Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
On Apr 25, 2012, Tabacum Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
Shipment arrived on time.....but packaging was two small boxes with newspaper stuffing...the dry dahlia bulbs were okay, but the mustifolia canna had a major growth area snapped off, it was still in the box....Has one growth area left, so it will grow to a smaller size....The colocasia arrived in good condition despite its limited packaging.... Prices are reasonable with this company....too bad I don't live closer for pickups.....
Posted on July 10, 2006, updated March 28, 2011
I ordered a dahlia, ranunculus, and amarcrinum, which all turned out well. The dahlia, in particular, was impressively healthy.
I also ordered 40 or 50 leucocoryne, and not a single bulb came up - neither foliage nor flowers. I planted all of the bulbs the day after I received them, and I even planted them in several different sites in case they didn't like the soil conditions in one bed. (all were sunny garden beds where very little has ever failed to grow). After a few months, I sent them a polite e-mail, asking if there had been problems with these bulbs and relating my experience. I never got an answer. Since their guarantee seems to be basically 'you're responsible for the bulbs' success/ failure as long as they look OK when you get them', I didn't pursue this any further. Maybe it's my fault, but this is the first time I've ever had a complete bulb failure like this.
On July 26th, 2007, AS added the following:
I finally remembered to update this. Soon after I posted my comment, I was contacted by an employee of Brent and Becky's, who told me that Brent and Becky have never been able to grow the leucocryne successfully in their garden either. I pointed out that their catalog description of growing conditions was misleading, as it suggests this bulb would be perfect for at least one growing season in my soil (though survival over the winter might have been iffy). I also suggested that they label any unfamiliar bulbs that are particularly finicky/ difficult to grow. I wasn't offered any refund, but at least I'm glad to see these particular bulbs are no longer being offered in their catalog. If "education is our most important product", as they claim, they can learn from someone else's mistakes next time, not mine. On July 26th, 2007, AS added the following:
To clarify: Personally, I've added them to my "never again" list, based on their customer service. I buy bulbs for my benefit, not to trial unfamiliar bulbs for the company's benefit. But given that their other bulbs were fine, I wouldn't recommend against them either, as long as you stick to familiar things. On March 28th, 2011, AS added the following:
After seeing a couple of recent comments and sympathizing, I wanted to comment that I'd definitely read this company's guarantee before ordering, and make sure you can live with it. I didn't, and regretted it. What it boils down to is that they guarantee that 1) the bulbs will reach you in good condition. 2) IF you can get them to grow, they will be true to name. There's no guarantee that they will be big enough to bloom the first year, and they specifically do not guarantee that their bulbs will grow successfully. It seems like this works fine for most of the things they sell, but it can be frustrating when things go wrong. (My own customer service experience felt irritatingly condescending.)
I'd also note that they are somewhat weak on warnings for bulbs that may be a little tougher to grow successfully. As an example, at least two other bulb companies note under calochortus that they hate freezing and thawing, but B & B do not. This might be a problem in parts of the country where freeze/thaw cycles are common. Given their guarantee, I suggest some independent research before ordering anything unfamiliar.
Well, Brent and Becky's Bulbs utilizes Dave's GardenWatchdog to see how we're doing and to get feedback from our customers. We appreciate that you think our products are "fine", however we'd also like to know what it is you think we can do to improve. It's not really fair to say "step up" without an explanation. Feel free to contact me directly (877-661-2852 toll free) or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know how we can turn that "fine" and that "neutral" into a "great" and a "positive".
Brent and Becky's Bulbs"
Susan, I have to say that this is troubling to me, too! How bizarre! Let me just make sure that you went to http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com. We don't have any login information on our website. It's free for anyone to browse. I'll check with the DG staff here and make sure our links are directing properly. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
Brent and Becky's Bulbs"
I ordered a subsatnital number of tulip bulbs last fall and planted them according to directions. Although packaging was certainly adequate, several of my bulbs were mishapen and soft. I didn't plant those. Most of the tulips that came up in the spring were fine, but probably 1/10 of them either never came up or were tiny and not robust. In all fairness to the comopany, I never contacted them with the problem so I can't report whether or not they would have made it right.
On Apr 27, 2008, Miarka Ware Neck, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I have bought 3 batches of Crocosmia from B&B's and they have never come up. Also, their Gladiolus, sold as hardy here didn't come up the second year even though I dug them up and put them in the garage for the winter. I don't know, maybe it's me???
