I have ordered from a variety of gardening catalogs for years, among them Henry Fields. Admittedly, my orders were never huge or costly, but they were a splurge for me. At first all was well. I had bought many things from them in the past, had a couple things that did not grow and they had replaced them with no problem. So I thought I had a good company here and would deal solely with them. When later on, a few more things died, and I sent a request for replacement along with yet another purchase order as well, I was REALLY upset to get a letter from them saying THEY had declared bankruptcy and could not be responsible for past purchases. It also said they were now under new management and offered me a discount coupon worth only a small fraction of what they owed me. I cannot help but think this is all a game with them I was so distraught I looked up both companies on the internet and was totally surprised to find out they were both owned by the same parent company: Foster Gallagher. The article I read said Foster Gallagher owns, Breck's and Henry Fields (and oh, I am so pained to lose these two companies I thought so reputable), but also Michigan Bulb, Spring Hill Nursery, Stark Brothers, Garden Solutions and Vermont Wildflower. I wrote them a letter of complaint which they have not (at least as yet) acknowledged and told them I would try to warn others about them through internet sites, which is what I am trying to do now. Personally, and unfortunately, I now distrust ALL mail-order gardening catalogs and will NEVER use any again. I've been burnt TWO-- and TOO-- many times. I urge any who read this to use caution when ordering by catalog and apologize to those gardening catalogs (which must be out there SOMEWHERE) who do care about their customers and keep their guarantees and run impeccable businesses.
On Jun 18, 2002, sandyschumacher Bismarck, ND wrote:
Please alert your readers/gardeners about ordering from Henry Fields. Never have I received such poor service, customer care or treatment. I ordered nursery stock on or about May 14th for shipment in "10 to 14 days". Not until June 7th and three emails did I receive any word from them and then that the items were back-ordered and would ship by June 15th or the order would be cancelled. All other nurseries stopped shipping on or around June 1st, making it impossible to order from anyone else. I still (June 18th) have no word from them as to whether the order shipped --- guess I will have to wait 10 to 14 days to find out! The last email I had from them was addressed to another person and said simply they had received my letter and responded.
Last winter I ordered strawberries. Half the order arrived in early May with a ship date of 4/27 for the remaining backorder. It's now June and I have yet to see those strawberries. Contacting this company is not easy. I don't have an 800 number for them so I faxed my concerns and did receive a response to some of my questions seven days later. I still don't know where my strawberries are and I have a feeling they don't know either.
I too decided to give Henry Field's a second chance--what a mistake!!! Order was place the first week of February; plenty of time I figured...well, I figured wrong. One item did arrive last week (dead) and four others, including a rhubarb plant that needed to be in the ground long ago is yet to arrive. I have tried to get my money back, but as of this evening not even the common courtesy of a reply. Stay far, far away from this company--it is the pits.
On Mar 28, 2002, ljday Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Another F&G company proves that they are not good businesses to order from. After the problems I had with Michigan Bulbs last year, I decided to give Henry Fields a chance. I asked for a heating pad for seedlings, to be sent ASAP. After 2 weeks, I requested an order status. It took them 7 days to respond, with a form letter saying that they would send my tree when the weather was right!!!
I won't spell out their lack of logic or their incorrectness -- it WAS a form letter --, or their slowness.
I wrote again, and am still waiting for an answer. Tomorrow, it will be 70 degrees outside and I'll spend my first early moments cancelling my order. I was fair. When I ordered, I told them that I was giving F&G companies one more chance by making one order with them.
My favorites are Plant Delights (expensive, but unique, weird and wonderful), Park (tried and true) and Van B, who really came through this year, after a small mistake last year, that they handled very quickly and professionally.
On March 28th, 2002, ljday added the following:
UPDATE They sent 2 copies of their form letter today. There is NO customer service e-mail address that humans respond to. They don't give their 800 number or fax number out on the web, or they hide them well. (I got the numbers from this web site.) I don't think they want any customers.On April 1st, 2002, ljday added the following:
This isn't an April Fool joke. This company is "so popular" that their 800 fax number was busy all weekend long. Even at 3:00 AM. It seems that you cannot cancel an order, because there is no known way to communucate with them.
But this morning I got an e-mail saying they couldn't cancel the order, because it was shipped on the 29th. Sure... So they read one e-mail.
The good thing is that a human named "Holly Alvstad" (real name???) sent me that e-mail and her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. so if you have problems, try sending her the message.
On April 10th, 2002, ljday added the following:
The contact I mentioned before, "Holly Alvsted", may be real, but her e-mail isn't. I'm not sure this is a real company. At least they're not a real GOOD company.
