them for over 20 years.
Last year, my dahlia bulbs came up late and wimpy. I blamed it on the weather and tried again this past winter; I did not realize Dutch Gardens had changed hands.
I have not yet received my order or been able to track my order. Where I live, my dahlia bulbs should have been in the ground for a month by now. Emails to Dutch Gardens have gotten me a canned response and the phone numbers I have called have busy signals - not even a hold message ("We appreciate your business . . . You are valuable to us" . . . hmmm)
I will never again use this company. It is very sad that an ethical company with an excellent product should have lost its good name through this buy-out.
I ordered two Anna Louise clematis on April 18. They were shipped on May 1 and arrived on May 6 -- in transit 5 days. They were supposed to be shipped in 3 1/2" pots, but the pots were 2 1/2", with a note explaining that their supplier had shipped them that way. They sent a $5 coupon for my inconvenience. But they were poorly packaged, with very little bone-dry soil in them; one was completely dead and withered, the other was about 75% dead and withered. Did I mention that they cost $9 EACH? That's $18 worth of dead or mostly dead clematis.
I have just completed an email to them requesting a refund for the clematis and also canceling the rest of my order. I am hoping it hasn't shipped yet.
At this stage, I am waiting to see what their customer service is like. Will I receive a refund relatively quickly and without fuss, or will I have to get on the phone to move things along?
I will report back on my customer service experience. I wish I had read the reviews sooner!
On May 9th, 2009, Marya_K added the following:
Two days later: I did receive an email from them confirming my order cancellation and promising a full refund to my charge card in the next billing cycle. I will post again to confirm that this happened.
Ordered a perennial. When I opened the box, there was an inner container that contained the pot and the plant. There was no attempt in packing to keep the plant and planting mix in the pot. The plant was laying without any soil around it and the very little of the planting mix was still in the pot. I have put the plant and planting mix back into the pot and am keeping it moist. We will see what happens, but I don't have a lot of confidence that it will survive. Clearly, no more live plant orders form Dutch Gardens.
We are sorry that your plant arrived in such poor condition. All of the plants we sell are guaranteed 100%, and we are happy to stand behind that promise. We can either issue a credit to your account that can be used toward your next Dutch Garden's order, issue a refund to your credit card, or we can send you a replacement plants if available.
Please, contact us by sending an email to email@example.com or call us at toll free at 1-800-876-5520 so we can take care of this problem right away.
In years past I have been very happy with this company and always look forward to each new catalog when it arrives. Imagine my surprise when I found that prices in the new 2009 catalog where 3 times what they had been last year @ this time. I had saved my old catalog so I was able to compare prices. I will not be ordering from them this year......there are too many good companies listed on this website to pay these high prices. I compared $ with other companies & did not find these kind of price increases if any @ all.
On Jul 14, 2008, wendyelsey Portland, OR (Zone 7b) wrote:
I tried to buy a plant (Bonfire Euphorbia) from them. I got a "we have in stock" go ahead and was excited!! My mother had looked at their SDAME site (I have copies of the : sold out sign),.... So Iookede them up, and it was al of a suden.. in stock. I worked at a nursery, so I know it can change fast,...
They stated after the fact of having it "in stock"
# Flower supports
ship separately from bulbs and plants. You can efxpect delivery in 6-12 business days
If it is not accurate, contact me... dont tell me later that I will get it in late fall?????????
Fall... is not in 6 to 12 days..............
I am trying to cancel with them.. but we will see. I am notiying my bank. I have print outs o\f everything.. from sold out.. to in stock/.to 6-12 days.. not October?
I would NOT recommend them at all........ I was told my credit card would be charged multiple times too.. that equal the total??? I dont think that is w=right at all.......... something seems not right here
I tried to cancel today, I will let you k now if there os a big issue......... Un truthful things has been all that I have gotten....
