Posted on May 20, 2012, updated March 22, 2013
I'm new to Dave's Garden and really happy to be here. In fact, it's a shame that I wasn't on here to read about gurney's before even placing an order with them.
I found it odd that a company would give steep discounts and play advertisement tricks like "claim your $100 free gift" only to have it actually be a 50% discount in reality.
Anyway, let me cut to the chase. I placed two orders with Gurney's and called back once to reduce an order. An employee decided to combine two orders or give an improper discount, I don't know...the point was, I was basically given a full refund and still had the plants shipped out to me.
I called back immediately after seeing that a full refund was issued and had them correct it (or I suppose) only to go through 3 different workers who were all lost?
They told me to purchase more items to correct discount rate and they did that by applying an over-ride refund.
So, I get my plants and seeds (strawberries, raspberries, trees etc and so many seeds I can't count) and half my strawberries are dying.. some are missing, but I thought w/e I have like 100 strawberries who cares if 10-20 go missing.
Then I got a shipment of grapes and some of those were missing.
Then I got a letter from gurney's telling me to pay some 45-50 dollars within 14 or 30 days or else I'd be reported promptly to collections.
I call and ask why this letter was sent to me. The same person who "corrected" the original issue turned out to be the supervisor and she told me that I had to pay it because they "over refunded me".
I'm not a guy to take anything for free, proof in the fact that I called and told them I'm getting over 100dollars back plus 200dollars worth of plants.
If I wanted, I could've ignored it and let it be, but I didn't.
The story doesn't seem to end does it? No.. there's more.
Gurney's then sends me a $6.40 check for "over charging me" and I haven't cashed it.
Now, 90% or more of my strawberries are dead and what's left is in the process of dying for some reason.
One of my raspberries didn't even want to grow a new cane or a leaf.
most of my seeds died after sprouting having a maximum 3 week life period.
The only things living are basically my trees and my canes and my grapes.
I've emailed them multiple times to get my things replaced and no response.
Due to all this, I was forced to go out and buy plants from a greenhouse and fork out more money and guess what, none of them were gurney's it was another popular company that I wont adv for free here, but all those are doing good.
Why gurney's, do you send out bad products, lie to your customers, and have bad customer service?
On March 22nd, 2013, PlanterJoe added the following:
A Gurney's customer service rep called me last year when I made the original post and claimed they would send me replacement plants. Also, I should mention I placed orders for garlic and still haven't received them after 1 entire year.
Anyway, so I think "wow, gurney's is sincerely trying to improve their customer service" she explains to me how she will replace the strawberry plants. Mind you 10-20 went missing originally and of the 80/90 plants I got only 10% of them survived.
Only ONE of each kind of strawberry was sent.
LOL this is a joke.
P.S. Please moderate the simply false comments on here with "great" reviews and odd screen names. Something seems fishy here. If any company needs to survive it's based on good product, customer service and honesty, NOT bad products, customer service and deception!!On Mar 22, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We appreciate your post. We apologize for the problems and that no one has gotten back to you. One of our customer service representative will contact you for your account information and have this taken care of."
On Mar 20, 2013, chellelouise Laingsburg, MI wrote:
I also received the email for the $4.99 Goldrush apples trees. Even though we ended up placing our order online we actually spoke with a customer service rep. who never mentioned that the deal was only for one tree, this also did not some up as we placed our order online for 4 trees and paid the $20.00 for the trees. A few weeks later we received a postcard stating that our order was cancelled because of a lack of inventory and that we were to be reimbursed. Although I was disappointed and a little miffed that I wasn't able to get the trees it wasn't until the next day when I received a email stating that one Goldrush apple tree was shipping that things started to go down hill. At this point I didn't want any of the trees since I needed more than one apple tree and didn't want to order anything else from Gurney's so I called to cancel the one apple tree I was still scheduled to get, I was told that I could not cancel because it was already being processed. When I asked how it was possible that the other three trees in my order were out of stock but they happened to have one left to send me I was told that there was a limit on this special and I should've only been able to order one tree. I expressed my feeling of frustration that if the special was only for one tree then I sould've only been able to order one tree at this price and that this information was not clearly presented on the email that advertised the offer. The representative was not sympathetic or even apologetic over the "fluke" in their software. I again asked to have the order cancel and was again denied. I then was transferred to a supervisor in India and he finally agreed to refund all my money although it will have to be after the tree has shipped. I'm not holding my breath that this will really be refunded but hnestly I don't have the energy to go another round with this company, they can have my five dollars but I will never give them a penny more. Horrible customer service with no quality control or intergrity!
On Mar 20, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you and check on your account and make sure everything is taken care of. I apologize for the inconvenience."
On Mar 18, 2013, lisaq1965 Salt Lake City, UT wrote:
My partner and I are excited to be having a garden this year, our first :-)
I have used this company before. It was years ago and very satisfactory.
Not this time. From the moment they answered the phone things went wrong.
The agent was hard to understand. Apparently we were also hard to understand. After giving our name and spelling it (5 times), she decided that Emily Stevens was really
We ordered three kinds of potatoes, asparagus and some grass seed. Our agent did not verify any of this. We did. We did her job not knowing that our order was going to Larry Stewart.
When we received our confirmation email telling us our order had shipped to Larry we contacted the company and asked for a supervisor. Richard the supervisor was very nice. He apologized profusely for the mistake his agent made and also for the fact that our order, now shipped to the wrong person, could not be rerouted.
Richard the supervisor replaced our order and assured us over and over that we would not be re-billed, having already paid for the order messed up by the initial agent.
That was on 3/13/13
Last night, 3/17, we wanted to check the progress of or order.
It was on hold for payment due...
Again we called customer service and asked for a supervisor. By some sort of coincidence, we got Richard. He remembered speaking to us and was again very apologetic for dropping the ball. We subsequently have canceled our our order and requested a refund for our original order that is still on it's way to Larry Stewart.
We have decided not to deal with Gurney's. The biggest reason is because the company is based in the United States (a good thing) but their customer service is outsourced. We believe this whole problem could have been avoided had the original agent been more fluent or better trained. It just seemed that she either couldn't understand that we were Emily Stevens. Not Larry Stewart. The only similarity in those two names is the corresponding zip code.
Posted on March 6, 2013, updated March 15, 2013
About 10 days ago I received an email special from Gurney's offering Gold Rush apple trees at $4.99 each. There was no limit in the email & when I went to the site to check it out there was no limit posted online either. I ordered two & was so happy.
This was my first order with Gurney's so before I ordered everything for my garden I wanted to see how this purchase panned out. I am SO glad I waited.
One week later I received an email telling me that I had ordered more than the limit of one tree. I sent an email back because there was never a limit shown. They responded - to my long dead father in law, who has never been on my account or lived at my address. They apologized & stated that they would fix my account & send me a credit - which was nice. I was still irritated, but at least I was getting one tree.
The next day I received an email that they are out of stock & I will not be receiving anything. That email was also directed to my dead father in law. When I responded I got an automatically generated email (again) stating that I was limited to one tree.... except that I am not getting ANY trees because they cancelled my whole order - which was what my email was about. Clearly they didn't bother to read it - again.
I am disgusted with their business practices & don't have any idea how they stay in business if this is how they treat their customers.
On March 15th, 2013, JenMagdech added the following:
After I left this comment, I called Gurney's customer service center to make sure they refunded my money. I was informed that the email saying I was getting no trees was mistaken & that I am in fact getting a tree in April or May. Depending on what happens in April or May I may change my rating to Neutral. On Mar 15, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I have ordered from gurneys yearly for four years. Whenever a product doesn't live they always replace it with no cost to me( no shipping charges or anything) I have only had two plants not make it in all that I have ordered. And I have ordered a lot. They are excellent in their shipping lengths especially if you order early and always have great sale coupons. Their catalogs are accurate and they always send what they advertise. Great company! I will continue to order lifelong from this company. I love that they are so errorless they are able to offer a lifetime gaurentee on their products.