I moved into my new house last Feb. 2001, I was looking forward to planting a garden so I had the Henry Field catalog sent to my new address. I looked through the catalog and made my pick of the fruit trees and grape vine and other seeds and bulbs to plant in my new yard. My order was not as big as I am sure some orders are but to me an order around $150.00 was to much to pay for the king of merchandise I received. My fruit trees looked like small sticks with some roots, one of which died. My graph vine looked questionable one of which died. The trees and other plants that they sell looked so healthy in their catalog. That is why I wanted to order from them against advise from other who knew better. I have learned my lesson and will only buy what I can see from now own.
I had no idea that Henry Field's went out of business until I read this. I ordered 2 Smoke Trees and a Golden Chain Tree, which were dead-looking when they arrived. I soaked them in water and they did sprout after planting but were too forgone after that. I spent my time, money, and effort to send them back and even explaining that it was probably my fault for killing them. Now I know!
I thought that I was getting a good deal on some plants. I followed the direction carefully; none of my hibiscuses, daisies, yucca, Missouri Primrose, 3 of my honey suckle bushes didn't leaf and 2 rose bushes never ever showed signs of perking up. I've tried contacting the company but all their lines have been busy and they no longer have a website. I was able to get in touch with them back in June of 2001 to let them know the shape my plants were in. They also substituted plants I didn't want. All I want is a refund on the plants that didn't survive shipping (which is almost all of them)
I understand Henry Fields went out of business; I too had been shorted on an order. When part of my fruit tree order came spring of 99 they had a little moss on them appeared dry so I filled a 5 gal. bucket with water and added small amount of fertilizer till I could plant them. Five out of nine lived three of them didn't look like they'd live to begin with. I only called once and when the plants arrived they were flowers not fruit trees I didn't pursue again I just figured they were out till next year. Now on behalf of all seed companies I know a person who bought fruits planted them they lived but called the company and told them they died and when he got the replacements [luckier than us] he gave them to his kids witch he intended to do in the first place. This I believe goes on a lot and regardless how big or bad a company is can strongly help in the bankruptcies and price hikes and we all suffer. This is a great place to find good companies to buy from but keep in mine we can make or break 'em.
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!
I agree with all the others people who had ordered from Henry Field's and were not happy with the order. I, too, had received my order that looked more dead than alive. Alas, like everyone else, they did not grow so I requested a refund in June. I tried calling Henry Field's last week to see where my refund was and the phone was busy. I had the operator checked into it and told me that the phone line was having problems. HA, HA, little did I know it was out of order. Yes, why didn't they have a message stating they are no longer in service. I like everyone will not order from mail orders for plants. I will go to the local nurseries or discounts stores for my plants and seeds. Then I can see what I am getting before I buy them.
I have been trying to contact Henery Fields for weeks concerning my Asparagus & other plants that did not grow! I would never have dreamed that a company my mother taught me to respect & utilize could be so uncaring as to not even provide us with a recording; I have wasted my time trying to reach then, receiving nothing but a busy signal! And I thought they were just so busy with orders!
I ordered seeds, plants and bulbs from Henry Field's this spring. All of the "living" things were not living and most all of them did not grow. I called the company and requested that they send me a refund for all of the items that didn't grow. The customer service gal was very polite and said they would send a refund immediately. Within a short amount of time I received 4 checks for $40.02. I wondered why I received four checks instead of one but went ahead and deposited them into my checking account. Today I received notice from my bank that my checking account was overdrawn, which NEVER happens. Upon going to the bank, I found what had happened was that Henry Field's had put a "Stop Payment" on all of the checks! Can you believe that?! I also tried calling Customer Service and got an "out of order" signal and a continual busy signal of the Telephone Orders number. I am going to contact the Better Business Bureau but I suppose I'm just stuck. P.S. I also ordered from Stark and had excellent luck with them.
I placed an order this spring with this company. I received most of what I ordered, not all. After planting the bare root plants, I have spent a lot of time and effort in watering and nurturing the plants, 15 of the 24 plants have died. I called to try to get a refund, if not 100% satisfied, and I understand they are in court and I will see none of the refund. It is a shame, because it will certainly make me think twice about ordering by catalog again.
