I've placed 2 orders with this company. The first one was simply for some seeds. I had no problems receiving this order.
After the first order I was emailed a $50 for $25 coupon with this site. I went on and picked out some plants. Upon opening the site, they had a clearance sale. Naturally I go and shop the clearance section. When I go to the checkout and enter my coupon code, all the prices change (mostly back to full price). I called the company and was informed that the clearance section was a "coupon". Okay..... I ended up changing my order and using the first coupon anyway.
2 blackberries - no complants. Good looking bareroot plants.
6 pack lily grab bag - I hadn't planned on planting them at that moment but most of them were already growing and breaking out of their packaging. So in the ground they went.
1 olive "tree" - Olive "twig" is more like it. The main part of the plant is 3" tall with a 6" branch. I'd be really upset if I paid full price for that twig, as it is I'm going to wait and hope it becomes a tree. If it dies I'll replace it with one from StarkBros.
1 blue berry - First it was going to ship separately then was out of stock and being refunded. The Bluecrop Blueberry is STILL available to order on their site. My 2 big issues with this is they should have an actual inventory not a "order in good faith and hope they actually have it when your order is packed" and that the plant is still listed as available on the site. Come on now.....
That's three strikes against Gurney's. One, bait and switch on prices. Two, the twig. And finally three, the out of stock but still available on their site blueberry.
The blackberries and lilies are looking good. The seeds were shipped with out problems. BUT with the three strikes, there are soooooo many sites out there that I won't be doing business with them next time.
On May 29, 2014, lilaclily Lombard, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on April 10, 2009, updated May 29, 2014
I will admit, I was a bit apprehensive about ordering from here, based on all the negative reviews. But Gurney's/Henry Field's was the only place around that I could find a Carmine Jewel bush cherry, so I took a chance and used the "Save $25 off $50" coupon.
I ordered the bush cherry, a grape vine, and a "buy 25, get 25 free" everbearing strawberry special. The bush cherry, while small (about 12" high), was very healthy, and packed well to avoid breakage. The strawberries are just breaking dormancy and the grapevine - while great-sized at about 3 ft tall, appears to still be dormant.
I received an email confirming my order when placed, and an email when the items shipped. I could go to their website and check the status whenever I wanted, and if an item has shipped, they also provided a tracking confirmation number.
I was expecting to be disappointed and took comfort in the fact that if something went wrong, I could at least dispute the charge on my credit card bill. I am pleased with this order though, so pleased that I placed another order for some more fruiting plants - including a peach tree. I'm hoping to get lucky the second time around and will update this review when I receive those items.
One thing to note on the 2nd order I placed - the blueberries went from having a delivery estimate of next week, to mid-May, and then back to next week. Although either dates are fine with me, I obviously would prefer them sooner than later, so am keeping my fingers crossed.
On May 9th, 2009, lilaclily added the following:
An update to both orders:
All the plants from the 1st order are doing really well. The bush cherry and strawberries are growing like gangbusters. The grapevine broke dormancy, and how! It is vigorous to say the least.
One the 2nd order, the blueberry trio arrived 4/13. They were all really healthy and the largest one even had a few flower buds on it! The peach tree and additional grapevine arrived on 4/27. The peach tree was tall (over 3 ft tall) but dormant so I was a little worried because we're talking absolutely NO signs of life. I planted it immediately and within 3 days saw green growth. I'm no longer worried. :)
This time the grapevine was a puny little thing - not big and robust like the one from the 1st order. I planted it anyway, but after no signs of breaking dormancy, and snipping the tip showed dried and brown and not firm and green, I called Customer Service. My call was answered promptly and the woman informed me that the variety I had ordered was no longer available. She helped me choose a suitable replacement. While I did not receive a confirmation email, I was able to see the no charge replacement order on their website with an estimated ship time of around May 18. I just went to check again and the item just shipped May 8, and I should have it May 11th or 12th.
Like my review of related company Henry Field's, try as I might to have find one thing to nitpick about with my experience(s) with Gurney's, I can't find one. From start to finish, it's all been positive.On May 29th, 2014, lilaclily changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
While my bush cherries, strawberries and peach tree are thriving, I am updating my review to reflect my disappointment in the "Ka-Bluey" blueberry trio. As you see from the date of my original review, 5 years have passed. That trio of plants, while still alive, have not thrived. 5 years later, they are puny little sticks that do not get any bigger and do not produce more than one flower/fruit. I stubbornly refuse to compost them and get healthy, producing plants from the local nurseries, but I'm thinking I need to just accept it and move on rather than continue to give these runts prime space in my garden.
Incidentally, while my strawberries grow and produce each year, they have proven to be June-bearing and not everbearing. So I was probably shipped the wrong kind 5 years ago.
I can remember that my dad ordered from Gurney's many years ago. So, I decided to order heirloom tomato plants and some other vegetable plants for our garden.
I placed my order on April 4th. They emailed that the plants would be sent at the proper planting time. Well, it is now May 14th and we are near St. Louis, MO. We are well past planting time for many plants.
