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.
A promise for a refund was made by Brecks customer service.
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.
I ordered about 200 lily bulbs from VanFleur.ca 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 breckwholesale.ca, 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!
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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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."
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
1 FRAGRANT FIRE HOSTA
1 GIANT COLUMBINE MIXTURE.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
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:
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."
On Apr 26, 2012, idahosteve Twin Falls, ID (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have been trying to get a replacement order for the one that died last year due to late shipping and poor plant quality. I have contacted customer service several times but they will not even respond back to me. I do have a replacement certificate that they sent to me but when I try to use it I get kicked out of there online ordering site. So I guess I have a worthless piece of paper for my money. Way to go Brecks.
I have received some things from this company usually small. That is ok. But this time I ordered a Heuchera Caramel plant. It is a plant not a tuber. Well what I received was something painful to look at. I am growing plants now from seed. What I saw was a plant barely starting to grow. Few very small green stubs was sticking out in the soil. Barely starting I paid $16.49 for a plant that was barely beginning. I was so disappointed I was so looking forward to at least seeing a few leaves of this plant when I received this. I repotted this plant but now I don't even see anything in the pot. I will never buy another plant from this company that they call a plant. Tubers are fine. But when I buy a plant from a company I expect to see a plant. I don't mind small but this so called plant was nothing but the very beginnings of a plant. For 16.49 I deserved something more.
I do not want to hear from Brecks customer service. I have placed several orders from Brecks over the years for bulbs and I never had a problem until 2010. I ordered roots this time and when I opened the box it was very musty smelling, sort of like the smell of rotting leaves in a forest. I wasn't sure if that was normal or that they were moldy but since I didn't see any mold I decided I'd plant them anyway. I followed the directions in planting them, and nothing, absolutely nothing was healthy or came to be an actual plant from that order. I have 1 lily that survived from that order but never flowered and now in year 2 the leaves look pathetic compared to the other lilies around it that I purchased elsewhere. Anyhow, I pursued a refund from Brecks, on only those plants that didn't become a plant at all, which was granted. I then ordered a bunch of bulbs mid summer to plant in the fall. I received only a quarter of my order in October and was sent a notice in November that the rest of the bulbs were out of stock. My response to that...."Seriously?" Toward the end of the planting season they inform me of this, at a time when nurseries are no longer selling what I want?
This is not good customer service. My order for these bulbs was placed early enough for them to contact me about a replacement and they must have known, earlier than November, that they were out of stock. I believe that customers who don't make use of the "lifetime guarantee" are those that get priority shipping of items but once you have a problem with your order, you are flagged as a 2nd rate customer. Other customers state they have been sent letters banning them from ordering again, because of complaints, and I believe this to be true. I feel it's a waste of my time to place an order from them again. I'll be going to the nursery.
On Mar 25, 2012, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Mar 27, 2012 1:07 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. We apologize for the confusion. We appreciate each and everyone of our customers and would not flag a customer as 2nd rate, or ban them from placing an order due to complaints. If ever a customer's return rate is 80% or higher, we determine at that time that our company's products are not a good match for them. We regret that we are not successful in satisfying all of our customer's needs. However, we do strive for 100% customer satisfaction, and in most cases, achieve it. This can be evident by our devoted customers who purchase year after year from us and by the many testimonials we receive from them."
On Dec 21, 2011, Barbara777 Larkfield-Wikiup, CA wrote:
On 12/14/11 I ordered 6 "Kris Kringle" tulips for gifts at Christmas. I called on 12/20/11 to find out the shipping information and was told that they would not ship until 2012. They had run out of the product and not notified me. Their customer service was terrible, only offer was to sell me another product at twice the price. I found out that they use a third party customer service call center, you can't actually talk to someone at Breck's that might care. I have used Brecks.com for years but will never order from them again.
On Dec 21, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Dec 30, 2011 9:43 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problems you experienced with our call center and your order. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and to rectify this for you."
