Posted on April 22, 2013, updated April 24, 2013
So far I am feeling very agitated by this company. I placed 3 pretty substantial orders over the last few months and recieved my first order a few weeks ago. Upon inspection of my order, I found that most of the plants were in good condition but some of the bulbs were damaged and one of the root based plants I ordered was moldy. I e-mail Breck's Customer service about a week ago and have yet to hear back from them. I am very dissappointed in their customer sevice and do not plan on ordering from their company in the future. I ordered from Michigan Bulb Company last year and had great results and their customer service was exceptional when I contacted them. I should have just stayed with Michigan Bulb. Lesson learned.
This was my e-mail to them:
Hello. I recently placed a substantial order with Brecks. Iíve received all of the items from this order. Iíve been telling all my friends and neighbors how impressed I am with the plants that I have received so far and that they should order from your company. Many of the bulbs and roots are better than I expected. There are a few bulbs that I received that looks like they were crushed during the shipping process and 1 root that is moldy. Iím not sure if Brecks would replace these bulbs and root or not. Below are the bulbs that have been damaged:
Order # 30351342300
20248 Redwing Butterfly Glad
19281 Peacock Orchid
66938 Hardy Cyclamen
85192 Geranium Laura
Anything you could do to help replace these bulbs that have been damaged and moldy root would be greatly appreciated. I wasnít sure which category to choose as there is no option for damaged goods.
I thank you for your time in this matter.
Have a nice day.
This is what I ordered and recieved for my first order.
Qty Ordered Item Number Item Description Delivery Estimate
Now I will be going back to my neighbors and tell them to avoid ordering from Brecks based on their customer service alone.
On April 24th, 2013, tia100175 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am going to change my rating to neutral for now. I am content that someone has read my concerns and rectified them. I would have preferred not writing a bad review in the first place but nonetheless, I got a response. I thank you for that. Once I receive the rest of my orders and get everything planted, I will come back and give an update and possibly change my rating. Hopefully to positive.On Apr 24, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
So far so good. I ordered 300+ bulbs on Oct. 12, 2011. I was billed out right away. However, 12 days later I recieved an email stating that my shipment would be sent out any time between Nov 4- Nov 23. REALLY! I called customer service and explained that I live in upstate NY and by then there will be at least 6 inches of snow on the ground. She said she would place a priority shipping status on the order. Low and behold, the shipment arrived 4 or so days later. WOW. I have planted the bulbs today. They look great. I just hope that they look great when they flower. I have ordered from several of the sister companies and have had no problems with service, refund, or delivery. Hopefully I can update this post in the spring with a true positive. Reading others comments, I am a bit nervous. Looking forward to the display of colors. My only real complaint/recommendation is don't bill the customer until the Item ships. When billing right away, it gives the customer the sense that the shipment will arrive within 7-10 days maximun.
On Oct 30, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Oct 31, 2011 11:26 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate what our customers have to say and use your comments to better improve our company. Please let us know if you have any problems. Happy Gardening!"
Posted on May 28, 2011, updated June 20, 2011
I place my order (10341171900) on Feb 3 (it was a long Indiana winter and I was excited for spring!). The estimated delivery date kept getting pushed back by weeks at a time until they weren't estimated to arrive until mid-June (which is dry and hot here).
Finally I email them and they told me they were shipping my order from Holland so it would take 3-4 weeks. I got the shipment a couple of days later because they actually shipped from Indiana.
However, the shipment did not fulfill my order. I checked back today and they canceled the rest of my order without any notification. At least they didn't charge me for it but now it's too late to get the plants I needed for my landscape. I am very disappointed in how Breck's manages orders.
On June 20th, 2011, yla1031 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
The company sent me a gift certificate to apologize. I am happy with the plants that did arrive. I will give them another chance in the fall.On Jun 20, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 30, 2011 9:23 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
We apologize for the delay in shipment. I checked on your order and your bulbs were shipped from Holland. A customer service representative will be contacting you about the rest of your order."
I have tried several times recently to place an order on-line, but Breck's site won't accept their own $25 gift coupon ("no strings attached"). No 800 #, so I was going to mail it - until I read these comments. Sounds unreliable, and like too much of a hassle. Catalog is out for recycling!
We appreciate your feedback to let us know of the problem you were having. Unfortunately we do not have an 800# but we do have a notes box at the end of the order process where you can type in that you have the coupon. When we process your order we can then apply the coupon for you. We apologize for the problems on the website and this will be checked into."
Selections and quality were good for bulbs. But the customer "order status" function was empty for so long that I gave up. I ordered the item from another company and had it planted in the ground before learning that Breck's was about to ship. I've appreciated their parent company for many years, so this experience is especially disappointing.
