Well I have purchased three orders or so with my experience toward this company. The first order I couldn't complain nor brag. I haven't asked much from them or got much out of then at this point. The plants were acceptable. Only thing I was pleased with was the mini pineapple. However the second order came along which had my oak leaf just dried up de-rooted and shriveled. I didn't care much because it was a cheap plant but I still emailed them and tried contacting them which I gained no response from both..therefore my rating would be slightly negative at this point. Finally, my third order did it. I order a few items which were all depleted of energy ( I asked to send better items under buyers comments upon purchasing) as well as having my micro gamma nitilda missing. Throughout the absence of my product this company failed to answer the phone more than 10 times, respond to their answering machine, website messaging within a reasonable time, and email within a reasonable timeframe. I will post emails below. The company finally got in contact with me when the missing item "supposedly" had been shipped. They said to contact post office which I had done. The post office had no recall of the item and told me to contact the company. I did again and pretty much got yelled at by the owner I believe and was told to look around my house or neighborhood for my package? I was at this point fed up with the company and wanted a refund. Which he then hung up on me without apologies. I had not revived my refund within the week and had to call again. Then right away I had been issued 30 dollars for just the missing product and not the damaged one.
I received my shipment today however the oak leaf creeping fig was severely damaged and not rooted. It just looked shredded. I am wonder if it is possible to get reimbursed.
--( had not got response from this)-----
So I don't know how well you guys manage shipping because this is the second time I have had problems. First time I disregarded it because it was not that expensive. However, I received my package but this time I'm missing items. So please email back so I don't have to call because i never got an email from my last problem.
Can you elaborate?
Elaborate what? You guys sent me a dead plant before and this time you did not send me everything I ordered. AB-14427 was the order number. I am missing the microgramma nitilda. Before this order I receive another one which had a dead plant ( oak leaf creeping fig ) however it wasn't much of a problem to me at first. Since it seems that poor shipping in based on your end I would like to have these items shipped to me or my money back.
Please email me back because this is an issue. You owe me money or the item I have ordered.
One of the owners will be in touch with you shortly.
---(owners had not contacted me, I had to once again try and get ahold of them)------
From here the rest was on the phone
Worst company ever. The mike guy should be expelled from the company owner or not. Nikki I guess was slow on response but nice when came in contact. The company sucks. And this is the only review I had ever posted throughout my life. Don't believe the false positive ratings the company posts themselves. Other companies like Josh's frogs are such nice people and are a growing company that knows how to handle business. Black jungle just seems fund their little adventures with consumers money.
On Jul 11, 2014, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
You seem to be leaving out some important details about your dealings with our company. True, you claimed that the fern was left out of your order and that the Ficus arrived in poor condition. However, replacement plants were sent to you and they were delivered by the USPS. Your claim that they have no record of it is false. They show it as being delivered. When you called back to tell us that you also did not receive that package it was I (Richard) that you spoke with. I did not tell you to contact the Post Office to fix the problem. I explained that if you spoke to the Post Office directly that you are better equipped to provide information about your home and possible areas that the delivery carrier may have left the missing package. It was then that you became really upset and started telling me that you should not have to deal with this "fu@%!ng" crap and that if we did our "fu@%!ng" job and had better "fu@%!ng" plants that we would not have a problem. It was at that point that I had to speak over your continued rant to tell you that I do not have to deal with treatment like this and was cancelling your order, was going to refund your money, and asked that you take your business elsewhere. While we certainly can make mistakes, we will not allow our staff to be treated in such a manner.
Regarding funding our "little adventures" with consumer's money, I invite you to educate yourself on what we have actually done. Those trips are integrally tied to funding conservation efforts around the world. Last August, Black Jungle raised over ten thousands dollars to donate to five different grass-roots conservation groups at SACAS, held in Costa Rica, most of which came from our own, personal, pockets. We work very closely with many zoos, museums and other institutions and enjoy those relationships due to the integrity that we have operated with for the past 20 years. You are obviously very upset to still be writing about this transaction weeks after it has happened but I suggest you provide all the details of what truly happened and also refrain from making false claims regarding the functions of our company. "
On Feb 24, 2014, BayAreaTropics Hayward, CA wrote:
They advertised "Order on Sunday,free shipping"..and I repeated that on My order. Sure enough,they charged for shipping,the day after I ordered. Now, more then two WEEKS later..NO plants. I emailed them,I called them..from on end of the country to the other mind you..no answers. And,I see that's how he does business.