On Mar 5, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Last year I ordered some nursery stock from Gurney's. I ordered bush cherries (which came in a group of 3) and aronia (a native berry bush). The plants looked healthy when received, and grew well initially although I may have lost 2 bush cherries after the Summer's drought. I also ordered deeply discounted late season 3 gooseberries and 4 aronias. I was only shipped two gooseberries, but the (overseas) call center refunded the cost of the missing gooseberrry without hassle. Unfortunately, neither one of the gooseberries appeared to have made it (likely due to the drought), but the aronia did fine (even one I accidently mowed down). This year, I ordered more bush cherries and some currants when they had their 50% off 1 day sale. Overall, I don't expect 100% yield on mail order nursery stock, especially when it's low cost, so my persepctive is generally positive.
On Mar 2, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
My wife and have been receiving emails from Gurneys for over two years, three days ago we wrote our first order...........do we regret it now.
We received an email right after we ordered saying there was a problem processing the card, no big deal there is more protection online now with some cards. I checked my bank account and the money was taken out of my bank. I waited until the next day when they "open for business", their call center overseas is always open, silly me. I spoke to some man, gave him my credit card info again, he said it was all set.
Since this phone call I have received five emails saying there was a problem, one email from "Charlie" in customer service saying everything was ok followed an hour later with a phone call saying there was a problem processing my credit card and the order was on hold. I HAD TO CANCEL MY ORDER before I exploded. I can't imagine trying to receive an order or doing warranty issues with Gurneys, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BUSINESS.
On Feb 23, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to let us know about the problems you had with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you so they can check into what exactly happened and let you know."
Have dealt with this company on and off for years. Customer service went through an awful period (reps that knew nothing about plants and/or were not english-speaking) but the last time we talked to them the rep was one of the most expert gardeners I've met and offered great tips for success. Anyway, had to write about the flat wonderful peach. We planted one in 2011 and almost killed it (our fault - Spring was too wet and we should've planted it in a container first, not directly in the ground) Somehow it survived that year and came back last year and went nuts. It's huge and a gorgeous tree. Didn't fruit last year, but we lost all our fruit to the March warmth/April freeze. Can't wait till this year - weather permitting - to see what this tree gives us. If we had it to do all over again I'd plant just these flat wonderfuls instead of all our other peaches! Buy this tree!!!!
On Feb 19, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On Jan 4, 2013, lostinthejungle College Station, TX wrote:
I use the coupon for ordering seeds one to two times a year, and have done this for many years. I start my seeds indoors in winter and transplant in the spring, and then repeat in the summer for fall planting in a quarter acre area.
I order many varieties of vegetable seeds and have never had problems. I've ordered mixtures and hybrids of veggies as well and have been pleased with the variety I've received in each package. As far as seed counts go, Gurney's has never shorted me on seeds - when a package says 25, I usually find 30 or more in the package.
It is worth mentioning that I've had excellent luck with their artichoke seeds. All germinated at 100% without any special planting methods or soaking before hand - all have grown into lovely (and large) plants.
I have ordered bareroots/live plants from time to time and have never had a loss. Many of the perennials exceeded my expectations by the second spring. However I prefer to buy my live plants locally because I personally don't like to wait for plants to be sent to me only at certain times of the year. That is just my personal gardening preference.
For anyone wanting to plant vegetable seed in large volume for personal consumption or canning, you will not be disappointed in the germination rate with Gurney seeds. The bareroot plants they send are young and just starting out - perfect for transplanting (once you understand the special care that goes into planting/growing plants from bareroot).
I've always received seeds within 7-10 business days of ordering with only one package of eggplant being backordered in all of the years I've been shopping at Gurney's. I've learned that live plants should be ordered many months in advance of what your shipping time is due to the occasional backorder and what you order in January might not be delivered until the fall - but that is common with most plant catalog companies.
For someone who gardens on a large scale for personal use, I am satisfied with the germination rate to $ ratio of seeds and plant quality. I will continue to shop with Gurney's in the future.
On Jan 4, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I'm currently sat here staring at the Gurneys catalogue, I want to be enticed by their offers and range, but my previous experience with this company borders on laughable. I ordered an olive tree, a goji berry, a paw paw tree and garlic. I thought they would be true to their word and ship when planting was viable in my region. NOT TRUE! I live in Florida, I ordered in March 2012. Way after the last frost date, I still didn't begin receiving my plants until the end of May, when the Paw Paw and Goji berry were delivered. In Florida this is entering the heat of summer and plants can not survive in it without care. They certainly can't cope with being dropped off in a post box! Luckily I caught the delivery, unfortunately, the goji (which was a single 4" stick with 4 leaves) was all but dead when it arrived, I tried to nurse it to health, kept it out of the direct sun, but it died. The paw paw is doing terribly, its dormant right now, but I'm not holding out much hope. What about the other items I hear you ask.... well the olive tree was delivered 8 MONTHS after ordering! It was delivered in a 2" pot and the stick is 3" high. As someone pointed out in an earlier review of this company, I'm not sure this is even legal??? Can a company legally take money for an item, they purposely decline to describe size wise, obviously don't have in stock and fail to deliver even in their own 'pie in the sky' delivery schedule? Since the delivery of the Olive tree I have complained and been refunded for the goji berry. I'm at a loss as to how this company can continue to do business this way. I will say that I have ordered seeds from this company in the past and been pleased with the results. So the bottom line, if you want live plants don't go here, you will wait an eternity and they will probably die. However, if all you want are seeds, then go right ahead and take advantage of their vouchers!
On Jan 2, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. I apologize for the problems you had with your plants. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of these issues for you."
On Dec 27, 2012, starting2luvz4 Monticello, IA wrote:
Ordered asparagus plants for my FIL's birthday last May and payment was taken out promptly as soon as I ordered. Received the plants 1st week in December. Since I live in Iowa, I doubt the plants had much time to get roots established before we received 14 inches of snow. Neutral since only time will tell if my 60 plants survived. Will be my last order from them.
On Dec 27, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We have used Gurney's for over 15 years. When my son and I saw the $100.00 off any order of $200.00 on their spring 2013 catalog that just came we were excited. Once we started looking at the prices our attitudes changed fast. Most items in this catalog are double what they would normally be. Why? Do they really think people don't notice? Do they think their catalog is the only one I get in the mail? What has happened to Gurney's? You used to be one of the best out there.
On Dec 26, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I have ordered shrubs, berry plants, decorative grasses, fruit trees, asparagus, and garden seeds from Gurneys 1-2 times per year for about ten years. My plants and seeds grow and have been vigorous and productive. Gardening is difficult in Colorado to say the least and Gurneys seeds/plants perform wonderfully. Service has been amazing and they have been very helpful in the rare situations I have encountered minor problems.
Posted on October 30, 2012, updated November 5, 2012
I bought some packages of different varieties of seedless watermelon. I got my order on time. Unfortunately only few seeds germinated and those which did weren't seedless.
The cucumber seeds did germinate, however neither one of them looked like the pictures in the catalog.
On November 5th, 2012, camalianus changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I would like to change my rating to positive because the sweet potatoes were excellent. I order 12 Georgia and 12 Beaugregard. Only 1 failed to grow. The rest produced an abundant crop. Some are huge. Their customer service already contacted me saying they will replace the seed packages. Just the fact the customer service did answer is a move in the right direction.On Nov 5, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On Oct 30, 2012, greenbrain Madison, IL (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on September 4, 2007, updated October 30, 2012
I've been ordering vegie seeds and small fruit from Gurney's for at least 25 years. I've always had a good experience ordering from this company and was surprised to read all the negative reviews. The substitution of cuke seeds had me a bit ruffled Spring of 2006, but I tried the seeds & found them to be superior to the variety that I had requested. Not only that, but I wasn't charged for the substitution. I'm sad to read that others have not been as pleased dealing with this company. I hope that Gurney's is able to turn things around.