Part of the order arrived today. I cannot tell you how disappointed we were when we opened the boxes. The plants had been in transit for easily a week and the stress had taken their toll. They looked as if they were not even watered prior to packaging. The plants were wilted, yellowed and looked so bad that I immediately emailed Gurney about it.
I requested a full refund - not replacement plants. They were also about 6 inches high - they were not even nice specimens.
I have given a 'neutral' rating due to the email I promptly received from Gurney stating that they were refunding the money for the tomatoes and peppers and would cancel the remaining part of my order and refund that as well. So, Gurney still has a customer service department. But what we really wanted was nice vegetable plants for our garden!
I will not be ordering from Gurney again. This is sad. To have a company that has been in business as long as they have and then not be able to handle that business adequately. A real shame.
If the refund does not arrive in a timely manner, I will post again. Writing this review saddens me - but I wish I had checked out their reviews prior to ordering. It would have saved us a lot of wasted planting time.
I ordered 4 trees from Gurneys this year. I have ordered from them in the past and have been satisfied. I ordered a apricot, a nectacot and 2 peach trees. The apricot arrived first, they were out of the standard size and substituted two i dont even know if i could call them twigs to replace the full grown tree. I called and let them know I was very disappointed and they promptly refunded my money. I did plant the little sticks because I didnt want to just throw them away. Well they were so small the first time I mowed I ran over them because I couldnt see them! The next to arrive was the peach trees. I have ordered them before from Gurneys and they have been decent size, this year they were pathetic, half dead and very small. I called again to say I was very disappointed, they told me last summer was not a good year for growing peach trees. I told them I would try them out. I planted the trees, but within two weeks I could see they had died and I pulled them out. I called back and was again promptly refunded my money. I was waiting for my last tree arrive wondering what this one will look like. Well to my surprise they ran out of this tree and it was cancelled on me and Again I was refunded the remainder of my money. I was very disappointed in Gurney's this year, I have never got awesome trees from them in the past, but they at least were a little bigger and ALIVE! The only reason I gave them a neutral rating instead of a negative is because there customer service has been so good about refunding if you have a problem with anything. That has always been the case with Gurney's is their great customer service. I ordered fruit trees from Stark Brothers and Van Well Nursery. The Stark Brother trees were nice size and alive, much better than Gurney's, but if you want nice fruit trees order from Van Well Nursery, the trees I got from them were beyond nice. Large, well branched, large caliper trees. Very impressed with them. I will only order from them and if I cant order from them what I want I will go to Stark Brothers.
FYI: Customers ordering from Gurney's Seed & Nursery previous to 2000 were dealing with a totally different organization than that of today. Before 2000, it was located in Yankton, SD where it was started in 1892 and operated there until 2000, when it was sold and moved. People who worked there were proud of the company and cared about the customers.
On May 8, 2013, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We here at Gurney's want you to know we are very proud of our company and do our very best to take care of our customers. We offer a lifetime guarantee on our plants and we work with our customers to make things right."
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:
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 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."
On Jan 30, 2012, tidy Lakewood, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:
While I will never order from Gurney (or Field's) again, they did refund most of my money, without being asked. I had ordered and planted Vinca and lilacs which failed to thrive and were non-existent by the following spring. The wild flower seeds grew and even came back the next year. I wrote them just to explain the plants died even though they had been cared for according to directions. They sent a check for partial payment! I wrote again to ask for an explanation. They then sent another check, minus S&H, plus a new seed packet! Odd, since I had specifically complimented them on the seed growth as being different than the plant death! Their customer service people do not read, their plants do not thrive, but they do cut checks.
On Jan 30, 2012, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On Sep 27, 2011, Samlau Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on June 19, 2011, updated September 27, 2011
Wish i would have found Daves Garden a week earlier ... I would never have began doing business with Gurneys had i seen these ratings.
Ordered two 3-1 Spirea bushes, one Kaleidoscope Hydrangea, and one Bi-color butterfly bush.
All are supposed to ship in the fall around the 2nd week of September (6A) ... I will update the neutral rating with a thumbs up or down when that time arrives.
On September 27th, 2011, Samlau added the following:
Not looking good.
Went to check the shipment status of my order at their website and for whatever reason the website says it doesn't exist.
Sent an email a week ago to a "Donna" who had contacted me after the 1st post through DG ... and as of yet NO reply.
Now it looks like i am going to have to take time (that i don't have) to sit on the phone with this seemingly incompetent company.On Sep 27, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I just received my order from Gurney's. It took them 10 days to send it out and it was in transit for 7 days.
The plant arrived fresh and alive, but it was a puny little thing. Merely a rooted cutting. The box and packaging were fine, in fact, I'm going to say the packaging probably actually cost more than the cutting.
The cutting was in a tiny "paper" pot, which was barely holding together and most of the soil had fallen out.
All in all the plant was in pretty good shape. I just thought I'd get something a little larger than that, considering it was shipped as "2 lbs".