They just stole my $35. Companies like this that collect so fast and take so long to send are just ripping people off..or over their heads.
Another caveat...something hard to find advertised rock bottom prices? Sure..because they don't have it!
The worst experience I've EVER had ordering plants.
Black Jungle has a interesting selection of terrarium plants, many of which I couldn't find elsewhere. The plants are reasonably priced (although very small) but the postage is expensive. I figured that it was due to the expedited delivery needed to get live plants to me in good condition but unfortunately although the plants arrived on schedule, the enclosed heat pad was stone cold & so they had suffered badly during the journey. 2 plants have recovered well though they have yet to put on any growth, 3 are struggling but still alive. One has died despite my best attempt to nurture it back to life.
I emailed Black Jungle to let them know but have had no response back from them. My low rating is because of this not because of the the condition of the plants. The weather was very cold & they had no control over that, but I would have expected better customer service from them once I had let them know about the problem.
It's a shame as I am setting up several vivariums for my herps & had planned to order from them again.
9 days later and dry goods order didn't ship. Sent 2 emails asking about shipping status and no reply. Sent email asking to cancel order if it had not shipped and no reply. Called and asked about order and it still had not shipped, canceled original order and order I had placed since. If there was a problem or an item wasn't in stock an email to let me know would of been†nice or at least a response to my emails. I went and picked everything up from a local shop, it was fairly basic stuff and actually cheaper.
I can't even believe the experience I had with this company, it is hands down the most negative experience I've ever had with an online purchase of any kind. Since Black Jungle seems to be the main vivarium plant supply company online, I just assumed they were reputable. I placed my order for live plants on January 4. I received an automatic confirmation email and was charged right away. 10 days later, I still hadn't received a shipping confirmation for my plants, even though according to their site's listed processing and shipping policies, it should have been shipped out that week. I tried to contact them via their website's internal messaging system, and waited. Four days later I still hadn't received a reply, and so I tried emailing. Once again I received no reply. At this point I was just trying to check on the status of my order.
By this time it had been about two and a half weeks since I placed my order, and I hadn't heard anything from them. I tried to call the phone number listed on their site, during the hours listed. I received an answering machine and left a message with all my contact info. I received no reply, and was getting pretty frustrated by this time, so the next day I called again during their hours, this time waiting till the hours listed for their store front (their site claims you can call them as early as 10 AM, but that the storefront doesn't open until 12, so I called after 12). I once again received an answering machine, and left a message stating that if they did not return my phone call during their business hours that day, I would file a payment dispute with Paypal to get my money back. They did not return my call, I filed the dispute, and the next morning found that they had refunded my money. I received no apology or any other communication from them at any time, even in response to the Paypal dispute. Ironically, I would have been willing to wait longer for my plants if only I had received some communication from my earlier contact attempts, to know that they had in fact received my order, or if there was some reason for the delay such as lack of a particular plant and so on. Refusal of communication is a horrible way to run a business, and I see from reading others' reviews here that my experience was not unique. In a way I'm glad things went the way they did, because I would rather have received my money back than received tiny plants. If I had read these reviews, I probably would not have ordered from them in the first place. I do not doubt that several people have had positive experiences with this business, but with the relatively large number of bad experiences reported here, I think it's safe to say that you order from this business at your own risk.
Posted on November 17, 2009, updated December 06, 2009
Posted on November 17, 2009, updated November 17, 2009
Posted on November 16, 2009, updated November 17, 2009
Posted on November 06, 2009, updated November 16, 2009
Posted on November 06, 2009, updated November 06, 2009
I ordered two Nepenthes Ampullaria about a month ago from this company as they were going for really cheap. It took them 8 days to ship them out, and when they were shipped out they sent them via 2nd day air mail (shipping cost was around $8 I believe. I'm sure 2nd day air mail cost them more than this but I was literally on the other side of the US in California and the less time these plants stay in a box, the better).
The packaging wasn't very good. They were each wrapped in 2-3 layers of newspaper and then sealed in plastic to prevent moisture from escaping. Other than that, there was nothing else. Nothing to prevent them from moving around in the box (which could fit 4 plants in it), nothing to protect the leaves from getting damage, etc.
