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Comments regarding Breck's Bulbs

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  Feedback History and Summary  
238 positives
76 neutrals
208 negatives


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Negative dale3242
(1 review)
On Feb 9, 2017, dale3242 Palm Coast, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Posted on January 28, 2007, updated February 9, 2017
Breck\'s advertises \"Direct to You From Holland Since 1818.\" That is a lie. The current \"Breck\'s\" has only been in business for 4 years. I placed a $170 order with Breck\'s 5 years ago. That Breck\'s went belly up and I got nothing. Just be aware that this company has no long term history.

On February 9th, 2017, dale3242 added the following:

Just be aware that today's "Breck's" has been in operation since Gardens Alive! purchased the name in 2001 when Breck's went bankrupt. They falsely claim on their website that: "Celebrating 198 years in the Business of Blooms". I strongly recommend buying from a local nursery, not "Breck's".
Negative C0riander
(1 review)
On Dec 15, 2016, C0riander Woodland, WA wrote:

My grandmother has used Breck's bulbs in her garden for many years and recommends them, so when a friend wanted garden gifts for her birthday, I ordered her a gift certificate from the website. I ordered many weeks in advance and had it shipped to my house so that I could include it in a package with other gifts and a card. Breck's turned out to be incapable of providing a simple gift certificate, or answering any inquiry about it.

The website promises that certificates will ship immediately, and my confirmation email promised that it would arrive in 10-14 days, which was still plenty of time to include in the gift. At 13 days I checked the order status on the website and the gift certificate had still not shipped. I emailed customer service requesting immediate shipment with expedited mail or an email copy, and 4 days later, I received a form letter indicating that the shipment would happen in another 3-5 business days and take 5-7 business days to ship. With the holidays coming up, this would put the order well past the birthday and perhaps not before Christmas.

I emailed again, asking more urgently for expedited service or at least an email copy I could include in the gift. Receiving no reply, I called customer service two days later. After keeping me on hold for 10 minutes, the rep promised to have the certificate information emailed to me the next day so that I could include it in the gift.

The next day came and went, and the only email I received from Breck's was a marketing promotion advertising that there was still time to order for the holidays. Insulting irony!

I received another form email the following morning, offering me no help or real information and saying that the certificate should ship in time for Christmas. I spent my lunch break calling customer service again, and spent 20 minutes on the phone with a nice man who tried to help me. After putting me on hold numerous times to call various other departments and managers, he managed to find out the status of my order, and admitted that there was nothing he or any person in sales and service could do to help me.

He indicated that they could only generate gift certificates from one paper printing machine that had been broken down for weeks and they were helpless to generate even email copies without it. He said that he would try to get me the certificate before Christmas, but that they were trying to cram in the several weeks of backlog in the next few days as the machine was expected to be fixed. There was nothing else he could do for me.

For a company that advertises so heavily regarding gifts, it is inconceivable to me that they would handicap their ability to generate gift certificates through such an insane process, allowing it to be delayed for weeks just before the holidays. The total inability of four different customer service reps to do anything about it, and the huge delays in getting an honest answer, were awful. Why even bother to have customer service when they can't actually achieve anything, and they don't even answer promptly or honestly?

Please take your money to a better catalog company. I'll go back to buying my family dahlias and gift certificates from a company we can trust.

Negative abado
(1 review)
On Dec 9, 2016, abado Ellijay, GA wrote:

Beware! It's worth noting that Breck's is listed on BBB under a few company names. I feel like this is probably a company that concentrates more on volume and turnover than customer service or quality, so just keep that in mind when you order and have a back up plan.

This was my first time ordering from an online plant website and I probably won't do it again. I ordered the daylily collection 3 months ago and got a confirmation it shipped, but then never got it. The fedex tracking never left the warehouse. I waited because I thought maybe they were coming from Holland (obviously I don't know much about plants) and their website said they were in the middle of moving and to be patient. Advice: Don't be patient. :) Finally, I emailed...twice. Nothing. I called...the rep had an accent and I couldn't understand her. I'm usually pretty good at listening. I asked to be transferred to a supervisor 3 times. She kept avoiding it, then finally told me the supervisor was not there.

She kept trying to give me the money back (which at least was offered), but I explained I didn't want the money...I wanted the flowers I ordered and was promised. I asked if they could just send any daylilies. I didn't care which ones at that point. Just something to put in the ground for my mother. Nope. Everything was out of stock. "Why?" I asked. "The website still shows they are there." More putting me on hold and this time came back and said supervisor (who mysteriously appeared) said he gave his apologies and they would just issue a refund. I did an online chat just to see if it was someone who could understand and send SOMETHING. But, nope. Same thing. I'm done. Very disappointing experience. Why sell something you don't have? Why not try to substitute SOMETHING...ANYTHING for customers? I may have never received anything if I hadn't kept track and check in.

Negative YK
(1 review)
On Jun 25, 2016, YK College Point, NY wrote:

I have ordered peony bulbs from Breck's, Very poor quality small bulbs with no eyes, Planted it and nothing ever came up. So disappointed!

Negative rjohlman
(1 review)
On Jun 1, 2016, rjohlman Caledonia, WI wrote:

Posted on June 1, 2016, updated June 1, 2016
Ordered 16 different items early in the year to get good deals. They were to ship at proper planting time.

They took payment from credit card in May.

Got a confirmation June 1 that on June 3 they are to ship 4 items (various quantities). The rest (12 different items, various quantities) they WERE going to ship 7/9 - 7/15 ?! I asked, \"What the hell am I supposed to do with these in mid-summer!\"

While they\'re cancelling and refunding the rest of my order, I have learned the hard way.

Beware of ordering from Breck\'s!

On June 1st, 2016, rjohlman added the following:

Almost forgot: Breck's customer service is now in India. So now I always ask what country the person is located in. If they answer U.S., I ask, "What state?" Then I ask for the state abbreviation.