I won't give a negative because the plant did arrive alive and the packaging was great, but not the paper pot the plant was in.
On May 13, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On May 10, 2011, englishvintner Concord, NC wrote:
I ordered near the end of April to get 50 Sweet Potato slips and 1 basil seed packet.
April 29 2011 I got an email saying they had shipped the basil via USPS.
It is now May 10 2011 and no sign of seeds and no further email saying Sweet Potatoes are shipping. I have to have my sweet potatoes in the ground before the end of May to get a harvest in NC.
So far I am not very satisfied with them. They are slow, and when I tried to track my package I could not. I am not very pleased with them. If I change my mind if/when I receive my plants I'll let you know how they are.
On May 10, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information to check on the delivery date for your sweet potatoes and what happened to your basil."
On May 9, 2011, wildagain Clarks Grove, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:
This was my first order from Gurney's. I ordered two cherry trees, and they were originally expected to arrive during the last week of April. Then I was later told to expect them mid-May.
At the end of April, I received a UPS shipping notification, and I tracked the shipment for a couple days until the UPS website stated that, per sender's request, my package had been transferred to the local post office for delivery. The postal carrier then left a note in the mailbox that I had to come pick up a package at the post office. I wrote to the company asking about this, if it was normal protocol, and expressing my disappointment, but received no response.
When I finally got my package after a week in transit, I was pleased to see that my cherry trees looked healthy and green. But after the shipping fiasco, I must admit I was surprised.
On May 9, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with our company. We do ship our orders UPS but in some cases the orders are transfered to the local post office by UPS. Please let us know if you have any problems and we will be happy to help."
On May 9, 2011, jfddrsn Loveland, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered five berry plants this spring, received them in three different shipments. Three out of the five plants did not survive. I hoped they might pull through, but finally realized it was not to be. Called customer service today and was informed all are out of stock for reshipment this season. One blueberry and one blackberry are available for shipping this Sept, and the other blueberry next spring. I was given the option to have them shipped this fall and next spring, or to have all three shipped next spring. I have chosen to receive the replacements as soon as available. The customer service rep was friendly and prompt with the replacement option and gave me a confirmation number. I'll update my rating once the replacements are actually received.
On May 9, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On Apr 30, 2011, DocHolliday123 Fairborn, OH wrote:
Gurneys had shown a "Buy one, Get one free" deal on their website. I ordered a Clematis and it arrived in very good condition, when my "Free" Clematis did not arrive I called them and was told that I was not able to participate in the offer, despite what the "promotion" said. I had copied the offer and put it in "WORD". No where on the page did it say I could not participate. I refuse to argue over $7.00, so I told them that I would take my business elsewhere. The Clematis I purchased is doing fine, but the integrity of the company is sadly lacking.
On Apr 30, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On Apr 27, 2011, firinn Eugene, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
Gurney's clearly does a large volume of orders and they seem to have perfected the advertising for the gardening set. Their discounts and specials were enough to entice me away from my usual mail order companies this year.
My recent order was placed back in February and plants arrived several weeks ago (April), all looking, frankly, not so healthy. Luckily, I have the skills to rejuvenate some of them, but two of the plants clearly gave up the ghost long before I got them (a "hardy" lavender, I note with some irony... and a Russian Sage plant) and the third is teetering on the edge of shuffling off its mortal coil (a banana tree/plant).
I will be contacting Gurney's regarding these under their lifetime guarantee and will see where this goes, but generally, it looks as if Gurney's is relying on volume rather than quality in its plants. So if you are looking for quality plants the first time, I might recommend looking at another company, based on my own (albeit) limited opinion. Depending on the outcome, I may try these guys again, but currently, as a first time customer of Gurney's, I am not impressed with their quality.
On Apr 27, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. We apologize for the problem and a customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and have the plants reshipped to you.
Posted on March 28, 2011, updated April 11, 2011
Posted on March 17, 2011, updated March 28, 2011
The plants I ordered were small and dry, half of them were dead. I contacted and they said to wait and see if they grow.
Do not order from these clowns...
On March 28th, 2011, Gen_Maximus57 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
They have now responded to me after I wrote the review and have actually sent me decent looking Blueberry plants. I've tentatively changed my original "negative" rating since they did send me healthy plants.
Still waiting on a few more so my rating could change once again. On April 11th, 2011, Gen_Maximus57 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I've changed my review back to Neutral and will leave it as such. The Blueberry plants I received were pretty small and although the Rasberries seem ok, I'll provide an update later this year if everything starts to grow...On Apr 11, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your plants. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information so we can reship the plants that did not do well for you.
This is my first experience with this company. I ordered three items to add to my growing family orchard: Native Plums, Manchurian Bush Apricots, and a Carmine Jewel Dwarf Cherry. The plums and apricots arrived quickly and in perfect condition - well rooted and damp and are beginning to bud out already.
