Ordered Agapanthus bulbs from B&B and planted them. Having never grown these before I thought after they bloomed they seemed to be "stuck" at a point of not fully opening. I emailed company and was referred to their description in the catalog which basically said they have been unpredictable and may need time to become established.
However, when I received a catalog from B & B I noticed that the photo of the Allium looked EXATCLY like the blooms in my garden where I planted what I thought was Agapanthus! I had never grown Allium either, but I did have visitors to my garden say that they smelled like onions or garlic.
I again emailed company and informed them that it appeared that I had been sent bulbs that had been mislabeled. I asked to send them pictures, or even send some of the Allium to them but they did not respond to that email.
As stated, having never grown either one of these bulbs I did not understand the development process of either one. But when I looked at the picture in B & B's catalog of the Allium I knew it was Allium that had bloomed and was not a "stunted/not fully opening Agapanthus.
On Jun 8, 2015, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
Oh, no, Zoe57! Did you email us directly or through the website? We\'ll look into the communications to make sure you can reach us and that all of the address was correctly posted. But, by all means, pick up the phone and give us a ring, at 877-661-2852. As you can see by the rest of the folks posting here, we hold strong to our belief that we make sure everyone is happy and we do a great job at it. Please call us and let\'s get this through from start to solution, find out what went wrong and let\'s make sure your a happy customer when all is said and done! Ok? We hope to hear from you soon!
Brent and Becky\'s
On Jun 10, 2015 4:00 PM, Brent & Becky\'s Bulbs added:
Hi, zoe57! Just touching base. We haven't heard from you as of yet. We'd love the opportunity to work out your problems and figure out what went wrong. Let's work together to fix this. Give us a call toll free at 877-661-2852 at your next convenience. Thanks! "
Mostly negative, been ordering since 2003. Kept on trying. Biggest disapointments, nearly $100.00 spent on lycoris, very sad outcome, Fritillaria Persica no show, deformed non perennial tulips. Daffodils that don't come back. Here is a list of almost everything I bought:
1. N. Extravaganza (Lasted 3 yrs-gone)
2. N. Bulbocodium conspicuus (One came up 1st yr-gone)
3. T. World Expression (Came up 2 yrs deformed-gone)
4. T. Horizon (Came up 3 years-gone 2 came back last year)
5. Allium oreophilum (Never came up)
6. Allium triquetrum (Doing great spreading)
7. Crocus Chrys. blue bird (Two came up 1st yr-gone)
8. Crocus versi Picturatus (Four came up 1st yr-gone)
9. Fritillaria Persica (Came up 1st yr never bloomed-gone)
10. Lilium Martagon Backhous (4 came up doing great-1 was a lily)
11. Fritillaria meleagris (out of over 50, 12 still coming back)
12. Galanthus woronowii (two come back yearly)
13. Crocus sativus (One still coming up)
14. Crocus speci conqueror (Never seen any)
15. T. Olympic Flame (Never seen any)
16. T. Little beauty (Three still come back yearly)
17. Allium caeruleum (Came back 2 years-gone)
18. Allium Globemaster (Came back 3 years-gone)
19. Crocus Flavus Golden yellow (Doing great come back yearly)
20. Dracunculus vulgaris (Two still come back, one doubled itsrelf)
21. Bletilla striata (doing great come back yrly some doubled 4 bloom)
22. Crinum Ellen Bosanquet (Leaves are there--potted winter inside, never bloom)
23. Crinum powellii (Come back yearly 8 scapes this year, outside all year)
24. Lilium sp. leightlinii (Only saw one of these 1st year-gone)
25. Lilium Asiatic Pink Giant (One of these comes back yearly)
26. Lilium AS Blackout (All come back yearly)
27. Lilium O/T Orania (One of these come back yearly 5 ft tall)
28. Lilium O/T Anastasia (All of these doing great)
29. Lillium Tigre flore pleno (Three come back yearly)
30. Allium Gladiator (Came back 2 years)
31. Allium Christophii (Got 1 by mistake-comes back yearly)
32. Allium White Giant (3 of these come back yearly)