I'm not sure what to think about this company, and may have to ammend my review later. I placed an order a few months ago, and was a bit disappointed to see they were waiting to send it until the first week in April, as I am zone 7B and every other site I've ordered from sent my items a month earlier. Also, I'd ordered several seed packets and feel I should have received them much sooner!
After I reconciled with the waiting time, I eagerly awaited my order. It finally came Friday. I am disappointed. 5 items are apparently backordered, although no one indicated this to me. It's not even written on the invoice! All that's there is the initials "BO" penciled in--with NO EXPLANATION of any kind.
Additionally, the 5 Perovskias I received were all deeply water-logged. I am concerned they may end up with root rot.
The seed packets have little information as to the nature, care and cultivation of the seeds they contain. They don't even note if the plants are annual, perennial, etc.
I am going to e-mail customer service and hope that is not disappointing, as well. I see this company has obviously satisfied many customers, but maybe they just took on more than they could handle this year? I cannot say I am impressed at all at this point.
On Apr 7, 2008, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
Normally, when an order is put into our system, we use an "educated guess" as to when the appropriate time to plant will be. Mother Nature has had a fairly sick sense of humor lately and sometimes things warm more quickly than we thought. But that's why we email the acknowledgment to give the customer the opportunity to call to say, PLEASE send them earlier or PLEASE send them later, whichever the case may be! We really do want them to land when YOU want them, so we encourage people to give us a call if we you'd like it changed.
In the seed section of our catalogue and web site, we try to be clear as to how we plant them. Each section of the country is SO different, we could almost write a complete encyclopedia on each item, so we try to give general information for each area. We do call them annuals and biannuals in our catalogue because that's how they perform for us. Since "knexsen" is just down the road in Va. Beach, we assumed that they would perform that way for her, as well.
The Perovskia was grown all last summer in 4" pots and once the frost came, we unpotted them and put them in plastic bags with holes in them and stored them in the freezer - hoping to keep them dormant until planted in their new home. Perhaps the condensation in the freezer creates too much moisture! We do hope they perform beautifully as they have in the past when put through similar conditions. But if not, we want to know!
The "5 items" back ordered were 5 of the same item, Curcuma 'Aussie Plume'. Curcuma are sometimes slow to 'get going'. We held them as they weren't up to par for what we thought they should be. And it's often a call that is made at the spur of the moment. When you receive them, they will be well rooted in 4" pots and ready to be dropped in your garden or container. Bottom heat and a heated greenhouse sometimes isn't enough to encourage fast growth in some VERY tropical plants. I do hope you'll be thrilled with them when they do finally arrive!
If there are concerns, we encourage customers to call, write, email, fax, smoke signals...anything...anytime they feel the need. We are certainly not the largest bulb company but we try to be the best! And if we do drop the ball, we'd love the chance to make it right!
The following is an email I sent to Brent and Becky's...FIVE times. Since they do not respond to my emails, maybe they will respond here:
Dear Brent and Becky's:
In the fall I ordered two hundred tulips, 100 pink and 100
white. They are all coming up a light greenish-yellow.
This is the third time bulbs I've ordered from B & B have
come up far different than what I've ordered.
I can't tell you how disappointed I am. Hours lovingly
preparing flower beds, hours on my knees planting, looking
forward all winter to seeing lovely pink and white tulips,
and now these unattractive yellow-green ones...
I don't know what to do. I still have a credit from the
lilies and glads that were wrong last year. I feel like I
can't order anything and know that it will be what I
As I said, last year, they sent me hundreds of incorrectly labeled lilies and glads. Now, this year, hundreds of incorrectly labeled tulips. Instead of pink and white, I'm stuck with two hundred snot-colored things. I'm so disappointed, and so angry!
On April 10th, 2007, keight changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I've changed my rating to neutral because I received a refund for the mislabeled bulbs. I am satisfied with the refund.
On Sep 3, 2006, tacobe11e Arlington, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered a variety of bulbs including cannas and calla lily. I planted the cannas in different beds around my garden. None of the cannas came up. Neither did the calla. About two-thirds of the other bulbs, which included crocosmia and bletilla, came up.
On Sep 3, 2006, White_Hydrangea Aurora, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:
They came highly recommended, and I was going to try to put an order in with them, hopefully in time to get some bulbs this fall, but this company apparently no longer exists. Trying to link to their website gets me "Page Not Found." I don't think I have time to wait.