On the other hand, the Carmine Jewel Cherry has been backordered with no suggested re-delivery date. I'm hoping it ships before the season gets too late. My order was placed in mid Feb., and their website still does not have the item listed as "out of stock". Perhaps just a popular new item that they have yet to receive. Just hoping it ships timely and in as good a condition as my other items.
On Apr 10, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Two things. First, a couple of years ago I ordered blackberry plants thinking they would ship for spring planting. They rolled in here in the hottest, driest part of the year for fall planting. The ground was hard as a rock and I was pretty ticked. Besides, whoever heard of planting blackberries in the fall?? I couldn't find any scientific documentation to support this.
Well, Gurney's wouldn't take common sense for an answer. No refund, but they promised to send along plants for the spring.
So, I broke the ground and planted them. Turns out that they did GREAT! And Gurney's shipped about 1/3 of my order in the spring too. I kept them, figgering it was payback for fall shipping and all that extra work with my cement garden.
Second thing. This year I ordered tomato seeds early. Three varieties. They came in in fine time. One pack went to my neighbor.
Both he and I had the same experience. The seedlings came up, thin and frail and fell over and died. Both he and I are experienced gardeners.
I replanted...twice. Same experience. I have no way of knowing what the real cause was. (He theorized they didn't get enough sun, but I made sure the re-plantings did for sure.)
So, the first chance I got, I went to the local farm supply who had fresh tomato seeds and I have a fine crop of baby plants sitting outside my window on the air conditioner now.
I'd give it less than 30% probability that we both messed up. My neighbor is the kind of guy who can poke a stick in the ground and it will root. So, I wonder what kind of quality control that Gurney's maintains these days.
I still have a few seeds left. They are much smaller than the seeds I bought locally. It makes me wonder if they are actually from hybrid tomatoes, sold for the real thing. I may never know.
So, the jury is still out in my mind, but I'd love to solve this mystery.Thus, I'm not making a judgment on Gurney's. We *may* have both messed up. Even if not, they could have had an an uncaught problem with a foreign supplier.
If nobody else has had this sort of problem this year, that would throw it back on me.
Has anyone else had a similar experience with tomato seed from Gurney's or elsewhere?
On Apr 10, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for bringing the tomato seed problem to our attention. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and find out what seeds did not for well for you. When we receive this information we will pass it on to our quality control department to have this checked out."
I received part of my order & I've emailed several times about the remaining 2 Tarragon plants I get an automatic response that someone will be in touch but I have yet to hear from them This neutral will soon be a negative as I will try once again
On Mar 25, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I guess I will learn as I go too. I too should have found this site (DG) before I shopped. I placed an order with Gurney's, I received what I ordered, with the exception of the onion sets and potatoes which they said will be sent at the proper planting time??? now I am worried if/when I will get them. Also I ordered a popular zucchini,.. and got a summer squash, it is not worth the hassle to get it replaced, I'll just buy local.... and next year,.. I will shop around a lot more.
On Mar 10, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information to check on your onions and potatoes for you. I apologize the wrong item was shipped to you. You may keep the squash at no charge and we will have the zucchini reshipped to you.
Posted on February 7, 2011, updated February 7, 2011
Posted on June 2, 2010, updated February 7, 2011
Last year, I ordered plants (asparagus, perennials & several berries) from Gurney's. As I remember, they arrived promptly and plants looked to be in good shape. I had some that never actually came up and some that didn't survive the winter. I emailed customer service about replacements and within 48 hours received a reply. I'll be receiving replacements for my strawberries soon. The asparagus will come next spring (which I wasn't thrilled to hear but I'm sure it's because it's too late to plant now- at least they gave me a timeframe). Two other berries are no longer available and I received the merchandise credit certificates yesterday (about 10 days after my initial email).
It would be nice if there was a clearer way to request replacements online, there's really no proper format on the website for this.
This was my first experience with Gurney's and I would order from them again.
On February 7th, 2011, Greenbean08 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Right this moment, my feelings are negative but since I had a previous positive experience, I'm only clicking Neutral.
The asparagus replacements are due to be shipped this spring. Turns out, we are moving, and I don't plan to be here come May, when they're supposed to ship. I sent an email to customer service, to ask if I could get a credit certificate instead of a reship, Dec 5th and again Jan 15th. I got no reply. I sent a message about no replies to my emails via the website, but since I didn't actually ask about the credit cert (I guess I was hoping they'd read my emails) I got a reply telling me when my plants would ship. I replied to that email, I believe Jan 31, and still nothing. I complained about the situation (general lack of response) on the Facebook page (nothing) and I have just sent another CS request on the website with my actual question (which I really didn't feel was that difficult to answer). We'll see if I get a reply.
I guess my point is, don't expect a reply if you email firstname.lastname@example.org. On February 7th, 2011, Greenbean08 added the following:
I got a reply to my Facebook post this afternoon, and it is being taken care of.On Feb 7, 2011, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Have ordered several things from them over the years, with no major problems. This year, I ordered a pair of dwarf banana trees, that took a while to arrive. When I opened the box, I found two spindly, sickly looking plants, and placed them in a sunny window. I'm a good gardener, and have babied these plants until they look better than the ones in the catalog. They are now shoulder height with leaves two to three feet long. They have also divided at the roots, and I have seven baby banana trees. They will all go into the greenhouse for the winter, so it will be interesting to see what happens next year.
