On Aug 28, 2003, RobynLacy Sacramento, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:
I have never had a problem with Stokes...I have ordered everything from Bananas to plumerias and caladiums and gingers...all were always perfect and came in perfect time. Nothing has ever died. I am sure people have had bad experiences, but in all my orders, everything was perfect! I have ordered from them somewhere around 5 time...the only complaint is that they have suddenly become a little pricey.
I have email stokes about their Bougainvilleas. I written Stokes Tropicals about all the bad experiences that I heard (read) about (via a friend).
I received an apologetic reply from Sondra. firstname.lastname@example.org She let me know that she had been gone from the business for two years and during that time they had a different managment. She said that she would be happy to discuss issues. Also that there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee on how the plants have arrived.
Hey, maybe ya'll can see what she can do for you from ya'lls bad experience.
On June 30th, 2003, Lucette added the following:
I ordered 2 Bougainvilleas. They came in within a week and a half. They were full and luscious with flower petals. They were beautiful. I will definately order from them again.
I placed an online order in 2001and added to it by telephone. It took seemingly forever to receive the plants, and even then I did not get all of them. Finally gave up on the Musa basjoo (hardy banana) plants I'd ordered. Every time I called I was given a different answer about when to expect them & finally in frustration I canceled that part of the order. They charge for their print catalog and allegedly you get the cost refunded on your first order. Had to call & complain about this because they didn't do it. I was happy about the Hibiscus & Banana fertilizers I ordered, though, and the Ginger plant is hardy in zone 7 & finally flowered last fall. Not worth the hassle & I won't order from them again. I discovered plantsbymail.net shortly after this experience.
On Mar 17, 2003, Kelli L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:
Plants ordered by mail were beautiful and of much better quality than plants ordered over the Internet. Our results over the long term with the plants has been mixed. We can't get plumerias to live more than about a year. The banana trees grow well but have never produced fruit. The hedychium ginger has never bloomed. The curcuma ginger performed well but but only lived for three years. The variegated alpina ginger has been a wonderful plant. I will order from this company again, but by mail order, not over the Internet.
On May 12, 2002, eldonbailey Lake Charles, LA wrote:
I have received two orders from them this spring. In both cases, the plants were in good shape. On one order, they were out of one item and they called me personally to suggest and receive approval for a substitution.
last year i order from them ,received my order of bananas plants, were small but ok. somethings were back order, but did not let me know when would rec them,,so i canceled, this year i want to try again , but i have read a lot of negative comments elsewhere on them. they have a great catalog ,many items, and i hate to find out that about the negative things for i am trying to be positive about them..they also have not answered my e mail of 3 times.
so go figure.
On April 23rd, 2002, insane changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
On the 14th December 2001 I placed and order for one of Stokes Tropicals advertised 'specials' which was in their catalogue and on the net. A Ylang Ylang tree for the price of $ll.86, item 83251 in their catalogue. I placed the order and gave my credit card to pay for the delivery. At the time of the order, Ashley told me that they would only be available in April. I called about my order and was told that - despite my having given her all my ordering details - I had never placed an order with them, as there were no records of my order with Stokes Tropicals. After much discussion they offered me a re-order. Certainly not at the price of $11.86. But at $50 dollars. This was for a slightly larger tree. To mollify me she promised to send it out within ONE WEEK. Since I can't wait any longer as I am in transit I placed the order with the understanding it would be shipped out IMMEDIATELY. That was on the 11 April. It is now the 14th. No Ylang Ylang Tree delivered as yet. I am totally disgusted, frustrated, angered and after this horrible experience with you I WILL NEVER PLACE AN ORDER WITH STOKES AGAIN, WHAT'S MORE, I WILL TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO PASS ON MY EXPERIENCE TO ALL THE GARDENERS I KNOW, ON AND OFF THE WEB.
I am adding my two cents to all the negative comments about Stokes Tropicals. I had experiences similar to the others listed as 2000 and 2001. I ordered over $125 worth of tropicals and received them in FOUR shipments. After complaining that it was not my fault that they didn't HAVE the plants, they reduced the shipping amount somewhat. The hibiscus were PATHETIC and all died after waiting 9 months to get them. They were teeny little sticks. Their customer non-service is also vicious. They guarantee NOTHING, even if it arrives in awful shape.
I placed an online order for a heliconia and fertilizer to go with it from Stokes in January. I was careful to order a plant that was listedas being in stock, as it was to be a birthday gift. Stokes contacted me a few days later to say that they would not guarantee that the plantwould arrive in good condition if they shipped it right away due to cold weather. Although the plant was shipping from south Louisiana to southFlorida, I figured they knew what they were talking about and told them it was ok to wait and ship it when they felt it was safe. Several weeks later, I inquired about the order and was told they would be getting more of that item in soon and would ship it then. After another month or so, I inquired again and was given adate (a few weeks later) that the plant would supposedly ship. Still no plant. I sent another e-mail inquiry a couple of weeks ago but got no reply. I phoned today (June 4) to ask about the order status and was told, again, that they would be getting more heliconias in soon and that my order would probably go out in about two weeks! I finally cancelled the order.
