On Dec 29, 2004, TexasTam Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Like many of the companies they are affiliated with, Breck's seems to be one of those hit-or-miss ordering experiences.
The assorted bulbs I received from them in the fall were all huge and in great condition - no mushiness or mold.
I then placed another smaller order in November (using the $25 off coupon) which included some additional bulbs, an amaryllis among them that I intended to force indoors before Christmas. Well, after two weeks and no correspondence except the token "thanks for your order", I followed up, only to find out the amaryllis wouldn't ship until Spring, something that wasn't apparent when ordering.
To their credit, I notified Breck's via email to go ahead and cancel the amaryllis, which they promptly did. I would consider ordering from them again; however, I avoid their affiliate, Spring Hill Nursery, like the plague.
On Oct 26, 2004, SugarMaple Southbridge, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have done a lot of business with Breck's over the last 2 years. I have done a lot of business with other bulb suppliers, too. Breck's definitely has higher prices, but some of their bulbs seem to be better quality. On the other hand, some of their bulbs never grow and others grow very small. Sometimes I get a shipment with a moldy bulb or two, but I've read elsewhere that it shouldn't matter as it will go away after the bulbs are planted. I've had "mixed" bulbs that turned out to not be much of a mix at all. I even ordered something marked for my zone which I have since discovered isn't hardy in this zone after all. I think I received some free lily bulbs in a shipment one time, I guess for being a good customer. I don't think Breck's is either good or bad. I just shop around and see who has the majority of the bulbs that I want to buy and buy just those bulbs from just one place to save on shipping. Sometimes that place is Breck's. Sometimes it's not.
On Oct 20, 2004, kelkubi Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:
Brecks is the first mail order company I have used for ordering bulbs. I was excited about the $25 dollar coupon. I placed my order mid-September and received my order mid-October. I was dissapointed when I opened the box and could immediately smell mold. Many of the bulbs in the order were moldy. I called the company (they need a toll-free number) and the customer service representative was very kind, and stated they would rush another order out. She said to either dispose of the bulbs I currently have or I could plant them to see if they would grow. Now I'll just wait and see how long it takes to get the replacement order and also hope they are in good condition.
Like many others, I took advantage of Breck's coupon offer to give me the "most for my buck". At the same time, I placed orders with several other companies with similar offers. Then my orders started to arrive. I was pretty exicted, but my Brecks order hadn't arrived yet. I was going over my credit card statement and noticed that along with the other companies, Brecks had already billed my CC. This would have been ok if it had just happened, but their billing was at the same time as the other companies, the ones whos stuff I had already gotten. I called thier customer service line (at my own expense, come on guys, where is your 800 number?) to find out what the deal was and where my order was! After some major confusion about my account number, they tried to track my order from my credit card. Even that had some major confusion. The CSR eventually located my order (to my relief) and then told me that of the 8 items I ordered, 4 had been substituted. I was pretty upset, especially since I had ordered about 2 months prior, not exactly end of season pickings... When trying to figure out what I was getting, we relized that the online product numbers were different than the catalog product numbers and I was still getting everything I had originally ordered. This made me feel better, but not over the top customer service here. Then it was back to my original question, "Where's my stuff?" The CSR checked some tracking number and told me it had just been unloaded from the cargo ship from Holland and that was as far as she could track it, but it should be on its way and to give it at least another week. I told myself if it hadn't arrived by the next weekend, I was calling my CC to hold payment until the order arrived (this is why I ALWAYS use a credit card to order online!). Just 2 days after talking to Breck's, my order arrived. Everything looked ok, even though the USPS decided to try and shove the box into my mailbox. I opened the box to go through everything and the bulbs looked fine. Being a newbie to gardening, I can't vouch for size, but they all seemed comparable to everything else I ordered. Actually, many of the tulips bulbs have a second large bulb slightly attached to them, hopefully giving me two flowers instead of one! Would I order from this company again, I am undecided. I will continue to get their cataglog, for the displays are great and it give me some ideas, but I might search other companies to buy from instead. I will update about quality of the plants in the spring, when we see if everything grows and blooms.
I just received 100 bulbs (mainly Allium) and they all looked good. Some of them were very tiny, despite their claims that they send BIG bulbs ?!? But I liked the ventilated packaging because it was well labeled. Of course we'll see how they bloom next year. I'll let you know.