On Nov 5, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Nov 9, 2010 9:28 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We use your comments to better improve our service to our customers. A customer service representative will be contacting you for more information."
On May 31, 2010, sherman99 Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Posted on May 23, 2010, updated May 31, 2010
Ordered 2 sets of Dahlias. the bulbs were rotting when they arrived. i returned the bulbs with the invoice and two months later i am still receiving bills for these bulbs. will not ever buy from them again
On May 31st, 2010, sherman99 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Customer Rep saw negative comments here and resolved issue for me very quickly..
I am going to order again and see what happens On May 31, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 24, 2010 12:03 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to post. We appreciate the feedback to better serve our customers. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and take care of your balance owed."
I ordered two sets of Dahlias from them this year, Maki and See Wood Glorie. I really liked that they have the See Wood Glorie, which is hard to find, very expensive, and often runs out at Old House Gardens.
The Maki dahlias did not arrive because they need a street address, something that their computer system should have taken care of. The company never informed me of this problem. When I called for a refund, they initially only offered to refund the price of the dahlias tubers, not the shipping, which was $10.95. I insisted that they refund the shipping since this was their fault. They did do this, although the person helping me was huffy about the whole thing.
Meanwhile the See Wood Glorie tubers all started nicely in pots and have been transplanted to my garden where we are all very happy to have them.
I think this company has a good product but that they need to work on their systems and their attitude.
On May 28, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Jun 8, 2010 11:06 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. Your feedback is taken seriously and used to help provide better service to our customers. A customer service representative will be contacting you for more information. Thank you and Happy Gardening!"
Posted on April 5, 2010, updated April 8, 2010
Posted on April 6, 2010, updated April 6, 2010
This is the first time I try to write a review. I'm giving one positive and one negative rating for this company.
I've purchased from Breck's, Michigan Bulb, Spring Hill, Gurney's and Henry Field's several times. Sometimes for some unkown reasons, plants just don't grow. When that happen, I just have to drop them an email asking for a replacement. No question asked. It's that easy. Their lifetime guarantee really gives me peace of mind. In fact I just got my replacement daylily from Spring Hill today. What a nice policy. I will give them two thumbs up for this. Keep up the good work.
However...please read on...(to be continued in my next review)
On April 5th, 2010, haruka changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
On April 1, 2010, after numerous emails with their online customer service, I decided to make a long distance phone call to their call center in order to straighten things up. I encountered a worst customer service supervisor in the world and I'm still in shock as of today. I really wish it was just an poor April Fools' Day joke.
To make long story short, I ordered from them when there was a "Save $25.00 When You Buy Product Totaling $50.00" promotion last July. Unfortunately one of the item I ordered was not available when it's time to ship so they sent out an postcard with 'save $5.00 for your next purchase' to me.
I sent an email to ask them what will happen to the rest of the $25.00 credit. I asked them twice to make sure and got two similar replies from two customer service representatives.
date Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 10:47 PM
subject Re: Brecks.com Feedback
Thank you for your email. I apologize for the inconvenience. I have reviewed your account and see that $17.53 credit was applied to the second part of the order. However, your order for the Chinese Double Red Tree Peony got canceled. You should be receiving a refund check in the amount of $12.83. Please allow 2-3 weeks for the check processing. This order is at $0.00 balance due...
date Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 4:08 AM
subject Re: Brecks.com Feedback
Thank you for your email. I have reviewed your account and see that your order has processed in two different parts. Our records show that the first part of your order was delivered on 09/09/09.
The remaining part of your order for the DAHLIA CRAZY LOVE/ZB is being processed to ship and is expected to ship in 2-3 business days. After shipping, please allow 5-7 business days for the delivery.
Please note that the item #76035 (CHINESE DOUBLE RED TREE PEONY/TY) is out of stock for the season. Therefore, a refund check for $12.83 will be sent within the next 2-3 weeks after your complete order has shipped.
Since two of their customer service representatives both told me in the emails that a refund check for $12.83 will be sent within the next 2-3 weeks after my complete order has shipped, I did not nothing just to wait for the rest of my order to arrive. [If I have known what would happen next, I would have ordered something else instead of the item they claimed being out of stock and kept the full $25.00 discount.]