On October 30th, 2012, greenbrain added the following:
I've been ordering from Gurney for years & have had a good experience with flower & veggie seeds, onion & garlic bulbs, & small fruit stock. My most recent order was filled timely & accurately. I'll order again next year.On Oct 30, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
In spring of 2011 I ordered two YELLOW trumpet vines from Gurneys.
After training, fertilizing and pruning them onto our new pergola they bloomed this year!
Both vines are blooming in PEACH blossoms - NEITHER are YELLOW.
I emailed Gurneys after the first started blooming the wrong color and they promptly issued a credit. I assume they will for the second as well. I received a credit because they were out of stock of 'yellow'.
While searching online for actual YELLOW trumpet vines I ran across some photos of yellow trumpet vines, and red trumpet vines. Some Gurneys and some Michigan Bulb Company. Surprisingly - the photos were the exact same photos with only the color of the blooms altered via digital editing. The photos were not of actual vines, they were digital fabrications of the colors and blooms.
We apologize and we have brought this to the attention of our web department and they assure us that this was not intended to mislead our customers in any way and they are working very diligently to fix this error. Please know that we are continuously updating our website and replacing old photography, that may have existed with the previous owners, with newer and accurate images. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience we may have caused you, and we ask that you consider giving us one more opportunity to provide you with world class service. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information so we can reship the Yellow Trumpet Vines to you."
On Jul 14, 2012, countrysweet16 Mill Plain, WA wrote:
A few years ago I found out I have a major green thumb like the rest of my family has for many generations. I also found it has made a huge impact on making my depression less visible, or go away. So I decided to take a chance buying plants online instead of in my local store so I could possible get better deals....well I did....but it went south.
I made multiple orders through Gurney's this year, when I should have just made 1 big order and saved the shipping and made it less confusing to remember which plants died for what order. I ordered: dwarf lemon, dwarf lime, dwarf orange, everbearing strawberry(25 bulb count), canby raspberry, anne raspberry, apache blackberry, dwarf northblue blueberry, dwarf northsky blueberry, triple crown blackberry, black hawk raspberry, and a thornless boysenberry(which hasnt shipped yet).
The citrus tree's were the first order and looked great when I received them. I planted them and they did great for a while then the orange tree died so I was sent a replacement, which is doing great still. The lemon and lime started to lose their leaves so I wrote to gurneys and got advice, it seemed to work at first but they both eventually died. I was sent a replacement certificate for them but I dont know how to use the certificates.
Then the other orders just did not work out at all. All my items looked amazing when opening the boxes and planting them. Shortly after I planted the northblue blueberry it sprouted like crazy...then died out of no where(I got a refund for this one.) The canby raspberry and triple crown blackberry also looked like they were doing good then died, I got replacement certificates for both of them.
Shortly after planting the 25 strawberry bulbs they all died and got moldy. I asked for a refund considering I couldnt even keep 1 of the 25 alive but yet my store bought strawberry plants are doing great....they are sending replacement bulbs instead next year.
I still havent written to them that the other blueberry bush is doing the exact same thing the last one was before it turned into a brown useless stick. I have helped my friends plant blueberry bushes so I have no idea how both mine went green full of leaves to all the leaves turning brown within a few days and then the whole plant dies.
I have tested the soils and made sure I have done everything right and have yet to figure out what I did wrong to all the plants. I have bought many plants at my local stores and farmers and have never had this type of problem before(killing plants), I figure it has to do with their end because I have a greenhouse filled with all kinds of hard to grow plants that I have yet to even have a problem with. I figured when I wrote to them about the multiple plants dieing they would just send replacements but instead I got certificates which I didnt want. I just want plants that live, grow, and can stay alive after they start growing. It would be nice to buy more plants from them down the road(I love to give them as gifts) but I need the current ones to survive like all my other plants to trust that the next ones will live. I dont have the kind of money to keep wasting on paying for shipping everytime a plant dies and they just send me the replacement money for the plant instead of a replacement plant.
I would love to give them positive feedback but as it stands their plants seem to do well within the first few weeks then die. Out of all 11 plants I have received only 3 have stayed alive with no problems(yet), and 1 that was replaced which seems to be doing well. Would be nice to have trust in them to make more orders in the furture for myself and for friends.
On Jul 14, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We apologize for the problems you had with your plants. We do offer a lifetime guarantee on any of your plants. The replacement certificates can be used on any order. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information to further assist you."
I have dealt with this company may times over the years and had only two problems. 1. They ran out of stock on an order and promptly issued a credit. 2. They recently shipped some grape vines close to the end of the shipping season. Unfortunately, probably due to the heat spell, they were not viable. After explaining what happened, they have put me on the shipping schedule for next spring season to complete the order. No muss, no fuss, no arguments. Just good customer service.
On Jun 11, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On Jun 9, 2012, EarthWarrior Lemmon Valley-Golden Valley, NV wrote:
Well I called Gurney's customer service today to tell them that the Pink Pampass Grass I bought for my mom died. It wasnt really a surprise because it didnt look like it was doing that well when it was shipped anyway. They said they could give me store credit and I accepted because I couldnt understand the man because hes probably from freaking India or something! He was nice but his accent was so strong I had to say "what" on several occasions.Then after I hung up, I thought what did I say yes to? I dont want store credit!, I want a new freakin pink pampass grass plant!! This is just irritating! My mom is sad because I got her that plant for Mothers Day and it didnt even survive shipment.
On Jun 9, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
This year was my first year that I ordered from them. I used their 100.00 off 200.00 order several times to order everything that I wanted.
I spent upwards of 800.00 on 18 trees ( 2 peach, two cherry, 2 pears, 2 granny smith, 2 honey crisp apple, 2 black walnut, 2 chestnut, 2 blue spruce, and 2 willows)10 lbs potato seeds, 10 pks of sweet potatoes, 100 strawberry plants, 2 ground cherries, 3 gooseberries,5 raspberries,5 blackberries, 17 grape plants, 2 angel trumpet trees, 2 honeysuckle, 10 garlic blubs 2 pks peanut seeds and three blueberry bushes. (think that's all)
I have had mixed results with all the plants.
So far what has done well is:
Both Black walnut
Plants that did not grow or died:
Both granny smith
Both honey crisp
One blue spruce
(all the above trees were one shipment and all did not sprout with exception of blue spruce it was shipped "alive")
Plants with mixed results:
Blueberries are growing but very poor
Raspberries are pretty much dead
Strawberries lost 25 but none have bloomed, making runners instead.
I called CS about the 6 fruit trees I lost. The CS was wonderful with replacing them ( they had only two in stock the other 4 will be shipped next spring)
I found this site since I was searching for reviews on gunerys since I can't believe so many plants have died wondering if it as due to my error or the stock of gunerys. I have a pretty good green thumb and hate to think that I have lost so much money in dead plants. Seeing as they offer such a "wonderful" replacement it gives me the impression that they are aware of there stock not all being to standard.
While my first experience with CS was good I dislike the fact that I am set back a year on the plants producing.
I will be contacting CS for replacements of the plants that have died. That will be the true test of this company for me. if all goes well I will be ordering from them again despite the act that I have a 50/50 chance do good plants due to having such a huge selection. Either you have to have the money to run around to local nurseries to find what you want or the patience of getting the plants replaced with this company and not be wasting time and gas hunting.
I will be updating once I contact CS next week.
On Jun 8, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On May 30, 2012, RockWhispererOK Bartlesville, OK wrote:
Posted on June 18, 2011, updated May 30, 2012
I have been trying to be open-minded about Gurney's service.