33. Chionodoxa forbesii Blue Giant (all of these come back yearly)
34. Hyacinthoides non-scripta (See a few of these yearly)
35. Ipheion uniflorim (Never seen these)
36. Muscari armeniacum (comes back yearly)
37. Orinthogalum nutans (Never seen these)
38. Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica (All of these come back yearly)
39. Scilla mischtschenkoana (Never seen these)
40. Triteleia Queen Fabiola (These have doubled, come back yearly)
41. N. Rijnveld's Early Sensation (These are amazing, all have doubled come back yrly)
42. N. Trumpet Warrior (Never seen any of these-got refund)
43. T. Bakeri Lilac wonder (1 or 2 come back yearly)
44. T. Clusiana var. chrisanthia (3-4 come back yearly)
45. T. Humillus Lilliput (Came back 1st year-gone)
46. T. Humillus Odalisque (Never seen these)
47. T. praestans fusiller (Came back a few years-gone)
48. T. Lady Jane (Doing great doubled come back yearly)
50. T Pulchella tete-a-tete (Never seen these)
51. Allium Firmament (Came back a few years-gone)
52. Allium Mars (Three come back yearly)
53. Iris dwarf danfordiae (Saw one 1st year-gone)
54. Iris hist Katherine Hodgekin (Three come back yearly)
55. Iris reticulata Alida (Two still come back yearly)
56. L. Red Hot (Two come back yearly)
57. L. Touching (Came back 2 years-gone)
58. L. Boogie Woogie (1 comes back yearly)
59. Nectaroscor sic. sap. bul. (3 come back yearly)
60. Allium nigrum (4 came back then two come back)
61. Crocus ver King of the
62. Gladiolus communis ssp. byzan (These do great come back yearly)
63. L. Lollipop (All come back yearly)
64. L. Garden Party Oriental (1 comes back)
65. Hippeastrum Johnsonii (Never seen it)
66. Lycoris radiata (2 comes back, 1 doubled)
67. Lycoris squamigera (2 came back-gone)
68. Lycoris chinensis (1 came back-gone)
69. Hippeastrum Pink Impression (Indoor-great-had a baby)
70. Hippeastrum Dancing queen (Indoor-great-had a baby)
71. Hippeastrum Misty (Indoor-great-had 2 babies)
72. N. Perfect Lady (All come back yearly)
73. N. Merlin (All come back yearly)
74. Arum Italicum (Doing great-doubled-come back yearly)
75. Ermurus Lemon Meringue (Never seen these)
76. Lilium Satisfaction (2 came back)
77. Crinum Cintho Alpha (Outdoor-never seen this)
78. Lycoris speringeri (2 come back yearly)
79. Hippeastrum Aphrodite (Outdoor blooms)
80. Hippeastrum Papilio (Outdoor leaves come back never blooms)
81. Hippeastrum Emerald (Outdoor leaves come back never blooms)
82. Amorphophallus napalensis (Comes back yearly)
83. L. Scheherazade (Leaves come back never bloomed)
84. Sauromatum venosum (Comes back yearly)
85. Hippeastrum Baby Star (Blooms nicely outdoors year yound)
86. Lillium Black Beauty (3 come back yearly)
87. Crinum Morei Album (Came back 1st year-gome)
88. Eucomis Pole Evansii (Came back just leaves for 2 years now)
89. Gladiolus Flevo Junior (2 0r 3 come back)
90. Gladiolus Flevo Cosmic (2 or 3 come back)
91. Gladiolus Flevo Daniella (4 come back)
92. Gladiolus Flevo Focus (3 come back)
93. Gladiolus Flevo Smile (2 or 3 come back)
94. L. Miss Feya (4 came back)
95. L. Timezone OT (3 came back)
96. L. Pumilium (4 come back, 2 bloomed)
97. L. Tom Pounce (One came back 1st year-gone)
98. Gladiolus Nymph (1 or 2 come back)
99. L. Robinia (4 come back, 1 is pale yellow)
100. Amarcrinum (leaves for 4 or 5 years never blooms)
101. Crocosmia (Never seen these)
102. Alluim Cernuum (Looks like grass stays year round)
103. Alstromeria (Leaves for 2 years, then bloomed)
104. Colocasia Sangria (Winters inside comes back yearly-very small)
105. Kniphofia (Leaves 1st year then 3 bloomed)
106. Lilium Regale (One comes back-rest are gone)
107. Zantedescheia aethiopica (Leaves 1st year-gone dug up bulb--moldy)
108. Anemone coronara Mr. Fokker (Leaves 1st year-blooms great now)
On Sep 24, 2012, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
If there is ever an award for tenacity, you are the winner! Thank you for your business over the years!
Taking a look at your extensive list (you must be incredibly organized! Ever thought of being a book keeper for a bulb company?) I see that a number of them bloomed initially, some for years, but then never came back. And then there were some that never performed.