While this is a happy ending, I think it had more to do with my skills that it did with Gurneys.
On Sep 20, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Posted on July 22, 2010, updated August 27, 2010
I have had had poor luck with Gurney's plants. A lemon tree was healthy and did well, but a Knockout rosebush I bought from them a tiny seedling! The biggest problem was with a six-pack of heirloom tomato seedlings, however. These plants showed up looking yellowed and quite diseased. I was afraid to plant them in my garden, because I was concerned that they might introduce a blight into the garden soil. (Late blight is particularly a concern in the US right now, but I think this looked more like verticillium wilt.) I emailed and asked for a refund or replacement. I even included some photos of the yellowed plants. No response. I emailed again - and a third time. No response. Eventually, the plants died and I threw them out. I never received a refund or replacement.
I have also placed several orders for seeds and supplies with Gurney's. Some of their prices are high; however, they often offer coupons that make the supplies or seeds a good deal. My complaint is with their plants, and lack of replies to emails.
On August 27th, 2010, Judy321 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Very soon after I posted here, I was contacted by a Gurney's representative through the Dave's Garden message system. I was given a refund for the tomato seedlings, which I appreciate. On Aug 27, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
First experience with this company. I was tempted by an offer found through web search for $25 off a $50 order. I figured it was an end of season sale and decided to give them a try. I placed order for some ferns on June 13 and my debit card reflected the charge the very next morning. Decided to review this forum and found many negatives posted, so I sent them an email asking when the estimated shipping date would be, as I was aware the cut-off was June 15. I received no reply to the email, so the next day, being unwilling to risk the issues described in this forum, I send a request for the order to be cancelled and my debit card to be refunded. They did so promptly within a few hours. I am grateful to have this forum as a resource.
On Jun 16, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
On May 25, 2010, MiniMoo Romeo, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
Last year I ordered Strawberries, Lupine and Red Hot Pokers. The Lupine and Red Hot Pokers arrived in the fall as bare root plants. I planted them when I received them as instructed, but they never came up in the spring.
The Strawberries came in the spring to be planted, however, they arrived when we were on vacation and when I came home and immediately planted them, they did not survive.
In both cases, I called Gurney's. They immediately replaced my Strawberries, however what they sent were very near death. I have photos of them from when they arrived, just in case I needed to prove my case. I was very fortunate that I was able to nurse them back to health and they are doing pretty well right now.
They told me over the phone that they would send me new Lupine and Red Hot Poker plants in the fall, and then a couple of weeks later, in the mail I received a refund check. I called to make sure that was the way they had it in their records and it was. So, I used some of the money to buy seeds from Diane's seeds.
On May 25, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I recently ordered a passiflora 'maypop' and it came well packed and the vine was about 5'' and healthy. within 2 weeks it drooped and died. I did not have a chance to harden it due to the fact that I live in Wisconsin and its still to cold here so the plant was placed in my indoor greenhouse. Im not sure if I did anything wrong to cause this, but any advise would help because I do have 5 more varieties of passion flowers and would cry if any more met the same fate! The company no longer carries this species and I have yet to recieve a response from them.
On Apr 29, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I'm not sure why I placed an order for strawberries on their website--there was no way to tell when the plants would ship or what sort of packaging/pots they would be in. At any rate, the plants came, but there was no advance notice and it was a long wait for not a great product. I'd rather pay more for better quality and more info about what exactly will arrive and when.
On Apr 13, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. Our company is based on 100% Customer Service and we do offer a lifetime guarantee. We guarantee all of our plants to reach you in perfect and healthy condition. What's more, any item that does not grow and flourish to your complete satisfaction will be replaced free, with no time limit, for as long as you garden."
On Apr 11, 2010, homertherat Smithfield, UT wrote:
I ordered a red currant, black raspberry, blueberry, and 50 strawberry plants form Gurney's at the end of February. There was a deal going for $25 off an order of $50, so I decided to give this nursery a try. I noticed that their prices were a bit higher than what I'd seen elsewhere, but I figured they were paying for half the order, so they could afford to have higher prices. I also assumed that high prices would indicate high quality plants, but that wasn't quite right. My black raspberry was a twig with a small bundle of roots hanging off the bottom. The blueberry was small, but had pretty nice roots. The currant had quite a bit of roots as well, but was also small. The strawberries were pretty well rooted, but about a dozen of them were dried out. Not bad, but I was hoping for better quality.
When I placed my order, I emailed customer service asking for a shipping date. I waited a week and there was no reply, so I sent another. I finally got a reply which said they couldn't control the shipping date and that my order would be sent at the appropriate time for my area. Then I got another message from a different customer service rep that said my order would be shipped ASAP. It turns out they only shipped the strawberries ASAP and the rest would have to wait. I got the next piece of my order about 2 weeks later, and then the final piece a week after that. The last 2 pieces arrived without any sort of notification from Gurney's, but luckily I was available to plant them when they arrived.