On April 1st, 2005, Frostette added the following:
So far, so good, all the earliest bloomers are sprouting. Alliums bloom in late spring, early summer....so it'll be awhile before I see how they all look. I don't understand all the NEGATIVE responses on this site since Brecks seems to be well spopen of in most circles and their guarantees / bragging about themselves sounds great! I plan on placing a big order for PINK daffodils this year since they are rare and I've never seen any in real life around here. On May 14th, 2005, Frostette changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I'm beginning to see why there are a lot of comments about customer service. I can't get them to credit my account for a mistake they made. They claim they are busy - they weren't too busy to debit my account! I ordered an Astilbe collection, using a $20 off coupon (paying for s&h only). Instead they gave me s&h free and charged me 19.99 for them. Plus, I'm not happy with Alliums either! Should've asked around before ordering - what scraggly looking foilage and the flowers are coming up here and there. NOT a nice looking flower bed. I can only hope it'll look better in a few weeks.On June 1st, 2005, Frostette changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Ok, lets give them the benefit of the doubt. I'll keep them at a POSITIVE because it's my own fault for not checking on Alliums - but I still don't like the way they picture them all blooming together - wonderful color - cause that is NOT the way they grow. And they finally sent me a refund check. I would've rathered they had credited my card but they did give me a choice of the exact amount to cash OR return the check for a larger credit towards another order. Also, the Astilbe I ordered from them this year and doing very well. But I've pretty much made up my mind to take them up on one of their guarantees to replace the Alliums because I am not happy with them at all. We'll see how they do on that request.On July 6th, 2005, Frostette added the following:
Brecks sent me a credit for the amount I paid for the Alliums, which I plan to use to order Lilies. It is a pretty good deal when you get to keep something you don't like and still get something else. Pretty amazing quarantee!On October 27th, 2005, Frostette added the following:
I ordered the big collection of Pink Daffodils and some more yellow ones and Dutch Iris. Everything is coming in the mail separately - week or two apart so I can't get around to planting them since I want to make sure they are put in at the same time so I can place them properly. Since they come from Holland, the notice that your plants have shipped is misleading, because, yes, it may take a month before you actually receive them. I don't think I'll be ordering from them anymore - even with all the $25 off coupons I keep receiving. Too frustrating on delivery dates.On May 3rd, 2006, Frostette changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Ok, this is not right. The long anticipated PINK daffodils - did not appear ! Very upsetting since these were going to be my 'prized possessions' . When I questioned them about them they now claim they are really not pink, just the usual shades of white and yellow with some light apricot, salmon, etc. That is NOT what the pictures show and to add insult, I received the brochure in the mail last week advertising the collection again. BRIGHT PINK and white flowers - the most amazing things. Even so, if that is the case, only one small daffodil came up that looked white with an apricot colored interior. All my others bulbs bloomed but them. As usual, they DO honour their guarantees and are sending me a ceritificate for something different. But I wanted the PINK daffodils !
I PURCHASED BULBS FROM BRECK'S BEFORE GARDENS ALIVE BOUGHT THE COMPANY. MY BULBS WERE LARGE, FRESH, AND BLOOMED BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS. SO, I DECIDED TO ORDER FROM THEM AGAIN. I DIDN'T REALIZE THE COMPANY HAD BEEN SOLD AND I MUST ADMIT, MY SECOND ORDER WAS "OKAY"--CERTAINLY NOT UP TO PARR WITH MY FIRST ORDER. I DECIDED TO GIVE THEM ONE MORE TRY. I ORDERED IN FEB. OF 2004. MY ORDER WAS SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE ON OR AROUND 4/16 FOR EARLY SPRING PLANTING. MAY ARRIVED, WITH NO SIGN OF THE BULBS. I WROTE AN E-MAIL ASKING THE COMPANY NOT TO SEND THE BULBS AND TOLD THEM THEY DID NOT HAVE MY PERMISSION TO CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD. IT IS WAY TOO LATE TO PLANT SPRING BULBS IN MY ZONE. 2 DAYS LATER, THE BULBS ARRIVED--IN HORRID CONDITION. AT LEAST HALF OF THE BULBS WERE DISEASED OR MOLDY. NOT TO MENTION MOST OF THEM ARE EARLY SPRING AND SUMMER FLOWERING, SO I'M NOT EXPECTING MUCH OF A SHOW. THE COMPANY E-MAILED ME (AFTER I HAD RECIEVED MY PACKAGE) ASSURING ME MY ORDER SHIPPED 4/16, FROM THE NETHERLANDS AND HAD TO GO THROUGH US CUSTOMS AND THAT THE ORDER COULD TAKE UP TO FIVE TO SIX WEEKS TO SHIP. SO MUCH FOR THE "GARUNTEED TO ARRIVE JUST AT THE RIGHT PLANTING TIME". IT IS MUCH TOO LATE. THE ONLY REASON MY REVIEW WAS NOT NEGATIVE WAS BECAUSE I DID HAVE A POSITIVE 1ST ORDER, AND THE COMPANY E-MAILED ME BACK. BUT, I WARN THAT THIS COMPANY HAS DOWN-WARD SPIRALED SINCE GARDENS ALIVE TOOK OVER AND I WILL NEVER ORDER FROM THEM AGAIN, NOR RECCOMEND THEM TO ANYONE.