Just remember our privacy laws regarding private information don't apply overseas. I always insist (and get more forceful if they tried to avoid this) that they transfer to someone in the U.S.
Negative tiinaku
(1 review)
On May 11, 2016, tiinaku Rockville, MD wrote:

I would not recommend this company to anyone. I ordered last fall. There were numerous mistakes in the order - shipped to the billing address. Mistakes within the order. They shipped a second order to the correct address. I returned that. They refunded the money for the order to the credit card - but then said I owed money for the order. Customer service was very poor. One person does not know what the next one is doing - they seem to have very poor internal communication. I think there are better places to order from - save yourself months of annoyance.

Negative WonkaChad
(3 reviews)
On Nov 30, 2015, WonkaChad Lovettsville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I got the email for free shipping on all fall planting bulbs for the week of Cyber-Monday from Breck's Bulbs. I chose a few & went through the process through the last step... "$9.95 Shipping." I did that 3 times without submitting the order through. Once I realized it wasn't something I was doing wrong, I opened a chat with Breck's Bulbs representative Stephanie. She reminded me free shipping was only valid on the FALL bulbs & then I gave her the item codes for the items on the FALL bulbs page that I intended to order. She offered me $4.95 shipping & then she realized I was right, all of the items were on the FREE shipping listed page. She offered to process my order for me, but I will not give a credit card number over chat or the phone, I will only use Paypal for these online transactions. She said she wasn't able to do that. She then said she could process the order for me then refund the shipping later. I just said "nope."

When she ended by asking if there was anything more she could do for me, I suggested she get that "FREE shipping on FALL bulbs" code fixed ASAP since it is supposed to be a Cyber-Monday thing & they just emailed it to a bunch of people that will be really annoyed that the "FREE SHIPPING" is really $9.95.

Negative hudit
(1 review)
On Oct 16, 2015, hudit Seattle, WA wrote:

I ordered 25 galanthus bulbs from Breck's at the end of September 2015. The good news is they arrived about a week later. The bad news is that 7 of the 25 bulbs were covered in mold and mildew. I wrote to them and they promptly wrote back that they were sending a new shipment. Which they did. And this shipment was worse than the first one. Many moldy bulbs. I'm not writing them again. I don't want anymore moldy bulbs. the price on these bulbs was much cheaper than I could find in the local nurseries but then you get what you pay for. I will not buy from this company again.

Negative loriminnesota
(1 review)
On Sep 3, 2015, loriminnesota Arlington, MN wrote:

Soooo disappointed! After spending hours online to find just the right bulbs, I placed my order with them in the wee morning hours of 8/30/15. Order was only about $75.00, but thought I was getting a good deal on the 140 bulbs and they were soooo gorgeous! Paid for via Paypal which they promptly took out of my account. Two days later, they finally acknowledged my order. Shipping date of 10/10/15. I'm leaving town for 2 weeks on 10/16/15, but I thought it was doable. The next day, I notice my order has been pushed back to 10/12/15. Okay, I can still fit this in before I leave. But then less than 8 hours later, my order had been pushed back to 10/13/15. Considering I only placed the order a few days ago, and my delivery date has already changed three times, I have no doubt there is NO WAY I would receive my order before I left. And living in Minnesota, we frequently get snow by Halloween, so didn't want to take my chances that would be the last time my delivery date got pushed back. It's only been a few days and they changed it three times. That said, still waiting for my refund. While they responded promptly to cancel my order, a refund to my Paypal account has yet to be issued. I feel so terrible that I won't be getting this beautiful mix of bulbs...especially after all that planning. :( I would never even think of ordering from this company again. Wasted time I did not have to waste.

Negative smcatl
(2 reviews)
On Aug 8, 2015, smcatl Atlanta, GA wrote:

I ordered about a dozen different tall bearded iris last fall from Breck's. Mistake. They arrived rattling around loose in a cardboard box with several of the varietal tags detached from the leaves, and one tag missing altogether. About half the plants bloomed this year, which is not unexpected. But two of them were NOT varieties I had ordered, and because they weren't tagged and half haven't yet bloomed, I still don't even know what I'm missing.

'Beverly Sills' was a tiny rhizome that produced a tiny (< 12" tall) plant--with, bizarrely, two full-sized blooms. It disappeared during the summer, but has now sent up a small, rather sad new shoot. 'Grand Canyon Sunset'--or, wait! might it have been it 'Wench?'--was also weak and has now rotted. The others produced healthy plants, but what the heck are they?

This year I ordered TBIs from Schreiner's, the iris specialty growers. When they arrived yesterday I learned how mail order irises SHOULD look. The rhizomes were twice the size of any I got from Breck's, plump, full of roots, and with labels securely attached to firm, healthy fans--labels that helpfully included a photo of the bloom and mature height of the plant.

I know who I'm ordering from in the future--and it won't be Breck's.

Negative LilacJennifer
(3 reviews)
On Jan 22, 2015, LilacJennifer Eden, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I ordered from Breck's for my first and last time in the Summer of 2014. Not happy at all. The columbine, bleeding heart and other plants basically came as dry roots in a plastic bag with wood shavings. I planted them up in pot to keep an eye on them and get them going, and later into the garden. But they remained weak. I will be very surprised if they survive the winter. Very disappointed.

Negative BetNC
(6 reviews)
On Sep 21, 2014, BetNC Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

This was my first and last order using Breck's as there was one problem after another . . . . and the bulbs haven't even arrived yet. There was a difference between catalog price and web site price - even using their "code" to get the catalog price. When I called customer service about this, the person insisted I make an entire new order, in order to get the catalog price; when I did not get a confirmation email, I called again= to learn there was no new order so my items hadn't been ordered. Since I had given my credit card authorization for the new "order", my bank account was compromised and I had to cancel/order a new card. . . and then contact all the other vendors with the new, correct payment information. Original delivery was scheduled for Oct 24-30, so I arranged to hire a planter-person for then (I'm disabled and can't plant my own plants). Breck's arbitrarily changed the delivery date for a month earlier, but after almost two weeks of emailing back and forth with customer service (even explaining why the change was unacceptable), they finally agreed to deliver a SECOND shipment of the same items Oct 20-27.
I wish I had found DG before I ordered from this company. After reading others' experiences with Breck's, I'm concerned about MORE problems and the viability of the bulbs I ordered.

