Had an experience similar to bluespider. Ordered seeds and plants in early January. Received seeds promptly, plants showed expected ship date of 3/24/02. Seeds germinated very poorly, while similar varieties from Park Seed, given same conditions, did quite well. Plants were shipped 6/7/02, arrived dried up and useless. Sent them an email requesting refund - we'll see.
On June 27th, 2002, mrainey added the following:
After I emailed Gurney (referencing the order number) and described in detail the condition of the plants and requested a refund, they wrote back and said they needed my mailing address and account number (huh?). Here is the text of that message:
If you could please provide your complete mailing address and account number, we would be happy to process your request. Sorry for the inconvenience.
So, being able to ship me stuff and bill my credit card doesn't have to mean they know where I live. So, I sent the requested information. Today I got:
Good News! The balance of your order has shipped. It shipped on 6.10.02. We allow 10-14 days for delivery. Thanks for your patronage.
Have a nice day!
I think the handwriting on the wall says - dead plants very late and no refund.
I too tried to take advantage of the $20 coupon. What a mistake! In January I placed an order for several packets of seeds & 3 perennials. The seeds arrived promptly. It is now mid-June and my plants have still not arrived. All 3 are "Back Ordered". I was informed that plants are shipped out by zone, so I guess when they get to the colder zones, they must run out of stock??? Apparently ordering early is no advantage.
On July 12th, 2002, bluespider added the following:
Update - My order finally arrived the end of June. Of course Gurney's took it upon themselves to substitute day lillies for one of the items on my order. (At least the day lillies are growing, unlike the ground cover I ordered.) Yesterday I received my credit card bill & was charged in full! (What happened to my $20 Gift Certificate?) I e-mailed customer service again with the whole story and told them to credit my card for the $20 & take me off their mailing list. Their reply was they would remove me from the mailing list. I wonder if I'll ever see the credit.On July 12th, 2002, bluespider added the following:
Update - My order finally arrived the end of June. Of course Gurney's took it upon themselves to substitute day lillies for one of the items on my order. (At least the day lillies are growing, unlike the ground cover I ordered.) Yesterday I received my credit card bill & was charged in full! (What happened to my $20 Gift Certificate?) I e-mailed customer service again with the whole story and told them to credit my card for the $20 & take me off their mailing list. Their reply was they would remove me from the mailing list. I wonder if I'll ever see the credit.On August 5th, 2002, bluespider added the following:
Still no credit issued and the daylillies are not even the color Gurneys said. Today's e-mail to Gurney's came back "Undeliverable"???
The order of $200 only came in bits with some follow up on some items that were said to be on back
order (but mostly no follow up). I had ordered in January so they had five months to prepare so how could they not have the items in stock?
My grand parents who I sent the items to said they felt they couldn't leave the house because the UPS man might bring the items while they were gone. They had been expecting them for weeks and had left places in their garden for them.
What was meant as a nice gift for their garden and my Mother's turned into something that made me look bad. I feel foolish for trusting a company that said in their web site that they would honour none of the obligations of the previous owners of the name Gurneys.
My complaints were met with responces like "thank you for your email" and I found very little little help when I called. These are charlatans masquerading as a seed company!
My order of $200 only came in bits with some follow up on some items that were said to be on back order (but mostly no follow up). I had ordered in January so they had five months to prepare so how could they not have the items in stock? There was very little very little response to my complaints, emails got a "Thank You for Your email" response and the call wasn't much better. My grand parents who I sent the items to said they felt they couldn't leave the house because the UPS man might bring the items while they were gone. They had been expecting them for weeks and had left places in their garden for them. What was meant as a nice gift for their garden and my Mother's turned into something that made me look bad. I feel foolish for trusting a company that said in their web site that they would honour none of the obligations of the previous owners of the name Gurneys.
I placed an order with Gurney's in late March, and just a few days ago I received PART of my order (Shademaster honeylocust), which was badly packaged in a paper mailer (not a box as one might expect). The package had a gash in it, and the roots were only partially protected in a hole-ridden plastic bag of insufficient size. There was no damp packing material around the roots, and many of them were dry.