On Sep 3, 2006, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
Alas, as many times as I've tried, Mother Nature won't change bulb season being the same as hurricane season! Tropical Storm Ernesto - which was 10mph shy of beiing a hurricane - had its eye pass between us and Virginia Beach. There are places that today - 4 days later, still don't have power or phone. Our website when down when everything else did.
We apologize for any delays in ordering, but we are up and running again! Come by and see us!
as of Aug 18, their website is not available. Is the company still in business?
On Aug 18, 2006, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
On Aug 18, 2006 9:56 AM, Brent & Becky's Bulbs added:
On 8/18 we lost our internet connection 3 times and our website, which is "in-house", was unable to be accessed. It was down as well this morning (8/19). We have an IT guy and the cable company on the case. We apologize for any inconvenience, and hope to have this glitch resolved quickly! If you can not log on to our website, feel free to call us toll free at 877-661-2852 and place your order, or just to check the status of our site.
Brent and Becky's Bulbs"
My order included Iris foetidissima and Agapanthus Blue Heaven. The Agapanthus was pretty tiny but I've come to find that most companies send pretty small Ag's, not like the gallon cans you can buy in nurseries in California. Now in it's second growing season, it produced a tiny flower spike. The Iris foetidissima was very tiny and variable, some being small but plump, and a couple being so small that I thought they were pieces that must have fallen off the "real" plant. Two died soon after planting and the other 3 are about 4 inches tall in their second growing season. I'll try again with less unusual bulbs this year.
I ordered several different types of Lilies in late winter. Being in a cold zone, it was quite late before they were shipped. All of the Asiatics were large and lovely; two types of the Orientals were not nearly as nice or as large. Realizing that different bulbs can come in different sizes, this did not deter me; but I did phone immediately as one type of hybrid was smooshy- all of that type. They were very nice on the phone- said all of that type were really not so great that year and I could have a refund or they could go and sift through what was left to find me some better bulbs. I took the first option as it was getting a bit late to plant lilies in my yard. Anyway- what problems I did have were quickly resolved in a friendly manner. I only wish they had an early shipping option.
I was pretty disappointed receiving an email a couple of weeks ago from this supplier letting me know that the cannas I purchased from them was not available. If I had known at the time I placed the order, I would have purchased it from another source. Now, it is too late, and other sources are sold out, and I will have to wait another year before I can grow this plant. I realize that sometimes their vendor does not come through on their end, so hopefully this is a one time issue.
On Mar 20, 2006, johnrobbins Chesterton, IN wrote:
I had been buying bulbs from Brent & Beckys for many years, (back when it was the Daffodil Mart before White Flower Farms bought them out). I was attracted to them because of the wide variety of daffodils offered. The variety offered had been declining over the past few years, so their appeal had declined as well, but what is troubling and reason I am writing this post is that the last two orders I placed from them have not bloomed the first year after planting. Now bulbs offered for sale should be fully formed, mature and ready to bloom the first season after planting for the bud should be fully formed (in embryonic stage) and ready to go.
When contacted about this they didn't really seem to understand or care about the problem. For this to happen once is a mistake of which I can forgive, which I did for I did order from them again. For it to happen again is indicative of a bigger problem, one which they apparently do not care to remedy and that I can only remedy by refusing to purchase again from them.
On May 18th, 2006, johnrobbins changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
While still annoyed at the non-blooming performance of some daffodils I had ordered in the past, my previous post was probably a bit harsh, written in a fit of pique. I did talk to their plant manager (Jay) who was very courteous and pleasant. I have reviewed their 2006 catalog and must admit that I have long wanted to order Xit (which I denied myself last year) which is again available, and there are a few other offerings which look intriquing enough to tempt me to once again order from them, so I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best.On Mar 20, 2006, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
On Mar 21, 2006 12:58 PM, Brent & Becky's Bulbs added:
Just got back from the New England Flower Show (had fun meeting all of you Bostonians!) and gave John a call. He was nice enough to try and recap his experiance with his '03 and '04 orders. He mentioned that he may not have identified himself at his calls so that we could have put notes in his file and handle his concerns with more TLC, but none-the-less, we've reiterated with our CSRs to take notes on every call so we can handle them and follow up more effectively. We sell bulbs, but our real product is education...both for the consumer AND for US. We know what works well for us here in VA, zone 7B - we've only gardened here - and encourage all of our customers to communicate their successes and failures so we get a better idea of how things perform in other areas of the country.
Brent and Becky's Bulbs"
On Dec 5, 2005, shimer Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
This Aug. I went looking for bulb vendors using the Garden Watchdog. From the reviews, I tried ordering from 3, among them Brent and Becky's. I've been delighted with the quality of the bulbs from all 3 vendors I tried: all excellent.