I also received a letter stating that I was no longer able to order from this company again. I was so upset that I called and spoke to rude customer service people who informed me that getting such a letter means that I also cannot order from their other companies as well. These include Springhill, Gardens Alive, Gurney and Henry Fields. I have been purchasing from these companies for years. I have a very large yard and spend thousands of dollars every year so my yard can be used for charity events. I do not believe these companies should offer lifetime guarantees if they are not going to honor them. In fact, the main problem that I have had in recent years is that they do not send what I order. For example, shrub lilies should not be 4' tall, shrub apricot roses should not be 3' tall, white feather hostas come out and stay pure green. I also get upset when I order a specific color and they substitute without asking first. If I wanted the color they sent me...I would have ordered it. Another problem they have is their timing. I live in the northeast and get items sent to me in March. When I call...I am told to keep them in the refrigerator. After weeks (or until the correct planting time), they are starting to form mold or getting mushy. I suppose this is my fault as well. I feel their letter was very degrading to a long time, loyal customer. The only saving grace is that there are many other companies to order from. I do not recommend using any of the companies I mentioned above.
On Sep 5, 2011, Snowbabymama Custer City, PA wrote:
After ordering from Breck's for a number of years, I received a letter stating that since a majority of my purchases have been reshipped, replaced, etc., that "our products are not a good match to your needs." They will not process any further orders; they have canceled my pending orders (which I have ordered months ago and paid for in advance; and my reshipments have been cancelled -money to be refunded. This is all in spite of and contrary to their "lifetime guarantee" which has no exclusions. My fail rate on my bulbs and plants were unusual this year because of our extraordinary harsh winter and spring flood rains - collections were lost. I only seek replacement for plants that fail within the first year; after that it is my loss. I had made a new garden area last year, prompting orders (which needed replaced), and I also placed new orders because I decided to increase the number of plants. I now have a this empty garden bed and all my orders (replacement or otherwise) have been canceled. They are banning me from ordering and won't provide me with the replacement plants under their guarantee of "full refund or replacement, whichever you prefer." Now I must scramble to try to place a new order with a competitor this late in the season.
On Aug 20, 2011, OceansEdge Conception Bay South Canada wrote:
Posted on August 19, 2011, updated August 20, 2011
Posted on August 19, 2011, updated August 19, 2011
I tried earlier this week to place a simple 3 item order, using the relevant coupon (expiring today) through the Canadian website http://www.brecksbulbs.ca and discovered that their check out is well broken. It simply would not take me to the 'shipping and billing' area. The help' information on the website does not actually reflect the process used for order and checkout so I sent an email to 'support' after getting an unitelligable (garbledygook) response I finally got an email from 'Shannon' saying they'd passed my note on to the web people and if I'd like I could go back to the website and place the order or call the 1-800 number.
I went back to the website, yesterday and today, and the check out is still broken so I tried faxing the order to the fax number listed on the order form. No answer.
So I sent another email detailing my frustrations - really this isn't a good impression to leave a first time customer with.
I got exactly the SAME email form letter response from 'Shannon', so indeed I indicated to them that sending me canned email form letter responses designed to look like they came from a real person doesn't make me any happier.
I got another email back suggesting I could "send your check or money order on our mailing address" OR "You can place your order through our website(www.brecksbulbs.ca) " I mean - REALLY? am I dealing with an overseas call/order processing/customer service group? Because whomever "Shannon" is she really doesn't seem to be getting the gist of the problem. The order coupon expires today mailing it won't arrive in time, the website checkout bloody well doesn't work! The fax line isn't picking up the phone and in all honesty after all this the last thing I want to do is talk to an overseas call centre to place a credit card order.
Enough already. You lost my business before you ever had it.
On August 19th, 2011, OceansEdge added the following:
There are reasons why I rely on web and fax for mail ordering, I don't do phone orders.
While I do understand that occasionally one can have problems with their website, surely it isn't terribly difficult to see that your fax machine answers the phone?On August 20th, 2011, OceansEdge added the following:
I was finally able to place the order through a different computer and sending the order as a 'guest', rather from being logged in. (my computer automatically logs me into my accounts on various websites).
I really do think that your support team needs to learn how to be more helpful than simply suggesting people return to the website (if it didn't work this time why would that suddenly change next time) or calling - if I could call you, I would have when I first had the problem.\
Hopefully there won't be any difficulties with the order itself.On Aug 20, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Aug 19, 2011 11:38 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Vicky, we apologize for the trouble you have had trying to place your order. A customer service representative will contact you and place your order for you if you like. We will still honor your coupon. We have contacted our IT department to have our website checked out. We also have an 800 number you could call if you would prefer and they can take your order as well. Our number is 800-644-5505.