I don't know if I'll order from Gurney's again. I don't know what I was expecting, what with all the negative reviews they have, but I guess I was hoping for higher quality plants. They sent what I ordered, which is more than I was expecting. It wasn't a terrible experience, but my orders from other nurseries were much easier and the size and quality of the plants I received from other nurseries was better and most of them had cheaper prices, too.
On Apr 11, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Posted on March 11, 2010, updated March 11, 2010
Posted on March 10, 2010, updated March 11, 2010
Posted on March 10, 2010, updated March 10, 2010
I put in an order to Gurney's about a month ago. I finally recieved my potatoes a few days ago. The rest of my seed has yet to even ship. At first estimated delivery was early march, now it's mid to late march. It seems everytime I email them wanting an update on my order, they push the delivery date back further and further. On Gurney's shipping information, it clearly states that seed orders will be shipped immeadiately. That to me would mean one or two days. Not several weeks or even a month later. The current delivery expectation is about a two week range. I guess I'll be lucky if I get my seeds in time for next spring.
On March 10th, 2010, tjberg09 added the following:
I forgot to metion the fact that I realize they are probably busy this time of year. I just want the seeds that I paid good money for, and wish they had been shipped in accordance with the shipping info listed on the site.On March 11th, 2010, tjberg09 added the following:
Received message from Gurney's asking for order detail. I replied and am now waiting for a response.On March 11th, 2010, tjberg09 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Turns out my order actually has shipped. Looks like it'll be in tomorrow.On Mar 11, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your inquiry. Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience we may have caused. We will be contacting you for your account information to see what we can do to make sure your order is shipped right away."
On Feb 12, 2010, pat_colorado Carbondale, CO wrote:
We all know that plant material can come from many places in the world and this is positive.
I just placed an order with this company two days ago and it was very unsettling. I had ordered from them years ago and still got their catalog.
THEIR CALL CENTER FOR ORDERING IS IN INDIA!
No Americans employed there.
I did not realize this until after the order was completed and my credit card three digit code was taken and I could not cancel it. I could not understand the person taking my order and I finally mentioned that she had an accent and I was having trouble understanding her, she replied that she was in India taking my order! It was a headache because of the language barrier and of course she was not familiar with Colorado growing conditions and I could not seem to get her to understand that I wanted my plant material earlier to grow in the greenhouse.
I want to support AMERICAN companies that employ American workers and NOT companies that outsource jobs that Americans can perform and need.
I will have to wait to see if I get my order correctly and will update the review at that time. I wish that I had read the reviews before I ordered.
On Feb 12, 2010, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
First, I still order seeds from Gurneys. However, I would like to point out that the current Gurney's Seeds and Nursery has nothing to do with any living or past Gurney other than the format of the catalog and the branding. It's just a mail order house. I am a descendant of the original Gurneys from Yankton and its really not that great of a story how it all transpired, but I don't believe the company that currently holds the name is responsible for that. I do hope that they do their best to provide good service and products for the good of the family name.
On Sep 7, 2009, SoutheastIndy Indianapolis, IN wrote:
Decided this last spring to use a $ 25 discount coupon and place a order with Gurney's. I ordered alot of vegetable seeds , seed potatoes , blueberries & clematis plants.
I ordered in late March. I received the shipments in three different shipments. The vegetable seeds were the only shipment that was received in a timely manner. The vegetable seeds were some of the best I've used. You can check your order status online and I've got to say that was a total joke It changed every day and was terrible.
I did finally receive my blueberries & clematis after a long wait. The killer was the 2lb bag of seed potatoes I ordered. It was past June and I still didn't receive them. I sent a e-mail to customer service requesting them to cancel my order and refund my money as I had my garden planted. They told me they couldn't do that since my order was about to be shipped.
After looking at their online shipping status I fired back another e-mail saying their practices were not right and let them know the attorney general should know about their practices.
A short time after my e-mails I receive a package of 2lb potatoes that weren't the same type I ordered. Then out of the blue several weeks later I receive a refund check for the potatoes.
I believe Gurney's could be a good company but need to make changes in the way they do business. I will probably buy vegetable seeds from them again this year but will pass on eveything else. I just went through to many headaches to give them a positive rating.
On Sep 7, 2009, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your input; it is greatly appreciated. Please know that your feedback will be forwarded to the proper department for them to look into. We are always striving to improve our service, and occasionall we do stumble. I do apologize for the inconvenience you experienced this year, and hope you will contact us in the future for any planting needs. We look forward to serving you again."
Last winter I ordered some blueberry plants from Gurney's. I received them at least 3 weeks earlier than any other nursery stock I have ever received. If I had not prepared the planting holes beforehand, planting would have been delayed for several weeks. I was advised to heel the plants in, but that's hard to do when the ground is frozen and snow covered!.