For the ones that never performed, I sincerely hope you reached out to us so we could have made an attempt to figure out why or to remedy the situation instead of having almost a decade of frustration build.
For the ones that bloomed for a season of more but never came back, again, reach out to us. Not to doubt your abilities (most people here on this site have at least above average knowledge), but we have had people call us saying "My daffodils were great for one year, but never came back again. Not even foliage." Since the bulbs were healthy and viable and performed as promised, the fact that there was no return means there's an obvious issue with the site in which they were planted (i.e., not enough Summer drainage will rot bulbs, automatic sprinklers making the Summer soil too wet, etc.)
We would have loved the chance to figure this out before this post (and maybe we did). Seems your note taking and record keeping skills are impeccable, but we may not be able to go back that far. But we are here to work through any of these types of situations, even to the point of giving you Brent's cell number to talk to him if he's not here. We'll bend over backward to help, I promise! The reviews that state our willingness to help are all over this website, so it's not just because you posted a negative that I'm saying this. It's what we do.
If you'd like to talk with us, call us toll free 877-661-2852 and we'll see what we can do. If you'd like to try again, we'll be here for you with your next order.
Thanks for reaching out. And seriously, you don't live that far from us, ever wanted to work in a highly respected flower bulb company's office?
Brent and Becky's Bulbs
Years ago I had ordered many spring bulbs from Brent and Beckys and everything was fine! Recently, they offered a 50% off for a late spring order. Well, today I received the order, and was I ever disappointed. The plants I ordered were packed together in a flimsy plastic bag with no individual planting containers, just soil to soil....they should have been each packed separately in their own planting container.The alstromeria is impossible to separate from each other and they were moldy...the buddliea bush had 3 leaves on it was about 4 inches tall from base of soil to top leaf, and was badly wrapped...can't imagine it will ever grow anywhere! The lily bulbs were completely sprouted out. The amsonia was similarly thrown together in one plastic bag and hard to separate. Come on, Brent and Beckys, I know it is the end of the season and you are probably tired, but this is no excuse for your haphazard packing and care... especially sending out sprouted lilys. I know you generally have a great reputation. Also, I called you 2 times today, and nobody in the office.
On May 30, 2012, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for bringing some of these suggestions to our attention! Although you are the first to denounce our packing methods for our plugs, it has brought up a discussion in our offices today. The plants you ordered are actually plugs, as stated on our website and catalogue by each item. Plugs are usually packed in plastic bags with soil. If we had sent them to you in individual containers or pots, we'd have shipped it 2nd or 3rd Day to you. As it is, we did notice that your order did take almost 7 days to get to you. Unfortunately, this wouldn't have been the case if it hadn't have been a holiday weekend. Our lilies are frozen and shipped without sprouts, but once they thaw (starting immediately), they sprout quickly! 6 or 7 days in a box is ample time for them to thaw and spring into action. We will be checking the roots of the Alstromeria. And regarding your calls, we had staff here from 8am - 6pm EST. I'm not sure how we missed you. Sure, we may have been assisting other customers, but we didn't have a message from you on our voicemail in order to know you had called. Leave us a message next time and we will get back to you ASAP, I promise that.
Thank you for expressing your concerns to us. It does keep us on our toes!"
On Apr 7, 2011, Verzwyvelt3 Calvin, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I placed an order with Brent & Beckie's in the fall of 2010. I ordered several different items one being 50 Dutch Iris bulbs. It is the middle of April and here in Louisiana we are having 80 degree weather. Most of my bearded iris have bloomed, my Louisiana iris are just about to finish up blooming. My verbena are blooming. My daffodils have finished blooming, My tulips are finished blooming Most of my flowering trees and shrubs are finished blooming , but when I called Brent & Beckie's they told me to wait another couple of weeks and call them back. I am 67 years old I have gardened here in Louisiana all my life, My father was a farmer by trade my grandparents and great grand parents also. But Beckie who lives in VA assumes she knows more about gardening in Louisiana than I do. Out of 50 Dutch iris I have had only one iris to bloom, not one other even put on any buds.. Do not order from Brent & Beckie's.
like Hexane I too ordered crocosmia bulbs and had the same problem, also I had ordered lily bulbs which were horrible, when I called them they said they would give me credit on the bulbs, but I never reordered, needless to say I have not ordered from them since.