Negative sasquatchdan
(1 review)
On Sep 10, 2014, sasquatchdan Madison, WI wrote:

Pricing is confusing... Catalog varies vs. website. Website offers a deal through an email, which somehow increases the price when the code is used? Deceptive pricing.

Negative kc1966
(1 review)
On Sep 7, 2014, kc1966 Downingtown, PA wrote:

I'm very disappointed with my most recent Breck's orders (spanning a year and a half). Only 1 of the 3 Switzerland Begonia tubers I received showed signs of life on arrival. As expected, only that one grew into a lovely plant (despite being planted in identical conditions). However, it was clearly NOT a Switzerland Begonia. The Blue Hill Salvia also appeared lifeless upon arrival, and none of them produced even a hint of a plant. The Hosta "Mixture" Super Sak contained 10 plants of the identical shade of light green--nothing even close to resembling the catalog image of great variety in color and size. Despite receiving the wrong daffodils in my previous order, I ordered from them again. That was obviously a mistake. Complaint submissions to Breck's were ignored. I have been ordering from this company for a number of years, trying to beautify our homes in military housing as we moved from state-to-state. I refuse to continue to be loyal to a company that doesn't value or respect its customers.

Negative clevelandgarden
(1 review)
On Aug 9, 2014, clevelandgarden wrote:

This is a company to avoid. I ordered a Louis Cotton cannas
which are hard to find but they had them in their catalog pictured with dark bronze leaves, apricot flowers and a dwarf size. They arrived well into the spring after I called to see where they were..."direct from Holland,'' they said. I got 4 dead bulbs in the mix. But what grew was anything but advertised. Tall, lanky plants, leaves were more green than bronze, flowers are washed out yellow. NOTHING like the right thing which I have grown in the past. I have been growing all sorts of cannas for 35 years so when I called customer service, they told me that they obviously sent you the wrong variety. They offer three varieties, all completely different so this is bs. My guess is that they're getting their bulbs from a giant supplier and quality control is not at the top of their list. They were pleasant and gave me a refund but what will I get next year? Not going to devote much space to their bulbs until I see the results. Hey Breck's...alot of negative comments. You need to do something about that.

Negative chuck7701
(2 reviews)
On Jun 25, 2014, chuck7701 McKinney, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

While the plants they ship may be of fair to good quality, the first shipment I ordered was satisfactory, but arrived six weeks later. I'm still waiting on the second shipment TWO MONTHS after I ordered them 4/27/14.

Be aware that your shipping date(s) will be questionable, and could be cancelled without notice, supposedly since they are shipped from Holland. If you can wait, or if you order well in advance of the planting season, you might be satisfied.

DO NOT order when planting season arrives if you want to plant them in time for the growing season. I will not order from them again.

Negative millsj54
(1 review)
On Jun 18, 2014, millsj54 Montvale, NJ wrote:

Gardners beware of Brecks!... They do not honor their own guarantee to grow or a replacement will be provided. I have stopped ordering from most of the bulbs never seem storng enough to either grow the first year and the ones which do grow...die during the winter. I finally had enough and located a receipt for a replacement....the customer service dept. sent me a $10. credit...why would I want a $10 credit when the first item failed to grow! I have had no success with Brecks..and advise people of their scam to take your money and not honor their replacement your money and go to your local nursery and you will have better results! Beware of Brecks deceit.

Negative alatoob
(1 review)
On Jun 14, 2014, alatoob Meredith, NH wrote:

I placed an order a month ago for some plants that should have shipped immediately. After a couple weeks I called and was reassured that my order would be put on priority status in the warehouse. The shipping date got delayed repeatedly and then, without any notice, the item was cancelled - I only found out when I again went to check the status online and discovered the peony collection "not yet shipped" had disappeared entirely from my order. I was not offered a substitute for the plants and have yet to receive an official email informing me of the cancellation or a refund. I'm extremely disappointed with the customer service and communication this company offers and will most likely go elsewhere for future purchases.

Negative macoopermd
(1 review)
On Jun 9, 2014, macoopermd River Forest, IL wrote:

I have used Brecks and its sister companies (Spring Hill, etc) for over 25 years but have decreased my orders substantially over the past several years due to poor quality or long delays in the delivery. The bulbs are generally good quality but their other plants are not. Today I called to inquire and complain that some items (which shipped two weeks after they were promised - with many delays and e-mails in between) were not sprouting yet, the customer service woman deprecatingly lectured me on the Chicago winter, on warm ground, and threatened our credit rating when I said I was not interested in paying them until I saw the caladia sprouting. I have had other items credited this spring from their sister companies for no growth where similar plants from local growers are doing quite well already. Generally Brecks customer service is friendly and helpful, but not this woman who felt she had to speak harshly to me. I know about hard winters - less than 1/3 of their bulbs that I planted last fall came up this spring, yet I did not complain about those.

Negative Warrenstapestry
(1 review)
On Apr 22, 2014, Warrenstapestry Greenfield, NH wrote:

I had put some items from a great sale into my cart. I then recieved emails "encouraging" me to complete the sale or else the sale prices would disappear and they would empty my cart.
Why do they need to threaten to empty my cart other than to try to get me to order?

Two days after that I get an email saying that I can get $25 off of my order. When I go to my cart as directed suddenly everything is at full price. Obviously the $25 is merely a bait and switch to get me to spend money to save money.
I'm not a fool so I called the company and the sales rep who pronounced "alliums" "aluminums" tried to tell me that money off codes only pertain to specific promotions, which wasn't at all spelled out in the email.