After I got the complete order and tried to sent several emails to ask them when will I get the refund check for $12.83? The problem started. They just told me I was not charged for the second order so there would be no refund. What happen to the $12.83 refund check they told me? It is a mystery since then, no one admits there was ever a $12.83 credit in my account. I was pretty frustrating and wrote another email to ask them to clarify the "miscommunication" for me. The reply explained pretty detail for the first part of the shipment which was very straight forward but still did not explain why the second part of the order which only cost $9.99 would wipe out the $17.53 credit which was applied to the second part of the order. However, she did issue another $5.00 gift certificate for my next purchase. I want my credit for this purchase, not for next purchase since the shipping and handling fee will wipe out the gift certificate amount, that's not what I want. So I decided to make a phone call trying to understand how did they calcutated this.
The lady who answered my phone was pretty nice. She put me on hold, asked someone else and told me they do not give credit for something not ordered. I told her if I have been told the right information, I could have ordered somthing else to take advantage of the $25.00. I asked her since I was misled, could I add something to this order in place of that out of stock item and still get the rest of the $25.00 credit? Unfortunately, she did not have the authority to solve my problem. So I asked to talk to her supervisor which I should not have done.
That lady was not only rude and impatient, she was even demeaning. She did not want to listen to me, just tried to interrupt and discourage me. I asked her to explain how did they calculate, she said "YOU WON'T UNDERSTAND NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I EXPLAIN TO YOU" , "I''M NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ANY MORE CREDIT FOR THIS. I told her I was misled by their online CSR, she kept repeating "I'M SORRY ABOUT THAT BUT I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ANY MORE CREDIT.", YOU WON'T UNDERSTAND NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I EXPLAIN TO YOU". She even threaten to charge me for the second part of the order. I told her please go ahead charge me and let me place something else to this order so that I don't have to use the two $5.00 gift certificate for next purchase and get eaten up by shipping and handling fee. She still kept repeating her mechanical and insulting sentences.
I don't think she really feel sorry for other CSR misleading me, it seemed that I was the one who should said sorry to her. Sorry for being stupid to choose item that was not suppose to be available in the first place. Sorry that I took their customer service representatives' word. Sorry for being such a jerk asking her to explain to me and got "YOU WON'T UNDERSTAND NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I EXPLAIN TO YOU"
I feel that I was belittled for something they have done wrong in the first place. I believe in keeping happy gardening spirit and don't expect to run into something so messy and awful like this. I'm writing this review hoping to get their attention to improve their customer service quality in terms of giving customer the right answer and put themselves in customers' shoes. On April 7th, 2010, haruka changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Yesterday one of Breck's customer service representatives sent me a message asking me my name and account information in order to help me. Today I got a very detailed explanation of the way they broke down the coupon used for each part of my order. Finally I can fully understand what happened to the $25.00 coupon, the unused 12.83 credit and get it over with. I will be a happy gardener again. Thank you very much for your help, Donna. I hope that all of your customer service representatives are all like you.
I was hoping to rate different issues by different ratings, unfortunately it seems one member can only get one rating for the same company so will change my rating for this company from 'negative' to 'neutral'.
I have ordered calla lily, gladious, iris, double freesia and baby's breath this spring.
Because of back order, it took me so long to get my iris and double freesia. Breck's ships the orders from Holland, so the shipping time is usually longer than usual. Once the shipment arrives to USA, no further tracking for the shipment.
The baby's breath are rotted. 6 freesia are dead and 6 are turning yellow and dying. I have just requested for a refund.
The planting instruction is not detail enough for the baby's breath. I called the customer service when I received the shipment. I was asked to describe the look of the bare root. The representative said' " I THINK the bean sprout liked part is the top, the stick is the root. Put the whole thing a couple of inches below the ground." Seeing that she's not quiet familiar with planting, I requested to talk to someone more experience. She said:"That person is gone for the day (Friday). I will ask him to contact you next Monday." I then provided her my phone no and email address, but I've never heard any reply from them.
When I ordered the baby's breath, I called the company to find out the planting details. One representative couldn't find the information. I called again, another represenative was able to provide me the spacing, height, ...
Overall, the customer representatives' manner is not so friendly.
The iris, gladious and calla lily are growing well. I received the 3 irises on 4/8/09. One has already produced 2 flowers. The other two are still growing. Hopefully, the gladious and calla lilies will produce flowers. I have both good and bad experience with the products.
I have ordered numerous bulbs and perennials from Breck's, with mixed results. The larger bulbs (tulips, hydrid daffodils) have all done very well, though being expensive they should! The smaller bulbs, like crocus and some other plants, seem to be hit or miss. I've been most disappointed with their perennials - some lillies of the valley didn't even come up at all, and the hostas have been very slow to get going. I also think it helps to order well in advance of the season, so you are in line for shipping early. Everything I've ordered in season (in the spring) has taken weeks to arrive - too long when American Meadows ships so promptly and includes stakes with pictures of the plants so you can mark your garden!