I was displeased with B&B's the shipping date--much later than the other vendors. It would have suited me much better to get everything in Oct., especially since I was waiting to plant certain areas until I had the full assortment of what I planned for those areas, but when I called in Oct. to ask when my order would ship, B&B's customer service dept. told me Nov. was "the best time" for my zone and I'd have to wait. OK, Nov. came and not until the day before Thanksgiving did my bulbs come. I called back to complain about the date, and found out that I should have put a date by which I wanted them in the comment box when I placed the order, because they can accommodate that if the customer requests it. I wish their site indicated a way to do that (as Colorblends and many other sites do), but at least now I know what their system is, and hopefully sharing this will help others.
I was very happy with the tools I got, but again the customer service dept. could have done better: I called and asked about their stainless steel trowels, because it was hard to discern from the catalog what the exact dimensions of the blades were. Customer service wasn't sure either, and didn't seem able to find any so they could measure them, so I got 2. One has a blade 7" long and 2.25" wide, the other is 5.5" long and 1.5" wide. The straight blades are really handy for digging in a previously planted bed--they get you to the depth you need without risking as much damage to bulbs already in the ground as wider spades do. I also received one of their black plastic bulb crates with my order, and that is so useful, I might order more. It's great for storing, sorting and carrying bulbs or other garden items around.
On Oct 26, 2005, kbaumle Northwest, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
This was my first experience with Brent & Becky's and I have to say I'm amazed at the size of the bulbs! Communication was good. They sent an e-mail for confirmation of the order, as well as when it was shipped. If how the bulbs look are any indication of their performance, I have no doubt I will have wonderful flowers next spring!
On January 19th, 2007, kbaumle changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I'm changing my rating to neutral, due to my current experience with a second order with B & B's. I ordered four hippeastrum bulbs, each a different cultivar. As of now, two have bloomed, and they are both the same. I e-mailed the company about the error (I am missing 'Charisma') and I have not received any response. I e-mailed from a link on their website (email@example.com), and when several days went by and I didn't hear from them, I e-mailed again, with the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address also posted on their website. I have not gotten a response from the second e-mail either.
While the incorrect bulb has performed well, it's not what I ordered. I'm quite surprised that I've not gotten any response to this whatsoever.
I loved their catalog and all the information it contains, as well as the large selection of bulbs available. However, I did not have good results from the bulbs I ordered. Some of the tulips bloomed (possibly squirrel predation was to blame) but the foxtail lilies were a huge disappointment. One grew and bloomed, not well; others didn't bloom at all, altho one did grow and bloom the second summer. I hesitate to order them again, with that kind of a track record.
This company provides a mixed experience, leaning toward a negative. Their site provides no way to email, so you have to call, and they did not properly account for my order on two different occaissions. Once the count was wrong, the second time they failed to provide the credit owed for an out of stock item. They seem to get by on their reputation for good stock, but have customer service issues.
This was my first order from B&B and it was not a great experience. This spring I ordered some white Liatris. While I was on the phone ordering this, I added a Ginger plant on a whim. B&B quoted me a total, it sounded good, so away we went. A month later I get a note saying that they had misquoted the shipping on the ginger and they were adding another $10.00 to my credit card. I would not have ordered the Ginger if I'd known how much the charge was to be. And to add insult to injury of the 10 white Liatris bulbs only 2 were white. The rest were the neon Purple (probably Kobald) which was not in my color scheme at all. When I called to complain they were fairly nice. I was credited for the price of the Liatris (but not shipping) and told (in essence) that the company is not responsible for quoting correct prices when an order is placed with them. So now I know how they are to do business with. I give them a neutral because that's how I feel about buying from them again. I'll look at other places I'm POSITIVE about first.
On Jun 23, 2005, gardenbooks Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
The plants were healthy and are growing well. The instruction booklet that came with them is very helpful. However, this company's business practices are very poor. My plants were shipped and my credit card was billed over two months ago. Two days ago they posted a charge to my credit card for additional shipping. I learned about this from a postcard that was sent to me. I checked my account online and saw when the charge was posted. I have a real problem with charges made to my credit card account that I do not know about or approve. The original charge to my account was the amount stated in the confirmation email I received after placing my order. A shipping charge was included in that original amount. It seems to me that they made a mistake in not charging me enough for shipping and that it was discovered later. I was not notified by phone or email; just a postcard after the fact.