At this point I don't trust them at all so I quickly place the order at admittedly great prices while I was on hold and then I finally get to speak to an Indian guy who dislikes it when I call it gimmicks and really has nothing to offer when I ask for the $25 off as promised in the email.

I don't think this company does them selves any favors by using a sophisticated form of bait and switch to try to get people to buy.

Negative PaisanoHouse
(1 review)
On Mar 23, 2014, PaisanoHouse Rockport, TX wrote:

While I shopped online, prices for the same eight items in my shopping cart changed three times. The final totals for my order ranged from around $100 to almost $200 for the same items. Here is what happened at as a I attempted to order items online that were featured in its "Spring 2014 Planner for Summer Gardens" print catalog in which items were priced up to 75% off: (The catalog showed three prices for each plant, with Price 1 and Price 2 crossed out; Price 3 being the final sale price.
1. offered $25 off a $50 purchase in exchange for my email address. I received a confirmation on the site that the "discount is being applied." I shopped, using the item numbers from the catalog. Online prices for the very same items in the print catalog were higher; they were the Price 2 prices in the catalog.
2. I looked around the home page again and found a banner advertising the "up to 75% off sale" and clicked on it. That changed the prices in my shopping cart to the Price 3 prices and my shopping cart total was approximately $110, but the $25 discount hadn't been applied. I checked my email and there was a notice from Breck's that the $25 discount had been changed and to "Claim Your $100 in Free Merchandise."
3.When I clicked on that link, it took me back to the site and a banner there claimed: "Choose your discount. $25 off $50; $50 off $100; $100 off $200." But the prices on the items in my cart had all been changed again. Now my $110 order cost $190!

I suppose one could build a spreadsheet to decide which of Breck's three pricing options for the same merchandise was the best deal, but having spent hours researching the eight plants in my cart, I was ready to buy, not puzzle through this mess. Suspicious of a company that would advertise one price in catalogs, a different price online, and raise prices to honor a discount, I emptied my cart and left the site. I am a retailer; this is not purely deceptive advertising, but it seems like a sketchy way to promote a business. I will shop elsewhere.

Negative EvaHecht
(1 review)
On Dec 16, 2013, EvaHecht Kensington, CA wrote:

Posted on November 1, 2012, updated December 16, 2013
This concerns Cyclamen hederifolium corms my sister ordered from Brecks in September (25 bulbs for $52). These plants flower in the fall. After several phone calls to Breck's company about the delay in receiving these corms, they finally arrived on October30. However the corms looked very diseased, some with a white fungus on the surface, some with holes possibly from insects or bacterial rot and all were flaccid instead of firm. Having worked at a Botanical garden and mailed out plant material myself, and knowing what kind of phytosanitary forms need to be filed for international use, I was horrified to see that something like this is mailed all over the USA. Pathogens can spread in the soil and contaminate healthy areas.
A label on the bag claims this to be a "product of Turkey, bulbs from cultivated stock". If these bulbs indeed came from Turkey, ( even-though Breck's prides itself on importing from Holland), the Inspection Service of the department of Agriculture did not catch this lot. It is unknown where and when the corms got so diseased.
The Order Processing Center for Brecks is in Indiana but no "real" address can be found on the website. There are 177 negative comments on your website for Breck's. I'd like to add this experience to your website in the negative column.
Breck's website has a Canadian flag next to their name. If these bulbs came from Canada, worse yet !
Please look into this. We do not want to import or spread nematodes, root pathogens or even fungi, whether pathogens or saprohytes to our soils in the US.
Thank you

A promise for a refund was made by Brecks customer service.
Eva Hecht

On December 16th, 2013, EvaHecht added the following:

I have a comment on my most recent experience with Breck's.
I ordered ( and paid for) a fairly large shipment of bulbs on September 18 but became suspicious of its whereabouts when I had not received the bulbs by Thanksgiving. I called and found out to my dismay that 2 items were "out of stock". However a supervisor promised to have the remainder sent per express. I trusted this, rescheduled my gardener for a second time to help plant the bulbs and today when checking again, found out that 1: NO express shipment had been made and 2: that EVEN MORE items were "out of stock" AND 3: that no shipment would be made anyway till JANUARY. This is a complete disgrace. I told the supervisor to cancel my entire order and re-credit my account. I will find a more reliable company next year.
On Dec 16, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Nov 5, 2012 2:55 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. I can tell you that the white fungus on the Cyclamen, which is most probably some storage mold is no problem. After the Cyclamen has been planted in the soil it will disappear.
The holes are not from insects or bacterial rot. The Cyclamen in Turkey are grown in a rocky area, so there are a lot of stones big and small ones in the soil. The cyclamen is growing (expanding) and when a stone is in the way it will penetrate into the cyclamen. After lifting the cyclamen, the stones will fall off but you will still see the holes. In other words it is the large and small stones which causes the holes and not insect or bacterial rot.

The Cyclamen may be flaccid which is not unusual. Keep in mind that they have been stored for a while so it will lose moisture. As soon as the cyclamen has been planted and is able to absorb moisture (that is why we advise to give all bulbs a good drench after planting) it will be firm again.

Negative chilimomo
(1 review)
On Dec 11, 2013, chilimomo Montreal,
Canada wrote:

I ordered about 200 lily bulbs from which is a sub company of Breck in October for spring shipment. I receive the confirmation and the full amout was charged from my credit card. Two month later, I receive a "out of stock" notice to let me know that everything I ordered were not available. The website were changed to, and the customer service just told me they no longer carry the products!

I already cleared the area in my back yard where I want the bulbs to go. Since a lot of companies only handle fall shipment, chance for me to miss the next year's lily flowers are very big. I am very upset and will never order from this company again!