Last year I submitted an order for two bundles of white Candy onions and two of red. When the order came, the count in one of the bundles of the white was only about half what it should've been, due to the fact that they were larger. For one thing, I'd like to see more uniform sizes in a bundle of onions. The teeny tiny ones don't get very big and have to be saved over for the following year, and the big ones tend to bolt unless I hold them till all danger of frost has passed. So both end up being a little more trouble to get them to produce a decent onion. But I realize I could direct that complaint to most any seller of onion plants, unfortunately. I e-mailed Gurney's Customer Service and asked them for additional white onion plants because of the short count. Instead, they completely duplicated my order. By then, all my gardening friends had theirs planted and I just hated to throw all those onion plants away. So I planted them in every raised bed I had, and along the edges of the front flower garden, and the tiny ones went into flower pots. There were some things that I planned to grow that spring and didn't because I didn't have room.
So this spring, because I still had lots of chopped onions in the freezer, I ordered only two bunches of just the white Candy onions, thinking that would give me enough for fresh use through summer and fall, and some to share with friends and neighbors, as I always do. They sent three bunches and again, I was hard-pressed to find places for them all, since we had moved and I didn't have all my beds developed yet.
Yeah, I realize these things happen and since I had the choice of throwing what I couldn't use away, I thought it was better to get too much than too few.
I subscribed to get notices of sales and I found myself getting notices at least once a week, which got to be a little annoying after awhile. Most of them I didn't take advantage of because it isn't worth it to me to pay the shipping charges on just one or two little items since I can get things on sale locally. But the most recent one I took advantage of offered Stella cherry trees and Olympic pear trees for a pretty good price. There were also Josee everbearing lilac bushes. So I ordered two of each. I got the lilac bushes right away. They are small but doing ok.
The pear and cherry trees did not arrive. I had about decided, since it was already so hot here, that they would send them in the fall. So I didn't think anything of it until I got a postcard in the mail saying the pear trees were not available. Yes, they credited my credit card. When I went to check my order status I found that the cherry trees had been cancelled as well.
At this point I e-mailed Customer Service and told them that I would not be ordering from them from now on. These sales that they offer are only good for a certain period of time and I did order within the window. If the item is out of stock the computer can be set up to reject the order when it is placed, or just plain not have an "order now" button at all. Since the website accepted my order it just seems like it ought to be honored.
Barring that, I would have appreciated that if 2/3 of the order (and more than that if you're going by $$) cannot be fulfilled, they might e-mail me of this predicament and give me the option of cancelling the entire order.
At the very least, I would have liked to have received this information in an e-mail, which they do use to confirm my order and to tell me that the order has been shipped. Instead I get this CARD IN THE MAIL about the pear trees and no notification at all, at least not yet, about the cherry trees.
I received an apologetic reply to my e-mail and the representative added that a $10 coupon would be mailed to me because of my inconvenience. Except that I won't be using it because I believe I did say that I'm not going to be ordering from them any more.
The next day I got e-mail notification of yet another big sale, and I unsubscribed. I don't have time to make out orders for plants that they don't even have. Walking away now.
On May 30th, 2012, RockWhispererOK added the following:
This is an update, since I posted a new complaint and it was never logged in, I guess this is how I have to do it.
Last year, I said then that I was done with Gurney's because of the previously documented issues. But I yielded to the temptation when I found out I could use their $10 coupon WITH their $25 off promotion when the order comes to $50. NEVER AGAIN.
On 3-25-12, I ordered a Sea Buckthorn, two Hansen's Bush Cherry and a Red Lake Currant. The order came to $50.96. With $25 off, and my $10 credit, the order came to $15.96, but then there was shipping, which bumped the cost of the order up to $27.91. I ordered online at their website because their website has the capability of preventing orders from being placed on items that are out of stock.
On 3-27-12, I get an e-mail from Customer Service saying there was a problem with my credit card and I needed to call them and give them a different credit card number. I responded that I was having no troubles having my credit card honored and that, this being a last ditch effort on my part to convince myself to continue ordering from them, just cancel the order. I only use one credit card. They have no 800 number and I'm not paying long-distance charges to call them.
Then I get a reply stating that my order was reviewed and the credit went through. So I don't know what happened there. And no mention of when my order will be shipped. It doesn't arrive for three weeks. The Sea Buckthorn is not in the package. The shipping statement says, "Shipped Separately". I wait another week. I go to the website and look at the order there. It says simply, "Not Shipped". The Red Lake Currant plants were laying inside the box OUTSIDE the plastic and the roots were dried out. The Hansen's Bush Cherry had come out of dormancy and was budded out with fragile, almost white, leaves. Fortunately, we were having some cool, rainy weather and it adapted, with a little additional protection, after being planted immediately. So I send an e-mail to report the Red Lake Currants, which did not show any signs of life a week after being planted, and ask if I'm going to receive the Sea Buckthorn or not. They reply that it will be shipped between May 6 and May 27, and that they have sent me a credit slip for the Red Lake Currant since it is now out of stock and therefore they cannot reship. I respond that I don't want a credit slip, that I want a refund check that I can cash at the bank or a substitution of Manchurian Bush Apricot, which comes out at the same price as the two orders of Red Lake Currant. They respond they are out of stock for that. I respond that I will take an Aronia bush, then, which is priced a little lower, but that I would be willing to call it even with that. I say to ship it WITH the Sea Buckthorn. They say they can do that. Then on May 5, I get a package containing ONLY the Aronia plant. And I get a replacement credit certificate in the amount of $17.43, the price of the two Red Lake Currant plants, in the mail. I look at my credit card transactions and they put through a refund of $2.44, the difference between the price of the Aronia and the price of the Red Lake Currants, on 4-25. Something I didn't ask them to do, but I guess they were trying to go the extra mile. So I email them. I tell them about the replacement credit certificate and how I don't understand why they sent that, as I requested a substitution. I mentioned that the Sea Buckthorn was again not in the package. They respond that they used the $17.43 credit for the Aronia, and put through a refund on my credit card for the difference of $2.44. They tell me the Sea Buckthorn would be shipped between May 20-24. I e-mail back that I am not comfortable with them putting transactions on my credit card without my knowledge or approval and to please not do that again. I tell them May 20-24 is really too late for spring planting in Oklahoma, so just cancel that order and send me a refund. Not a credit slip, a refund. By now I'm so confused I don't know where I'm at, and I'm totally annoyed. They respond that they have put through a refund of $8.04 ON MY CREDIT CARD (@@%$#&*^%#^*&!!) and issued me a credit slip in the amount of $10.00, good on my next order. Geeze, if they were going to put the refund on my credit card anyway, why not do the entire amount and not bother with the credit slip? Oh, I guess I know why. I respond that I'm never ordering from them again, something I have, by now, already told them a couple of times, so I can't use a credit slip, and I asked for a refund CHECK to be SENT to me. I reminded them that I had told them to put no further transactions on my credit card and they did it anyway. A supervisor responds to me that they have been very busy trying to fulfill orders but that this has been done. On May 14 I get the credit slip in the mail, which I throw away, thinking the check will follow. Then, today, on reviewing my credit card activity, I see the refund of $8.04 on 5-8 and then, on 5-10, a refund of $17.43. *Sigh*.
Now that all the dust has settled, I total up all the credit card refunds and I end up getting the entire cost of the order refunded to me. I hope I don't get a check for $10 in the mail now because that will have me making a profit on this order. I ought to be happy about my free Aronia and Hansen's Bush Cherry plants. But I'm annoyed. If it isn't already obvious, here's why:
I ordered on their website, which is supposed to not have an "order" button to click on when the item is out of stock. Yet it's quite obvious the Sea Buckthorn was out of stock. They took the money for the order out of my credit card nearly a month before they sent anything. They should wait until they ship, and if it's a partial shipment, only draw the money for what's being sent. They have your e-mail address. They should e-mail you when they ship. They should e-mail you when something's going to be back-ordered or when it's out of stock, and ask you what you'd like to do: substitute something? refund? credit slip?. Other places do. If you ask for a check, they should send you a check and not a credit slip and not put the refund on your credit card, especially when they tell you they've done as you asked.