Beware................ if you want now, big issue......!!!!!! Bad time. I will tell you too of they charge my credit card after today. This would be WAY after I told them to stop and cancel due to contract voilation/..........
Never had such an issue with ANY!!!!!!!!!!!! vendor but them.... here is some of what I received in emIL..after they had my credit card info........
> When you receive your credit card statement, you'll see multiple charges adding up to the total on this confirmation.
# Flower supports
ship separately from bulbs and plants. You can expect delivery in 6-12 business days.
What I wrote:
I am surprised it takes 6-12 days, wouldn't that not be good for a plant with it being the summer? Being held in shipping for that long?
Do you guarantee the plants health in shipping?
And the multiple charges on the credit card. Will it be 2 seperate for the plant and another for shipping? I am just curious so I can keep track in my checking account.
They wrote back....... not happy..................
We ship plants in the spring and we ship plants in the fall. I checked your order and we plan to send your Bonfire Euphorbia mid to late October 2008. When we are shipping, we quote 6-12 business days from the time you order. The plants come directly from the grower and it takes time for us to process the order paperwork and the grower to prepare the plant to ship. The plant will not be in transit for 6-12 business days. We have a 100% guarantee on all of our plants.
The Bonfire Euphorbia will be shipped in a 4 inch pot as advertised in our catalog and web site. You will most likely only see one charge on your credit card for this order. There are times when items ship from different locations or at different times or the shipping shows up as a separate charge. We mention this up front so customers know there is a possibility it may happen on their order. All of the charges will add up to the original price quoted at the time of purchase.
4 inch pot for $30 bucks??? are3 you kidding?
owch............... Nothing about a 4 inch for that much....
Just warning people. this is bad bad! I will never ;look twice here............
On July 14th, 2008, wendyelsey added the following:
I called like they encouraged me to.. after receiving an email from them saying they wanted my experience to be "positive" with their company. I was checking to make sure it was canceled. The customer service was less than nice. The lady on the phone talked over me.. didnt hardly listen to anything I said. If they were trying to make it a positive experience? they did 100% the opposite with her attitude and not caring at all about their customer. Instead of trying to make it right, she was very rude... Even if they did have nice stuff (which looks like they dont from previous DG members) the customer service just blew me away. Rude.. period point blank. I would advise anyone else.. find another vendor, that treats you with respect........
I bought from Dutch gardens for two years and early enough, i realized that this is to much of hit and miss. I ordered Casa blanca lily, 1/3 grew, 25 queen faviola= none grew, peony (festiva maxima) = grew diseased leaves, rose (stainless steel)= grew diseased leaves, perennials: butter fly bush, blue star sea holly, fire work begonia, emereld-blue phlox = all died soon after (and I am accomplished gardener that have 98% success with plants, even rare exotics), dahlias (mixture and dutch infusion) = Yes, grew and bloomed for one season but never came back (my understanding that these were perennial in zone 9). So, i have one diseased rose + one dying peony to remind me of the performance of this company. i will take my loss and go elsewhere. Keep the catalog if you want to look at nice pictures but RUN with your wallet.
On Jun 8, 2008, Michele58 Louisville, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered an Etain Viola that arrived looking like it had the top eaten by something. It had to have gone into the shipping box looking like that. Unbelievalbe. I sent a photo to them and they offered to refund my money or since they no longer had the item they would send a replacement next year.
This is the 2nd year I've ordered from this company. The first year I received 4 barerooted peonies, one which came out this year with completely withered leaves, and another that looks like it is ailing. I feel I was given duds. Prior to these plants actually appearing from the ground, I mistakenly ordered an additional $150 worth of plants this year. The plants that I really wanted, 2 Japanese maples, weren't delivered. I wasn't charged but that didn't mean the rest of my order was correct. The Monarda came completely wilted and died even though I tried to revive it, and 3 rose plants were missing, although I was charged. Three calls to the company not withstanding, I am not happy with the products or the service. This is no way to run an mail order business.