Negative MendhamGardener
(1 review)
On Nov 26, 2013, MendhamGardener Mendham, NJ wrote:

Breck's Wholesale cancelled two items in my order as "Out of Stock" nearly two weeks after I had placed my order. When I had placed the order, the items were shown as available, and were confirmed in an email. The same items were still available on the Breck's retail website (though one was sold out the next day), in smaller quantities and twice as expensive. Breck's benefited by canceling my wholesale order to sell the same items at retail. They offered to let me purchase the one item still available at the retail price. No thanks. This is a bad business practice, if not fraudulent. I will never order from Breck's again.

Negative deba114620
(1 review)
On Oct 28, 2013, deba114620 Rochester, NY wrote:

I ordered bulbs and mini garden furniture on my iPad using my debit card. I never received an email about the order and My account was never charged so I thought the order didn't go through. Several months later the bulbs and furniture came in the mail and they said I opened a credit account . I called three separate times as I never opened a credit account and I was confused about the amounts charged. I was on the phone for over an hour as they sent me from customer service to credit several times. They told me I made the order on the phone which I never did and that I told them I would pay for them later thereby opening a credit account. This never happened. So, I ended up paying $16.99 for four bulbs ( and since I don't have the catalog I can't dispute it but I NEVER would pay that much for 4 bulbs.) I returned the mini furniture and then they sent me a bill for 11.00+ shipping costs. I will never buy from Brecks or any associated company again. This is the worst customer service ever.

On Oct 28, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Nov 16, 2013 11:19 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

We appreciate your feedback. I apologize for the problems you had with our company. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and figure out what happened concerning your order."

Negative PapayalizaLiza
(3 reviews)
On Oct 19, 2013, PapayalizaLiza Lincolnville, ME wrote:

Posted on October 18, 2013, updated October 19, 2013
I've ordered from Breck's three times...and I never will again. Each time has been disappointing...the first order was for Allium 'Purple Sensation' which they advertised as 'Persian Blue' by markedly altering the color of the bloom in their catalog photo. The next order was for what they touted as 'the first black dahlia' and called Trebbiano. This turned out to be a new name for one of my old favorites Nuit d'Ete. (The tuber was over 10 dollars for ONE clump and performed poorly compared to the Nuit d'Etes I bought at my local discount store) Give me a break! It's not a new variety just because you decide to give it a new name! I just received my third order...three pathetically small roots of Papaver 'Royal Wedding'....shipped in a padded envelope...10 dollars shipping for a few ounces at most. Go elsewhere.

On October 19th, 2013, PapayalizaLiza added the following:

Just to note, although their prices are high, that is not the point here. The point is the company purposely misleads. Also, the poppy roots arrived October 18 for my zone 5 garden...much too small to stick in the garden and expect them to survive...I potted them up and put them in a cold frame to overwinter....we'll see if they make it.
On Oct 19, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Nov 16, 2013 11:34 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problems with your order. I checked on the Trebbiano and this is a new dahlia, the color of this one is black. I also checked the Nuit d'Ete and found the color of this one is a deep red. I apologize for any confusion. The allium can range in color from a dark purple to blue, the picture of the allium was not altered at all. The poppies you received can be planted at this time of year as long as the ground is not frozen. Keeping them in a cold frame will be fine but may set back the growing time in the spring since they will need to be replanted."

Negative marriedthepope
(2 reviews)
On Jul 14, 2013, marriedthepope Eau Claire, WI wrote:

Pulls the same stunts as the "other large company." Cancelled orders without notice and REAL bait and switch on their website. Disappointing to say the least. I won't be purchasing from them this fall. Customer support and good communication are really all it takes to keep my business. When you lie to me or try to be deceptive I WILL go somewhere else.

On Jul 14, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Jul 16, 2013 10:13 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

We appreciate you letting us know about the problems you had with your order. We would be happy to check into this for you and do what we can to correct the problem. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Negative cybergal
(1 review)
On Jun 26, 2013, cybergal Round Valley, CA wrote:

Just found out that the elephant ear collections we had ordered and paid for in advance over two months ago were cancelled without notification (no email, no phone call) two weeks ago. These bulbs are a major part of a special landscape design, all hardscape has been purchased dependent on using these elephant ears bulbs .... the yard is under construction .... contractors are waiting to add these bulbs ... and now I find out that Brecks doesn't have product and I was told doesn't intend on shipping these plants. While I was on the phone with the representative, I pulled up their website and they are still selling elephant ears. The representative informed me that although they were selling them and they showed available on their website, I shouldn't count on them being shipped. This is the first time I've ordered from Brecks, and it is totally unacceptable for a company to sell product they KNOW they do not have. At this point I'm waiting for a phone call to find out if they can source product for this landscape design ... however, this incident makes me wary to order from Brecks again. I work under tight deadlines and need to trust that a nursery will ship product as advertised on time and a good quality product. So far, I'm a very disappointed customer.

On Jun 26, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Jun 28, 2013 9:19 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

I apologize for the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check on this order."

Negative janetantrim
(1 review)
On Jun 8, 2013, janetantrim Shelton, WA wrote:

they send substitions ALL the time,, ive wasted a fortune on there stuff and ended up with something else... they say it right in there ordering info they WILL substitute,,,,if they are out of stock they will give you whatever they have closest to it NOT what you wanted in the first place,,,,

On Jun 8, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Jun 11, 2013 11:25 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

We appreciate you letting us know about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you."

Negative jdawn5
(2 reviews)
On Jun 8, 2013, jdawn5 Wadsworth, OH wrote:

I ordered a few grab bags a little while back and just found out by going to their website that they cancelled my order. They sent no email informing me of the cancellation. I would have been waiting for my items to arrive for a long time if I had not thought to check. What a disappointment. I was looking forward to trying the company's product. I think that the lack of notification speaks volumes of the customer service.