One plant had 3 pitchers on it (very colorful I might add) but they were all completely smashed to the consistency of two pieces of construction paper. Out of the 7 leaves, 3 of them had been "snapped" or broken at the base and had no support. The leaf span was slightly more than 3 inches in diameter. The growth point on top was black and dead. The base of the plant seemed very loose in the soil. As if a fair amount of it's roots in the soil were either very loose or broken.
The other plant had a whopping 5 pitchers, which had also all been smashed minus one which was on the inside of the pot. Out of 8 leaves, 3 of them had also been "snapped". The leaf span was 3.5 inches in diameter. The growth point on top was greenish brown. The roots stuck out 3/4 of an inch above the soil (there was no soil that came loose, it was still all packed well in the pot). I filled in the void with some dead Sphagnum moss.
The pots themselves were black and square (rectangular if you measure height x width). The media they came in seemed to be something like 2 parts peat moss 1 part perlite. The media was moist.
I called them up the day I got them and I spoke with a man on the phone. I explained to him everything about the plants conditions, and he said they would probably survive and apologized for them getting so banged up during shipping. He also said there should of been packaging to prevent the pots from moving around during shipping, which was obviously forgotten in my box. I also had some questions for him about what kind of humidity/temperature he kept them in in the greenhouse. The conditions he explained were identical to that of my terrarium such as 80% humidity, except lighting as my terrarium has 4 T5 high-output fixtures (2x 3000k and 2x 6500k). He talked to me for a fair amount of time and had some good information to give. I can't remember his name though.
At present, the plants look very sickly. Both have lost the healthy green color in their leaves and where green remains, it is a very light and sickly green compared to when it arrived and to my other Nepenthes. Also, both of the growth points are completely dead (though capable of coming back I believe at some point). All of the leaves that had snapped dried up and died, so I cut them off. All of the pitchers were well on their way to drying up and dieing, so I cut them all off as well (minus the one that did not get smashed). The one that does not have any pitchers looks very sickly. The ends of the leaves are dieing and they are becoming yellow and red.
Just about the same thing is happening to the other plant. Though, it does look better than the other. The green isn't as light and there isn't as much yellow and red colorization on the leaves that survived. The pitcher's lid shriveled up a bit, and the pitcher itself lost some of it's color, but other than that it looks ok. I am still concerned about this plant, though.
The only plus side is that these plants were fairly cheap compared to other sites offering N. Amp. They were also slightly bigger which is a plus (advertised as 2-3") If I had bought some of the more expensive plants they offer, and they had arrived in this condition, I would of been furious. I believe all of the damage would of been prevented if A) There was packaging to hold the pots/plants in place such as peanuts and B) If they had a clear plastic dome over the top of the plants like all of the other sites I get these plants from have. I would even pay extra to have these two things!
At this point, I am just praying that the two plants survive. That is really all I want and can hope for. Hopefully Black Jungle will change their packaging methods. All of this can be prevented with a few pennies in materials! Maybe a cheap plastic cup and some newspaper/peanuts/bags of air/anything.
On November 7th, 2009, TamerLee added the following:
I would also like to add that the leaves themselves are starting to curl under both from the tip and from the sides. While Nepenthes normally do this slightly, I've never seen any do it quite to this extent. I hope that this doesn't mean they are drying up and dieing.On November 17th, 2009, TamerLee added the following:
One appears to be well on it's way to death. All leaves minus one have shriveled up and turned brown minus one which is still a sickly light green color with a bit of yellow to it.
The other plant seems to of bounced back! Colorization has been restored to the leaves and it's looking a lot better. The remaining pitcher has started to turn brown and will be completely dead eventually, but this is normal due to the climate change from where it came from.
It's hard to tell now, but if the plant does completely die off, I'll be calling the company back to ask about it.On November 17th, 2009, TamerLee added the following:
I thank you for your response. While I do agree that the pitchers are aesthetic for the most part, the leaves that snapped reduce the amount of energy that the plant produces. The plants did appear to be in great condition when shipped, however, were still severely damaged during shipping which caused the decline in health and possible death of one plant.