Clearly they are understaffed. Good customer service is impossible in their current situation. Apologizing and saying, "we try but occasionally we stumble" just falls flat with me when there is a problem with EVERY ORDER I PLACE. Maybe later I'll be happy with my free plants. Right now I just feel like I earned every penny of their value. On May 30, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We apologize we did not have all of your items available for shipping. We will pass on your suggestion about emailing our customers if items are not availalbe. A customer service representative will contact your for your account information."
I ordered four plants: two never did anything, one is barely hanging on, and one has made it ( a grass ). They arrived in poor shape which could be delivery time, but all were very small to be able to reach the sizes stated in the catalog or internet. I have pictures and am going to contact them, because they emphasize100% satisfaction. But how do you reach them other than email which hasn't worked many reviews state. I will try calling and later report how that works.
On May 27, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Posted on April 6, 2012, updated May 27, 2012
Gurney's offers great coupons in the spring, which is the only reason I order from them. I've ordered several years in a row, hundreds of dollars of plants and trees. Unfortunately, their quality is deteriorating. They shipped me a baby peach tree this spring that was literally a dead stick, and were supposed to reship me an Asian pear that died last year, but did not. When I called about the pear, they had no record of the order, and the CSR couldn't find my order or the item number of the tree. I had to go onto Gurney's website, while I was on the phone with the CSR, log in, pull up my own order records, and find the information for the guy.
The reason I'm not giving them a negative review is that they are going to re-ship the peach and pear trees for free. But I am not going to order from them any more. After seeing the quality that Stark Bros. ships for the same price, I'm not going to buy the low quality trees again. I guess I've learned a lesson, and that I get what I pay for.
On May 27th, 2012, GardenRiot changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
My experience with Gurney's this year has been so poor that I wonder if it's changed management. The replacement Contender peach that they sent me is skinnier than a pencil, out of 100 strawberry plants that I set (two different varieties) only 60 are growing, out of 10 asparagus plants two came up, and one variety of sweet potatoes came to me so dehydrated that they never perked up, not even when I put one shoot in a vase of water in the house (no sun stress). I also order from other companies and buy locally, so it's not my gardening technique--my other strawberries are looking great, my other asparagus came up 100%, my other sweet potatoes I only lost one plant out of 50. I will never, ever buy from this company again--even if they replace the plants, I've lost a year on my asparagus, the peach is so tiny it won't bear for five or more years, and I can't replace the strawberries until next spring. Gurney's has really set my garden back. Take a look at their feedback--more neutral and negative than positive. This isn't just a few disgruntled customers, this seems to be pervasive. On May 27, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for sharing your experience with our company. We apologize for the problems you had but happy to see it is being taken care of. Please consider giving us one more chance to offer you our World Class customer service."
On May 24, 2012, Scotty16 Mechanicsville, VA wrote:
I have several acres of land and decided to start an orchard last year. I went to a local nursery and purchased about 20 very expensive trees. We have apparently lost 8 so far.
That being said I figured I would try the online route. Ordered from Gurneys and am glad I did! Placed order the first week of March and received trees less than two weeks later. The packaging was great, all the roots were still very moist. This was my first bare root purchase, I followed the directions from their website for planting and as of today all the trees are full of leaves and doing great. Here are the items I ordered:
Order Number: 20621713100
Order Date: 03/02/12
Qty Ordered Item Number Item Description Delivery Estimate
I was notified when the shipment was sent out. I am very pleased with this purchase!! We will buy more next year. I own a small company myself and I find that for every 100 satisfied customers 1 or 2 will slip through a crack. That being said I am sure this company does a large volume of sales, and sometimes things just go wrong. I say give them a shot.
On May 24, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On May 23, 2012, plantgnome1 nowhere land, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on May 20, 2012, updated May 23, 2012
Posted on October 8, 2011, updated May 20, 2012
I had purchased a dwarf meyers lemon and a lime tree in June and have contacted them three times in the past two months looking for a shipping date. The first answer I got was the usual "the correct shipping time for your planting zone" My second request has gone unanswered and today I sent a third request. As the account number for Guerneys is the same as for both michigan bulb and springhill nursery I know they are affiliated. Hence the lack of customer service and the stupid answer about proper shipping for zone. Well it is now mid october and since these trees (i am sure they will be seedlings) will be overwintered in my house, I would like to receive my order. I can't tell you how tired of the BS answers i get with these companies. This will be the last order I place with Guerneys. I have received every order from the reputable companies all ready. I am sure these reputable companies know what the proper shipping time for my zone is. Evidently guerneys, michigan bulb and springhill choose to ship whenever they feel like. Awful customer service and will probably ship me near dead trees using the slowest shipping methods available. Don't bother with Guerneys-purchase your plants with your hard earned money from one of the top rated companies where you can chose your shipping date.
On May 20th, 2012, plantgnome1 added the following:
I received my sticks ( dwarf meyer lemon & Key lime) plants on October 13 and immediately repotted into a decent sized pot. The lemon tree was about a foot tall or a little less -no branches and a few leaves. The lime looked a little better at least it had branches and more than a few leaves. I put them under grow lights for the required amount of time a day. They did grow a bit. I put them outside when the weather got warm enough. The lime looks pretty good a bit fuller and taller-no flowers or fruit. The lemon is still 1 stick which just keeps getting taller and growing leaves-one little nub of a possible branch. These were seedlings in my honest opinion. I don't expect flowers or fruit for at least another year. I think the good reviews on their website are put there by their employees. Their website should tell you when to expect flowers and fruit, not make it sound like you'll get a bushel full of fruit the first season you plant them. Should have purchased older plants elsewhere.On May 23rd, 2012, plantgnome1 added the following:
After emailing these people for for information on what they shipped me. I finally got the following:
Thank you for your email. Our dwarf citrus trees lemon, lime, fig, and orange are not grafted. We produce these plants from cuttings; therefore, they are on their own roots.
And this info is not on their website description of this plant. Then they decided to add (only in their email to me) THREE years before bearing fruit. They tried to make it look like it was on their web but its not. I am now waiting to here the age of the twigs they sent me. On May 23, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your posting, we appreciate your feedback to improve our services to our customers. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information and check into the delivery of your order.
On May 21, 2012 11:35 AM, Gurney's Seed & Nursery added:
I apologize for the inconvenience. Starter plants, as opposed to larger plants, do the best when being shipped across the country. Large plants are also more likely to suffer from transplant shock. Grown under carefully controlled conditions, Gurneys starter plants do not suffer from transplant shock, are easy to plant and reward you with amazing growth. Within 2 yrs, your starter indoor fruit trees should be the size of the larger plants you may purchase locally. In addition, most local nurseries do not offer a lifetime guarantee"
Among a number of other items, I ordered a packet of Scallop Hybrid Mix Summer Squash from Gurneys. I started the seed early inside and planted 9 of these in my garden. Now I have 8 Zucchini and one Pattypan... I sent a note in to the service department and received no answer. Several weeks ago I did a review on the product and never heard back from them AND the review was never posted. I am posting a negative review per day until they either publish or spank my hands. A week ago, I started responding to every sales email sent to me by Gurneys with a request for help on the item. I did get a "standard reply" from Eddy, but nothing meaningful.
On May 22, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
flush your money down the commode, and beat your head against the wall. Easier than trying to deal with "Customer Service". Placed on on-line order, site would not accept the coupon for free shipping. So, I e-mailed customer service, received response from "Larry" and "Dave", as well as "Susan" telling me I'd left stuff in my basket. Susan sent me another coupon - used it, and 50% off prices became full price. Called company twice, long distance, hung up due to extended wait times. Called AGAIN, "Customer Service" can take orders, and transfer you to an "immediately available" supervisor - who takes 5 minutes to answer your call, doesn't understand WHY you are frustrated, and hangs up on you. Guess what, Gurney's. Keep your plants, and your coupons, and your Customer Service. I'll pay more to shop elsewhere. I didn't unsubscribe; I just blocked your emails. Catalogs? I recycle at the dump - won't even open them anymore. Do yourself a favor, shop elsewhere.