On Mar 14, 2009, kittshouse Lynn, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I would give this company a neutral rating. I have had orders that have surpassed my expectations, as with their begoia collections. Alas, I have also have had orders that have simply been rotted/moldy upon delivery. I have also experienced bad online ordering. Placing merchandise in my cart, then applying a coupon code, only to be told that those items were out of stock. If they were out of stock, then they should have noted such on their web page before I placed the order. I feel that if you are trying to save money using a code you will be disappointed. I will try the begonia collection again. However, I will find my other blubs at local nurseries so that I can actually see and feel them.
Placed an order in August of 2008,changed my mind after seeing the reviews a week later and canceled the bulbs.order was confirmed canceled by e mail. They did offer me a discount and thought that was very nice of them but said no.I even canceled the credit card I used.For some reason I didn't trust them.So after two confirmed cancellation notices. I recieved bulbs yesterday Just left at my back door (9-10-08). I sent them an e mail. Then got a bill today. wow was I mad I hadn't even opened the box since I didn't order from them.I spoke with Keith on the phone yes it was a long distance call which pissed me off. So to make a long story short I was told to keep the bulbs and that my account would be cleared ( lets hope it is cos Im not paying for something I canceled a month ago). They really should keep better track of there customers especially the loyal ones I read about.Almost forgot I did cancel because the original date of delivery would have been at the end of Oct. Then they said they would rush the order,I still said no. I found cheaper bulbs at the store today 30 for $10. At Bjs and they looked great .Im going to stick with buying my plants and bulbs locally .. Karen P
On Sep 7, 2008, emandem Fergus, ON (Zone 4a) wrote:
I've been a loyal Breck's customer for years, but this year was not good. The begonias I ordered (10), only 1 has come up. Some of the bulbs were mushy when they arrived- not impressive as they usually are. And of the 8 lily trees, only 3 came up. I called and was told 6 weeks ago that new ones would be shipped, but I haven't received any replacements yet. Up until this year, I had never had a problem with bulbs from this Company, but now I question whether or not I should order from them again. Their sister Company is no better. I've been waiting 2 months for that order- although the cheques were cashed immediately!
I just (this morning) placed large orders with both Spring Hill and Brecks; then, suspecting they were the same company, located this forum...yikes. I'm a little nervous about my orders after reading through these comments. I ordered oriental lilies, daylilies, bittersweet, and irises...I called back because I've received no e-mail confirmation from Breck's and the operator insisted my first name was different than it is, finally recognizing she had it wrong. Has anyone had good/bad success with these specific bulbs/plants? I'm wondering if I should cancel my orders.
On May 11, 2008, gavinsmom Lakewood, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Just FYI, Breck's is currently offering $25 for free (no strings attached) if you rec'd the coupon in the mail. I used mine because what have I got to lose, BUT I ordered 2 "tree lily" bulbs 4 weeks ago and my ship date isn't until late May. A little late for lily bulbs, but maybe I can enjoy them next year. So far as I have seen, Breck's is the only place that has the tree lily bulbs.
Brecks is always hit or miss. That's why I only get what's free.
On May 27th, 2008, gavinsmom added the following:
It is May 26th and I am still waiting. A rep from Breck's contacted me through the forum and checked into my order. Apparently my bulbs are just now being "flown over from Holland." I'm supposed to get them in about 3 weeks. This is really aggrevating because I ordered in March and I will not get these plants/bulbs until June, far too late in the season to be much good for this year. While I appreciated the response from the rep, I am still not very happy. Maybe people who order the "freebies" get put on the backburner.On May 11, 2008, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
On Jun 25, 2008 1:30 PM, Breck's Bulbs added:
Orders are shipped in the order they are received, whether it is a "freebie" order (this Customer paid about $3.00) or a $200+ order. Bulbs can only be shipped after they are harvested (we don't keep bulbs around from year to year - each shipment is freshly harvested and either transported by freighter or flown over from Holland). The Customer's order was delivered on May 29."
On May 11, 2008, lemonwater Mountain View, CA wrote:
I didn't read any reviews of this company until after I had already placed my order, so I decided to wait to see what would happen before commenting. I found their site through Google while searching for English bluebells. I couldn't the English bluebells anywhere else, so I decided to order them through Breck's, I thought they seemed reputable at the time. Along with my "English" bluebells, I ordered two different varieties of crocus. My crocus all came up fine, they were what I ordered, and I didn't receive any moldy bulbs. But the English bluebells which were the reason for my entire order, were unfortunately Spanish bluebells.