On May 24, 2005, acbailey17 North Andover, MA wrote:
I am a relatively new gardener and was very excited to order from B&B. I have ordered twice and both times my experience was similar.
Bulb Quality - mixed.
While nearly all (>90%) of the 60+ Narcissus, 80+ tulips, and 20 Camassia are blooming/have bloomed beautifully & reliably, other bulbs were not as successful.
Dwarf Iris - only 60% of the 100 bulbs came up and when they did nearly 20% of these were actually Crocus--not dwarf Iris (I didn't order any Crocus and don't have any in my garden. No chance this didn't come from them.)
Ipheion - None have come up
Hyacinthiodes, Triteleia, and Gladiolus - the jury is still out.
Customer Service - poor.
I called to complain about the Crocus mixed in with the Iris and the poor bloom rates and was told they were "in a crunch" and someone would get back to me asap. No call ever came.
I understand that they were in "crunch time" and even that my complaint was minor, but to ignore customers is a good way to lose them. Overall, I lost $20-30 on wrong bulbs or blooms that didn't materialize (out of a $300+ order). Acceptable? Maybe... but their customer response was not. While I *may* take my chances and order from them again (for hard-to-find items) I certainly won't be spending the bulk of my gardening dollars with them.
On Jan 4, 2005, langbr Olathe, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:
Placed 2 orders for fall bulbs from B&B. Very happy with all the bulbs. No rotten or disintegrating ones in the bunch. All of the fall-blooming crocus and colchicum bloomed this year.
I did have to email about the status of my order as other fall crocus orders from other companies were received and starting to bloom and I'd not received my B&B order. I received a reply the same day and the order was enroute.
All in all a fine transaction - nothing particularly over the top that I've experienced with other companies. Will likely order again in the future.
On Nov 19, 2004, kdjoergensen Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
This company gets great reviews, but they have not lived up to my expectations when it comes to size of some of their products, particular daylilies and tulips were small. This is the reason for rating 'Neutral'.
Selection is great, and prices reasonable. I was very happy with the size of the lilies they mailed this year. Customer service is very attentive and they certainly do a great job trying to accommodate you. They split a shipment for me so I could get the bulbs early due to travelling schedule. Very positive.
I order tulip bulbs from various vendors and the two years I have ordered tulips from them, the bulbs were small compared to competition. Discussing this on the phone with a representative from the Company, they claim their tulips are minimum the size advertised and that they even swap tulips with other companies. This may be the case, but the bulbs I have received have been smaller than those provided by other companies and I have ordered several varieties of tulips. The daylily divisions were very small, too.
The merchandise has always been good quality, and they have shipped what they promissed to ship and on time. Customer service is flexible and acommodating. Selective merchandise (dutch iris, hyacinths, lilies) are very nice sizes. Their selection is very impressive to say the least.
Their tulips and dayllies are small.
Placed order this fall, rec'd bulbs quickly and in good condition. The fall crocus I rec'd earlier is blooming today, the color is even better than I could have hoped for. Only wish I had ordered more of them.
On November 7th, 2006, PlantsnobIN changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Wish I could keep it positive. I ordered more bulbs this spring, with less than stellar results. Out of 40 crocosmias, 1 came up. I emailed twice about the no-shows, only to get a reply of 'croscosmias are late summer plants'. Yes, I know they bloom late, but there was no growth whatsoever. I also ordered lilies, which did ok. But, when one variety bloomed, it wasn't what I ordered. I noticed, but didn't contact the company due to their response to earlier emails. I later rec'd a postcard from them saying the lily had bloomed for them the wrong color. No kidding. No offer to send the correct one next year. I don't think I will be ordering more.
I ordered late this year, and chose to order 400 bulbs from Brent & Becky's. I ordered on October 19th. I heard nothing from them. I emailed them three times and called their answering machine once. Still no response. I finally went out and bought bulbs locally (2nd and 3rd choices by this time) because I wanted to get spring bulbs in the ground before the weather turned more wintry. Finally, on November 11th I received an automated shipping notice. The bulbs arrived on Friday the 14th. While I am pleased with the quality and price of the bulbs themselves, I was very disappointed in their customer service. Reading other comments, it appears that it would not have helped to order earlier anyway, because it looks like everyone's order was shipped at the same time. I may consider ordering from them again, but I won't plan my planting around expecting to receive any bulbs from them in a timely manner.