On May 22, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post. We apologize for the problems you had trying to use your coupon and our service. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information so we can work on getting this corrected. "
This review compares my experiences ordering from Gurneys and White Flower Farms. (I'll also post this review under White Flower Farms on this website.) I had positive experiences with both companies.
I ordered one raspberry variety from Gurneys, and one from White Flower Farms. The raspberry bush from Gurney's sprouted right away and is doing marvelously. The raspberry bush from White Flower Farm took a few weeks but is beginning to sprout leaves now.
I wanted to try three different heirloom tomato plants this year and wanted to be able to choose each variety. Gurneys didn't offer such an option so I ordered from White Flower Farms.
Unfortunately the plants arrived about a week before I could plant them (impossible to plan since they just say the plants will be sent at the right time - no specific date), so I followed the instructions on what to do with the plants in the meantime.
Two did just fine and are now flourishing in the garden. One went rapidly downhill while still in its pot and by the time I knelt down to plant it, it literally came apart in my hand. I called the company and asked if I could split the cost of a replacement plant with them since it wasn't their fault I couldn't plant it right away, but they wouldn't hear of it; they sent me a new plant at no charge, and it arrived in perfect shape and is now flourishing in the garden.
I ordered four strong tomato cages from Gurneys (they only come in sets of two) and though they were quite a bit pricier than your average tomato cage, they're also *quite* a bit sturdier than your average tomato cage. They look great and were worth the extra cost.
TOMATO AND RASPBERRY FOOD
I ordered tomato and raspberry food along with a tomato blossom rot prevention product from Gurneys, and they arrived promptly as did the other items in my order. It's too early to say how they'll perform, though.
I ordered zucchini and summer squash plants from White Flower Farms, and a winter spaghetti squash seed packet from Gurney. (A plant wasn't available.) The zucchini plant arrived broken in a box with other plants that were perfect, and White Flower Farms immediately sent out a replacement free of charge. It and the summer squash are both doing great. The winter squash is also doing great; it germinated and grew faster than I would have thought possible.
I ordered a yellow pepper plant from White Flower Farms. It arrived quickly and in perfect condition, and is flourishing in the garden.
I ordered sweet potato plants from Gurneys. They were the last to arrive of my order but they kept me informed so I wasn't left wondering. Of the 12 plants, a few were quite vigorous and a few were almost dead. I planted them all and so far about 9 appear to be healthy. They haven't been in the ground long, though, so the others could still come back.
Here my experience differs between Gurneys and White Flower Farms quite a bit. I wanted to order plants but in many cases they weren't available, and so I had to order seeds instead. This was the case with green onions, too, which I ordered as seeds. These were my orders:
- French tarragon plant
- Green onion seeds
- Basil seeds
- Dill seeds
White Flower Farms:
- Oregano plant
- Thyme plant
White Flower Farms: the oregano and thyme arrived in perfect condition and are doing great.
Gurneys: my order arrived quickly. The French tarragon plant didn't look all that strong, but I figured once it was in the ground it would perk up. It didn't; instead, it weakened every day until it was dead despite special care and attention. I bought a new tarragon plant at a local nursery to replace it. The seeds were even worse. The basil and dill seeds failed to come up at all, and I planted *many* of the seeds. (And I did follow the instructions!) After 3 weeks I finally dug some of the basil seeds up to see if there was any activity, and there was none. Just dead seeds. Of 12 green onion seeds, only 3 came up. I looked at the packets and there were no dates, so I wonder if I was sent seeds that were years old, especially when I compare how fast the winter squash seeds from Gurneys came up. So, I bought herb plants at a local nursery to replace the Gurneys no-shows.
White Flower Farms herb score: 100%
Gurneys herb score: 0%
That said, I didn't call Gurneys to ask them to replace the plants, as I was at the local nursery with my husband anyway and it was easier and quicker to just buy the plants there. Gurneys may have gladly replaced the plants if it had known of my experience.
Overall my experience was positive and I would order from both companies again. I did feel White Flower Farms had an edge in that I felt like I was dealing with a smaller business and real human beings more so than with Gurneys, and they also had more live plants in the fruits and vegetables I wanted (rather than seeds), but on the plus side, Gurneys offered better specials and they sell some nice extra items like the strong tomato cages.
On May 19, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On May 15, 2012, Smackeyz Fuquay-Varina, NC wrote:
Posted on May 16, 2012, updated May 16, 2012
Posted on April 26, 2012, updated May 16, 2012
I placed an order for a cherry tree, plum tree, and a dwarf key lime. Received the cherry and plum but the dwarf key lime was back ordered......No problem. Received what was supposed to be my order for the key lime 2 days ago. My box was packed with someone else's order (4) butterfly bushes including their invoice. Of course I immediately sent an email to find out where my key lime is. No response. Sent 2nd email tonight and still waiting for a response. In the meantime, these butterfly bushes are dropping leaves like crazy and I've taken them out of the box and am nurturing them on the back deck. I'll keep everyone informed. I realize mistakes sometimes happen, but it's how Gurney's reacts that will keep my business or not. I'm really hoping I can change my experience to positive.
On May 15th, 2012, Smackeyz changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I finally received the key lime I ordered. Seems like it took forever, but I finally got it. The plum tree is looking good...the cherry tree is living, but not doing so well. Not sure how they grow, but it took a long time to come out of dormancy which I thought was unusual. We'll see how it grows.....On May 15th, 2012, Smackeyz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Oh, and thank you Donna...You are the best!!On May 15, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for letting us know. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information and make sure your order is shipped to you. Please keep the butterfly bushes with our compliments."
I am a first time customer of Gurneys, and have been completely satisfied with my experience with them. Specifically, I completed two separate orders, one for flowers/shrub and the other for raspberries/blackberries:
MAY NIGHT SALVIA, BLACK EYED SUSAN, MIXED BEE BALM, MAXIMILLIAN SUNFLOWER, BLUE BUTTERFLY DELPHINIUM AND VARIEGATED WEIGELA.
I received these items in well-packaged boxes, with good instructions on what to do. Some were bare-root, some were in small pots, all were completely healthy. In fact, I have had 100% success with these plants, despite some late frosts in PA. The Weigela plant was stunted by the frost, but I have observed new growth in the last couple of days. Also, the Black-eyed susans have just started growing despite being planted about a month ago. All others have taken root in my soil and are growing quite nicely!
Also ordered HERITAGE RASPBERRY, CAROLINE RASPBERRY (x2), JEWEL RASPBERRY, ARAPAHO BLACKBERRY, OUACHITA BLACKBERRY AND APACHE BALCKBERRY. It took about 5 weeks since I planted them, but they are all showing a break in dormancy with either growth on the cane or root suckers. Again, 100% success with these canes. I followed their directions and also did my own research on how to prepare the soil in order to make sure the plants got off to a good start.
My orders were shipped in a timely manner, and Gurneys sent me emails to update when my orders were shipped. To me, they seem to be a well-run mail order firm that can absolutely be trusted. Thank you Gurneys!
On May 5, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On May 4, 2012, Nell495 Manassas, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
The first plant arrived totally dead. I emailed the problem and got a response within a day or two. They said they would send me another. The second shipment arrived and the plant was alive, but full of bugs. I made the mistake of opening the package near my houseplants. Now my houseplants are full of bugs. Sheesh.
Seriously, stay away from Gurney's!
On May 4, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I had a decent experience last year ordering seeds, so this year placed an order for both seeds and plants -- a collection of three tomato plants and rhubarb.