But I am happy to report that the plants are all growing well.
On Aug 14, 2009, Gurney's Seed & Nursery responded with:
I ordered on 4/8/09 their HEIRLOOM RAINBOW BLEND TOMATO to be shipped 4/26/09. I called and spoke to Dave on 5/20/09 and asked were my shipment was. He told me they had a freeze and would ship in a week or two. I wanted to cancel the order and was told I had to wait till I received the order. I received them on 6/3/09, this is to late to plant were I am at (90 days to maturity) we get snow in October, and the plants were mush in the package when I opened them ( were they frozen in shipment?) No tomatoes this year. I will buy all my plants locally from now on. NO MORE MAIL ORDER
I ordered fruit trees from Gurneys and Willis Orchards. They were both about the same price ($25-$30) and height but the ones from Willis Orchards turned out to be much larger diameter. The ones from Gurneys are about 3/8 inch in diameter and the ones from Willis Orchards are about one inch in diameter. The ones from Willis Orchards appear to be several years older and initially appear healthier. Gurneys substituted a dwarf apple tree for a regular apple tree that was out of stock. That was a little disturbing.
On Apr 13, 2009, SensiScholar Little Elm, TX wrote:
I have positive, negative and neutral points in my first Gurney's experience. Mathematically a neutral, 2 positives and 2 negatives would be a sum of zero and logic would say that is a "neutral" rating. The negatives are pet peeves of mine and slightly overwhelm the positives and while I most likely won't patronize Gurney's again the reason is simply taking a stand as a consumer ideologue just on principle and what I wanted from them I won't need to plant again.
1. Web site - The site is truly awesome, compared to others, and the ease of navigation as well as the information listed for each product is more "professional" and informative than photoshopped pictures of models along with a few sentences that say absolutely nothing.
2. My order arrived earlier than initially estimated. At first it was 22APR09 and then it got moved up to 11APR09-13APR09. I was fortunate but since I'm discussing shipping I'll move onto the negatives....
1. Shipping - Gurney's uses UPS "BASIC" shipping for no reason other than lower costs. I understand cost cutting, especially these days, but cost cutting with live plants is probably why I've read about so many DOAs.
I got my UPS ship email on the 8th and on the 9th my plants arrived in the Dallas area. On the 10th UPS had it listed as "in transit to final destination" - headed from Mesquite (east) going past my house to DFW Airport (?) and this status didn't change from the morning of the 10th to noon on the 11th so I called UPS to find out why.
The UPS rep told me that with UPS "BASIC" shipping UPS delivers to a local USPS "snail mail" center in your area and your regular letter carrier does the actual delivery portion. I asked the nice lady what my estimated delivery date was and I was informed 15APR09... IN OTHER WORDS... those LIVE PLANTS would sit in a box drying out for an ADDITIONAL 5 DAYS simply because Gurney's CHOOSES to use UPS "BASIC" instead of UPS "GROUND" like everyone else who, apparently, believe the least time in a dark box for live plants is the best way to conduct this business.
The GOOD NEWS is an hour or so after I called UPS on Saturday 11APR09 my USPS letter carrier delivered my dry root strawberries... which were dry enough on the 11th and probably wouldn't have made it 4 more days drying out in that box.
I like to think that some kind-hearted plant lover saw "live plants" on the box and got it out immediately because according to the "schedule" UPS had I probably be posting this a few days from now talking about dead plants - they were really dry and no so much as a single moist or even dried out polymer crystal in any of the bags... just dry, dry roots.
I think they'll survive but adding more days of darkness and dryness leads to stress and even though I lucked out it seems asinine to use "BASIC" shipping... especially when the CUSTOMER wasn't given the choice and where Gurney's says "we use UPS or USPS" it needs to be amended to using both and illustrate what "BASIC" shipping means.
I'm certain if given the choice CUSTOMERS would opt to pay a little more for "GROUND" shipping to both get their plants planted sooner AND to make it easier for them to get live plants instead of dead plants... ESPECIALLY when they're shipped dry root. IF Gurney's was giving free shipping, as in paying the bill, then there might be some logic to cost cutting with "BASIC" shipping. It makes no sense - if I'm ordering seeds, supplies or something that won't dry out and die then "BASIC" is sufficient unless I'd rather have it quicker but giving me the OPTION would be excellent service of this customer and IF I ever ordered LIVE PLANTS from Gurney's again I can only do with with UPS "GROUND" because I don't want the hassle of refunds/reshipment that I've read so much about.
2. Customer NO Service:
I called Gurney's once and unlike some others my call didn't go to the Punjab Province. My call was answered by a female with a distinct American accent... the problem is that while I detest outsourcing especially with over 5 million unemployed if what I got is the BEST an American can do then I'd rather listen through that thick Indian accent if the Indian person would actually answer my question and at least PRETEND that I wasn't annoying the hell out of them at their job. I literally almost said to the lady, "I'm sooooo sorry I bothered you". Silly me to think someone paid to answer the phone and help customers would actually be helpful. I've been treated more enthusiastically at the DMV and the Veteran's Administration...