I'm not usually very picky about these things, and I hate leaving negative reviews, but I'm very very disappointed. I gave away some of my bulbs as a gift, to someone who grew up with in Britain with English bluebells and loves them, so I'm not the only person that's disappointed. Furthermore, only one bulb out of the 15 has flowered despite all being given the same care. I certainly won't be ordering from Breck's again.
On July 4th, 2008, lemonwater changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Debbie from customer service contacted me regarding my negative experience with Breck's. I found her to be very helpful in trying to correct my problem of the mislabeled English bluebells, which I was told will be shipping during the fall. I am changing my rating to a neutral for now, and I will update it later after I see how everything goes.
As part of a larger bulb order that I am satisfied with, the "Persian Blue" blue alliums arrived and were planted. The alliums that are blooming now are not Persian Blue, but the shorter, smaller, magenta, more common (and less expensive) "Drumstick" allium. I am a bit upset - with the color not corresponding with the rest of my gardening, and with getting a less expensive plant after paying for a more expensive one. Fortunately because of their short height, they are not easily seen where they are planted, as I was counting on the higher allium.
I have contacted the company and am waiting for a response. Seems like a substitution was made without any notice - but the shipping receipt states "Persian Blue." Stay tuned for the company's response. I will change this rating to NEUTRAL if the company corrects this somehow.
On May 3rd, 2008, swimray changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Changed to neutral because Breck's contacted me to arrange a remedy - I will need to wait a year to see. . .On Apr 26, 2008, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
On May 1, 2008 8:02 AM, Breck's Bulbs added:
I have been in communication with the Customer; it appears he did receive the incorrect bulb. He will be receiving a reship (at no charge) in October."
On Apr 17, 2008, Jen_D Millerstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered tulips from Brecks in the fall. They arrived in good time and looked great. They all appear to be up and growing very well. I had placed anouther order from them in January or Febuary from a buy 1 get 1 offer I had recieved from them. Here is the only problem I have with them: I sent an email the end of Febuary to cancel the order after changing my mind and never recieved any answer. The order was in my mailbox last weekend and the plants did look good. I am a bit upset that their costumer service ignored my email. Besides that my experience with them has been positive.
On Apr 17, 2008, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
On May 17, 2008 2:20 PM, Breck's Bulbs added:
Customer has been contacted and told that her purchase price has been refunded, and she can keep the bulbs with our compliments."
I ordered from Breck's using the $25.00 coupon, so the actual cost to me was very low. I figured "what the heck", if the plants don't grow then I'm only out a few dollars. Naturally I was hesitant to spend more after reading all the negative comments. I ordered a collection of "mixed large crocuses" and it did take forever and a day to receive them. I knew they were coming from Holland ,but would be shipped in time for Fall planting. They did come, although I would have preferred to get them a few weeks earlier. It can be a bit cold here in NE Ohio in Mid October. I waited to post anything until now (the spring) , so that I could see if the crocuses would grow and bloom. I do see them popping out of the ground and some of them have started to bloom, so I'm quite pleased about that. The reason my rating is not positive though, is for two reasons: 1. The very long wait for the arrival of the plants. 2. So far my crocuses don't appear to be "mixed". They are all the same color, so that is disappointing. I will probably order again, but only if I have another coupon to use. I won't bother trying to contact the company about my plants not being what I ordered, because quite frankly, I don't need to deal with the hassle that I see so many others have dealt with.
On April 19th, 2008, newtohosta added the following:
I just needed to add an update concerning my previous comments on my Breck order: I did receive a message (through Dave's Garden) from a woman named Debbie who works for Breck's. She apologized for my crocuses not being "mixed" and wanted my name and address so she could check my order. I replied to her that since the date of my last post other crocuses have bloomed and were a different color, however they were still overwhelmingly yellow. I assumed that they would be more evenly mixed. I am not upset about the order, just disappointed that they were mostly yellow. I thanked her for her efforts to follow up on my comments. I did receive another catalog in the mail with another coupon, so I have placed another order for a different mixed batch of crocuses. We'll see how those turn out next year. If I continue to receive products that bloom that I order from Breck's then I will probably order larger amounts of plants in the future.
My first experience with Breck's was last fall, I ordered a Dafodil collection from them. I received them promptly, and was impressed by the size of the bulbs. I made a special raised corner bed for them, and they came up this year and bloomed beautifully along with several anemone that were in the collection.
So, I didn't hesitate to order two more orders from them for delivery this Spring. Well, I am making this neutral for a reason. I received two emails on March 15 that said my orders had shipped direct from Holland along with a UPS tracking number. The UPS site reported the tracking number was invalid, so I sent an email to the company, just to double check. (They do not get back to you within 48 hours like the auto-response email says.)