Spring 2009 I purchased two sets of Crocosmia bulbs from Brent and Beck's Bulbs. They were much smaller than Crocosmia bulbs I have planted in the past. True to their disclaimer, the bulbs sprouted but did not flower the first year. I fertilized with bulb food and mulched the bed over the winter in anticipation of beautiful long-stemmed, hummingbird enticing plumes of Crocosmia in Spring 2010. I waited May, June, July, August, but no green shoots, much less flowers. When I called B&B to request a replacement, their manager wasn't in, but would call me back. Several days went by and the same person I had previously spoken to left me a voicemail that since the bulbs had been green the year before, I should have added fertilizer and essentially it was my fault that the bulbs never bloomed. I have gardened for over 40 years and have hundreds of daffodils, iris, lillies, tulips, etc. etc and have successfully grown Crocosmias in the past. B&B should have certainly replaced the bulbs or offered a refund. That will be the last time I purchase anything from B&B.
Let me preface this by saying, I’m no amateur. I’ve gardened most of my life; have my Master Gardener from VA; and have done estate gardening as a trusted “have at it” contractor, working for some extremely fussy ladies.
B & B’s, last year -
20 ($56.00) Polianthes - tuberosa 'The Pearl' - no flowers, not a one.
Carex phyllocephala 'Sparkler', $9.00 – died.
5 Uvularia grandiflora, $27.00 – struggled, but I put them in a pot, and have nursed them through. At least they came up this year.
No response to email, requesting credit. Now, mind you, I have been a good customer, also, and this is the first time I’ve ever asked for credit. I should have done so previously.
5 ($65.00) Convallaria majalis variegate – ditto, uvularia, above. The pips were tiny, but you figure, hey, it’s Lily of the Valley, right? One was lost. The other four in the pot are still teeny.
Arisema sikokianum, $30.00. A very small ‘bulblet, didn’t make it through last winter – which was pretty mild, comparatively, with much snow ‘mulch’. It should be hardy in my zone.
10 tuberoses, two flowers.
I did get 20 lily bulbs from them in ’08 that are doing fine, however.
My take: they’re probably still good for bulbs? I did buy a load of minor bulbs from B & B’s in ’06, and they’re still doing pretty well. However, I won’t need any more bulbs for quite some time. The frosting on the cake here: no response to email, for big ticket items. Take that as you will.
Meanwhile, I’ve found Easy To Grow Bulbs. Huge tuberose clumps! And two good sized potted plants, verrrry well packed. I also gave them a positive review, and will be using them again.
I tried to place an order for the first time from Brent and Becky's this week and did not have a good experience. I ordered 10 Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' from the website. There was no information as to when these would ship but I assumed it would be for spring. I received an email a few days later stating that my order was scheduled to be fulfilled in September. After contacting customer service, they explained that Sedum is a fall shipping plant because it should not be planted in the spring. This was news to me since I have several types of sedums, all planted in the spring. In fact, being that I am in NJ zone 6b, small potted plants do not tend to survive the winters well when planted in the fall. I explained this to the representative, but she explained that she could not help me because they only ship this item in the fall. So I canceled the order.
Overall, I was left feeling that they (or at least customer service) was not very knowledgeable about the plants they sell especially when shipped to different climate zones (they are in Virginia). I also noticed that the hardiness of this item was incorrectly shown as zone 7 on their website when this species survives at least into zone 6. Another thing that concerned me was that the confirmation I received stated that I had order Sedum rupestre without specifying the 'Angelina' cultivar. Maybe a small item, but they are different plants that are both sold, so I was a little concerned. Not a very good experience from a company that does not seem very professional.
On Apr 21, 2010, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
Hi, bjohn1974. Just read your post and I'm sorry that your experience wasn't an enjoyable one. We try to make everyone's experience easy and worry free.
On our home page at http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com, there is our Summer catalogue and our Spring/Fall catalogue. The words above our Spring/Fall Catalogue state "These bulbs can be ordered now and will be delivered in the fall which is the proper time for planting." Once you click that catalogue you go to the Main Spring/Fall page and above the "5% discount" logo, it states "Our Spring/Fall 2010 catalogue now activated - order now for delivery in the fall when it's the proper time to plant." I'm going to look at seeing if we can't make that a bold font to make sure it's easier for everyone to see.
This is the only time we have Sedum available. If we had some now ready to ship, we would have been more than happy to ship them to you. Our Customer Service folks grow much of what we sell, for their own knowledge. And we have found, however, that perennials planted in the early Fall get a better head start than ones planted in the Late Fall and tend to survive quite well once their roots are established.
We are looking into why the name of the Sedum did not appear on your confirmation. Thank you for bringing this to our attention! There is plenty of space for it, but for some reason our system has chosen to leave it out. Our IT guy is being contacted.