From all of the other sources I have used multiple times to purchase Nepenthes from, including other varieties of N. Amp and more difficult lowland species, none of them have been damaged and none of them have shown a decline in health aside from the pitchers dieing. While it is possible they need to be pampered after being shipped, they should acclimate well to an environment similar to what they were grown in for the duration of their life. The T5 lights they are under are suspended 2 feet above the plants. It is not any more intense at the leaf surface than the light in a tented greenhouse that uses 44% light transmission panels. All other Nepenthes I have gotten have thrived straight from the get-go minus a few very sensitive lowland species. None have had leaves or growth points turn brown.
Again, I do believe that a good amount of the root system is severed just below the soil on the dieing plant from shipping. The plant is very loose in the soil. While all of my Nepenthes seem fairly loose in the soil due to the type of soil and short root system, this one is much much more so. I would check to confirm this, but do not want to risk damaging the plant any more than it already is. I do believe this has more to do with it than a lot of broken leaves.
And I do disagree with not needing to use a plastic cup over the plant. All of this would of never happened if a protective plastic cup were present. Soft plastic simply isn't enough to protect the leaves and pitchers from banging against the sides of the box during shipping. This is pretty obvious when compared to the other sources I've ordered from which have always applied plastic cups over the leaves and pitchers.
The reason this review is Negative is because the product was severely damaged upon arrival. Imagine ordering an animal and it having broken legs from shipping. Even if I was given instructions on how to bring the animal back to better health, I still would not leave positive feedback. Especially if one of the legs ended up being impossible to heal.On November 17th, 2009, TamerLee added the following:
I would also like to say that relative humidity in the terrarium at the plant level is 80% minimum. I mist them several times a day so there are spikes of up to 97% relative humidity. It drops down to ~82% within 2 hours. If relative humidity was kept above 90% at all times, there is no doubt that mold would start growing.On December 6th, 2009, TamerLee added the following:
I have filed a complaint with the BBB. I can't believe what kind of responses this company has given me. They have even gone as far as to of called my complaints "harassment". They even said I posted on their Facebook under a different name to "simply make them look bad".
I no longer have any respect for this company. Their management is very immature and there is no way I will ever do business with them ever again. If you have issues such as mine with this company, I highly recommend complaining with the BBB.
If you choose to be a customer of theirs, I wish you good luck. If you have a problem with your order, expect to be shown nothing but extreme disrespect on their part when trying to come to a resolution.On Dec 6, 2009, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
"On Nov 16, 2009 11:27 PM, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
I was actually the person that you spoke with over the phone that day and I would like to address a few things. First, as I stated that day, the fact that little to no extra packing material was used is certainly a concern to us. I also explained to you that it was due to the fact that our normal plant packer was out that week (which also led to the short back-up in shipping). Second, the plants were shipped enclosed in plastic bags which serve to keep the plants moist during transit. We do not use plastic cups as we have found the plastic bags typically work very well. Now, specifically regarding the condition of the plants you received, while we always like to get the plants there in the best possible condition, the crushed traps and snapped leaves are really just a cosmetic flaw. As I explained, and you just reiterated, the traps will typically shrivel under the new conditions anyway. Again, we would like to see them arrive with no damage however we could trim off all of the traps before shipping and you could trim all of the traps off of the plant for the next year and it will have little overall effect to the health of the plant.
When we spoke that day I also suggested several important things to do in order to get the plants to acclimate to your conditions. These are the same steps we suggest taking whether any leaves are cracked or not. Humidity needs to be at least 80% but preferably 90% or even higher. This is because we grow these plants tented in our own greenhouses and they can quickly decline if the relative humidity drops too fast. Second, I do not recommend you mentioning that you are using 4 T-5 bulbs. Had you informed me of that I would certainly have suggested keeping the plant under much lower light at first. That amount of lighting places a great deal of moisture stress on the leaves and if the humidity is already compromised then the results can be disastrous to the plants.