On Jun 8, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Jun 11, 2013 10:48 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. I apologize you were not notified of the cancellation. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Negative mpwifey
(2 reviews)
On Feb 26, 2013, mpwifey Colorado Springs, CO wrote:

I love the daffodils I got from Brecks. Unfortunately I had problems with my last two orders. I bought two midnight mystique hyacinths in 2011. The Arrived Nov that year. Ground was already frozen. Planted them anyway. They never came up spring 2012. most of my other bulbs I had ordered never came up either. but the were cheap wasn't worried about them, figured they just didn't like growing in high altitudes and dry weather of Colorado. The hyacinths were expensive and I know for a fact they grow well here. In March 2012 I placed and order that included 1 WILD HORSES REBLOOMING DAYLILY
Wild Horses reblooming day lily died. 2 of the 5 columbine died. but I figured 3 out of 5 lived so that's pretty good odd's. Hosta barely grew, but it did survive the summer. so I emailed them asking for replacements of the 2 Hyacinths and the Wild reblooming daylily . Never asked for replacements of the other bulbs or plants that didn't make it. My e-mail was ignored. I e-mailed again a month later. No reply. I e-mailed yet again early this month. Still no e-mail from them. So will no longer be ordering from them. They obviously have bad customer service and don't honor their guarantee. If you want to order daffodils from them then I recommend them. But If you want to order more expensive bulbs like there exclusive almost black hyacinth or if you are thinking of ordering non-bulb plants from them I definitely advise against it. I told them, the third time I e-mailed them, that if they didn't respond back to me I would be leaving a negative review about them on here. Guess whoever read my e-mails in customer service either didn't care or believe me. Who know maybe they have a major computer glitch and don't get a lot of the e-mails they are sent. Hopefully this will get their attention.

On Feb 26, 2013, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Feb 27, 2013 12:26 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your feedback and I apologize no one has replied to your emails. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you."

Negative jampinot
(1 review)
On Feb 20, 2013, jampinot Vancouver, WA wrote:

Posted on February 25, 2009, updated February 20, 2013
I am done ordering anything mail order from Brecks. I have ordered at least $1000 worth of merchandise over the last 3 years and generally have had to have the product reshipped because the product was bad when I received it. My first year I ordered 50 Mixed Perennial Tulips only to have all of them come up yellow. When I spoke with customer service they told me that is the risk you get when you order mixed. It is whatever they have leftover. They have been good at replacing moldy bulbs if I saved my receipts (I literally ordered so many that I can't always find the receipts. Last years anenome and freesia never came up. I ordered last year a collection of Lily Tree's that never shipped and when I inquired they said they ran out and to re-order next year. I was going to do this but the price was three times what the price was the previous year. I planted a few Lily Trees this past fall and I hope they come up or I will get my money back.. My last order was for Mixed Coral Bells. When I received them there was one that had the reddish brown leaves and the rest were green. The brown one was completely dried out and the green ones were damaged. They also arrived during a cold spell so I couldn't plant them. They said they would replace them. I waited and waited and nothing arrived. When I went online I found out that they are not shipping until next fall. That doesn't help me at all since the new landscape mound I have created was finished without their coral bells. If I cancel the order I will lose my shipping and there are a couple of other plants due this spring. I am holding my breath since I doubt they will show up in good condition. Their bulbs are good but their plants are bad. Getting replacements you have to wait until the next season which is too late for me since my gardens are planned in advance and look funny saving spots for the replacements. (Also, how do you hold spots for bulbs in a 1000 bulb garden)? If I ever plant bulb gardens again I may come back to Brecks but the savings on a mini plant isn't worth it. Buy it from a nursery or local store. Most have a year warranty for their products.

On April 3rd, 2009, jampinot added the following:

I was asked by a Manager who worked for Brecks what they could do for me to make me satisfied. I told them that they could cancel my current order that was on the books and refund my order or the Coral bells. I also said that they could ship me their Lily Tree Collection and replace the Garden Pleasure Trees that didnt come up. The manager said no problem. I received a check for the coral bells and the products I requested were placed on order. I just got an email telling me that the product I had cancelled was shipping a month late. I then went online to check the replacement order for the Lily trees and found out that it had been cancelled and I wasnt notified.

The first customer service person I spoke to couldn't find my order that is shipping a month late and I know will show up. They also said that the Lily Trees had been cancelled because they were out of season and even though they were cancelled they were shipped in the fall. I didnt believe him so I called another representative and told her that I could place an order now and get the same product. She told me that the orders that were placed were discontinued items and that is why they were cancelled and they wouldn't ship. I gave her the new sku numbers and she first told me that I couldn't have the new product because it was now more expensive according to their supervisor. I asked to speak to that supervisor. After waiting over 10 minutes on line the representative came back on line to say that they would place the order at the new price and will ship it to me now. The fact that these wont ship for 4 to 6 weeks will mean that they probably won't even grow and I will be doing this all over again in the fall.

Why can't Brecks hire some knowledgable people. The fact that I could order the product now and it would ship in 4 to 6 weeks after being told that it was cancelled in the first place because they can't ship Lily Trees in the spring means that he hasn't a clue as to when product ccan ship. He didn't even look online to find out that they were currently shipping the product. The fact that it took two supervisors to approve a replacement of $65 when I should have demanded a refund for the 10 sales orders I provided the manager with for product that didn't grow, arrived unsatisfactory or were only one color would have amounted to easily over $350.

I won't be ordering from Brecks ever again. I found Stargazer lilies at a garden store that were bigger and looked better for only $6.97 for 7 bulbs will send me back there. They also had all the ones availabe at Brecks along with two new ones I haven't seen at Brecks for the Oriental and Asiatic Lilies. I also bought some Hyacinths and Tulips for over half the price of Brecks at the same store and they out performed the Brecks product again for a fraction of the cost. I brought back my receipt for one package out of 12 that didn't perform as well as the others and was issued a credit immediately, not told they would reship it to me the following fall.

At least Springhill issued a check to me this year for product that shipped while there was a major snow storm in the midwest and it showed up dead.