Thanks so much for your business, and if you have any other problems such as this, please feel free to call and ask for me directly.
Brent and Becky's Bulbs
I haven't received my order yet. But I ordered a catalog the week of the 3rd of August, midweek I believe. Called and was told it was put into the system on the 11th and would not get sent out till the end of the week. It's now the 31st of August and still haven't received it. Maybe I am impatient, but on the phone it didn't seem like they cared whether I got one or not. They were quite casual about it, like I was ridiculously demanding. I have already placed an order so I was not asking for a free catalog. Not my idea of good customer service. I won't place a negative until I get my order and it isn't up to par. I've ordered from 4 other companies in the same time period: all catalogs received promptly and Oakes was very nice on the phone with questions. Bluestone is always great to deal with. I'm not crazy about WFF but have never had problems with my orders and they respond very quickly by email to questions. (Bluestone Perennials, Oakes Daylilies, White Flower Farm!)
On October 16th, 2008, crocus1 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Today I received my first order from B&B. The box was completely crushed by UPS. And yes the bulbs were just mauled a bit, but if the order had been plants, at least half would have been significantly damaged. When I called the woman had the gall to start off by announcing that I was the exception to the rule, that UPS was actually an excellent carrier. Since last year they left a box of dahlias marked NO FREEZING and NO EXCESS HEAT on the outside in front of my door with an outdoor temp of 33, I was not mollified by this response. After explaining the problem, it was made clear that B&B was going to do nothing unless my bulbs were destroyed. So much for customer service and support from the CLIENTS of UPS. Bad enough that when I called initially I didn't get a catalog in the mail until I complained on this site. (And I will say that the soon-to-be-owner did take the trouble to send me a catalog on his own after this comment was posted--unlike the office who simply sent a catalog in the first order box.) But to basically blow me off because I was lucky enough that the crushed box didn't destroy my bulbs really made me angry. I realize they are not responsible for UPS or its carrier employees; but they should in my humble opinion offered to send a letter of complaint to the company. Silly me. I guess this is not the sort of thing anyone does anymore. When my dahlia order from Old House Gardens was left in freezing weather, the original CSR also seemed indifferent. However, after finding out about it, the owner of OHG took the time to call and leave a personal apology and offered to reimburse me for the dahlias. That is my idea of good customer service, and I probably will not be ordering from B&B again--which is too bad as they have a lot of bulbs not usually available elsewhere. The quality of the bulbs did not seem any better than John Scheepers, however, and JS was very nice on the phone.
I'm sure most people have had good luck with B&Bs and maybe they have such an established clientele they don't care about new customers. Whatever. When I said flat out to this woman that apparently she didn't care about my crushed box one way or the other (I assume she thought if the bulbs were fine, what was my problem?)--she went into a very fake rap about how of course she cared. She did not offer to do anything about it one way or another. I finally said, so basically I have to wait until UPS destroys some bulbs before you will pass on a complaint? She didn't say yes in so many words, just filibustered on if in future I had damaged bulbs.... In effect, UPS gets away with shoddy service like this in my area because none of their clients care unless they have to legally replace a bulb or other destroyed item. A sad commentary on customer service in this country.
As it happens, most of the bulbs from OHG are bigger and more interesting anyway. So in future I will order from John Scheepers and OHG.On October 16th, 2008, crocus1 added the following:
I probably should have waited a day to post my comment as I sound like a crank. In fact, I am the kind of person who is very bad at complaining because I was brought up to be super polite. So when I do finally complain, I usually am conflicted about it and sound strident rather than firm. Maybe I am being unfair to B&B. I do think, however, that huge corporations that have monopolies on delivery get away with this kind of thing because they know that their clients are only going to complain when having to replace or reimburse a large number of products. B&B also uses DHL. I am unfamiliar with them (except for the news stories about all the people in OH who lost their jobs when local companies were sold to DHL--not likely to endear me to them as an alternate). Strictly speaking B&B can legitimately say it is not their problem or their responsibility, especially if I just happen to live in an area with lousy delivery people. But I won't be ordering from them again even so.
I ordered from Brent and Becky's Bulbs because they were so highly rated on this site. Unfortunately, my experience was not positive.
I ordered tulip bulbs and dutch iris bulbs. The tulip bulbs were the smallest I've ever planted in a decade of planting tulip bulbs. Only about 10% of the tulip bulbs came up and bloomed. It was a dismal display.