I did finally receive a few emails responding that my order shipped directly from Holland... and to allow 3 - 4 weeks to receive my order. UPS does finally recognize the tracking number, however the only information is that they have received the package information as of 3/26/08.
The information on the website regarding my order number still says the orders should be here between 3/29 - 3/31. Today is April 3...but I am waiting the appropriate 3 - 4 weeks. Unfortunately if they don't get here soon, it will be warm here in NC, and I will have to baby the plants a little more than I would have if they had arrived when promised.
On Apr 4, 2008, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
On May 23, 2008 8:13 AM, Breck's Bulbs added:
On April 17, I emailed the Customer asking for her information so I could check on their order; no response."
On Mar 6, 2008, botanica37 Oakton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered 20 snowdrops in October 2007 and planted them as soon they arrived, I believe early November. Now is March, all my crocuses are blooming, the daffodils are halfway growing, but no sign of my snowdrops whatsoever, not even a single leaf is showing where I planted them. I had hesitations ordering from them based on the negative reviews and inflated prices, but decided to give them a try. Very disappointed.
On March 23rd, 2008, botanica37 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am changing my rating from negative to neutral, because the company did contact me and offered to replace the plants. I declined - it is too late to grow snowdrops this year anyway and I would rather purchase bulbs that will grow next year from a different supplier.
Ordered fall bulbs last year from Breck's and though everything arived in good condition, the bulbs were a smaller that I had anticipated (and I wasn't expecting all that much for the prices). I was also disappointed with the results this spring. Small flowers, some didn't bloom, and some were not what I ordered. Not sure if I would order from Breck's again, even with the coupon.
They do take a while to ship but they tell you when you order that your items will be sent to you at the right time for planting in your zone. Also, the bulbs come from Holland so that may explain why the order takes time to complete.
I ordered a huge quantity of bulbs (300+) from Breck's Canadian Order Centre in Port Burwell, Ontario in 2005 and planted them when I received them in the fall (Sept). There was a wide range of bulbs (their 120-day bloom collection, times 2)
Spring 2006 rolled around and not a bloom in sight. I was disappointed but hoped that maybe they just needed some "settling in" time and would bloom the following season. Yes, I'm a gardening rookie.
Spring 2007 arrived and still nothing was blooming. By this time I was just sick, thinking about all the money, not to mention the time and effort planning and planting, all gone down the tubes. I'd decided to chalk it up to experience when an envelope arrived from Breck's bearing a special offer. I was on my way to the bin with it when I noticed their guarantee:
"If, for any reason, you're not completely satisfied with any item upon receipt, after planting or once it grows and blooms, just contact Breck's anytime - no time limit - for as long as you garden. No need to return any item. We'll send a full refund or replacement, whichever you prefer."
...so I called their customer service dept. and described my experience. There was no hesitation whatsoever - a complete replacement is (apparently) going to be shipped to me at planting time again. I was even given advice and tips!
Rather than a -ve rating, my rating is neutral for now, as we'll have to wait and see if they follow through with their commitment to me. If I do receive a replacement order and they actually grow this time I'll gladly change my rating to +ve!
I received a note almost three weeks ago saying my dry root plants are on the way. I still haven't received them. I wrote to the company for help over 48 hours ago (this is the amount of time they say in which they will reply) and still am waiting for a reply. They don't have a 1-800 number listed on their website or I'd call. I guess I'm going to have to pay to call to find out what happened to my order. Or maybe the plants will arrive tomorrow and grow up to be beauties? If so, I'll let you know.
I ordered from them about two years ago. I too used one of those $25 coupons. I ordered just under $25 worth of products, so I only had to pay for shipping. I found the prices a bit high; I was only able to get two items, green tulips and some Vallerie Finnis muscari. I ordered the items in the summer and recieved them just in time for planting. The muscari were nice and large, the tulips were of average size. In the spring the muscari came up beautifully. Only three of my six tulips came up though. This could have been my fault, since the place where I planted half of them was a bit harsh on bulbs. The ones that did bloom were gorgeous though. Most times I can find what im looking for at a local garden nursery, for about the same price and quality. But I would probably order from them again - if I had another coupon.
On the negative side, I don't think our family has ever placed an order from Breck's where all the bulbs were exactly as expected. For example, we've received the wrong bulbs (that we could see automatically were wrong, due to the label). The company was very kind at letting us keep the mis-shipment. However, at other times it seems the bulbs, once they bloom, don't match the labels. We've ordered various types of allium (including blue allium), and basically everything comes up the same shade of purple allium. With this type of mistake, it takes months to realize you have the wrong bulbs. The company also solicits by phone. We have very limited garden space and thus these solicitations really are not of interest.