Now I'm waiting for the rest of the order, and my credit card still hasn't been charged for the other items. I would say these people were ill-prepared to effectively run this business they have purchased and are supposedly trying to save. They apparently don't understand that some planning and a bit of quality control can go a long way toward satisfying customers and sustaining their business. I for one am disappointed.
In February I ordered from the company for a total purchase of $50. It's now April 16th and I receieved the seeds but NONE of the plants. In the future I'll be making my purchases from Burpee. Gurney is not what it used to be, it sucks.
On Apr 16, 2002, Sqwidgetz Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
I ordered from them and after a month I had yet to hear from them, nada, absolutely nothing. Not even an email to confirm my order or to let me know when it was to be delivered. At the same time I had purchased from 4 other companies, one twice, and received every single one of them. Finally I got so fed up I sent them an email stating for them to cancel and refund my order. Their reply a couple of days later was that they had never charged my credit card and they cancelled the order. I have yet to get the bill for the CC to know for sure, but hopefully everything is alright now. Not at all happy with them.
In Feb. 2002 I ordered $65 worth of goods using Gurney's $20 off coupon. Four weeks after ordering my, I still was not billed. I sent an email asking if they received my order. A week later I received an email from customer service stating that my order was shipped and they provided an tracking number and a link to track my shipment. The link worked but stated that there was no packages with that number. I then went to Gurney's website to look at the order form. The next day I received an email from Gurney's website admin. asking for a performance check and concerns. I explained the situation and asked if they could help. Needless to say. I never got a response. I did receive my order several days later. I have ordered from Gurney's in the past and never had a problem.
I have always been a loyal customer and recieved great service and products... This year I ordered my seeds in march three weeks went by nothing. I tried calling but the phone is always busy. I emailed the service dept and a week later the response was: we are back ordered ect.... if you would like to cancel your order we undestand. Two weeks later I tried to find out if some or part of my order had shipped or would ship (seeds and plants) again the phone was always busy so I sent an email. This time it was answered in two days but they said if I get my packages to late for planting just refuse the package and they will refund my money. (I doubt that!) I will never order from Gurneys ever again!! Now I have to scramble for the seeds that I could be planting now (I live in VA zone 7)
I would definitely not order from Gurneys. Even though they have a new owner, they kept a lot of the old employees, which do not care about the customer. I have ordered in Feb. 2002, and have not gotten any idea when my plants would be here. I have emailed them, but only get a robotic response. I called them several times. They don't have an 800 number and they said they are having problems with suppliers and their employees. I will no longer deal with Gurneys.
I ordered some seeds and a blueberry bush and a grapevine from Gurneys on February 1st I got the grapevine last week, (March 22,2002) and the seeds today (March 27,2002.) The customer service said my stuff was on backorder. SINCE FEB. I won't be ordering from them again, EVER!!! This is only one in a long line of bad experiences with them.
Three weeks ago, I ordered $40 worth of seed packets from the "new" Gurney's using their $20 promotional gift certificate which asked customers to give the new company a chance. I waited and waited - no seeds.
When I emailed and expressed my surprise that I had no seed packets yet (not a single plant in the whole order) three weeks later, this is the response I got:
"We are experiencing backorders on our seeds due to the acquisition of Gurney's so late in the year 2001. We did not have enough time to contact our seed vendors and arrange for the seeds to arrive in a timely manner. Trucks are arriving every day with seeds, but we are still not out of the backorder situation yet. We apologize for the delay and understand if you would like to cancel."
My question is: Why send out the full-color seed catalog, complete with gift certificate begging customers to give the company another chance, when you know you don't have any product to provide?
This "new" Gurney's seems to have more in common with the old one than just the name...