You stated in your first comments you left that "At present, the plants look very sickly. Both have lost the healthy green color in their leaves and where green remains, it is a very light and sickly green compared to when it arrived and to my other Nepenthes. " As you indicated, the plants were a healthy green color when they first arrived but then quickly declined when placed with your other Nepenthes. It is important to realize that just because your existing plants are doing well under your conditions, it does not mean that every Nepenthes plant, even the same species, are going to immediately do as well. It is going to take some time for them to adjust to your conditions and you cannot just put them with your others and expect them to thrive immediately. N. ampullaria is a species with particularly thin leaves that will wilt if placed under too much moisture stress. The result is leaves that curl, brown out and take on a dull look. The only leaves and pitchers that will thrive under your conditions are those that are produced under them. Until that happens the plant may need additional protection, i.e. lower light and greater humidity, than your other plants, gradually hardening your plant off to your conditions. The amount of acclimation needed will vary quite a bit depending on what species you are working with and how much your conditons differ to those from where the plant originated. Considering the tremendous amount of time I spent with you on the phone providing a great deal of cultural information I am actually very disappointed that you would feel it is necessary to leave these comments as a negative experience. I thought that, although the plants could have arrived in better shape, the damage was aesthetic only and we did provide a great deal of customer support by spending the time with you to explain how to properly acclimate the plants to grow under your conditions. If this sort of follow-up is still considered poor customer service then I am not sure what else we could do to actually receive a positive.
Have been growing Neps and carnivorous plants for 7 years now. worst order I ever got. "large plant" that I paid $40 for was very abused with sunburn, 1/2 of all leaves cut in half and overall in very poor shape. I sent them an email with photo and they did not even have the curtesy to reply to it. the 2 small plants I got were the smallest I have ever gotton. one totally black and dead in 6 days. First nep. I have ever had to die on me. Absolutely fraudulent company as far as I am concerned.
On Dec 4, 2009, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
"On Dec 4, 2009 11:59 AM, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
I see that you have achieved your original goal, albeit with a selective memory. It is absolutely true that we decided to not pursue correspondence with you AFTER our original contact. You first e-mailed us on 11/05/09 to inform us that there was a problem with the large N. ampullaria upon arrival. You never asked us for a refund, replacement or other type of resolution, but only stated your intent to leave negative comments about us. I responded within 15 minutes to your e-mail apologizing for the condition of the plant and asking for an opportunity to correct the situation. The following day you responded with another message that was still filled with sarcasm and accusation of ill-intentions on our part. At that point it became obvious that you were more interested in playing the part of a victim rather than actually getting a healthy plant shipped to you. It was then that I decided to fulfill your wishes. By the way, you never made any mention of any problem or concern about the other two plants until now. Additionally, the "dust" you refer to on the plant's leaves is a coating that the species produces, not an artifact of poor culture. In case you have forgotten any of it, below is a transcript of our e-mail correspondence. I have processed a refund for the amount of the plant and shipping surcharge and hope that you can avoid being selectively abused by other companies in the future.
---- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:40 PM
Subject: Form Submission
name: michael sprouse
Comments: must say I am very disappointed in the large spotted
ampullaria I received today. Only 2 traps with every other leaf previously broken
or diseased or sunburned. Of all the larger plants I have ordered from
various places, it is by far the worst. Count on a few negative comments
on some of the chat pages.
BLACK JUNGLES RESPONSE (Less than 15 min later):
From: Richard Revis [mailto:XXXXXXXXXX]
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: Form Submission
I am sorry to hear about the condition of the plant you received. I can
assure you that the level of quality we send out is of great importance to
us. I would hope that you would actually give us a chance to actually do
something to rectify the situation before trying to publicly denounce us.
Would it be possible to send a photo to us so we can evaluate the type of
damage that occured to the plant? We take all of our customer's comments
seriously and would like to make sure each of them are satisfied.
MR. SPROUSE'S FOLLOW-UP E-MAIL:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Sprouse"
To: "Richard Revis"
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 6:17 PM
Subject: RE: Form Submission
please find attached photo. It would just be misleading to me to post a
photo of a large plant with so many traps on your website then sell anyone
a "large" plant about 16" high, no leaves at all the first 10 inches making
it rather unsightly to start with. 9 leaves total with 2 traps, 4 leaves of
which had been cut in half previously. newest leaf up top was the only one
broken in shipment, and all leaves being heavily spotted from too much sun
or whatever. Plus a lot of dust on the leaves which makes me think it was
stuck in a corner for quite a while. So why not ship it out to a first
time customer and see if he complains.
Plants were very small for the price. They arrived listless and unhealthy-looking, with: very few leaves, yellowed leaves, damaged/brown leaf edges. After a month, two of three appear to be surviving. The third didn't make it. When I inquired about warranty on that one, I was told I should have complained earlier.
As another user reported, although the plants are in 3 inch pots you can still see the soil holding the shape from the plug tray -- suggesting they were just recently potted up. Certainly the plants were the size you'd expect if you ordered plug trays from Agri-starts.