Gurney's site didn't say, unless I'm mistaken, that I was getting dry root plants but with the package weighing 4 lbs for 75 plants dry root seemed obvious. I informed the lady that I was a new customer and I had NEVER planted dry root plants and WITH MY PLANTS ARRIVING (I thought) within a few hours I had a few questions:
1. Are there instructions in the box?
2. Is there anything I need to make sure I have before they arrive?
I explained that I had time to run to Lowe's and pick-up anything I DON'T KNOW I NEED and if she'll tell me I can go get it. She told me I need fertilizer and I asked what kind and after an audible long sigh and an even longer and uncomfortable silence I jumped in and said I know they sell strawberry fertilizer but that does me no good a few hours from delivery.
Her response was (verbatim), "Well..... you'll just have to ask your local garden center what to use."
To my credit I bit my tongue and just got off the phone. I didn't even say that at my local garden center they actually answer my questions which is why I've spent thousands with them in only a year and just $30-something with Gurney's. Other than seriously not wanting to be at work I'm sure she wanted to sell me Gurney's strawberry fertilizer but unless Gurney's had a retired SR-71 Blackbird handy and could fly their fertilizer to Dallas at Mach 3 departing immediately it does me no good. Something like suggesting _N-_P-_K of some sort or a website, etc. would have been sufficient. In the end I used Google and went to Lowe's.
I think the price for 25 everbearing and 50 junbearing strawberries is more than fair if not generous BUT my only reference as a control for the assumption is the $9 potted strawberry at Lowe's. I'm not complaining but 20% of each were significantly smaller and a few of the everbearing were even itty bitty within the 20%. I'm sure there's a range of acceptability and a margin for error in packaging, I actually got 2 extra junes because of a "packaging error" but 20% of the everbearing were small and about 15% of the junes were smaller... but I got 2 extra AND they were on sale so, again, I'm not complaining.
This phone call is THE REASON my review is neutral when I happen to luck out and although I'm less enthused about the "deal" I got than I was when I bought it, less enthused than before I called they all seem to be good to go having gotten planted and watered on Saturday verses on Wednesday as UPS told me. *I* didn't have a shipping debacle but using UPS "Basic" I see why I've read about this. I *was* going to post a negative but while posting I changed my mind and edited it to a neutral thinking I was being too harsh... I may not buy from Gurney's because of a phone call but my rigidity over a personal pet peeve probably doesn't warrant an overall negative.
To be perfectly honest... HAD I posted my review before they miraculously arrived on Saturday when I was told they'd be in that box an EXTRA 5 days because of "BASIC" shipping it would be a negative. HAD I posted after that phone call it would be negative. HAD I posted immediately after I opened the box and planted them it might be negative. But, 2 days in the ground and while there's not much above the surface and maybe a few too many with not much below the surface what is above the surface is standing strait up so I take that as a good sign and thus I'm letting the phone call slide some.
I'd suggest Gurney's revisit the UPS "BASIC" shipping and if the CUSTOMER wants to save on shipping then let them do so, inform them of the extra time and the possible risks to live plants but if the CUSTOMER is more concerned about expediency and minimization of plant stress than they're concerned about a few dollars let them CHOOSE UPS "GROUND". Adding a shipping drop down menu on their website would take 5 minutes and I'd bet money that it would reduce negative ratings related to shipping. I'm brand new and I already figured this out so it seems simple, easy, cheap and in the best interest of Gurney's to make a minor adjustment and see a major difference.
I'd also suggest that whomever is in charge goes over the image they want to portray to customers who need customer service. We all have bad days but I don't expect anyone to really want to remain my customer if I or anyone else blows it on the phone or email. Customer service is the ONLY thing that can really set any business above its competitors.
This is my 1st post but I also ordered from 4 other places (one is an Amazon store so I don't know if it applies here) but I'll post the other 3. One, a "Watchdog 30" got here too fast (lol) so I have to post about it and the other 2 I'll post after they get here. I'm appreciate the input on this site and since I found it helpful I hope others find mine helpful.
My order was filled and billed correctly, and seeds arrived quickly. However, I am concerned about the packaging used on my live plants. I ordered raspberry plants, and nine plants were wrapped loosely in heavy plasic with what appeared to be a single sheet of barely damp newspaper in a multitude of pieces loosely thrown in. All of the roots appeared to be dried out. I potted them up immediately with damp potting mix and watered them well, as I am unable to plant outside for another week. I hope they survive, and I have never received plants so poorly packaged before. I ordered currant bushes from Jung, and the difference in packaging was amazing. If my plants survive, then I guess there is no problem. If they don't it's not only a hassle to look forward to, but it's a season I've lost to start my berry garden. I won't order any plants from them again. I ordered from eight companies this spring, as I am just starting a vegetable and fruit garden, and of all those Gurney's had the worst packaging of plants.