I placed an order from Brecks on April 19th for three items. They shipped one item promptly, another item some time later and I have been waiting two months now for the final item which was important to my spring planting plans (final item had a count of 5). I finally call Brecks on Monday of this week (after calling a few times over the last couple of months) to understand why the ship date has been pushed back multiple times and was now estimated as late as the last couple weeks of July?! That is nearly THREE months after the order. They told me how bad the season was in Ohio this year due to bad weather but that they were putting a 'rush' on my order - I thought their product came direct from Holland??? This is misleading at best. But it gets better...I went online this morning and noted they cancelled my order for the final item I have been waiting two months for. No email, no call and when I called them they said they are only returning a fraction of my total amount for the full order. Doesn't make any sense at all and on top of that their 'sister company', Michigan Bulb, did the same thing in canceling part of an order I just place about 10 days ago. This experience, coupled with the refund I had to request on my items from last fall due to them not coming up this spring was the end of it for me with Brecks and all their affiliates. I wanted to share this with the Dave's community (I rarely, if ever, post negative about a company) but this one is comical at best. Urgh - off to the local store to buy my items (probably should have done that from the get-go).
On Jun 15, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Jun 16, 2011 9:29 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information. We will do whatever we can to make sure you are taken care of. We apologize for any inconvenience."
Posted on June 6, 2011, updated June 14, 2011
I had oredred a couple of grab bags fromt hem 3 years back. The following year a few plants came back and so I asked them to send only one grab baga s replacement since thignswerent as bad. 2 years gone adn now only a few shamcrock bulbs and one dahlia and the lily tree (some bulbs) survived. I caled them this eyar to complain and requested ar eplacement. A very rude lady told me that they cannot keep shipping me free plants every time ( i asked for it only once so far). She said that she can give me a credit for future use that I CANNOT use for grab bags. It can only be used for phone order (not online). I said that is not fair adn then she said that if I ask for replacement then she threated to close my account and not let me order ever again. I did like the plants especailly the dahlia collection I received as part of my grab bag, the poppy anmonie, dutch glads, peacocks and many more but nothing survived. So basically it is like I spent my money to have those plants just for one season and not really perennials :(
On June 14th, 2011, loveforplants added the following:
I did get an email from brecks and I responded to itbut they havent gotten back to me after I provided them with the information that they askedOn Jun 14, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Jun 6, 2011 3:57 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the rudeness of our agent. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and take care of this for you."
I ordered the Mixed Grab Bag on 4/28/11 and the shipping date was between 5/6 through 5/9. On 5/8 they moved it back a week - since then it moves back every day with it now being moved out to 5/31 through 6/14 (with it moving backwards still). Calls provide no clarity and I was told that boats move slow from Holland. It is getting to be too late in the year to even plant many of the bulbs I will be getting. This is a very, very bad experience - please avoid.
On May 24, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 24, 2011 12:23 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
We appreciate you letting us know about the problem wth your order. We will have a customer service representative contact you for your account information and check into the delivery of your order."
I placed an order using a $25 coupon. As required, I paid the balance of the order with a credit card. Plants arrived in the fall and by the next spring they were blooming nicely. End of story? Not quite yet. Fast forward to the call from a collection agency claiming I somehow own money from a COD order. A quick call to Brecks (aka Gardens Alive) and they confirmed they failed to apply the coupon in full. It took them 2 minutes to figure out where they made the mistake. It is now nearly a month later and I still get calls from the collection agency despite attempting to follow-up with the company 1/2 dozen times. They have written nice letters (to me) stating that they have cleared this up, but the collection agency still says my account is not cleared. So if you order from this company, realize you may end up having your account go to a collection agency after they misapply a coupon. Good luck.
On May 13, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 16, 2011 10:43 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problems you are having with your account. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and take care of this for you.
On Apr 30, 2011, beckytheother Saint Paul, MN (Zone 5a) wrote:
Generally, I have been pleased by my experiences with this company. My perspective changed after I requested via email that an order I had placed be canceled. I was advised this was not possible as the order as "'unable to cancel your order since your order has been processed and ready to ship" by a gentleman by the name of Patrick. I do not understand how the order cannot be canceled if it has not shipped. I am very disappointed in their service. I am at present doubtful that I will place another order with this company.