On May 5, 2004, JRush Guilford, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered 5 items from this company. The Columbines were large & healthy, & they gave me 3 of each variety. The Hardy Dutch Astilbe was also big & healthy. The catalog shows 4 Astilbe colors in the ad, but I received 2 plants. So I don't know what colors the Astilbe are! The Achimenes (three) & Lilafee Epimedium (one) were small & disappointing. I guess it just depends on the specific plant that you order from this company.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. I used the $20 off coupon last fall and ordered an Amaryllis and Snow Crocus Bulbs. The $16 Amaryllis bloomed for Easter and will bloom again soon- it took much longer than my $4 Chain Store Amaryllis (that bloomed for Christmas). My snow crocus bulbs never bloomed or had leaves- I believe they were rotten. As a novice gardener, I could have been dissapointed by my unrealistic expectations, which is why I leave a neutral rating.
Took advantage of the $20 off coupon, and ordered several gladiolas bulbs, and 9 columbine. The columbine were all healthy root stock & appear to be growing well. I did not have a chance to plant the gladiolas bulbs until about a week after they arrived (they were stored in my garage in the meantime), and most had mold on the bulbs at that point. As I'm not sure that's how they arrived, I'm leaving neutral feedback instead of negative, but even with the $20 off coupon, I still feel the quality of merchandise was lacking & for most items, local retail supply chains offer better merchandise for cheaper prices. Some of the bulbs were very large, but there were also medium & small sized bulbs, and if they have mold on them, they probably won't come up anyway, so the size doesn't really matter anyway. I've ordered from this company on previous occasions, and afterwards I always feel there are much better places to order from. With the coupon, you can get a decent deal on some of the items, but its something of a gamble too.
Breck's is not a company that we've come to rely on for high quality bulbs despite their catalog claims. There are definitely better sources out there (Van Engelen & Brent and Becky's Bulbs for example).
We ordered daffodils & hyacinths during the summer of 2003 for shipment in the fall. When we received the bulbs, we discovered that the synonym for Hyacinth 'Red Rocket' which we presumed to be unique was actually the readily available and dead-common Hyacinth 'Jan Bos' (written in tiny script beneath the package label). Nowhere in their catalogs or websites did we find any reference to that fact. Had we known the truth, we would never have ordered these bulbs. Eight of the thirty daffodils we ordered were rotten which we were given credit for over the phone.
We've sent a letter to the company to ask them to either use the accepted cultivar name for Hyacinth 'Jan Bos' or make it clear in their catalogs & websites that Hyacinth 'Red Rocket' is a synonym for H. 'Jan Bos'.
I ordered from Breck's for the first time this past fall. The $20 coupon convinced me to at least give them a try. So far everything is good, bulbs were big and appeared healthy, but it's too soon to see how they come up. The neutral rating is just for now, I'll update once I see what comes up!
On April 13th, 2004, kyrabear added the following:
Update: The Hyacinths all came up nicely, they're a little smallish, but they look great. Only two of three Stargazer lilies have come up so far, and again they're a little on the small side. I'm still waiting to see if the third one will show up, and for now I'm keeping the neutral rating.
I ordered about 300 bulbs in August and was told they would be shipped in mid-September. I believe the estimated shipping time would take about 2-4 weeks. I received an e-mail a few days ago that said they were just shipped and it would take 4-6 weeks to arrive. By the time they get here it will be December. I contacted the company and their response was that I could refuse them when they arrived. I got the impression they were not the least bit concerned about this. I was not given a reason why I was not notified in September that my bulbs were not being shipped on time. I will probably never deal with this company again.
On Oct 9, 2003, berrygirl Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I hope I'm not getting the runaround from this co. I recently rec'd an order of lily bulbs from them. Most were either molded, mildewed or mushy. I have e-mailed the co. 2 or 3 times and still haven't gotten a straight answer on whether I'll be getting replacement bulbs. But they did answer when my daffodils will be sent. I will report back if and when they resolve this for me. If I am given what I paid for, I will give them a positive rating.
On Jul 2, 2003, elfeik Near Kansas City, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
New management - same old tricks.
I recently received a 'sale' catalog from Breck's. But their prices are still very high. For instance Monsella tulips they list at 8/$8.99 can be bought from another company at 10/6.99. Breck's mixed crocus 60/19.99 - 'the other guys' 100/23.96 and the list goes on and on, so check the competition before you bite.