When I called Brent and Becky's to report my dissatisfaction, I was quizzed about my prechilling and planting methods. When they could find nothing wrong with my methods, I was told that I would need to call back when Brent was available and speak with him. They seemed to be at a complete loss as to how to handle a customer complaint! I called back the following week to try to speak to Brent. Again, he was not available. Finally, Brent and Becky's refunded the money that I had spent on the tulip bulbs.
I have been planting tulip bulbs in my southern California garden for 10 years. Every year I have great displays except for the year I ordered from Brent and Becky's. I will NEVER order from Brent and Becky's again.
On Apr 2, 2007, JeffGardener Charlottesville, VA wrote:
There seems to be a problem in the supply department at Brent and Becky's. About 70% of my order, although labeled correctly when I planted in the fall, came up this spring totally unlike what I had ordered. When I called, I was informed that this was extremely unusual, and made to feel like it was MY problem. This is a LOT of mislabeled merchandise. They should check out their suppliers!
On Dec 8, 2006, ku9296 Cambridge, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered 3 kinds of bulbs from them on-line and the next day I received an email noting that one kind has been sold out. I wanted to add something else to morning) they had already processed the order so the only thing I could do was to create a new order (thus paying extra shipping cost). I received the rest of the order a few days later so I was grateful that they processed and shipped very quickly but I wished they have an on-line system to indicate when something is sold out so that I could've ordered something else instead in that same order. I will keep my rating neutral for now and re-rate after the spring--the bulbs looked like they were in great condition so hopefully they'll all bloom!
On April 23rd, 2007, ku9296 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I ordered miniature daffodils from B&B and I suspect they sold me substandard bulbs. Given that other daffodils purchased from another bulb company were all poking up, I thought I'd dig up the mini daffodils and see what was going on. They were all rotten! Upon contacting B&B and explaining the situation, they only shot back a short email blaming the weather. I'm pretty sure it's NOT the weather because I have so many other bulbs in the same bed that are ready to bloom (in fact they all bloom later than the mini daffodils I got from B&B). I wasn't pleased with the initial transaction and now I'm very unhappy with the way they are addressing this problem. I will never buy any bulbs from them again.
On Oct 18, 2006, moonewe Springfield, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
Called in on a Friday to ask a simple, yet time-sensitive question and was told by Becky or the operator that Brent would call me that same day - 5:00 rolled around and I called back in hopes to ask my question before the weekend started, assuming I would have to wait until Monday to hear from them and the bulbs I had were already late to plant because of an emer.surgery I underwent. I was told they were open on Saturday and Brent would definately call me then. Saturday came and went and because I wasn't given a return phone call & because of my post-op soreness, I had to discard $50+ worth of bulbs over the weekend that may have been salvaged with a simple phone call to tell me that he felt they could be saved or not. Given my post-op physical condition I reiterated to the operator (Becky?) , I definately feel like B&B could care less about their customers and I will never be ordering again from a company that treats their customers like dirt. $130+ order and can't even get a phone call from them w/2 days notice. Top 20 company? Whatever
On Jul 11, 2006, Needlepoint142 Gloucester, VA wrote:
I have known Brent and Becky for over 20 years. In the 1980's my step-father bought a large amount of daffodil bulbs to plant on our road. The bulbs were diseased and had to be burned. It was a waste of money unfortunately.
My house is quite close to their business. As people (personal) Brent and Becky are very nice. They used to go to the same church that we belong to. As for buying their merchandise, no, I would not buy anymore of their bulbs.
On Jul 11, 2006, Brent & Becky's Bulbs responded with:
I've thought about this one all day......and I still don't quite know what to say. And I'm not one to be rendered speechless very often! But, I'll give it my best shot....(ahem)
Since I am now 38 and I was somewhere between 12 and 18 years old when this happened, I can't recall the actual event. But our guarantee does state:
We guarantee that the bulbs you receive from us will arrive in good condition. IF NOT, PLEASE LET US KNOW WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS SO THAT WE CAN REMEDY THE SITUATION!!
Since this was 20 years ago (or more), I don't think we'll refund any lost money. And I'm sorry that this one event, experianced by a family member in the '80's, was enough to affect the bulb buying choices of the rest of the family even to this day.
Thank you and God bless! (How was that?)
Brent and Becky's Bulbs"
This was my first year to order from B&B's. Overall I was somewhat disappointed with the experience.
The positives: The astilble, scadoxus, eucomis, liatris, and a few of the other bulbs were good sized, and looked good. They came up and have performed well so far.