On Apr 30, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 5, 2011 3:51 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
We apologize for the problem with your order. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and take care of this for you."
Today I was trying to call in an order using my credit memo that was sent to me after something I ordered was out of stock. It was for $7.99 and I wanted to replace it with something that was $6.99. Seems simple enough to me. I had my account number, the keycode (for sale price) and the notecard/replacement number all on hand and was happy to give any information even when asked mulitple times. The rep was polite enough but kept having me repeat numbers and putting me on hold. Finally after 35 minutes he told me that my total would be $7.41. When I asked him for what he said shipping. When I said that isn't what customer service had told me before I was put on hold again. In the end I have my order completed but it took 45 minutes! I asked that he please transfer me to a supervisor who only told me that he was new and that she was sorry but couldn't do anything. I understand someone being new but you expect people to waste 45 minutes on their cell phones just trying to replace something they already paid for? I am beyond unhappy at this point.
On Mar 3, 2011, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Mar 7, 2011 3:07 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
I apologize for the problems you had while trying to place your order. It should not have taken that amount of time to place your order. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information to research this further. Thank you for contacting us regarding this problem. Providing excellent customer service is our highest priority."
I've ordered for a couple of years from Breck's. Biggest complaint is that their shipping is horrendously slow. often it takes 2 months..while you wait they string you along with emails like "your shipment is getting prepared in Holland" and "your shipment is in customs and will take 10 days to clear" etc. Maybe it's true, maybe not, but who wants to wait forever for their bulbs. There are better companies out there who are more responsive to feedback and who sell better product at cheaper prices.
On Oct 27, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2010 9:41 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. Your comments are appreciated and are used to better service our customers. Our shipping has greatly improved from previous seasons. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information.
On Sep 30, 2010, GuyInTheField Cranbury, NJ wrote:
Posted on September 30, 2010, updated September 30, 2010
I have been dumped by Breck's. I found this out when I received a letter from Michigan Bulb (affiliated company). The bulbs never performed well. And, despite what information these companies may tell you, I found the bulbs I bought at Wal-mart last year to be far superior to the Breck's, at a much lesser cost. And, when 3 of 6 Helenium plants did not grow, Brecks sent me 15 replacements in total. None of those plants even grew, and the 3 that grew last year did not return this year. Can you imagine? I don't know why these companies bother. I can say that they've refunded most of my money now, and if I've missed any, I hope they refund the rest. They do offer a guarantee - but if you ask them to replace too much - they get rid of you - even if it was they who did not send quality products. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee or refund for the soil and pots I had to purchase or for my time and efforts.
On September 30th, 2010, GuyInTheField added the following:
I forgot to add my Breck's account number 01084102On Sep 30, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Oct 6, 2010 2:13 PM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for feedback concerning the problems you have had with your orders. We regret that we have been unsuccessful in satisfying your gardening needs. We do strive for 100% customer satisfaction, and in most cases, achieve it. A customer service representative will be contacting you and check into your account for you."
I received 2 emails from Breck's on separate days, with an offer for a "Lily Grab Bag" (for spring shipment) and a "Tulip Grab Bag" (for fall shipment) because they said they had too much inventory.
I purchased both. I received the Lily Grab Bag. But, I was sent an email several days later that the Tulip Grab Bag was no longer available because it was sold out, even though I ordered it the same day I received the email.
What is really going on here? How is it possible that they sold out, after I already placed a timely order?
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 to see what happened to the Tulip Grab Bag."
After spending over $100.00 with Brecks dating back to 2004 I finally got it that some of the bulbs were never going to grow. I called the company today and was told that because an order(1of many) had been sent to collections that it voided the gaurantee on ALL of my orders. I asked to speak to a supervisor, got one on the phone and she just repeated the same thing the other lady had told me. She also offered to give me the phone # to the collection folks. I asked her if that would get me satisfaction and was told NO. I get that the gaurantee would be voided on that particular order, however it should not void the gaurantee on all previous orders as they were paid for by credit card or a check BEFORE the bulbs were sent to me. I will not do business with this company again nor will I recommend them to anyone that I would like to keep as a friend.
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 to check into your account."