On a positive note, I have, in the past, received $25 coupons with no minimum order. This type of deal would possibly encourage me to order again, and there are few customers who wouldn't appreciate some free bulbs. It's just nice to know what they are before they bloom!
This isn't a comment about the company so much as a notice for those who like to be aware of related businesses: my Breck's order arrived (in good condition... for bareroots and bulbs, at least; the bareroots grew, if not spectacularly; still haven't planted the bulbs, as this was a springtime order, not a fall one) from Spring Hill Nursery's mailing address. I don't know what the formal relation between these two companies is, but those who wish to order from Breck's might want to check out the comments on Spring Hill.
On Jun 11, 2006, gianetta Charlottesville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
The bulbs I bought from them last fall arrived far later than their initial estimates, which was annoying, but the plants are doing great so far. I'm not likely to order sensitive bulbs like lilies from Brecks in the future, but I've had good luck with their other bulbs - their perennial tulips were some of the largest tulips I've ever seen, the hyacinth were gorgeous, and their daffodil bulbs were huge and the flowers beautiful. Brecks would be a better company if they got their scheduling in order.
On Jun 8, 2006, mochaexpress Young America, MN wrote:
I had some positive and negative comments so the overall rating is neutral.
1) The bulbs were big and much better quality than I can purchase locally.
2) Unfortunately, they shipped the bulbs very late. I ordered (large order, hundreds of bulbs) in May-05. I received a couple items in late September, but did not receive the bulk of the large order (daffodils, giant crocus, perennial tulips and others) until mid to late October. That is a real problem in MN, especially for daffodils that need about 6 weeks to root before the ground freezes. Because they arrived so late and I had so little time to get them planted so that they could root well before winter, I ended up taking vacation time from work to plant them all.
3) All of the tulips, the grape hyacinth, snow glories, and the snow crocus planted last fall were stunning this spring. The red tulips in particular-- wow. About 3/4 of the the oriental and asiatic lilies came up, though it is too early still for blooms.
4) Other bulbs performed marginally if at all. The daffodils were disappointing. Fewer came up then expected (~65%), and only about a third that came up did not bloom. The yellow were true to type but the Salome were not pink. Considering the amount of work required to plant hundreds of bulbs, I was not happy. Only about 20% of the giant crocuses came up, and all of those were yellow (supposed to be a mix). None of the snow drops or wood hyacinths came up.
5) I do not know whether the poor performance was due to the late planting secondary to late shipping, but I do know that locally purchased bulbs planted at the appropriate time performed well.
6) I have not had a chance to contact customer service yet regarding the poor performers-- wanted to get through spring and confirm that they really weren't going to come up before complaining.
If their customer service is professional when I contact them, I'll give Breck's another try. However since late fall shipments are really a problem for my zone, if it happens again I'll stick with buying bulbs locally so that I can dig them in at the correct time, even if they are smaller.
I ordered toad lilies on special and some water lilies. At the same time, I ordered a lot of day lilies from Paradise Gardens and some water lilies from Pong Megastore. I was unhappy with what Breck's sent when I got it, I was angry when I got the OTHER vendor's plants.
Both Paradise and Megastore shipped me huge, healthy plants. Both communicated well as to status, and both were prompt.
The items from Breck's were tiny. The toad lilies were barely one rhizome each, compared to the hand-dug ones from Paradise (and more expensive). The water lily was a tiny shrivelled carrot with no roots. Compared to Megastore which had a huge root system and some leaves (same price).
Lesson learned... The specialists do better at there speciality. Buy water plants from water plant vendors, and flowers from the breeder.
I think Breck's expertise is bulbs. I won't be trying tho.
On May 1st, 2006, bellyup changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
A Breck's representative has offered to replace/refund my order. The sole source of the complain was this forum.
That means to me that they DO pay attention to customer feedback, and will be proactive to satisfy you. The fact that they contacted me, and not vice versa goes a long way.
I am sure it is a form reponse, but any response is better than nothing.
Rating changed to neutral. If this goes well, I will happily change my rating to positive. I prefer to compliment than complain.
I used a gift certificate that came on the catalog and ordered some tulip bulbs. I planted them last fall and they were a little small, but healthy. I can't remember the name of them, but they were supposed to be white with blue edges. Well....they are cream with fuschia edges. And the flowers are tiny. The rest of our tulips are bigger than ever and these seem to be stunted somehow. I probably will not order from them again.