Out of the three plants I ordered, they were unable to fulfill two and had to make substitutions.
Email response is unreliable and slow. They blamed this on their spam filter.
On Nov 22, 2007, adamsmarcia Tagaytay Philippines wrote:
I ordered plants from Black Jungle about second week of October and I got an electronic generated acknowledgement for my order. On October 25, my credit card was charged $483.45 but I haven't got any email from them telling me about the status of my order. I tried calling them several times but never got a chance to speak to anybody---all I got was their answering service. Emailed them 4 times but didn't get any reply. I just want to know what happened to the plants I ordered and have paid for almost a month ago. I'm giving black jungle a chance to make this neutral feedback into a positive feedback.
On November 24th, 2007, adamsmarcia changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
After all efforts I made in contacting Black Jungle, I didn't get any attention or response about the status of the plants I ordered and paid for a month ago. That amount is $483.45. What a very traumatic experience for me in dealing with an online supplier. I don't know now what to do since I happen to live outside of the US. Traumatic and frustrating--- dealing with this company. They're quick to charge but no Customer Service at all!!!!! On Nov 22, 2007, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
On Jan 22, 2008 9:18 PM, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply added:
I am sorry to hear about the problems you have had reaching us but I do not show any record of your e-mails. I am not saying that you did not send them, however we were having a horrible time with SPAM during the last few months and it may have been filtered out. We were literally getting over 1000 emails a day and had to take drastic measures to cut them out. I did find the e-mail we sent to you regarding the status of your order which I have copied below. I did not see a response so we still have the order on hold for you. I am also e-mailing my personal e-mail address to you, along with the initial e-mail so we can get this resolved.
Black Jungle Terrarium Supply
----- Original Message -----
From: "Black Jungle Terrarium Supply"
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 8:59 PM
Subject: Re: Order - BlackJungle.com
I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you but the Anthuriums you
have ordered will not be available until early Spring. Please let us know if
you would like us to ship then or if you would prefer a credit on your
On Oct 26, 2007, 2pugdogs (Linda) Winfield, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:
On 9-15-07 I placed a order with this company for 2 Alocasia lauterbachiana in the amount of $21.28 including shipping. These were paid for by using PayPal. About 2 weeks later they called to inform me that they were sold out. I wasn't home at the time they called so they left a message on the phone asking me if I wanted to order something else. I called them back and had to leave a message as well and said I didn't want to order anything else, just give me credit back with PayPal. It is now 5 weeks later and have not received my credit. I have called them about 6 times leaving a message for them to call me that I wanted my money back. I also have send them e-mails and have not heard anything from this company. 10-25 I called them again and left another message stating that if they didn't call me back today I would be going into Daves Garden and I would leave them a very very negative feedback.
If anyone is thinking about buying from them I would really reconsider. A company that owes me money and they will not call me or answer a email is a company unworthly of my business.
On October 29th, 2007, 2pugdogs added the following:
Black Jungle did call me today, finally. They apologized for not having the plant that I had ordered. No apology for taking a month to get back to me, or for being very slow about answering e-mails or phone calls. She asked me what I wanted to do, and I told her to credit me back through PayPal for the amount. She said she would. I will come back and leave a note when I receive my credit. On November 6th, 2007, 2pugdogs added the following:
On Nov. 5th I did receive my credit. That morning I had to send them another email to let them know I hadn't received my credit yet. Then within an hour I got a email from PayPal stating credit had been issued to me.
On May 25, 2007, KarniVoor Philadelphia, PA wrote:
They don't maintain their web site. I ordered several carnivorous plants on-line, which showed all in stock. My credit card was charged a few days later (Wednesday), but no email confirming shipment. I got a phone call that Friday saying that the Nepenthes I ordered was not in stock.
I could not call them until Monday. Although hours were listed as 10-5, they didn't answer the phone until nearly noon (earlier voicemail was not returned). The person I needed to speak with was unavailable and would return my call in an hour. After 1-1/2 hours, I called them back and spoke with the right person. The Nepenthes I ordered were not in a good condition to survive shipment and could she substitute a different one? She tried to persuade me to pick an alternative Nepenthes, but I insisted on a different Napenthes shown on their web site (she did appear knowledgeable). My Drosera was also out of stock and we agreed on an alternative (it was a few dollars more, but she gave it to me for the same price). Since there was a price difference, I OK'd a Jewel Orchid to make up the difference. At this point, I just wanted to get the plants shipped.