I ordered several plants from Henry Field's this spring. All arrived dead or in bad shape. Some of my order never arrived at all! I have tried calling for days with no success. Now, I find they are bankrupt! I will not waste my time with mail-order plants again from any company. If a company that has been in business since 1892 can go belly up, so can others. The same phone number I ordered from 2 months ago does not even have a recorded message saying they are no longer in business. The decent thing to do would have been to put a message on the phone lines - at little or no cost. They sure spent the money on sending out catalogs; I got three this season! Maybe mismanagement helped them get into financial troubles.
All I have to say is I should have known. I just filed a complaint about Michigan Bulb, Breck's, and Springhill, and come to think of it I got the same customer service from Henry Field's about some strawberry plants that they billed me for but wouldn't ship until the following year. After threatening legal action I finally got my refund. I told myself to never deal with them again. Each of these companies usually do not share the same address so I cannot possibly associate them with each other. From now on I buy my seeds and plants from my local Agway - I'll never mail order again!
Half my order wasn't received. Called MySeasons and they sent me a couple of the plants and sent me a check for the remainder. Cashed check last week. Got a letter from my bank today. They put a stop payment on it. It was only $14 but it cost me $8 because of the stop payment. MySeasons deserves some of the credit for this also.
I ordered fruit trees and landscaping trees, in February, from Henry Field's on line site. They didn't arrive until late in the planting season. The day they arrived, I noticed we had only received one thing we ordered. The rest was obviously someone else's order. I called them the same day about the error they had made, expecting they would get the right shipment out the same day. No such luck. I was told it would take 2-3 weeks. It took 4 more weeks; too late to plant really. I couldn't believe it that the replacement order was still not what we had ordered. One tree out of five received, had been ordered. We planted the one tree we had ordered though it looked plenty dead. It never grew a leaf all summer. I have tried to contact them through their site, with no success. Never again will I order from Henry Fields.
Since retiring and building in a new subdivision, I discovered PBM. This year I decided to try a couple of different companies. Bad mistake! Packaging was almost non-existent the products were in very sad shape. What prompted me to order from Field's was that they advertised the Amur Cherry which I had been looking for. I ordered two, and waited andwaited and waited. When contacted they said they were temporarily out but would ship as soon as more were aquired. Sometime in June two finally showed up, as "Dormant, bare root specimens." In June? The light bark scratching step showed no green beneath either. They never so much as broke a bud. In early fall I finally gave up and tried contacting the service dept and was finally told they'd ship replacements at the proper planting time. It's now the middle of November with nothing to show for it. Never again from either of these companies and I was sorry to see one show up in the collection ofcompanies on MySeasons.com.
We ordered a silver maple tree from Henry Fields in April of 1998. It arrived looking dead. We planted it and it proved to be as dead as a doornail, just as I expected. Upon receiving my letter of complaint they promised to send me a replacement, for fall planting. It was too late then for spring planting. That fall I received a letter of apology, "they were out of silver maples", but would send one in the spring. No silver maple in the spring either. No response to my letter. No tree for this fall planting season either. As far as I am concerned you are a fool to order from them! Never Again! I am out $17.00. All I got for it was a good lesson. This lesson was DON'T ORDER ANYTHING FROM HENRY FIELDS.
I have to say I ordered from Henry Field's last year and was extremely disappointed with the plant materials that arrived. I sent a letter letting them know there was a problem with what they sent. Included in the letter was my phone and fax numbers as well as my email. No response was ever received. I would not order from them again. I'm glad it was a small order, which I usually place with a company the first time I order from them.
I ordered in Spring 1999 a rather large order from Henry Field's. I was then contacted by the company and informed that most of my order wasout of stock, and they would ship in spring of 2000, or I could receive a refund. I chose to wait. In the meantime I received a shipment of many fruit trees that was someone else's order. I called Field's and was told "oops, just keep the order." And apparently, this was the second order for those poor people sent to the wrong destination. Most of the trees were zone 5, and I live on the zone 3/4 line. So, my bad luck in receiving free stuff! I did plant the blueberry bushes (sticks) that died immediately. As a side note, any bonus items I received for ordering were molding. Back to my order - those plants I was waiting for to be shipped in Spring 2000 arrived at my door in November 1999. Now, granted, we had a warm fall last year, but shipping plants in November - this is MINNESOTA for gosh sakes! I went ahead and planted everything. Most did not survive the winter, regardless of how carefully I covered everything. And those few plants that are returning, are coming back at the base of the plants, no buds on any branches.I will be contacting Fields and requesting a refund. And I trust they will not give me any problems (although I will not be happy if I have to pay for shipping to return any stock) because my experience has been they do well with customer service when problems arise. However, I will not order from Henry Fields again. My experience was that they have a tendency to screw up orders, and their stock is not of very high quality, even though I expected smaller plants.