Excellent company to deal with! All of my bulbs are in excellent condition. Great packaging and instructions! Shipped when they said. I also ordered two special order iris collection's and they were exceptional rhiozomes also.
Definately will buy from Breck's next year.*****Five star
On July 12th, 2003, sparrker changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I planted my anenomes when the said to and not one of them came up and only about half of my daffodils flowered. My iris collection I lost two tubers and they refunded all of my money back. The bulbs are quite expensive. I am going to try them again this year. Lets hope I have better luck.
I guess I was lucky, given the other experiences I've heard about. I placed 2 large (>$100 each) orders with Brecks last fall, one via the MySeasons website and the other directly by phone. The MySeasons order was never filled, and my credit card wasn't charged - annoying, but no real loss. The second order was delivered at the correct time, and my credit card was correctly billed. ALL of the spring bulbs have now appeared, and many are doubles and triples - so far, the colors are all as promised too. My experience has been (unexpectedly) good enough that I'll give them another try now that they're under new ownership, but given the well-publicized problems I'll not yet recommend that anyone else do the same!
I'm very sorry to hear about Breck's predicament. I have ordered from them for 35 years, and was satisfied until this year when they did not send my replacement order and would not answer the telephone or fax. For years they have sent quality bulbs, although the price was very high. This last year the bulbs were inferior. I often wonder if Breck's had no actuarial oversight to track the monies that were coming in and where they went? SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Am so happy I found this website. I had been watching for replacement bulbs from Breck's as promised on the phone last spring. My experience was to have nearly 100% success for the first year, then, fewer and fewer returned. The Apricot Beauty Tulips were the most disappointing. Of two dozen, only 3 returned the second year. The Daffodils were the best. I believe at least 70% returned. I hadn't known about the business problems. Now I will stop worrying about their performance. We also planted a strawberry bed. Half didn't survive but Breck's did ship more. I am sorry they are out of business. I really enjoyed looking through their catalog -thinking about spring.
Last spring or early summer, I ordered just under $70.00 worth of Brecks bulbs, and never received them. I was in the process of building a new home, and very busy, but the man who took my order said that he would send them when it was time to plant them, and I didn't ask when that would be. Since I was never charged for them, I just assumed the order was lost, and I was too busy to fuss over it. Then suddenly, last month, it appeared on my credit card bill, and I thought I should be getting them any day. I still have not received them. What is going on?
Breck's may claim to be honoring past orders, but I have had nothing but trouble. I placed an order in the spring for a fall shipment of plants--I received them late in October/early November--but in horrible condition--some rootings were rotted out, and all of the plants were heavily covered with mold--I could smell the mold before I even opened the box! I have not been able to reach them by website or telephone--getting no answer or repeatedly a busy signal--or was connected and told it was busy, call again--I had the same experience with a recent order from Spring Hill---I waited for invoices, wrote letters on the invoice as to the poor quality of the plants and asked for a new shipment or cancel the order---and then recently received letters from a collection agency! And, interestingly enough, the account number for both companies is the same although invoice numbers differ. If my credit gets zapped because of their incompetence I will really be angry! I urge everyone to steer clear of these people--I repeatedly tried to reach MySeasons.com, getting no response, but this morning was connected by link to Garden Solutions or some such, but am very skeptical about them as well--does anyone have any suggestions?
I was totally unaware that Breck's filed for bankruptcy and I had placed an order in excess of $100 and paid for it in advance in March of this year (2001). I have written to a Michigan Address and to the Illinois Address and have received no response at all. I imagine I just donated toward their liquidation funds.
I have been ordering bulbs from Breck's for over 15 years and this is the first time I had a problem. I always received my bulbs in time for fall planting and have been very satisfied with the product. I really am terribly disappointed this year.
Just checked my account this past Friday and learned that Breck's has debited my account for the bulbs I ordered months ago. I have tried to call the 800 number and the direct number, but all I get is a busy signal. I read where they have new ownership.
I ordered from Brecks at the beginning of this year and was expecting an order of tulip bulbs to come this fall sometime. I logged on and could not find any information about my order. I found this web site and had decided that I wasn't going to be getting my bulbs and that I was out my money. To my surprise, I went home that day and they were here. They did send along a couple of small catalogs to order out of too. I would like to order more, but I think I will wait just a bit at this time.