I have been ordering seeds and plants from Gurney's since the early 1980's. The seed has always been very vigorous. The one time that there was a mixup, they sent the correct item and didn't even ask me to send the incorrect one back to them. Occasionally they will have excellent deals on fruit trees. For instance, currently (3-9-2002) they have a buy one get one free fruit tree special. You can pay as little as $5 for a Hansen's shrub cherry, and still get an expensive one for free. By taking advantage of this, I got about $150 worth of fruit trees for only $40, including shipping. While I have heard that they were taken over by a huge conglomerate for a few years, it appears that they are now under new management. In my experience, smaller companies always give better service, so this is probably a good thing.
On August 5th, 2002, slugbug changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Despite the fact that I gave the company a full 6 months to mail me my trees, I only received my sweet corn seeds. I just received a letter from Gurney's stating that they will not be shipping my order, since it is too late to plant this spring. (true, it is almost Fall at this point) The problem with that is that I had already called them in May to request that they send my trees out in the Fall, and the person on the phone had verified that this change had been made. I questioned, then, why I would receive a statement saying that it was too late to plant in the spring, when I had been told that my trees would ship in the Fall. (as anyone knows, Fall is truly the best time to plant trees & shrubs) The person who wrote back told me that the company doesn't mail out trees and shrubs in the Fall, which is quite the lie. Any nursery company that doesn't do Fall shipping for trees and shrubs would go out of business. I pointed this out in my reply, and then they changed their mind, and said that limited Fall shipping does occur. They told me that I could resubmit my order, but that it won't have the discounts and free trees applied to it that I was promised when I placed my order this spring. This means that I would have to pay an additional $65 for the same items. Guess what? When support technicians lie to me about delivery, and when I am promised a certain deal, only to have it taken away, then I will no longer be a loyal customer. Frankly, I've never been exposed to a company with such a lack of customer service, and customer service reps who will say anything to you, no matter how stupid it is. (even if it is an outright lie) They will promise you anything, but won't deliver. I will never do business with them again, nor with their owner, Gardens Alive.
I purchase $30 of root plants in 2001 and was very unhappy-none of them grew.
They say they guarantee their products, but all my emails were returned "undeliverable"
Then I heard they went out of business.
I just got a new catalog and it is going in the garbage.
Their new owner has a FAQ page on the website, were they basicly say that they can't do anything about any problems from the previous owners. I think they have a big problem if they don't make these people happy again. They could send us gift certificates.
I am sticking to my local growers.
They had my money in the spring 2001, $200. It took along time for me get that much saved for trees and plants. I call and called, and all they could say is that it was on back order. Then I get a card in the mail, to make some kind off claim, but it doesn't say anything about getting money or plants back. I had also paid to have holes dug for the trees I will never receive?
On Jan 11, 2002, Greenwood Bonifay, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:
Last spring we ordered 4 rose bushes, 2 butterfly bushes, 1 hosta and a small variety of seeds. Two of the roses were DOA the other 2 so weak they would not grow. The 2 butterflys were very small and stressed, did poorly. After a very slow start the hosta did grow and the seeds were ok. After some phone calls they did refund the money on the roses and butterflys. NO MORE ORDERS FROM US..
Greenwood & Sugar
I am in the process of developing a planting plan for my family's 300 acre farm. I call them to ask about growth rates for certain trees they offer and what fertilizing shedual they would recommend to obtain good growth. The person tried to help, but was only able to tell me what was printed in the catalog or what was apparently prepared for them as a sale pitch. No one else could apparently help. I won't buy from them.
The company ripped me off last year. They could not get my order straight sending me random plants that I did not want and not sending me what I did order. What came was poor quality (to be kind) and damaged goods. They repeatedly promised to fix things but did not. Then were unlocatable/contactable when they reportedly went into bankruptcy.
BEWARE! I just got a catalog from them for this year! The NERVE!
We purchased 10 redbud trees at the average height of 2 ½ feet. We bought from them rather than the nursery because of the price difference and their guarantee. When the package arrived they were a bit dried out. But hopeful, we planted all ten trees. Several months later, after watering several times a week according to the weather, still nothing, including the bark test. No green, dry and brittle easy to break. Promptly sent in our credit request, here we are three months later nothing. I can see why they are into chapter 13. No more for us or anyone we talk with.