I will never spend another dime at any online store selling plants or bulbs. The perennial plants that Brecks send for $10 as a 3 inch pot can be bought at Home depot full size (1 gallon) for $7.97.

My advice for those who are buying from any of these huge online stores is to check their local gardening centers and if they don't have what they like then get them from a local nursery or one in the states close to where you live. You should see the beautiful tuilips my neighbor bought from Skagit Valley (Mt. Vernon, Washington). They were the tallest and most beautiful tulips I have seen. I am going up there in April and to a show in Woodburn, Oregon to order my bulbs I can't find in my local stores or for those that Brecks claim to grow 24 inches(never happens) and are assorted colors (7 of one and one each of the other 3 or 5.
On February 20th, 2013, jampinot added the following:

Buyers beware.Brecks says that they guarantee their products for life. Not so. I asked to have some products replaced because after 2 or 3 years the bulbs stopped growing or ones I ordered the previous year and they only replaced some of the bulbs and cancelled the other replacement orders and sent a letter saying that they no longer wanted to do business with me because I ask them to replace too many of the products I buy. Never on their website do they say that they won't replace product if you ask them too much. I was buying $200+ per year and some of those products did well and didn't have to be replaced. I have found other growers I am going to try this year. I had several products that died this past year, a peony that was only 2 years old. I bought one from a local store that was large and half the price of the starter I got from Brecks that only had two flowers this year. I will be buying more locally. I found a Tree Lily farm a couple of miles from my home. Just beware that Brecks won't honor their guarantee if your product doesn't perform.
Negative Cougzone
(1 review)
On Dec 7, 2012, Cougzone Seattle, WA wrote:

I ordered bulbs from this company in the fall. I promptly sent a check to fully pay for my purchase. The check cleared my bank about 1 week later. Now Brecks keeps sending me notices that I am past due. I contacted the customer service department who requested that I fax them a copy of my cleared check, which I promptly did. I called 1 week later to confirm my account had been credited and was told "they are working on it". I asked what exactly that meant and they could not tell me. I asked for a supervisor who also could not provide me further details. I also questioned why it takes over 1 week to credit my account. The supervisor had no answer. This company has horrible customer service and I have yet to speak with a representative who has been helpful or willing to simply credit my account. THERE ARE LOTS OF BULB COMPANIES. IN THE FUTURE I WILL NEVER USE BRECKS AGAIN. TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE.

On Dec 7, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Jan 7, 2013 11:49 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

I apologize for the problems you are having with your account. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check on your account for you."

Negative mariasnoek
(1 review)
On Nov 8, 2012, mariasnoek Portland, OR wrote:

Received a package from Breck's. It happened to be a present from my sister, but was not told so by Breck's. The packing list contained 4 species of bulbs. One species was missing. The count of the bulbs was wrong in 2( 17 instead of 18 bulbs) of them and of the Narcissus Poetica ( 5 bulbs) one was so rotten and moldy that is was ready for the garbage-can. I hope you can open these photo's I took of them./Users/Mhecht/Desktop/DSCN2279.JPG/Users/Mhecht/Desktop/DSCN2282.JPG.
The above mentioned Cyclamen corms too( see Eva Hecht's complaint) were in such a terrible condition that the Better Business Bureau of Ohio was notified and I am still trying to contact the agricultural inspectors. Bulbs like these do not come from the Netherlands nor from Turkey like that. Phyto-sanitary inspections are strict and if Breck's sends out bulbs like this they are spreading diseases all over.
Sad but true!

On Nov 8, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Nov 13, 2012 11:02 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

We appreciate you taking the time to post and apologize that the bulbs were not in good shape. We would be happy to reship some new ones to you. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Negative TabCatter
(1 review)
On Oct 19, 2012, TabCatter Rutherford, NJ wrote:

Round 1: I selected about $150 worth of Fall delivery bulbs. When I went to check out, the website kept asking for the code data from the catalog the company had sent me in the Spring. I put the codes in four times -- and then it indicated that Special had expired. Why not say that the first time???
Then it refused to connect that data to my name, address, etc. that they obviously have on file. Why not?
After filling in all those data several times, the website kicked me out of check-out and back to the cart! That kind of action is not only frustrating, it is really suspicious. Is this a secure site -- or a phishing scam phony? I exited the site ASAP.
Round 2: Some automated software got in touch, supposedly Sharon from Customer Service, but the email address was generic, not person-specific, so I doubt there really is any such human at the other end of the missive. It warned me that my order would be put back into inventory if I didn't confirm it by a certain time. I was busy for a couple of days -- some of us have to earn the money to spend on our gardens....
Round 3: That led to daily reminders to complete my order. Although I sent a Customer comment, asking them to call me to sort this out, no one ever did. When I did give them another chance, and re-entered the shopping cart, two of the more valuable items were no longer available -- yet the emails had said they would be returned to inventory several hours after I tried. Are these products vaporware? Is this a bait-and-switch scam?
Round 4: I tried to connect to their wholesale site to replace the missing items with a bulk order, but they won't let one connect bulk and regular orders in the same cart. I'm not paying twice for shipping, so that one got canceled.
Round 5: So, I decide to just take the remaining items the cart said were still available. I plugged in the $25 discount code "Sharon" had sent as compensation for both the initial frustration, and my kindness in sharing the errors of the site with them.
And the price went UP by a $100!!!
I'm outa there! I think this is a scam company.

On Oct 19, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Oct 31, 2012 9:42 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the problems you had. One of our customer service representatives will contact you and work out your order with you."

Negative churace
(1 review)
On Sep 24, 2012, churace Somerville, MA wrote:

1.One Sep 9, I placed my first order, amounting to $131.47, on the phone with the Breck's representative, Anna, who confirmed the shipment will be made by last week of Sept. The shipment date is just right as I have to go aboard right after that so I can have time to do the planting.