Posted on June 9, 2010, updated June 11, 2010
Breck's canceled my order of lily grab bags because they said the offer was too popular and their shipping schedule had ended. However, the grab bag is still on sale... (Albeit for the non promotional price)...
On June 11th, 2010, jack_mcdowell added the following:
Still nothing...On Jun 11, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On Jun 10, 2010 7:46 AM, 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 help with your order."
On May 26, 2010, indianafanatic Noblesville, IN wrote:
Posted on May 21, 2010, updated May 26, 2010
I ordered 2 bags of mixed bulbs on April 30, 2010. At that time, delivery estimate was May 11th through May 15th. Since my original order, the delivery estimate has been pushed back on 5 seperate occasions, with the latest being May 28th through June 11th.
This order was placed with the expectation that Breck's would deliver the bulbs by the 15th of May. When I contactedtheir "customer service" department on May 17th, I was told that the order had been printed and could not be cancelled; that I would have to wait for my order to arrive before I could cancel it. Even according to their own website, my order has STILL NOT SHIPPED, and it is now May 21st.
The only thing that Breck's is able to do or say is, "I'm sorry for your inconvenience". Now, I have 0 bulbs, $0 back from Breck's, plus I've had to buy new presents for Mother's Day.
I cannot begin to descibe my frustration with this company and I am telling everyone I know to stay clear of Breck's!!!
On May 26th, 2010, indianafanatic added the following:
Thanks for inquiring about my order. At this point, however, there isn't anything to be done to make this customer happy; certainly nothing Breck's is willing to do in an expedient manner.
Try to follow your company's logic when giving me information about my order:
In an email dated May 22nd, Breck's said that my order shipped on May 21st, and that I should allow 5-7 business days for it to be delivered. That email gave me a UPS tracking number that says billing information was received on May 11th, and no other information is available about the shipment. Today, May 26th, Breck's own website says that the delivery estimate for my order is between May 15th and May 17th. Did I happen to mention that I still don't have any bulbs or refund of my money?
Can you please explain how your customers are supposed to have any clue about what is happening with their orders when they are given information like this? The only thing I want at this point is my money that I paid for the order, and I even have to "wait 2-3 weeks for check processing" before I get that!
Were you in MY shoes, what opinion of Breck's would YOU have? On May 26, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 24, 2010 11:56 AM, 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."
I think maybe I should be neutral because I have never contacted this company to check on my order. They sent me a coupon for free merchandise in April, which I immediately used. I ended up only paying about$10.00 for the foxglove, lupines, and can't even remember what else. The check was never cashed and hopefully it won't be, because planting season is over here. I am not a fall planter so I really don't want anything to arrive in the fall and if it does it will be returned to sender unopened.
On May 22, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 24, 2010 12:01 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 to check on your order for you."
Stay away from them! All sweetness and light on the outside, and a mass of mixed up, UNRELIABLE, non-professionals on the inside! Fortunately, they had not yet taken the just about $ 250.00 from my credit card. I had to cancel the large order, although I really loved their beautiful catalog and website, and the staff is nice and polite. I ordered ALL SPRING bulbs on April 21st, 2010, and as of today, May 22nd, 2010, I have not yet received any of them, even though I was told by a pleasant woman in Customer Service that they would ship on May 12th. She had said that the reason I had to wait a long time was that I ordered a lot of items!! Today, I spoke with three men in Customer Service Department: two regular staff and one alleged supervisor. The first two said I would get my SPRING order in early June, however, the supervisor said "You missed the deadline yesterday (Friday)!" Can you imagine? I MISSED THE DEADLINE???? (What deadline??) I ordered on April 21st. They admit that. I think that my order slipped between their very large cracks; I am not the only one this happened to either, he said. I wanted to plant SPRING bulbs and not any fall bulbs in the fall. This is outrageous "service". For decades I have ordered online from Saks to cheap places. I have never waited this long for any order. And....the order was not going to come until ??????????? What a nightmare of annoying, futile, stupid waiting, unnecessary phone calls, and maddening misinformation. (How do they stay in business???????)
On May 22, 2010, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
"On May 24, 2010 11:59 AM, Breck's Bulbs responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to post. We appreciate the feedback to better serve our customers. We apologize for the problems you have had with your order. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information."