I have just arrived at your page while attempting to get Gurneys on the web. I also have tried for some time now to get them by phone without success. I placed an order early in the spring; the total was in the neighborhood of $82.00. The two trees came and a pack of flower seed and stated that the grass seed would follow separately. The grass seed never arrived to be planted in august, when I would usually plant it here; finally, I felt I had been forgotten and one of the trees had died despite my careful attention. I expected them to replace that little stem that I had paid $32.00 for and also send my grass seed - I made an attempt to get them by phone to no avail. I thought of it again and tonight I started to check with them again and found this message of THEM GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. I guess I've lost that deal.
Several years ago I purchased blueberries from Gurney's. All but one died and although promised, they were never replaced. This year I thought I'd try again. I ordered 80 mixed raspberry plants because of the fine selection. All but two have died. Another company's raspberry plants purchased at the same time and planted in the same place in the same way have survived. I received a notice that all would be replaced in early Sept. Tried to call repeatedly in last week of Sept to no avail. Discovered bankruptcy proceedings via internet. I suspect that my hundred plus dollars are down the tube.
Gurney and Henry Fields ship bare root trees and shrubs. I have yet to have one live! Their perennials also come bare root and I have a 50% viability. Their low cost plants are tempting but, unfortunately, the money you save is lost waiting for your plant to come out of its "death-like dormancy". After months of waiting, you finally realize that the "dormant" plant is real dead as a doornail! They're good to replace or refund but how many years in a row will they do this? No, thanks but I'll spend more money to buy local plants or collect the seeds and grow my own!
My order placed in the spring of 2001 arrived only partially, bareroot stock extremely dry and late. Most of the order did not arrive, which probably simply saved me from planting dead vegetative matter, since what was planted did not show any signs of life. Repeated attempts to contact by phone and mail received no response. The phone connection was never actually made, always busy. Now I know why. Too bad they went down without class, because at one time Gurney's was a reputable company with good stock, and they backed up their product. They apparently managed to cash plenty of checks without any accountability. I just hope the bankruptcy laws don't shelter the scoundrels who took customer money without any requirements of restitution.
I guess this explains the poor quality and service I received from them this year. Approximately 80% of the product failed partially because of an extremely late arrival and the poor quality of the stock shipped. Had attempted to contact them about refund or new product with no success. I guess it will be a moot point at this time with their subsequent filing for bankruptcy.
I've just got to say Iım truly disappointed in Gurney's Seed & Nursery Co. and the care Iıve gotten with my order. My husband went to a great deal of work to put it together and get it sent out in early March. We have yet to receive one of the items ordered and when I wrote 7/23/01 to request my money back, Iıve received absolutely no response. Just now, today (October 23), I found out that they've filed for bankruptcy. I guess if they've given the same service to others as they have to me, I'm glad they're out of business! I should have figured when I'd spent over 6 hours during 2 1/2 days trying to call and check on my order in early May.
I mailed an order for about $100 worth of stuff from Gurney's 8 June. My check cleared the bank 15 June. To date I've received NOTHING (it's now 1 Aug.). I have yet to get through on the phone, although I have spent an estimated 4.5 hours on hold. This was the first time I'd ever ordered from Gurney's.
I purchased plants from Gurney's and received partials which all have died. It was not possible to contact them by phone so I emailed them and got a response that they received email; however, they did not respond with a solution to the problem. Lucky enough I charged it on American Express. I dare them to charge my account. What a joke they are. I have waited 9 weeks for my order. After many attempts I have given up trying. I know now to purchase locally.
This March I ordered over $500 worth of bulbs trees and bushes from Gurney's by mail. By early June nothing had arrived. Calls to their customer support or sales number were always busy. I finally got through to them in June and canceled my order, and was told I'd get a refund in 3 weeks. No refund has arrived and I see they are in bankruptcy, after having cashed my check.