2. I then received another shipment confirmation which will be made by Oct. 15 so I re-asked them about this. The 2 replies from Cindy and Jenny made me feel better as they confirmed by Sept again.

3. On Sep 21, Cathy informed me that the shipment will now be between 10.05.12 and 10.26.12. Something must be wrong about this.

I had to cancel this order with regret as I expected to do the planting before making a trip for many weeks.


On Sep 24, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Sep 25, 2012 10:37 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the confusion over when your order would ship. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and see what we can do."

Negative toneej
(1 review)
On Aug 17, 2012, toneej Idyllwild, CA wrote:

I ordered some fall planting bulbs and rhizomes on their website at the end of July and requested an earlier shipping window via comments.
The reason I requested a shipping window is Breck's bases the shipping date on your USDA hardiness zone, which in turn is based on your zip code. This may be accurate for a large part of the country, but is totally useless in the West, based on our micro-climates. To illustrate, my zip code places me in Zone 8, which is warm winters. I live in the San Jacinto mountains at an elevation of 6300 feet, which makes our effective hardiness zone around 5. The tentative shipping date assigned to Zone 8 according to Brecks is Oct 15 - Nov.1, at which point my ground has been frozen for a while and there is a good chance of snow on the ground. This is a common problem throughout the West. This is the reason why the gardening bible used here in the West (Sunset Gardening Book) has zones 1-24 plus two zones for Hawaii. In my case, Oct 15- Nov 1, we will have temperatures in Palm Springs (appx 12 airline miles away) in the 80's while I have temperatures 40 degrees and lower. We are both in Zone 8.
I received a confirmation email that was missing my order id, my name, my delivery address, when the items would be shipped, etc.. yesterday. I received an updated email today filling in the missing info and showing their estimated ship date.
I called and explained my problem and requested an earlier ship date since apparently no notice was made of the earlier ship date request . " Can't do it" the supervisor said, but if I wanted it LATER, that would be no problem. The zone always determines the shipping date, except if you want it later, in which case the zone doesn't matter. Apparently the zone only matters when Breck's says it matters.
I cancelled the order, re-ordered from Schreiners Iris and Holland Bulb Farms (at better prices I might add) and will be getting my bulbs and rhizomes in less than 10 days . Neither company is using an ordering system developed in the 90's like Breck's apparently is.
(I was told to expect my credit card refund in one day. We shall see.)

On Aug 17, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Aug 20, 2012 11:03 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We do ship accoring to the USDA

On Aug 20, 2012 11:06 AM, Breck's Bulbs added:

Thank you for your posting. We do ship according to the USDA but we also know there are other micro climates that need to be considered. I apologize for the confusion. We could send your order to the green house and ask that they ship sooner if the product is available. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information."

Negative brydas
(2 reviews)
On Jul 3, 2012, brydas Pensacola, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Placed original order(by mail) on 5/8/12 for $53.31.Sent check on 5/21/12. Got a better offer from them so cancelled 1st one & made a 2nd one. They told me they had charged me ($9.95) for the 1st CANCELLED order as they were"unable" to refund the S&H.My case:the order was CANCELLED & not even due to be shipped out 'til Oct/Nov-neither shipped nor handled 'til then. Asked 4x for them to send me a copy of the "policy" stating they were"unable........". Never got one. Been fighting with them since 5/8-----30-45 e-mails, 3 phonecalls, 5 e-mails from parent co.(garden's alive, no more help than Breck's people). I find them to be conniving, underhanded, dishonest, incompetent, misinformed & unknowledgable. Have documentation ready to go to the Atty.Gen, Angie's list, the Watchdog & the BBB.

On Jul 3, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Jul 16, 2012 1:28 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We will be happy to get this taken care of for you. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and get this taken care of. We apologize for all the trouble."

Negative wufflespring
(12 reviews)
On May 30, 2012, wufflespring Yoder, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Posted on April 5, 2012, updated May 30, 2012
Maybe this might seem unfair to post a review on freebies - but I'm doing it. I rec'd an email giving me $25 free from this company so I figured I'm not out any money should things not turn out well. I figured if all went well with the freebies, I could order from Breck's without worry in the future.

I chose to spend the money on Blue Star Dahlias as my daughter was quite impressed with the photo in the catalog. First and foremost, these took 2 full months to arrive. Certain things ship certain times, I get that. But I got a shipping confirmation 3 weeks after ordering and was told to expect them during a 3 day range in early march. About mid March, I realized they'd never arrived, so I checked their 'shipping status' thing, and found they were scheduled to arrive in early April. Ugh - so why did I get shipping CONFIRMATION more than a month earlier telling me to expect them in March?

My Blue Star Dahlias arrived today. They are not dormant. They are dead. Oh I'm still going through the motions of putting them in soil, but I'm not holding my breath. I've been gardening for a very long time and I know dead, I know the smell of death, these poor buggers are dead.

If, by some freak of nature, these things actually sprout and grow, I will be sure to update this review. But I can say I will never spend actual money at this company.

On May 30th, 2012, wufflespring added the following:

Quote: Thank you for your posting. Our bulbs ship from Holland and can take 3-4 weeks to arrive once they are shipped. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you.

My main point was that I was sent an email, telling me that my order had been shipped TO ME. As in, it's on it's way. And then weeks later, I find out it never did actually ship but would soon. MY PROBLEM with that is: DON'T TELL ME YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING UNTIL YOU HAVE ACTUALLY DONE IT! I don't MIND waiting. But don't lie and tell me to expect something nearly a month before you actually mail it to me. I have to drive 5 miles one way up a very bumpy dirt road to get to my mailbox. When I am expecting a package, I check mail DAILY. When I'm NOT, I check mail weekly. So during that period, I was checking mail every day for something that was NEVER shipped.
On May 30, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

"On Apr 9, 2012 3:00 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:

Thank you for your posting. Our bulbs ship from Holland and can take 3-4 weeks to arrive once they are shipped. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you."

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