The sandersonia, traepoema (sp.), were I believe, doa. They were planted as instructed in the booklet sent with each order, but they never came up. The sandersonia I found at another company. It was cheaper than B&B"s and arrived as a shoot 4" tall. It is thriving. I was able to replace the traepoema.
The rain lillies I ordered were virus infected. Only one bloom ever appeared before they died. I ordered more from another company. When they came, they were larger, healthier, cheaper and continue to surprise me with blossoms after rain or heavy watering.
I ordered a xanthosoma which I never received. Their original responses were "they have to grow out some more". In the end, they finally said "crop failure". After much searching, I found this at another company, and it arrived large, leafed out and is thriving on my patio.
The bletilla I ordered may or may not be bletilla. So far I've had one pitiful bloom, which didn't really look much like a ground orchid.
They were rather pricey. I found many of the same bulbs at other companies for much less. When received, they were HUGE, much larger than B&B's, all have done well.
Emails were not answered in a timely manner. Some were not answered at all. Most were I had to follow up with a phone call.
I did not call the company regarding the problems. In their planting info there is a statement that indicates "we sell them, the rest is up to you". Up to a point, I agree, but if I order identical plants, from several companies, and those from companies A, B, and C do well, and those from company D fail miserably, it is most likely the plant and not the planter.
I would order from them again, but only those items I cannot find elsewhere.
On June 21st, 2007, tj0504 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
After thirty + years gardening, I've done business with exceptional gardening companies, and with those once was enough to last forever.
To borrow their phrase "there seem to be trends" in how they respond to negative posts. Ridicule is one trend, and the other is condescension. Personally, I feel neither is appropriate.
This company has been placed into the never again category.
I am leaving a neutral comment about B&B's, only because their customer service was outstanding. I ordered several items from them, including 2 varieties of gloriosa lilies, several trumpet lilies, cannas, and alstroemeria last spring.
I had to call several times to receive the bulbs, as they were several weeks late in getting to me. I finally received them in May. The canna rhizomes were smallish with 1-2 eyes, but looked healthy. The Alstroemeria was in terrible shape, with most of the bulbs (bulbils?) about the size of an "O" . The trumpet lilies were ok...some discoloration, but they bloomed out fine. And the gloriosas were shriveled with no eyes at all.
When I called the company, they were always very nice and helpful. I did end up receiving refunds on everything but the cannas and lilies, but still had to pay the shipping on all of it. I won't order from them again, because it seems their stock is just not that great. The catalog looks incredible, and it makes me want to buy everytime I look at it, but it's just not worth the trouble. The prices are really reasonable compared to PDN, but, you get what you pay for, and I'd much rather pay $20 for a full size plant that will definitely make it, than $7 for something that won't.
Of course the Alstroemerias and Gloriosas never did anything. The lilies bloomed, and the Stuttgart cannas didn't come back this year. Oh well, lesson learned.
On June 27th, 2006, hedgwytch changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Well, I am changing my rating to negative, as my remaining pink canna I ordered from them had streaking on the blooms last year. I assumed it was stress, snapped the blooms off and let it rest. They are still streaked this year. The foliage looks great, but I was informed by a professional canna grower that it is canna virus. I was sent a canna with canna virus! I specifically bought a canna from a "reputable" nursery so it would be clean.
I wasted so much time, energy, and money on this order that it's ridiculous, and now I have an infected canna in my garden. Lovely. Never again!
On Dec 20, 2004, pierreone Carol Stream, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
After reading all the positive feedback on this site I confidently placed my first order with Brent & Becky's Bulbs for 50 Kissproof Daffodils. Unfortunately, my experience has not been as good as what I've read. My order arrived only a week late, but 32 of the 50 bulbs were completely rotten. I called the company immediately and asked them to credit my card, which they said they would do. However, when my next credit card statement arrived, there was no credit. I called a second time and asked for the credit, and they told me they would do it and would even have someone call me to let me know it was taken care of. No call ever came and my most recent credit card statement shows no sign of a credit. It's been two months since my first call and nothing has been resolved. The combination of rotten bulbs and bad customer service means my first order was probably my last.
Sorry that I am the first to voice negative comments about B& B bulbs but it must be done. In particular, since I ordered from this company based on the positive comments I read about them here at PBM.
I ordered 3 or five (? cannot remember how many failed)dark burgundy Dahlias from them, only one emerged, though Dahlias usually become huge monsters in my garden. This one did not get more robust even in its second year.