I was very disappointed in the packing. The plants arrived wrapped in shredded wax paper with no extra protection around them. The wax paper around the top of the plants got damp and soft, so it did not afford any protection to the leaves. The orchid had a bent leaf and a Drosera had some of it's leaves taped to the pot! The Napenthes and another Drosera were the only ones in plastic bags over them. That's not much of an improvement. Compare to California Carnivores, which puts plastic cups over each plant and wraps each plant securely (with a plastic marking stick to put next to the plant).
On top of that, I think the flytrap I ordered was fairly small size.
I don't think I would order from this company again. It sounds like a place where you need to shop in person. They need to get in sync with their web business. Especially the credit card charging problem (not until it's shipped). That's why I pay by credit card. If there were further problems, I have recourse. (I also use a one-time number for privacy concerns.)
On May 25, 2007, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
On Jun 15, 2007 9:56 AM, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply added:
Hi there! I'm fairly certain I'm the woman you spoke with on the phone about your order. My name is Trystan, and I'm employed by Black Jungle to supervise the plant department. First, I want to sincerely apologize to you for our shortcomings, the first being unable to supply the items you originally ordered, and second, for failing to pack them well enough to arrive in good shape. Taping down Drosera leaves is a bad thing to do, and it shouldn't have happened!
I would personally welcome an opportunity to provide you with a better outcome and a more positive experience with us. We're having an open house on June 23-24th, and you are very warmly invited. I would be honored to meet you and give you a tour. At that time you could also share some of your concerns with our owners, who manage the website.
We do work very hard to maintain our inventory, much of which we propagate here, and we work hard to ship things safely and well. Because some of our plant stocks are limited, things do sell out. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this caused you. I welcome feedback whenever a plant arrives in less than perfect condition, because that's how we learn and improve. We also replace plants that arrive in poor condition. Thank you for the suggestion about using cups for the carnivores.
Again, thank you again for ordering from Black Jungle Terrarium Supplies. I hope you choose to give us another chance someday, and I'm truly sorry you were less than satisfied with your order. "
On Nov 20, 2006, toddottgardener Grand Rapids, MI wrote:
the prices are outrageous for the microscopic size of the plants. i ordered previously, spent lots of money and received almost nothing for it. i decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. i ordered again - a nepenthes, begonia foliosa and a couple others. the nepenthes arrived looking sickly and the begonia was missing. i practically needed a magnifying glass to see the others. i called them and they did ship the begonia. it was two inched tall, had three leaves, and barely a root (all for the bargain price of $6.99). it was almost comical, but what was really funny was the size of the pot it arrived in. it's size made the "plant" look even smaller.
well, the nepenthes continued to shrivel up to nothing so after three weeks i called them (i should have called sooner). they blamed me for it's death and made several excuses.
i have ordered from several companies and this is the only company i've been disappointed in. i fact, companies like cloud jungle and peace of the tropics actually sell some cuttings that average about two dollars, which are larger than potted plants from black jungle that sell for $6.99 and more.
i don't know how black jungle got positive comments, but i won't waste my money there anymore when there are many better quality and lower priced companies.
On February 20th, 2007, toddottgardener added the following:
no, i didn't mention plant size because i was more concerned about whether this nepenthes would live or not. you do mention sizes on your website - either pot size or leaf span - but does that really tell the size of the plant? if you say the leaf span is 3-4", does that tell me how tall the plant is, or how many leaves it has? i ordered a nepenthes from another company for about the same price. it was in a four inch pot with a 3-4" leaf span - it was over a foot long with at least 20 leaves. compare that with your five inch plant with four leaves. and no, the plant isn't dead. what i meant was, that you implied it would be my fault if it did. yes, the plant is still alive, but not surprisingly it is the same size after all these months. but i think i see a new leaf just starting to emerge? and yes, the humidity is above 90%. and i'm sorry i used the term microscopic. the plants are very, very, very small. would you be happy paying $6.99 for a begonia, and receiving a two inch plant with three leaves? (That plant did die, by the way, presumably from lack of a mature root system.) If your website says they're growing in 3" deep pots, i would assumed the plant would be at least the same size as the pot, with healthy 3" roots.