When the brochures for their daffodil collections came in March, I read, re-read, and read again, everything in there. The glossy photos depicted beautiful plants, all growing and thriving, with gorgeous blooms. According to the letter they had included with the brochures, I had nothing to lose. I didn't have to pay until I received and inspected every bulb. If the bulbs weren't satisfactory, I could order a replacement and only pay for those which I liked. And in the case the bulbs looked fine, but didn't grow or bloom to my satisfaction, I was protected by their lifetime guarantee. I quickly filled out the order form, checking the box which stated I would not pay 'til I received the bulbs. I sent it in, and all was dandy.
Then, a few weeks later, I received a bill in the mail. It was only the last week of March.
Puzzled, I emailed them about it. I received a reply stating my bill was not due until the bulbs were shipped. Then when I asked why the bill was sent so early, she replied saying that it was because my bulbs had been shipped.
This REALLY puzzled me. Daffodils are supposed to be planted in the fall!
I emailed them back, asking if they had really shipped the bulbs in the completely wrong season. I have yet to receive a reply.
I rated this neutral, as seeing I didn't receive the bulbs yet. When I do get them, I will write a follow-up and possibly change my rating.
On April 10th, 2006, Starshine06 added the following:
I emailed them again, asking for a more detailed explanation. This time a more knowledgable person replied, and told me the payment is not due until I receive the shipment.
I will, as I said before, add more when I receive the bulbs and possibly change the rating.
I ordered from Breck's because of the coupon offer. I fell in love with a couple of their pink daffodils ('Replete' & 'Pink Charm'), Grecian Windflowers, and Blue Parrot Tulip.
They arrived in a timely manner, and I was excited to see them the following spring. However, the pink daffodils weren't pink, the windflowers were nearly all purple (not mixed as in the photo), and the Parrot Tulip was not feathery looking.
I emailed them about it, and was told the daffodils were supposed to be "apricot" not pink. None of the other items were mentioned, but I was told I could get a refund on anything I was not happy with. I asked for a refund on all items, and was promptly given a refund for the total amount minus the $25 coupon and S&H.
I doubt I will do business with them again. Their pictures are definitely touched up (and in my last catalog the daffodils were still listed as "pink"), and I don't like being lied to. I wouldn't tell anyone else not to shop there because they did make it right. But, if you do shop there, look at the items from other sources to see what they really look like!
On Oct 17, 2005, tmd272 Fulton, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
I received my bulbs yesterday after 2 1/2 months of waiting. I order oriental lily collection ($29.99 + shipping). I was sadly disappointed by what was sent to me. The bulbs were in transit for over 10 days and were basically mush and the ones that were not look as though half the bulb had been broken in half with no roots attached.
I called customer service and they are going to replace the bulbs but I am greatly disappointed that they would send something like these to any customer let alone a new one like myself. The women I spoke with said it would be 6-8 weeks before I get my replacement bulbs. I just kind of chuckled and said by then we should have snow on the ground. Her reply was first date of availability. I will just have to hope that old man winter comes later this year.
I will not be purchasing from them again. Lesson learned!!!
Well , they are good they are bad which equals neutral. They have billing issues, you pay and later they say they can't authorize your CC, well they can, they just don't seem to have the brain power to get-R-done, that finally got it straightened out after 3 calls. They send the bulbs and packing slip shows money owed, heh well that took another 2 calls, finally worked it out. One of the Daffs died, 3 of the giant Hyacinth didn't come up and none of the blue lieutenants, ok so much for all the bad. FOr the good, one call and they are sending a check for the dead and ungrown items. Well this might be premature, as i haven't yet gotten the check, but at least they gave me no greif over a refund. Also the plants that bloomed and lived were very nice, no complaint there.
On Apr 19, 2005, Berg_in_VA Fredericksburg, VA wrote:
I first ordered from Breck's last fall. The order was placed in Aug. and I received my bulbs in October. So far everything seems to be fine (I had ordered some hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, iris and alliums) most are already up and blooming. The problems began when I placed an order this spring. My order was placed on March 2 for Pink Instant Blooms Tulips and some perennials. The Tulips arrived within two weeks, I planted them in a pot in the house. They sprouted and grew quickly. Too quickly I guess, within a week and a half they had formed the buds and bloomed. The tulip blooms were about the size of a nickle. Then the plants flopped and died within two days. I was very upset with the Instant Blooms performance. Several weeks later my perennials arrived, most were on the dry side without any growth showing. I have planted them and am crossing my fingers that they will come up. I had sent Breck's an email describing my problems with the Instant Blooms and the only response I got was a automatic email telling me I can check my order status online. Poor Customer Service. I will never order Instant Blooms again, and may not order any more perennials. I am willing to try Bracks again for spring bulbs.