The tomato plants arrived in April, even though it was 40 degrees and there were still frost warnings for the Chicago area -- so I have to try to keep them alive and healthy indoors for over a month -- not something I'm really that good at. And to top it off, I paid $12.99 for three of the mangiest, puny tomato plants I have ever seen. I wouldn't buy them at Home Depot for $1. I feel ripped off.
I called the customer service line and was offered no satisfaction. In fact, when I told the customer service person that I was disappointed and would rethink ordering from Gurney's in the future, she said "That's fine" and hung up.
On May 4, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the problem with the plants and for the agent. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information this way we can reship to you."
Gurney's Seed & Nursery is the worst mail order company I've ever dealt with. If I could give it a worse that negative rating I would. It took the plants 10 months from the order date to arrive. All plants arrived wilted, dead or moldy. Had replacement certificates issued. The customer rep told me that there was no shipping charge for replacements. I tried to order new plants and was told that the rep "lied" and ALL plants were charged shipping even if the original plants arrived dead. Company would not honor the replacement guarantee. I told the guy that I expected them to honor what the rep told me regarding shipping, they refused. Next stop-Better Business Bureau where there are TONS of complaints about this company. I'll be adding one more!! BUYER BEWARE-DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY OR ANY OF IT'S AFFILIATES. It goes under many names including Gurney's, Spring Hill Nurseries, Henry Fields, The Garden Store, The Michigan Bulb Company, Breck's Bulbs, Audubon Workshop, Flower of the Month Club, and Gardens Alive--all companies are held under the umbrella company of Scarlet Tanager LLC.
On May 2, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We apologize that the agent did not honor what was agreed upon and for all of the inconvenience. A customer service representative will contact you for you account information and take care of this for you."
Ordered from this company last year successfully and decided to try them again. Was not disappointed, the 4 Indian Pinks I ordered were well packed in the cardboard tubes and looked great. all are planted and doing well (3 days later). My only negative is the length of time for delivery, I ordered in early March and they just arrived here in Tx, almost 2 months later. We had a very warm winter and these could have been in the ground for weeks. Otherwise a very affirmative positive for Gurneys.
On Apr 29, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your posting. We apologize it took so long to receive your order. When shipping our plants we follow the guidelines set up by the USDA and ship at the proper planting time for your zone based on availability,"
Don't get on their e-mail list--I couldn't get off of it. Finally called and talked (?) to their customer service in INDIA who couldn't understand me. I requested to talk to his supervisor who said he would have removed. We'll see.
On Apr 28, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Posted on September 19, 2011, updated April 26, 2012
When I was 10 years old, I used to sell Gurney's seeds. We could order a minimum order of 20 large envelopes of garden seeds to sell to our neighbors and I was able to make enough money to go to the fair. That was 54 years ago, and since then I've always looked forward to getting the seed catalog in the mail. I have ordered many seeds and orchard trees from Gurney's over the years, and I was always pleased with the quality and timing of orders. I have many apple, pear, cherry, peach, and apricot trees from them. I usually get my sweet potatoe plants sent as well, and they arrive in a timely way. They look a bit shabby when they get here, but a day or two in water, and they spring back and can be planted.
More recently, I have had some difficulty trying to buy a Sugar Pearl Apricot. The first year I ordered it, I sent the order in March. I got conformation for the order, and then later was told that they were out of stock, and I was refunded.
The next year, I sent the order in the day after I got the catalog in December. Again, I got a conformation notice in the mail, but later was informed by mail that they were out of stock, and I got refunded again.
Year #3, I sent the order in early again, and the same thing happened as in year one and two. I was so disapointed that I called a service rep, and shared my disapointment. (Since on the cover of the newest catalog sent were Sugar Pearls on sale) The guy from Gurneys was polite, and told me that they were out of stock, and that the catalogs are published long in advance. He said he was sorry for my disappointment, and would send a $5 gift card, which he did. I wasn't able to use it, as it expired long before the next growing season. Later a funny thing happened, I received an empty box from Gurneys. It was the size of the box the tree would have been shipped in. It had all the paper things that come with a tree, but no tree, and a notice that my tree was out of stock! How cost effictive was that? (I learned that Henry Fields and Gurneys are one and the same company.)
Year #4 Against my better judgement, I sent in my order early for the sugar pearl apricot, (I really wanted it!) And Guess what? I got it, along with another plum tree to replace the one that died. I didn't really know about life time guarantee, but I didn't care about that. The Sugar Pearl was very crooked, and mis-shaped, but it has started growing and with some bracing, I'm getting it straitened out.
Now I'm in year # 2 trying to get a TruGold peach tree. Next year will be #3. I do hope I get it while I'm still young enough to care for it and see it produce.
Advice to Gurneys: I think your sales deparment is doing such a great job marketing your products, that your production department can't keep up. It seems that better internal communication between sales and production needs to occur. You can't make money of you don't have the product to sell. I do understand with plants sometimes you have crop failures. But when you market a product as the best thing since sliced bread, and then can't deliver, it makes for very bad customer relations. Just my opinion. I will update this saga next year.
On April 26th, 2012, tveguy changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Well, after the original posting, I did recieve a reply from customer service on Sept. 25th. They asked me for my order number etc. I responded with their requested information, and I told them that I had been refunded, so they didn't owe me anything at the time. I have yet to get a responce to that e-mail. Then I sent in an order early this spring for some seeds and of course, the Tru Gold peach. I received intermitant e-mails telling me the status of my order, and I remember thinking, well, at least they're communicating. On april 24th I recieved an "out of stock" e-mail. I've copy and pasted it below:
Janesville, WI% %$bill_zip$ship_name$ship_addr1$ship_addr2$ship_city$ship_st$ship_zip$order_item_no$order_item_descforeach "ord_item_count" article "ordered"if brand_num = "1" then includearticle "gasurvey"if brand_num = "2" then includearticle "awsurvey"if brand_num = "4" then includearticle "shsurvey"if brand_num = "5" then includearticle "gusurvey"if brand_num = "6" then includearticle "hfsurvey"if brand_num = "7" then includearticle "brsurvey"if brand_num = "8" then includearticle "mbsurvey"if brand_num = "1" then includearticle "gafooter"if brand_num = "2" then includearticle "awfooter"if brand_num = "4" then includearticle "shfooter"if brand_num = "5" then includearticle "gufooter"if brand_num = "6" then includearticle "hffooter"if brand_num = "7" then includearticle "brfooter"if brand_num = "8" then includearticle "mbfooter"if brand_num = "9" then includearticle "bpfooter"if brand_num = "10" then includearticle "pgfooter"if brand_num = "12" then includearticle "bcfooter"if brand_num = "14" then includearticle "sgfooter"if brand_num = "15" then includearticle "hcfooter"if brand_num = "16" then includearticle "pcfooter"if brand_num = "17" then includearticle "atfooter"if brand_num = "18" then includearticle "iocfooter"if brand_num = "19" then includearticle "spfooter"if brand_num = "21" then includearticle "tsfooter"if brand_num = "24" then includearticle "tmfooter"if brand_num = "25" then includearticle "tcfooter"if brand_num = "29" then includearticle "rshfooter"$brand_cs_phone.
I replied to their e-mail asking them what this was all about, and today, I recieved another e-mail telling me that the tru-gold peach was once again out of stock. This make it 3 years now and still no tree. I think I have figured out the scam! They get to use my money interest free for 6 to 10 months, then send it back, Just think how much money they can use this way interest free! What a scam. I'm seriously considering reporting this to the state's attourney gerneral as a scam. Has anyone out there who has ordered this tree gotten one? I'm sure that they need to send out a few just to keep it from looking like the scam it is. I am finished with Gurneys!On Apr 26, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the problems you have had trying to get the Tru Gold Peach. I will have a customer service representative contact you for your account information and check on the peach tree for you.
Thank you for your post. We checked into this for you and it looks like we had a near total crop failure this year. One of our representatives will contact you for your account information so we can work on sending you one this fall."