Well, it looks like Brecks is mailing orders! I've received a notice that I have a package from them at the Post Office. The problem is that when I learned that Foster and Gallagher filed for bankruptcy, I assumed that I wouldn't be getting anything that I ordered. So, of course, I ordered similar items from other companies! Since I ordered everything previously from myseasons.com and not the individual catalogs, I don't know what's coming and what isn't. What a mess, I'll probably end up with twice as much as I wanted!
Well now I understand the constant busy signal I have gotten for the last 3 weeks. They owe me a refund and I wanted to ask about it. Guess I know the answer to that question. I hate losing the $60-$70 refund I was promised for failed plants...but in all honesty I hate losing the source for plants that are guaranteed. I have had 2 more plants fail since I talked to them regarding the last refunds promised because they could not replace the plants; scratch those too huh! I found that even though it was inconvenient when something did not make it they were always very good about standing behind their guarantee. And in general I found the quality good as far as size etc. At least with Brecks/Springhill I received answers. Although bankruptcy was not one of the answers I sought. I really hate to see them go out of business. But...from what I gather they were part of Michigan bulb which I stopped dealing with years ago because of the poor quality, lack of customer service and ignoring letters regarding refunds.I guess all in all if they were affiliated with Michigan Bulb I was lucky to get the quality and service I did from them.
Until last fall I have had success with Breck's. I ordered a lot of bulbs, all of which were fine when they arrived - except for three giant alliums (there were only six in the order), which were covered with fungus and quite rotted. I returned the three bulbs with a letter asking that they be replaced, and sent a copy of the letter to Customer Service. I received no bulbs and no reply from Customer Service. I think perhaps Brecks has gotten too big for its britches.
Last fall I ordered online 3 different kinds of bulbs and the Tom Pouce did not come up even though I followed instructions. All others did bloom this summer. I wrote and asked if Breck's would replace the three bulbs, which did not bloom and got no answer. I wonder what that says about customer appreciation?
I have been a customer of Breck's for several years. I have around 80% success with them. Their bulbs are nice & around here competitive price-wise with the nurseries. I did order some Easter Lilies as gifts once from them & was very disappointed. The plants were in full bloom upon arrival & didn't last very long. I also received from dahlia bulbs from them this spring that failed to root in damp peat moss. They were replaced promptly. I don't order anything unusual or rare from them. I stick with the tulips, crocuses, hyacinths, and daffodils.
I have been ordering from Breck's & Spring Hill for the better part of 25 yr. The plants are usually great & when there is a problem I have no trouble getting replacements/refunds. My only complaint about them is lately they seem to have a problem with "billing". If I order early & am billed with shipment I start receiving bills immediately after & then comes reminders & then comes nasty letters even though I am paying for the shipments as they arrive!I called last week & was told that customer service has been trying to get the big guys to stop doing this to their regular longtime customers as they've been getting a lot of complaints. The same old answer comes back "BLAME IT ON THE COMPUTER". My husband & I recently decided to stop doing business with companies that we have ordered from & spent money with on a regular basis & receive no consideration in return & there are a lot lately it seems. These two (especially Spring Hill) may be next.
(I ordered) bulbs from Brecks last year (1995) with varying degrees of satisfaction. I was not pleased as the daffodils I ordered were not the color I paid for. I wanted pink and wound up with yellow. Some bulbs (6) never grew. My husband was somewhat more pleased--16 of the 20 bulbs he ordered did bloom and were very nice. I will not order from them again--my husband has ordered from them again for a fall planting.
Having been "stung" several times in the past, my wife and I resolved to avoid ordering any merchandise from unsolicited catalogues, mailed by companies who've purchased a mailing list that just happens to contain our name. However, in the summer of 1994, on receipt of a Breck's envelope with the beautiful, full-living-colour literature extolling the virtues of "The Ultimate Iris Collection" (and because it's my wife's favourite flower), I'm sorry to say, we "bit" again. Suffice it to say that of the 20 regular and 4 "free gift" rhizomes received, only 1 regular and 1 "free gift" proved viable the following spring. My first letter to Breck's Customer Service, advising of the problem and requesting, as per their guarantee, that the shipment be replaced, elicited no response. A month after my second letter, I received with no covering explanation, a refund cheque for half the amount of the purchase. My third letter reminded them of their 100% guarantee, (replace or refund, our choice). I offered to return the uncashed cheque and again explained that we would prefer to have the shipment replaced.However, should they decree there would be no replacement, I requested a full, rather than a 50% refund. Approximately 6 weeks later, and again with no further explanation, I received another refund cheque for the balance of the purchase price. Perhaps, hopefully, after this experience, we have learned to stick to our resolve.
For my 2 cents, I have had good and bad luck with Breck's. They sent the wrong tulips this past year, and my crown imperials did not even come up this spring. I'll let you know the response to my letter.