I was supposed to receive about 10 Alstromeria tubers, I got some tiny things - cannot call them tubers, they were not. The info said they would not do too much in the 1st year but after that... I planted them with extrem care. I am still waiting for at least one to emerge. Alstromerias I got elsewhere do fine.
More than half of the purple Oxalis I received came up - I consider this a good result compared to the rest of my purchase.
If I remember correctly when I checked their warranty policy it seemed to me that they had none. Maybe I am wrong but I want to forget this episod. The price I paid for these bulbs& tubers was high to begin with; considering the result: extremely high.
I am afraid, my frist order with B&B was the last one.
I started to order from Brent & Becky's Bulbs a few years ago and have been very pleased with all the bulbs and service. The price was lower than Park's, higher than Van Engelen, but all the bulbs were exceptional. Most of the time I would rather pay more, because I have more trust in their quality than Van Engelen's.
I don't know about planting lilies in the fall. I didn't usually have good luck with fall deliveries from other companies. The lilies were oftentimes mushy upon arrival. If I hesitate to order for fall, I can always order from B & B for the following spring planting.
I highly recommend B & B to anyone who still hesitates to give them a try. You will not be disappointed.
On April 23rd, 2003, nunoi added the following:
Love Brent & Becky's bulbs. 29.5 lbs of them arrived over a week ago. Every single one of them was great looking.
The Lilies were enormous as usual, moist, with no rotten parts like the ones from other places. Much cheaper and much larger too.
I will enjoy the fragrance and the blossoms this summer.
I already compiled a long list to order from them for fall planting. On August 22nd, 2003, nunoi added the following:
All the bulbs grew beautifully. There were numerous blossoms on each lily whereas lilies from other outfits would have only 1 or a few. One Lily Regale album carried 23! They perfumed the entire garden in the evening. I received the most compliments ever for them and have acquired more than one customers for B & B.
The fragrance for Freesia was heavenly.
Placed an order for over 2000 bulbs for this fall planting. The biggest order from B & B yet. Can't wait to see my garden next spring.On Dec 23, 2004, nunoi changed their rating to neutral and added the following:
I have been a Brent & Becky's customer for several years and was very pleased with their bulbs, customer service & prices.
However, these past two years the delivery was late. Last year, a few of the bulbs were moldy. The customer service was short when I called about the bad bulbs.
Their lily bulbs are always excellent, though, always the largest in size.
With all the accolades, I wonder whether they thought they had all the customers in their hands, though, because this year the prices jumped at a breathtaking rate.
Their prices used to be comparable to Van Engelen. Now there is a HUGE difference. Only a few of B & B's items were sold at a lower price this year.
I used to split my order equally between the two. This fall, I only ordered from B & B those bulbs that I could not find at VE or the few that were lower. The bulk of my $1,500.00 bulbs order went to VE. Only about $150.00 was spent on B & B.
Too bad. I am waiting to see whether the lilies will cost much more next spring. I already saw a big jump from last spring to this fall on the same lilies.On May 2nd, 2006, Pitimpinai changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I am sorry to say I will have to rerate Brent & Becky's. I have ordered so many Lilies from them for many years that my collection grew. I ordered another large collection last year. What a disaster. Several of the Orientals were infected with virus. They in turn infected my existing collection. I called the customer service and was told someone would get back to me. To date I have not heard anything from them.
Nice bulbs, very healthy. Wished the prices were a bitlower but pleased over all.
On May 25th, 2003, miss_amy changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I cannot believe this company! I placed a order on 5/20 after receiving an email from them advertising 25% off all remaing bulbs a few days earlier. I placed my order and then on 5/23 I get another email saying that it is now 50% off!! Obviously the stock is exactly the same. I called the next day to ask for the discount to be applied to my order since it didn't seem fair to be punishing customers to replying earlier to the 25% off offer. Becky actually answered the phone and essentially told me it was too bad, they just "suddenly" to lower the prices more. She said curtly she would "see what she could do and contact me later". Of course she never called back. They have lost one loyal customer. I hope to be able to refuse the shipment and get a refund but who knows. On May 28th, 2003, miss_amy added the following:
Dear New2it, I don't think a savvy shopper is one that waits for the last possible minute... You were just a lucky shopper. I think a savvy shopper is one that shops at companies that cares about their customers and not risk turning off them off by boucing prices up and down. There are plenty of stores that do give price adjustments within 30 days if a item you bought was marked down subsequently( Stop n' Shop supermarkets is one example). All this pricing boucing does to the company is make their customer base wait until the last possible moment to buy and not consider paying full price there again.