I have placed substantial orders from Brent & Becky's for the past three years. They are my only bulb supplier because I have found their prices very reasonable and the quality and selection good. My only complaint is that this fall they were very slow to fill my order, and it proved impossible to contact them about the problem.
I placed the order on Sept. 7 and finally received the bulbs on Nov. 7, which was an inconvenience because I was hoping to get them in the ground before the weather got very cold and the resulting weekend-long task, unpleasant. Sometime in October they posted a short message on their Web site indicating that they were hit by the hurricane and were trying to catch up on filling orders. The message indicated that orders placed were being shipped two weeks later and that an email message would be sent as soon as the bulbs were shipped. My order had been placed several weeks earlier, and more than two weeks after I saw the message, still no message indicating shipment.
Meanwhile, I tried to contact them repeatedly to determine whether they might even have lost my order, but the phone was always busy. I also emailed them about my order (including the emailed receipt) but never received a response. Finally, on Nov. 6, I received an automated email message indicating my bulbs had been shipped -- although the tracking number and link provided no information other than a "notification of shipping" had been received by the carrier. To my surprise, however, the bulbs arrived on our doorstep the very next day.
I think I will still order from B&B's because this was a one-time glitch, and ultimately they did deliver good bulbs at a good price. But I hope that they will improve their customer-service operation so that, in the event of a catastrophe (and I'm taking their word it was indeed that), they communicate promptly with their customers -- at least through bulk email messages -- and have some sort of phone answering service where, when lines are busy, the caller is directed to an automated message where at the very least, some information about what's going on with the slow order fulfillment would be dispensed. They can also, for less than $100, set up an email autoresponse system so that, even if they can't personally reply to customer-service email, there is something that goes back to the customer acknowledging receipt of the message and providing information on what is being done to expedite the backlog of orders.
This is Customer Service 101 and they are too good of a company to flunk that kind of stuff.
I'ved ordered from Brent and Becky's the last two years and they are extreemly nice. Unfortunately the product I received was not very good. The first year I'm convinced I got undersized bulbs...but let it pass. Last year I ordered 200 narcissi as a gift. I inspected them before planting and found 1/4 of them to be rotted and moldy! I called the company and, while they were surprised about this particular variety being rotted, they said they had been having a problem with their shipments from Europe. With such information you would think they would be more careful about what was sent from their warehouse. Although a refund/credit was offered I never received it. I would suppose that if I called them again this year they may remember. However, after reading similar accounts in this venue, I'm afraid it appears as a standard (bad) business practice. Still haven't determined if I will give them another chance.
On July 6th, 2003, califgardner changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I ordered from Brent and Becky's Bulbs with good results in 2000 and 2001. In 2002, however, B&B's Bulbs sent dead Anemone coronaria (de Caen) corms AND charged for chionodoxa that were not shipped. I notified the company twice, by email, of the dead corms and overcharge. There was no response.
In the past, Becky Heath has done business by email. I send my orders that way, orders are confirmed by email, and Becky notified me by email (at the last minute, when the order was due) that the chionodoxa I had ordered for Fall 2002 were not good and could be not shipped. Thus, I have no reason to believe that email is not a good way to notify the company of problems. Their failure to respond appears to be deliberate.
I had good results with the same Anemones in 2001, so the issue is not climate, soil, or planting techniques. My best guess is that the award B&B got from American Horticultural Society last year so increased their business that quality controls are entirely lost.
Bottom line: Brent & Becky's Bulbs notified me in November 2002 that part of the order I had due would not be available (chionodoxa). The company shipped part of the order, the Anemones, and charged me for both parts: chionodoxa and Anemones. By early March, 2003, it was clear that the anemone corms had been dead material. I pointed out both problems to the company. No one from B&B's Bulbs has responded.
My next step will be to notify the Better Business Bureau and their State A.G.'s office. I suggest that anyone looking for plant material look elsewhere.
On March 18th, 2003, PatriciaCrav changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Becky Heath sent a note explaining personal reasons for the delay in responding to my letter. These things happen. The company will be refunding my costs for dead plants and for the chionodoxa.On March 18th, 2003, PatriciaCrav added the following:
On Feb 1, 2002, xanadugardens Paradise, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have heard and read nothing but good about Brent and Becky's. They have a fantastic web site and an excellent reputation. So I was surprised to find that one set of crocosmias I ordered from them sprouted very poorly. Fewer than a quarter came up and those were weak and sickly. Another type of crocosmia from the same order, planted four feet away, sprouted vigorously and completely. Three e-mails later, I am still waiting for a response.