Henry Field's & Gurneys are one and the same; however there are differences. One is that the people at Henry Field's DO NOT know how to package live plants (now dead ones they can do just fine). The stuff I ordered from Gurneys was generally in a LOT better health than the dead stuff Henry Field's sent. Both DO have wonderful customer service, but that doesn't mean a hill of beans if they keep sending you dead stock, even the replacements were dead.
My husband and I ordered 6 trees this spring. When we received them, there were only 3 trees in the package and only 1 out 3 was what we had ordered. However, the shipping invoice was marked that all 6 trees we ordered were there. They do not have an 800 number; therefore, I had to pay for the call to correct my order (that they messed up). We received the rest of our trees 2 weeks later and the stock they sent us was just plain puny. My husband didn't even want to take the time to plant them. He has purchased Henry Field's fruit trees in the past and was happy. But this time we have been more than unhappy. They have lost our business in the future.
I have a warning to gardeners everywhere: Stay away from Henry Field's at all costs. I placed two orders from Henry Field's this winter. When the first package arrived, the invoice said shipped complete; however, the only thing in the bag was 1 totally dried out Interlaken grape vine, and 3 Royalty raspberries that were DOA. I called them and they promptly sent me 1 Suffolk grape that is doing well, 1 dead Interlaken grape vine, and 12 twigs that were supposed to be two-year Royalty raspberry canes. Once again I called and they promptly sent out new stock. This time they sent me what appeared to be healthy stock, however, only a few of the Royalty raspberries have grown. And the replacement Interlanken grape has different leaves than the first one they sent me. When they shipped my second order the invoice was also marked complete, but to no real suprise it too was missing a Blackberry cane. I have since received the plant, which has not shown even the smallest sign of life. I ordered stock from several companies this year, and have planted their stock side by side, you can really tell what came from where. The stuff from Henry Fields is the dead stuff scattered in here and there.
I have had recent problems with Henry Field's. First off I find it very annoying that they don't have a toll-free customer support line. I have spent far too long on hold paying by the minute. I ordered several items from their catalog and the seeds came promptly. After several more weeks I call to find out where the remainder of my order was. I was informed that they were no longer shipping the pear tree (thanks for letting me know), and that they were going to send out the sweet potatoes that week. Four weeks later still no signs of plants.
I ordered supplies from Henry Field's in January 1998. I hadn't received a confirmation at the end of February. I called Henry Field's to verify my order, they said they hadn't received it, yet the check I wrote to them cleared more than a month prior to my call. I had to go to my bank, get copies of my check and send it to them. Three weeks later I received my supplies (much too late)I should have stopped there, but the customer service rep. was very friendly, and she made an offer of apology. So I ordered tons of stuff - they shipped my 2nd order the 1st of March. I received my roses, bulbs, and bare root plantings the 16th of March. (15 days later) I have NEVER seen such junk. The roses had blackspot on the leaves (from last year's growth); canker covered every rose they sent. The bulbs were soft and rotted. I phoned them immediately, they didn't sound surprised. They offered to replace any and all product that I wasn't happy with, or a full refund. I wanted a full refund. They also told me I didn't have to send it back. The next day I received a call from another customer service rep; he said "in order to receive your refund you must ship all of the product back" Thank goodness, trash collection wasn't that day. I packed it up and sent it back - express (mail.) I've heard nothing but horror stories about Henry Field's - please save your money! P.S., Even if the plants and roses were in great shape when shipped, they would have never survived the trip. Henry Field's is clueless when it comes to packing product! Never, never again.
The nursery stock I received last Spring from Henry Fields was a big disappointment. Their fruit trees were small and lacked vitality. When planted along stock ordered from other nurseries they grew poorly or not at all. When replacement stock was ordered under their guarantee, they shipped items that were in even worse shape. Despite the fact that their customer service department handled my needs efficiently and appropriately, I will not waste my money ordering nursery stock from them in the future.
I would like to comment on my dissatisfaction with the nursery. I had ordered some bulbs from them - the surplus specials. I received them in one of two ways. Either they were moldy, or dry as a bone. I also ordered a rose bush and a honeysuckle vine, neither of which sprouted a leaf. I think that their problem lies in their packing practices. The shipment was packed in a large paper sack. The rose bush sustained broken canes and roots. While I was at the post office picking it up, the postal clerk threw the bag on the counter. I'm sure the girl saw me wince. I think if they would improve their packing practices, I would give them another try. But until then, NOT!