I ordered $138 in plants from them and should have stuck the money in the ground it may have grown better. I paid in full and nothing grew; they can't be reached by phone or internet. I think they should make good before they bail out. If anyone can help me find these plants please let me know. I hope that there is a real plant company out there but this experience has scared me on ordering from a magazine. How do you find the reputable places?
I also have purchased many trees and plants from Gurneys over the last ten years. The last few years, the quality of stock has dramatically declined. I purchased a Harlequin Maple last fall and it never sprouted. When I tried to call for a refund, I (obviously along with many others) couldn't get thru to them via phone or email, or regular mail either. I suppose the customer is out of luck with the filing of bankruptcy.
I ordered many plants from Gurneys. The 5 bellflowers arrived dead and 2 Canterbury Bells did not grow. I started emailing them in June to ask for replacements to no avail. I also tried calling them and only got the busy signal! Now I know why----they are out of business. From now on, no more mail order for me. I will stick with my local garden centers.
After years of seeing ads for Foster & Gallagher's great nurseries, I place a $500 order with Gurneys. >From the beginning it was a mess; charged my card before shipping, lied about the ship date even though the postmark showed the real date; didn't send 1/4 of the order, but charge me the full amount, when I called, the talking head said new plants were on the way - nothing came. Now I read Foster & Gallagher has shut down all but their "Gift Group" Another reason to shop at local nurseries on a cash & carry basis and expect NO support.
I ordered several items from Gurney's, the seeds shipped were the wrong seeds and they arrived too late to plant, I also ordered potato sets finally received a package (also too late) and the package was empty except for a packing slip and advertisements tried contacting them by e-mail several times but never received an answer. I'll never buy from them again and neither will any of my friends.
I've ordered from Gurney's for several years--until last fall only seeds. They messed up orders in small ways a few times, but always quickly corrected the problem when contacted. I've been very happy with their seeds and have always had good results. However, last fall I ordered peonies and by the time they arrived I was assuming that my ordered had been lost in the mail. I didn't get an order confirmation until 8 or 10 weeks after the order was sent, and then they arrived very late for planting. I planted them anyway but don't have much hope they survived the winter. I noticed that their perennial plant catalogue comes out of Michigan instead of North Dakota where the seeds come from--wonder if it's a different company.
We ordered about 60 fruit, nut and other trees from Gurney's two years ago. Of course we also got some freebies to go with them. The freebies bit the big one, and about 4 of the trees didn't ever sprout. But Gurney's replaced the trees, and two years later I have a beautiful little orchard with fruit and nut trees. And the shade trees are flourishing too! I will order from Gurney's again. The bare root trees need to be planted right away. Don't let them dry out. If you can't plant them immediately, at least cover the roots with 4-6 inches of dirt until you can plant them.
Since retiring and building in a new subdivision, I discovered PBM. This year I decided to try a couple of different companies in addition to my absolute favorites. Bad mistake! Packaging was almost non-existent the products were in very sad shape. I had similar luck with Gurney's and a Harry Lauder Walking stick. That's all I got was a stick about 8" long with a 90 degree bend and no buds. It was dead and getting replacement nearly caused my own. Never again from either of these companies and I was sorry to see one show up in the collection of companies on MySeasons.com.
I won't order from Gurney's again. My order arrived on March 15, 2000 - with still several inches of snow on the ground just outside of Boston (zone 5!) I kept them cool & moist until I could plant them. By end of May, 1 of 6 clematis & 1 of 4 blueberry did not leaf out. I got a busy signal every time I tried calling their Customer Service from late May into mid-June. I sent emails with no response after 3 weeks. I'm sure glad I didn't spend a bundle there!
I ordered a Bird of Paradise, a Red Powderpuff, and a Cliva From Gurneys the first of February. They shipped them bulk rate in the middle of February. The Bird of Paradise and Powerderpuff arrived quite dead. The Cliva was in extremely bad shape (I was amazed it survived at all) and finally died three months later. I sent a request for replacement of the dead plants, but have heard nothing from them.