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Comments regarding Violet Barn (Rob's Min-O-Lets)

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  Feedback History and Summary  
80 positives
3 neutrals
8 negatives


Negative EaglesSparrow
(1 review)
On May 27, 2015, EaglesSparrow Allentown, PA wrote:

Ordered 5 small plants from the Violet Garden in early May 2015. While 4 of the plants arrived in good condition, one, the Sinningia Bright Eyes - ($10.00), was OVER-packed and "mashed" due to the ridiculous over-packing.

I immediately contacted the Violet Barn, as they request when there is a problem with an order, included photographs of the damaged micro-mini and was told "that is what it should look like". The tiny plant was sopping wet when received and rotted. There was not a single healthy leaf on the plant.

I wrote back and stated this is NOT what a healthy Sinningia should look like. Again I was told that I was wrong and that I received "many, many" tiny plants in this quarter sized micro-mini.

I waited a week and the tiny plant turned into a small rotted patch of dead green. I wrote back again and not wanting to deal with another micro-mini Sinningia, asked them to replace with a mini violet I ordered and that arrived in good condition. I also included more photos of the now completely dead plant.

Again I was told, "My answer remains the same. You have a clump of MANY plants of 'Bright Eyes' with many tubers. Remove the brown leaves if you wish, but keep all else and do not discard the soil/root ball!"

As an online retailer myself, I never argue with a customer and do whatever I can to satisfy my customers. However, Violet Barn's repeated denial of the plant being a lost cause, is more than annoying.

While 4 of 5 arrived in good condition, I will never shop at Violet Barn again and will never have a good thing to say about the arrogant customer service I received.

The Sinningia Bright Eyes, is gone. The entire plant is a rolled up mass of rotted green at this point. I am NOT satisfied with it and consider this throwing $10 in the trash.

The other odd thing, I can no longer find "Sinningia Bright Eyes" on Violet Barn's website. It appears this may have been the last plant that likely should have been tossed rather than sold to an unwary customer.

This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. One bad apple can spoil the bushel and that is exactly how I feel about this situation.

I would like to add that I have been practicing bonsai for 40+ years - even before it became a "popular" pastime - and have over 150 plants growing at any given time. I know the difference between "healthy" and "rotted".

Negative lengle
(1 review)
On Oct 17, 2014, lengle Kansas City, MO wrote:

I was a first time buyer a couple of weeks ago. I ordered (2) violets.
packaging was nice...plants and root system were very small. For the price I was disappointed and surprised. One plant looked fine, one not so much. After 2 weeks I have lost 1. I contacted the not so friendly Rob at the Violet Barn. Only answer was I had to do something wrong. First No Perlite (yes I did) 2nd pot too big (plant in same pot came in) 3rd I over watered. (I had only watered 1 time, putting 1/2" water in the bottom of my pot in a pot) I asked he replace and will not.. he will give me a free plant on my next order.
I think not... why would I re-order from a company that will not back his products... and only places blame. sounds like many has had good luck.. but if you are one that does not.. don't expect any service.. only attitude.

Negative sheilasouth
(4 reviews)
On Mar 21, 2009, sheilasouth Osage, IA wrote:

My previous experiences were fairly positive, although the hoyas were very small. To date, now 3 years later, they are still in the same tiny pots & haven't bloomed. This time I tried epscias & African violets...I have to go with the negative rating because they sent the order while the temps were still too cold @ night to arrive safely, even with heat packs & expensive express shipping. I explained the problem to the owners & they took the attitude that I was making this up & the plants really hadn't died. They said they had no problem with shipping to other people in cold climes, & not only one, but TWO seperate orders to my climate were unable to survive. I don't like owners that act mad @ me when the weather causes plant loss. So, they will wait till MAY to send replacements, even when I assured them that April would be fine. I just don't like this guys thanks to ordering from them again. I don't need this kind of grumpy attitude...there are others out there that don't consider me a liar. What happened to assuming the best about their customers.??..When did these guys gets so jaded??? Sorry, but they will get no more of my business.

Negative limbiclady
(4 reviews)
On Oct 8, 2008, limbiclady Lakewood, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I placed an order with Rob's, for begonias. I forget how many, but the order came to around $64. While I received them in a timely manner (from placing the order) and it was not too early in the season - June or early July, I received very small plantlets with poorly developed roots. Most of the plants did not survive, in spite of my nurturing them.

I am an experienced and successful terrarium and begonia grower. I would recommend that if you do buy from Rob's, you should request that they grow the plants up a little before shipping rather than receive a specimen that can't thrive. I am seriously disappointed and they did not respond to my emails. I will not purchase from him again.

Negative lucyscap
(1 review)
On Oct 23, 2007, lucyscap Stratford, CT wrote:

First time buyer from this company this past summer. Paid close to $60 for 8 plants. Plants that arrived were very small and packaging was really overkill. After two weeks three of the plants developed wilt and I ended up tossing them. Called the Violet Barn and left a detailed message on their answering machine, which to date, I have received no reply to. Very disappointing. Will not order again.

Negative kimskreations
(4 reviews)
On Jun 5, 2007, kimskreations Kennebunk, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

I ordered this spring for the first time from the Violet Barn.
My order consisted of 3 hoyas.
Needless to say, they were TINY cuttings. I potted them into their new homes only to discover that the Polyneura (which is why I placed the order originally) had NO roots and quickly died after moving. I called Rob to let him know and to explain that I couldn't send a picture as they no longer accept e-mail. He said that the next time I placed an order he would send me a new one. So I asked him if I bought one now what my total would be....$17.00! $12.00 of that being shipping for 1 plant. Needless to say, I felt that was too expensive for the size plants he sends. They charged me $12.00 shipping for 3 cuttings that cost them $5.40 to mail.
I hate nurseries that make money on the shipping!

So, all in all I ended up with 2 small rooted cuttings for $27.00!!!!!!

Never again!


Negative shivers
(2 reviews)
On Nov 22, 2006, shivers Rochester, MN wrote:

While I have ordered from the Violet Barn before with good success, I am not pleased now. Several months ago I placed an order with them----weeks went by and I never received it or heard a word from them. Unfortunately there is no phone number on their website where customers can call. I sent another email again asking for the status of my order. It has been about a month and I still haven't heard anything. Since they did not charge my credit card I did not lose money----but for whatever reason they do not contact their customers or keep track of their orders. :(

Negative fairclo1
(1 review)
On Sep 19, 2005, fairclo1 Fayetteville, NC wrote:

I placed an order for African violets, streptocarpus, hoyas, and chiritas. One of the violet cultivars (Crismson Ice) showed the symptoms of a virus when it first bloomed (within a few weeks after I received it.) The blossom virus, not uncommon, manifested itself as lighter streaks of discoloration in the flower. One of the hoyas had a red mite infestation. I later discovered that two of the streptocarpus had root mealybugs. I put all of the plants under lights in a separate room away from my collection upon receipt, so that I wouldn't introduce any pathogens. I wasn't too bothered by the insects and mites. I know large growers often have small popultations of pests that they mostly keep under control, but the virus is more problematic. So I emailed the company just to let them know about the problem with the virus, not mentioning the other two pests. I wasn't asking for a refund or replacement, because I have so many plants that any one cultivar is not that important. I just wanted to let them know so that they would be aware of the problem and hopefully correct it for future customers. I received a reply (I think from Rob) asking "How did you determine this?" I think it was pretty obvious. Flower viruses are not uncommon in African violets and many other plants. I did not pursue it any further, but it does seem to me that three different pathogens in one plant order is a bit sloppy for any grower.

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