anyway, the point i was trying to make... i have orded from you twice, and both times have been disappointed. i'm sure as a business, you need to do what you can to survive, but compared with the many companies i've ordered from, your plants are very small and very expensive. in the words of another person who wrote in, "the size of the plants for the price was laughable", and so was the 10% coupon that you send to disappointed customers.On Nov 20, 2006, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply responded with:
On Nov 20, 2006 2:57 PM, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply added:
I was the one you spoke to this morning and I am quite surprised and disappointed to see this review. I would also like to clarify a few things. First, you never mentioned any concerns with plant size or overall quality at all during the conversation. All of our Nepenthes have their sizes listed in the product description so you know what to expect upon their arrival. Second, the three sundews you were sent were mature or close to mature and so I am confused about the need for a "magnifying glass" to see them. Third, this morning you ephasized that the plant was NOT dead but had browning leaf edges with leaf curling and that you would watch it for a while longer. Now, you are posting that I blamed you for the death of the plant. Is the plant dead or not? I did not blame you for the condition of the plant but rather explained how the plants need specialized care upon arrival, especially thin-leaved species such as N. ampullaria. You told me that you put it with all of your other Nepenthes after you received it and I explained that those conditions, while fine for established plants, may not be approriate for a recently shipped plant that could benefit from additional humidity. You could not tell me what the humidity level in your terrariums is but stated that you knew it was high enough due to condensation on the glass. I explained that condensation does not indicate a specific humidity level, but rather only indicates that the temperature is warmer inside the tank than outside of it. The plant was shipped wrapped with shredded wax paper, sealed in a plastic bag to help ensure a safe delivery. You stated that there was probably not enough humidity in the bag because there was no condensation on the bag. I then explained that we would not want moisture on the bag as that could cause the plant to rot. You also transplanted the plant after receiving it into a different media than what it was originally growing in. These are not "excuses" but simply things that will affect how the plant establishes when growing conditions are changed suddenly from what ours are. I also told you that even though we did not hear anything about the condition of the N. ampullaria for three weeks that I would provide you with a store credit if the plant did die. That was never mentioned here either. We normally never do such a thing because we have no way to know if the plant was cared for properly during that time period or not. You never complained about the plant when you received it, nor did you mention it when contacting us about the B. foliosa that was left out of your order. Out of all of the N. ampullaria that we have shipped over the past several weeks you were the only one that had a problem. Even though it goes against our policy we still agreed to offer you the store credit and you said that you would be happy with that. As far as our pleased customers go, in addition to their satisfaction with our products, they are probably also happy due to the fact that we will even break the rules and offer credit to them, even when it goes against our policy. Lastly, if we sold unrooted cuttings we would perhaps be able to sell them for a few dollars. The fact that we sell potted plants that require more time, effort and care does not allow us to do that.
Black Jungle Terrarium Supply"
On Aug 3, 2006, indigowells2 Carbondale, IL wrote:
I am very disappointed in the plants I received from Black Jungle. All told our order came to nearly $200 for anthuriums, philodendrons, ferns, and miscellaneous. While the shipping was timely and the packaging good, the size of the plants for the price was laughable. Here is the letter I sent to them complaining of the problem:
After scanning the internet for indications about your company and the kind of plants you ship (and reading and rereading the comments on Garden Watchdog), I and my friends felt confident in placing a fairly large order (for them) with your company. The plants arrived Thursday, well-packed and in good condition. The issue we have is the size of the starts. While the King anthurium was very well rooted, the other plants were barely rooted into their small pots. Particularly disturbing were the crocodile and heart ferns. These had apparently just been shifted up into the 3" pot from the plug tray -- as each was removed from the pot the soil fell away from the plug. This same thing happened with one A. clarinervium and two P. gloriosum, and for the ones that didn't lose their soil, there were only one or two roots that had reached the sidewall of the container.
I own and operate a retail perennial nursery here in southern Illinois. We grow our own from cuttings and seed, so I am very familiar with shifting up and rooting times. I can tell you that selling material that has not developed enough of a root system to hold the soil mass together will lose you customers. No matter how good the plant looks on top or how badly that cash flow is needed, it is just bad business. And when a customer has to pay extra shipping for the weight of that worthless soil....
If I wanted plugs, I'd just order a tray of 72 from Agri-Starts.
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