I ordered some banana plants from Stokes back in October and was told they would ship out in about 4 weeks. Well, 4 weeks passed and I did not see the plants. I e-mailed them and got a response two weeks later stating that the plants would ship out in 4 to 6 weeks! 4 weeks later, I receive an e-mail stating that they would not ship until March 2001 because of the weather.Well, I live in California and these are shipped from a climate that is similar to mine, plus the banana plants I ordered are cold hardy to belowzero. I sent them a reply plus at least 4 other messages (once a week) and have not heard back from them. I will also report them to the Better Business Bureau. This was in the net, LOL! These people have no idea what customer service is!! "The Stokes Tropicals Web site at http://www.stokestropicals.com has received Lycos Point's Top 5% of the Web award that is given to those sites that best epitomize the best of the Internet. Besides allowing Internet visitors the ability to order over 300 varieties of tropical plants on-line, the StokesTropicals Web site offers growing tips for a variety of tropical plant groups including Bananas, Bromeliads, Plumerias, Gingers, and Heliconias."
There was once a time when Stokes Tropicals were considered on of the best mail order nurseries. NOT ANYMORE! I have placed three orders with them this year (2 in the spring, 1 in Summer) I never heard from them after that. I tried calling several times to straighten out my orders, all I get is the run around. Several of my online friends have had the same experiences with them. The general consensus is that they put out a wonderful catalog but they don't have enough stock or man power to cover the orders. I will never buy from them again!
I ordered 2 Tacca plants from Stokes many months ago. Neither plant lasted but a few weeks, they were root rotted upon arrival. I've been trying to get a refund with no success. They don't answer their email promptly, if at all. Each email is from a different person who has no idea what is going on. I will never order from this company again. The owner emailed me once stating he stands behind his company's reputation and I haven't heard from him since.
I've had a negative experience with this nursery and won't do business with them again. I placed an order in April through their online service and by mid-June I still hadn't received my plants or any sort of explanation. They were unresponsive to e-mails, and I phoned on numerous occasions. The general response was that they would look into it and get back with me. I never received a return call. Eventually I learned that my order had been recorded in their computer as sent, but I never received anything and the payment was never debited from my credit card. After approximately 5 calls, I cancelled and placed another order elsewhere.
I recently ordered six different bananas from them. They sent me 3 within the week, along with an invoice for all six. It indicated that only the three I received had been sent, and it billed me only for the three. But it did not tell me where the other three were, or if they had been back-ordered. I emailed them many times, asking what happened to the other half of my order, and they never sent me anything back. I'm going to have my credit card company withhold payment to them for what I did get until they resolve this dispute. Their shipping charges depend on how much money you spend. And if something gets back ordered, they charge you shipping twice if you want it sent separately from the rest of your order. The three bananas I got cost together $25.33, so I'm guessing they decided to back order the other 3 bananas so they could bill me shipping twice. But the problem is that one of the bananas I didn't receieve was a musa basjoo, the most common hardy banana in the country. There's no way they could have honestly put it on back order. I have just reported them to the better business bureau, and hopefully I can get the other half of my order without paying any extra for shipping. I have asked them many times in the past few weeks what happened to the rest of myorder, and they won't say anything. The thing is, there's a box you have to check on the order form to get them to ship your order in two parts if anything is backordered, and I didn't check it. I just want the rest of my order.
I hate to be negative about a company that I have ordered from only once. I ordered a Canna and a 'Jungle Gold' ginger. Both were undersized and apparently still dormant. The 2 -3 inch Canna rhizome never produced the first root. I'm still waiting to see if the ginger is going to come up. The company did agree to replace the plants even though it had been longer than their ten day guarantee. I have not gotten a replacement at this time. I'm waiting to see if the ginger is going to come up before asking for replacement. My biggest complaint is that they would send such small rhizome/plant in the first place.
On Feb 1, 2000, DonnaSullivan Brookfield, MA wrote:
I ordered gingers from Stokes and was very pleased with the plants they sent me. One of my orders not only had the ginger plant but an additional unlabeled tuber. I called Customer Service about the tuber and was told that the person packaging my plants had decided the plant didn't look up to their standards so they included an extra ginger tuber. Both the plant and the tuber have done beautifully. I thought that was a good story to pass along. I will definitely order from them again this spring.
I found Stokes Tropicals on your web site. I have been looking for a place that I could order cannas this late in the season. All the usual companies I order from could not fill an order until spring of 2000. Here in Central Texas we have another three months of hot weather. This company had a certain Canna that I had been looking for a couple of years. I was so excited. I ordered from them and although they said it would be 4 weeks, I received them in a few days. They were packed wonderfully and in great shape. I just wish I had found this company years ago.
I have been buying plants from these folks for years. They have the largest selection of gingers to be found anywhere as well as plumerias, bananas, heliconias & other exotics. Prices are very competitive and all plants I've received have been healthy & vigorous. A wonderful full color catalog is also available for $3. A real find!