Posted on April 26, 2012, updated April 26, 2012
Posted on April 19, 2012, updated April 26, 2012
Posted on April 9, 2012, updated April 19, 2012
I ordered 16 plants and 30+ packets of seeds from Gurney's online in January 2012 after receiving a catalog in the mail with a 50% off coupon attached.
I am very happy with with the seeds I purchased. All have grown quickly and and have had consistently higher germination rates than the packet indicated.
On the few occasions I have contacted customer service, I have received prompt, professional, and helpful responses. I was especially happy to see that after reporting a problem with the "Check order status" feature on the website, it was fixed soon afterwards.
Most -- about 3/4ths -- of the plants I have received so far have ranged in condition from acceptable to excellent. (I have not yet received two plants I've ordered; one is a tropical that was recently shipped and the other is backordered.) Some that arrived looking quite pathetic (due to severe pruning) have turned out to be viable and vigorous. This is especially true with the dormant raspberry plants I received, all of which were 6" to 12" twigs on arrival but have grown rapidly.
Customers have no control over the timing of shipping, although we're assured that plants will be shipped "at the appropriate planting time". The vast majority of my plants arrived at the beginning of March. Technically, I'm in zone 6b, but I live in a remote area on top of a mountain and no one in their right mind here plants anything outside before May 1st. We have frequent frosts in March and early April, usually including at least one hard freeze. I was forced to bring almost a dozen huge pots indoors when we experienced a hard freeze and I had to keep them inside -- taking up a huge amount of room -- until the cold weather had passed. They're back outdoors now but chances are they'lll have to come back in at least once.
When Gurney's says that it has shipped something via UPS Ground, they actually shipped it through the inexpensive UPS "Basic" service where the package is turned over to the post office and the mailman delivers it. This adds at least a day to shipment time because the post office does not deliver these packages until the following business day. It's also highly inconvenient in my case because my mailbox is roughly a mile away from my house and the post office does not deliver packages at all -- I have to pick them up from the post office the next day, adding another day to shipping time. Mostly this bothers me because the statement that most packages were shipped by UPS was a deciding factor in ordering from Gurney's (UPS delivers to my door).
Gurney's doesn't provide as much information about their plants and seeds as I would like to see. For example, they do not state the species of the passion flower they sell and some of the reviews at their website indicate that produces flowers of a different color than those pictured. There is also no indication of what root stock their fruit trees are grafted to.
Earlier I said that about 75% of the plants I received were in acceptable or better condition. The other 25%, well...
A passion flower vine I ordered was shipped in a "bio pot" inside of a cardboard tube. This plant was obviously DOA and had extensive damage despite the outer packaging being in good condition. Whoever packed this particular plant would have had to have been aware of its condition. The biopot was ripped nearly all the way through in two locations and the plant's main stem was broken (inside the intact cardboard tube). As a result, most of the potting soil had spilled out into the main cardboard box, the roots and remaining soil were completely dry and the plant was clearly deceased.
I requested a replacement for this plant and a $0.00 order for a new one was created almost immediately. It hasn't shipped yet but I'm confident that I will receive the replacement.
Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to request replacements for at least three more plants. I just hope that Gurney's will honor their replacement policy on these and that the replacements will be problem-free.
One of the two maypop (passiflora incarnata) plants I received was in excellent condition when it arrived and has thrived. The other appeared very sickly, with only a few leaves attached, all of which had a "moth-eaten" appearance. Despite considerable TLC, this plant died after about two weeks.
One blueberry plant -- a dwarf Tophat -- appeared to be in reasonably good condition on arrival but rapidly died back and is now deceased after roughly two weeks. The other blueberry plants are doing great.
Of the two grapevines I purchased, one (the seedless Glenora) is thriving and gorgeous. The other, a seedless Concord vine, appears to be diseased or of extremely poor genetic stock. The main stem/trunk is non-viable, the shoots are stunted and thhe leaves are very small, cupped, pale (chlorotic), and dry at the edges.
Suggestions (since Gurney's staff seems to read these reviews):
Please consider offering your customers more control over shipping times and methods. It would be extremely helpful if customers could choose a preferred two-week shipping window (e.g., first half of March, second half of March, first half of April, second half of April, and so on) within your usual shipping schedule. It would also be great if you offered more shipping options, such as allowing customers to pay a bit more to get UPS or FedEx home delivery.
Please provide more information on the plants that you sell. There are numerous passiflora species, but the one you sell as "passion flower" does not indicate which species it is. Nor do your fruit trees indicate the root stock they're grafted to, and in some cases you sell mixed seed packets without specifying the cultivars that are included.
Please implement improved quality control measures. Even in my relatively small order of 16 plants, there has been a huge amount of variation in the condition and packing methods used for the plants I've ordered. Some bareroot stock was shipped out basically dumped into a box with the roots of multiple plants tangled together and only a scant amount of damp shredded paper. Others were clearly packed with great care, wrapped in several layers of cellophane to protect the roots and prevent the damp wood shavings from drying out. Some berry plants were stripped of thorns before shipping; others were not. Some plants were shipped dormant while others (of the same type) were shipped blooming.
On April 19th, 2012, isande changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I am changing my rating to negative at this time.
I contacted Gurney's via their website email form to request refunds for five plants. I have used the same method to contact Gurney's several times and have always received a prompt reply. This time they have not responded at all after more than a week (possibly more than two weeks).
Yes, I said before that Gurney's customer service is outstanding.... and it is, in my experience, at least until you expect them to stand by their guarantee and provide a refund for dead/defective plants.
I ordered 16 plants.
1 was backordered and has not yet arrived.
2 arrived dead.
4 arrived with severe problems and have failed to recover.
5 arrived with mild - moderate problems and will probably survive but will never be as large, healthy, or productive as the plants I got elsewhere.
4 arrived in good condition and are healthy and thriving.
I doubt I will actually receive a refund. This has been an expensive reminder of why checking reviews before ordering from any vendor is so important.On April 26th, 2012, isande added the following:
Surprise, surprise. I received a D-Mail from a customer service representative offering replacements, refunds, or credit. Of course I requested refunds for the five totally unacceptable plants... and then received a response that she would ship replacements (but only four of five were on her list). Two would ship this month, one in September and one next year.
When I replied and once again stated I had requested REFUNDS and did not want more sickly or dead plants... no response. This is exactly what happened the previous time I contacted them and this is the very reason I changed my review from neutral to negative.
ATTENTION GURNEY'S: I've already replaced the plants with healthy ones purchased elsewhere. I want the REFUND I was promised. I don't want more plants, especially not months or years from now. I want my MONEY BACK -- as your guarantee promises -- and I'll pursue whatever avenues I have to -- starting with the BBB -- until I get it.On April 26th, 2012, isande added the following:
The customer service representative came through with an apology and says that I will receive a refund. The amount she quoted appears correct, so I'm hopeful. I'll update this review once I receive it.On Apr 26, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you we appreciate you posting your experience with our company. We do offer the lifetime guarantee and anything that does not do well or that you are not satisfied with we will be happy to refund, reship or send a replacement certificate.
I ordered one Blue Angle Climbing Rose. I usually do my research prior to ordering anything online since I have been ripped off in the past. I was looking for a specific rose which this company had. I read the reviews and I would not have ordered from them do to the ratings, but I really needed this specific rose so I figured I'll order it. Whats the worst that could happen? I would lose 20 bucks. So, I ordered not expecting too much. I ordered on the 16th of April and the rose arrived on the 24th, well packaged and alive. I am very pleased so far with this company. I planted it and I will keep you updated with the progress of its growth. Ordering any type of live plant online is always a crap shoot at best. There are so many things that can go wrong prior to being delivered. The company should always take the extra steps to make sure the plant has the best chance to survive the harsh conditions of being mailed. Thank you for the rose.
On Apr 26, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with: