I've been a Pinetree Gardens customer for many years and referred friends there. The website was always buggy so I just mark up the catalog and order by phone. In the past they had excellent deals on trays, inserts and mulch, in addition to seeds. They became my primary seed source with various additions from Seed Savers, Johnny's, Thompson & Morgan, Irish Eyes, etc.
But, something clearly happened to this company several years ago. Per the other comments, I'm guessing around 2009. For myself, the final straw has been deteriorating germination rates, declining to completely unacceptable last year and even total failure in a couple of cases. (I am an experienced and successful indoor/greenhouse seed starter as our last frost is 5/31.) Is this old seed? Poorly stored seed? No idea. I also got a couple of mislabeled varieties that were very annoying.
One friend I referred to Pinetree last winter was utterly scathing about her experience with their seeds. So, not only did I have several total germination failures but I caused a friend to as well.
My experiences with customer service have generally been good, meaning they will re-send, but I can't take the chance any more with our very short season. I'm sad to say I won't take the chance with them again, when I can find most things on racks at the various stores and order special items from other vendors. Special hat tip to Adams Fairacre Farms stores who stock many seeds from many sources.
Sad to write this, and hope these comments spur a change in attitude at Pinetree.
I placed my order, which included frost protection on the 10th of March and just now (March 20th) received a notice from UPS, NOT Pinetree that my order will not arrive until the 27th of March AFTER the danger of frost is over. So disappointed, its supposed to snow tonight and I had to go out and buy burlap to protect my strawberry plants. On top of that, I never received a confirmation email from Pinetree that they received and were processing my order. I received a phone call from my bank saying they processed the transaction as a debit card transaction and not as a credit card without my knowledge. This is the very reason I like to pay by Paypal and not by credit card, however Pinetree does not offer this option. We'll see what happens when I receive the order, but so far, I'm not impressed.
First order with Pinetree, was concerned when seeds came in packages with no instructions, I have been starting seeds in my greenhouse for many years, had never seen seed packages with no information to speak of. Germination has been very poor, maybe 40%, very disappointing considering I enjoy mass plantings of annuals such as Asters (powder puffs) germination in that case has been 0% I have not contacted company yet, but am not sure that I want replacements, as I have gone up to my local nursery and bought replacement seeds and started them already. Just wanted to put in my 2 seeds.
On Jan 27, 2011, taufgardner American Fork, UT wrote:
Posted on March 23, 2004, updated January 27, 2011
The order came more slowly than I had hoped (about 3-4 weeks, compared with less than 10 days for four other companies, including two with marginal ratings on Garden Watchdog). The one item I was particularly interested in, the Opalka Tomato (#414) was substituted, with an explanation that events of last fall ruined the crop, even though the item is still featured in the on-line catalog. I would have ordered it elsewhere, had I known. Now it's too late. It's my first experience with Pinetree. Given the overwhelming positive experiences noted by others, I will probably give Pinetree the benefit of the doubt and try them again next year, but not ready to fully switch to them.
On April 18th, 2004, taufgardner changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Not only did my order come late, but the germination was deplorable (less than 50% for the tomato and worse for the jicama). Additionally, the plants that did sprout have extremely poor vigor. They look sick. I'd chalk it up to poor technique on my part except that I have started seeds since the Nixon administration and had MUCH better results this year with similar varieties from other companies' seeds planted at the same time, in the same medium and under the same conditions. I'm disappointed to the level that I am looking at other suppliers to replace seeds I have not already planted, so I don't find out the hard way that they do not thrive, either.On May 18th, 2004, taufgardner added the following:
Two months later, I have only two plants to show for all the starting I attempted. That compares with nearly 100% success with Gurney and Burpee seeds. My kids call the tomato plant a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" sort of plant, and we're nursing it carefully, as it is a harder to find variety. I didn't even bother planting the cucumber (Diva) because I could get seeds from a local, reliable supplier and start over. I will NEVER order from Pinetree again and am amazed that they have such a positive rating on Garden Watchdog (though I notice their halo has slipped some this year). On January 27th, 2011, taufgardner added the following:
The two most recent postings echo my experiences from before. This company was a "Watchdog Top 30" company when I ordered in 2004, a reason I chose them. In the years before and since, I have only had such poor results twice, one from some 20 year old bean seeds that were found on a back shelf in the family construction business and the other time with Reimer. Other than that, I can get seeds to start and can expect reasonable germination rates, even from companies that are well known, but have iffy ratings. The shipping was also longer than I have ever experienced with anyone. And I have to agree that the company response left a lot to be desired. The lack of clarity and accuracy in the message is indicative of the service I experienced.
Posted on December 4, 2010, updated January 26, 2011
Posted on August 6, 2010, updated December 4, 2010
Posted on April 23, 2010, updated August 6, 2010
Posted on February 21, 2010, updated April 23, 2010
Posted on February 2, 2010, updated February 20, 2010
Posted on March 23, 2009, updated February 2, 2010
The website is buggy as all heck. During the ordering process, I would order items, browse for a while, comeback and find out my cart was now empty. This was very, very frustrating.
After finally completing my order I discovered that there really was not way to contact anyone at the firm as the phone was always busy. After waiting 20 days without receiving a shipping notification I faxed in a cancel order as the phone was busy, e-mails were not responded to. I assume they are simply going through growing pains in a busy season. However I have certain expectations. One is that I know if my order will be filled, and two that I know when my items will be shipped and an anticipated ship date.
We all know certain plants need to be started indoors in certain climates, in particular Tomatoes, Peppers, and Alpine strawberries from seed. When you cannot get a confirmation that the order will be filled nor a shipping date you have to make a cut date to go to the local store and buy your seeds.
I'll try PineTree again next year and order very, very early. Once again I suspect the problem is simply a growth related issue. But currently, I would certainly not use them for an order after February if timeliness is important.
On February 3rd, 2010, TheFluffyOne changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Okay as stated last year, I gave PineTree another try. Placed my order on 01/23 and the seeds arrived on 02/01. Disappointed there were no "shipped" notifications or a way to tell if the order was fulfilled but I can't complain with the end result : great service. I have obviously not tried out the seeds or even inspected the packaging much, all I can say so far is the seed packets are unusual. Very strange looking. On February 21st, 2010, TheFluffyOne added the following:
Okay now I have had time to look at my order. I really like the fact they print how many plants to the squarefoot on the packages, I wish all companies did this. But I have to wonder, given the simplicity of their packages why the don't simply use smaller packages. Oh well...great service, good overall prices.On April 23rd, 2010, TheFluffyOne changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Well. now that I have had time to use the seeds purchased I'll make this observation - from my viewpoint the germination rate is not acceptable. Additionally the quantity of some of the seeds is very low, not normally a concern, but given the poor germination rate, I was a little surprised at the variance in the packages.
I am a seed conservator and buy a pack of seeds and keep them refrigerated for years. So I tend to expect a bit of decline. But I expect a good germination rate in the first year and these seeds are disappointing me. The germination rate from these Pinetree seeds make me think I will have to purchase seeds far more often than I wish and they really are not suitable for my purpose. I generally receive far better germination rates from any of the off the rack seed sources, of course the reason for mail order is to get the varieties you want.
For example I bought 6 varieties of lettuce and the germination rate is around 60%, which is about the same as my 4 year old lettuce seeds from my refrigerator. The 5 varieties of tomatoes germination rate was about 70%, which is lower than my 3 year old seeds. And I tried out 2 types of peppers and could not get single seed to germinate, but my 3 year old California Wonder peppers had no problems.
So in the end, great service, good prices, meager quantities, and a relatively low to poor germination rate.
At this point I don't know if I'll be ordering again and rather doubt it.
(in case anyone wonders how I keep seeds for so long, they are only out of the refrigerator for moments when I plant. I literally grab the bag I need and put all the others back under refrigeration, and then I try and get the seeds back under refrigeration in under 2 minutes. I think too many people take their seeds out, let them warm up too much and then put them back.) On August 6th, 2010, TheFluffyOne added the following:
Well I have now started my fall crops so I have now attempted to use all the seeds I ordered. I remain beyond disappointed. the germination rate was between dismal to almost non-existent. I am truly disappointed and have never had a worse grouping of seeds. Not much more needs to be said here. I will be taking my business elsewhere.
On December 4th, 2010, TheFluffyOne added the following:
Add to Pinetree's list of transgressions mislabeled varieties. I made a sorry mistake. I was anxiously awaiting what as suppose to be my Big Red peppers to ripen, but they never sized up. Finally as they became a deep red I pulled them. Noting they were not stuffer sized but a little larger than golf balls. Unfortunately I made a mistake of sampling by cutting it with a knife and popping it into my mouth. Mother of gosh it was hot, so very hot. Mislabeled.
And the Kellogg's Breakfast tomato I ordered turned out ot be an old standby, the much meeker Golden Ponderosa despite the labeling on the package. I would know Golden Ponderosa anywhere.
So in the end, small quantities or mislabeled seeds with poor germination rates. On January 26th, 2011, TheFluffyOne added the following:
After reading "bevgar" excellent observations and analysis regarding germination and what PineTree should do verses what they indicate they actually do, what I experienced makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the insight Bevgar.
I placed an order on the Web March 16th. I received no email confirmation - and no warning about how long my order could take. I called to find out about my order March 27th - and was told that the seeds should be shipped out by the END of this week. That means over two weeks before they even go out. I was also told curtly that this information was clearly presented on the website. The information is presented under policies (I just checked) -- which talks of backlogs during peak times of two to three weeks. But who reads policies when you are ordering!!! I should have paid extra for immediate handling. I could end up waiting 4 weeks for seeds at the start of growing season!!!! AGGGH. I am spoiled by Territorial Seed where I would have had the seeds in a week.
On Mar 23, 2010, bg2000sap Saint Charles, MO wrote:
I originally placed my order on March 3rd. Last week, on March 17, I placed an email asking about the status of my seeds. They responded the next day that my seed had been mailed the 17th. Today, it is March 23rd. I have not received my seeds. I decided to call because there is no way it should take 6 days even counting the weekend for me to receive my seeds. When I got through, I was told they had been mail the 19th. At this time, I won't believe they actually sent my seeds till I receive them.
Anywho, I extremely frustrated. I'll probably stick to the larger seed companies from here on out. The lady on the phone said she would send me something, but whatever. I just want my seeds. Whatever she sends me will arrive a month later ? Funny part was I received a seed catalog from them yesterday.
Looking at 3 + weeks to receive my seeds is just too long, but the kicker to me is just lying to me about the date they sent the seeds out.
On Jun 21, 2009, BarbaraEmerson Manchester, MA wrote:
This is the second time that I have ordered from Pinetree. Both times I have shared with friends because we like to grow a large variety of vegetables and the low cost and small numbers of seeds in each package work well for that. The first time was a couple of years ago and both of us had germination problems. This year we tried again based on the prices and good selection. Again, germination problems.
When I wrote and explained the problem, they offered replacements and said they had done germination tests. I decided to do my own test on two varieties of carrots...cosmic purple and Half long Danvers that were sent the second time. Only 40% of the cosmic purple and 60% of the Danvers germinated. I don't think this is satisfactory.
The seeds may be low in cost but I don't have time to deal with crop failures. Also less experienced gardeners will think the problem is theirs...companies owe it to their customers (and the seed industry in general) to supply good quality seed.
Although I have been a loyal customer for years, I am very unhappy with my order this year. I ordered on March 23rd seeds and potatoes and plastic. I paid the $4.95 extra and received the seeds/plastic timely; altho when I recently unrolled the plastic to cover the beds, it was well short of the 200' I ordered. After not receiving my potatoes (spring shipment) I inquired via email on April 28th and was told my order would ship within 2 weeks (with no mention that they were sold out of anything). I finally received it on May 21, with a note on the packing slip saying that the 10 lbs of burbanks were sold out and my credit card would be credited, although no credit card receipt was attached showing that had actually been done. They were happy to charge my credit card for the entire order back on March 23rd! Didn't they know at that time they were already sold out of the product? The remaining potatoes that I did receive are in very bad shape, soggy, shriveled, with sprouts about 8 inches long, like they have been growing inside the bags for way too long. So I don't expect good results with them. I am considering returning them. But where am I supposed to find seed potatoes locally at this point in the season? When I unrolled the black plastic, which I ordered 200 feet, I realized that I only received 160 feet. They are supposed to send me the balance, but once again, I paid in full for this back on March 23rd, and I need it now, not after complaining about being shorted and then have to wait for some more to show up. They are all full of excuses this year about being overwhelmed and understaffed. Hey, in this economy, I think there are plenty of qualified people more than willing to work. It is the management that is the problem.
They have lost yet another long time customer.
I decided to try this supplier for the first time this year. Just a small percentage of seeds sprouted. I had to scramble to purchase additional seeds elsewhere to keep with sprouting schedule. Shipping time was way too long. I am trying someone else next year.
I have ordered off and on from Pinetree for a number of years. Their strength has been small amounts of seeds for the home gardener at a lower price.
This year the amount of seeds in their packets were a joke. Many were not enough to overcome the mortality of starting seeds at home in less than ideal conditions. Several varieties were not enough to start so I had to go out and buy more at a store.
They bill when they receive the order so I was billed in Jan. and had to threaten to cancel my root stock order if they did not ship it. They promised in April but claim they said April through May! I was also over charged! Never again. I learned my lesson.
Try Fedco also in Maine. A Co-op and a bit nicer.
This is my first and last ordering experience with Pinetree. I ordered the seeds on February 28 and did not receive them until April 7. It took them 5 weeks instead of the 2-3 weeks stated in their catalog. I called them to check on my order and the telephone was not answered.
On Apr 23, 2009, scarleeta Yazoo City, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
This was my first year ordering from this company and will be my last. I placed an order on February 2nd. I ordered both seeds and plants. I received my seeds approximately Mid-March. On March 27th, I e-mailed the company requesting the status of my plants as I am in Zone 7b-8. (It's already spring here!). I had tried calling, but could never get anyone. On March 30th, I received a reply that the perennials that I ordered were in the garden under the snow and would be shipped as weather permits. Most of the plants I ordered were spring-blooming and will not do much for my landscape this year. Anyway, it's now April 23rd and I still haven't received my plants.
Pinetree Seeds used to be my favorite company to order seeds from - great prices, small packets, great selection. I recommended them to all my gardening friends. This year, I ordered on 2/14, which I thought would give a little extra time, "just in case". After calling (with constant busy signals, but finally getting through one day) and emails, I learned how busy they were, and I finally received my seeds on 3/14 (weeks after the other orders arrived). I was very unhappy with the slow shipping. But, I tried to be forgiving - so many factors are increasing the popularity of home gardening, so I accepted that they were overwhelmed and planted them immediately. I don't have complaints with the germination rates, and the seedlings are doing pretty well.
I just got my potatoes, though a little later than I would have liked. Much to my dismay, they substituted the Green Mountain potatoes I ordered (for baking and storage) with Irish Cobbler potatoes (best if used fresh). They did not contact me, though I would have been reasonable and accepted another potato variety - one I could store to feed my family. To make matters worse, all of the potatoes I received look like grocery store potatoes with NO sprouts, and I need to get them in the garden right away. Luckily, I received sprouting potatoes last week from another company, but they won't be enough to feed the family for the season. Hopefully, the ones they did send will sprout in a hurry so that I can plant them by the end of the month.
Needless to say, I'm extremely disappointed with Pinetree this year. After seeing all of the negative reviews, I will be surprised if they can last as a company, and I really wish it wasn't so. I wish that they would respond to these posts. If I do order again, it will be only seeds, and I will order as soon as I receive the catalog. I won't make the mistake of ordering anything that I need, except maybe just a few items for direct garden planting, and the ones I buy "just to try".
I can't help but hope that the company will dramatically change for the better. But, I can't say I'm optimistic.
I ordered Green Mountain potatoes from Pinetree back in February. When I received my other seeds that had accompanied the order several weeks later, I noticed on the invoice that it only mentioned that part of the order (the potatoes) would be shipped later. Just what I expected. I assumed it meant that I would be getting the potatoes I ordered. But no. A few days ago I received a package of Irish Cobbler potatoes with a note that it is a similar to the Green Mountain variety. Maybe in appearance and taste. But Irish Cobbler is an early potato best eaten fresh. Green Mountain is a late potato that keeps well in storage for several months--which is what I was looking for. I never agreed to or was even informed of this substitution. I don't think I will ever order from Pinetree again.
I can't believe it; the bastards hung up on me!!! Without even talking to me! I called several times, getting a busy signal every time. When I finally got through, whoever answered the phone picked it up, then immediately hung up. I ordered on February 20, still no seeds on April 13. this will be my last order with them.
On Apr 8, 2009, cruisemachine Brattleboro, VT wrote:
Over 40 days to get my seeds is ridiculous. The customer service has been rude. They quickly billed my credit card but still haven't sent the merchandise after 40 days. Business is business and they have lost mine and everyone I bump into. I am contacting my credit card company to get a refund....horrible
I have placed my order 0n Feb26 and as of today April 6th I have not received my order.I have tried several times to contact them and got a busy signal.
I finally got someone today but as soon as I mentioned my order number she hung up on me.
I have been a customer of theirs for over 25 years and I don't understand what's going on.
You can rest assured that I will never do business with them again.
What a pity!
NEVER NEVER NEVER AGAIN!!! I will not order from this company again. I am a first year gardener and heard such wonderful things about them.
I placed my order on Feb 27th and I still have not received it. I got an email from them saying it would take about 4 weeks total...we are now on week 5 and I have nothing from them. NOTHING!!! I have emailed them again since you cannot get through on their phone line at all.
This used to be favorite seed house, but no more. I placed an order March 17 (yeah, a busy time), but based on their email to me will be "about 2 more weeks" which would be "about April 17". That is too late my intended schedule. Yep, you can't beat their prices, but the delays are unacceptable IMHO. I called Johnny's which said that orders go out the next day. I trimmed my order to some special varieties, bit the bullet and paid the high price at Johnny's (their stuff IS good, but you pay). I will buy the rest of my common seed needs at Wally World or Lowe's.
I would still buy from Pinetree in the future, but order in December or January. They need to maybe charge a bit more and hire more help as they are driving customers away.
Ironically, the Pinetree catalog might be the first one I get in late fall. Maybe they are trying to tell us something? :)
On Apr 2, 2009, TheFountainLady Beaverton, MI wrote:
Like many of the people here - I am so frustrated at the terrible service from Pinetree this year. I have been a customer for many years, but after the poor service this year, I'll never order from them again!
When I placed my order there was a notice on their homepage about orders taking two weeks to process. It's been more than double that and I still do not have any seeds.
Now the site said it will take a month to process ....
In this day and age there is NO EXCUSE for ANY company to just sit on orders for over a month before they even process the orders, and pull the stock and ship it to you.
If they are SO busy and business is that good, they could well hire more employees to process and pull orders, lord knows there are people looking for employment .... even at minimum wage.
Like others, a more than 4 week wait for a small order. I ordered from 3 different companies on the same day (February 28) My card was charged on March 2. Website currently lists a 3-4 week delay, and I was told today it will probably ship either today or tomorrow. We'll see. The other companies I ordered from all shipped on Monday, March 2 and I had seeds in hand by Friday, March 6.
There are too many good, dependable seed sources out there to try Pinetree again!
On Mar 31, 2009, tomtorrance Scottsville, VA wrote:
Add me to the list of unhappy customers who've been waiting more than a month for the seeds I ordered to arrive. At this point, there's no need to start the seeds indoors here in Central Virginia. (I noticed that my credit card had been charged weeks ago.)
The order was placed on February 27,2009 and my credit card was charged on March 2nd 2009 it is now March 30. 2009 and still haven't received the seeds. I called and finally got a person and she said it would be another couple of weeks. I told her she should hire more people and she said they had and then I said they should hire even more. I think this is so unacceptable they shouldn't charge you till they send your item. I was told they are several weeks behind. I have never dealt with a company like this. I am not very happy.
Over a month for a seed order is unacceptable. Pinetree has been one of my favorites for many, many years, until this year. The changing of delays in the web site bothers me also. Hopefully, they can work this out in the future. However I won't know because this is my last order.
On Mar 29, 2009, trianglegarden Raleigh, NC wrote:
Placed an order by mail in February and confirmed check was received and cashed by company that month. Contacted Pinetree Seeds on 3/19 and was told they were backed up over 3 weeks. "All the seed companies are having the same problem." was the excuse given. Asked why this delay wasn't relayed to customers and was told "We're too busy to be doing that.". Asked when I might expect my order and was told it would be shipped priority mail on Monday 3/23. Still waiting.
I've always enjoyed looking at their catalog and this was my first order. I can't believe the poor service and now if, or when, I receive my seeds it will be too late to start many of them for transplanting out in mid April. Never had such poor service from any other seed company.
On Mar 25, 2009, squash_butter Burlington, VT wrote:
At the very best, there is at least a 7 WEEKS DELAY before receiving your order.
Ordered a dozen seeds packets over 5 weeks ago, on February 16th.
Nothing received yet. Today I got a reply (2 days later) saying
my order will ship next week. Yeah sure.
I'm already late starting those seeds, let alone waiting 2 more weeks!
(IF they really ship in one week and since they are using plain USPS,
it adds yet another week of transit)
Most business I deal with ship the same day, or the next at most.
6 weeks later ?! Well, they did do something the following day
of my order -- they charged my credit card in full.
There is no order tracking, no communication of any sort to say
they are unable to ship within a reasonable delay.
So what should I do... Not enough time to order the specific seeds I wanted
somewhere else and I sure ain't trusting a company that is 5 weeks late already
to honor its word of "shipping next week".
I have to fall back on bland local seeds -- because of this unreliable, worthless company.
Not happy at all. Not ordering there anymore.
(actually, sending money there has felt more like being... robbed)
On March 29th, 2009, squash_butter added the following:
Well, I did receive my order (some of it), 6 weeks after ordering.
Apart from the inexcusable delay, the disturbing fact is they have absolutely no idea where your order is -- my order just arrived and I was told 2 days ago that it would ship next week.
So if they gave you their canned answer: "Shipping next week", it's meaningless.
I got my seeds way too late, but I did get them... mostly.
Out of 12 seeds packets, I got 9. The others are out-of-stock and have been credited.
Again, what disturbs me is that they charge your credit card in full immediately upon receiving your order -- to "reserve" your items... which again, means nothing. Also, their website does not indicate actual stock.
My review obviously remains negative since it is NOT a reliable company:
They don't ship on time (getting your seeds late is simply a waste).
You have no idea what you will actually receive.
There is no confirmation or tracking of any sort.
On Mar 25, 2009, Janna Mahwah, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:
This company - once very good one - is steadily getting worse and worse every year! What is going on with it? This time I placed an order over a month ago, and still didn't get it. There was no email confirmation, nothing. I e-mailed in 2 weeks asking what's up with order, they answered: it will be shipped next week. In 2 weeks I email again, they send me exact the same answer - will be shipped next week. Is it a joke? Is it always going to be "next week"? I want to know where is my order and why in the world it takes them 1+ month to ship it? I'll never order anything there ever again. Yeah, I saved couple bucks, but it's not worth the time wasted, and the frustration. There are other great companies out there and they deserve the business in these hard times.
On Mar 25, 2009, Oregoncatlady Grants Pass, OR wrote:
I placed a $72 order in February via the internet. When I had heard nothing from them I emailed them. They did not answer so I faxed them as their phone number is always busy. When they did not answer I emailed again and this time asked for a cancellation. They finally answered. While I have had trouble getting the wrong items or missing items in the past I was able to resolve them satisfactorly. This year customer service in nonexistent. Their seed packets have always held much less than other companies but I was willing to deal with that for good service, but no more. They have lost a long term client who has spent hundreds of dollars with them. They apparently have gotten too big to care about return business. There is no way to check on an order on the buggy internet site...that might have helped?
when my order arrived it was missing an item and in its place was spring shipping added onto my order instead which did not apply and i emailed them 3 times and yet received no reply i want what i ordered or a refund and i want no more catalogs sent since i will never order from them again
Sent order for 14 items in first week of February. Check cashed on February 12. After three weeks and hearing nothing, I left a message on their answering machine. On March 11, I received 9 of the 14 items, and a note that 4 others were out of stock and being backordered. Checked today , 3/19, and the backordered items are still not in. Should I ever receive the backordered items, it will be far too late-- so I will get substitutes (not what I would wish) from the rack at a Home Depot. I have ordered from Pinetree in the past, and they have ocassionally been out of stock, but the combination of excessive delay and out of stock items this year has been the nail in the coffin. I will not order from them next year.
It pains me to give my favorite seed company a negative review, but they deserve it. I sent off my order on 2/6/09, my check was cashed on 2/11.
I still haven't received the order. After checking the website and reading the warning about extended shipping times, I called the company and talked to a worker who said they were currently processing orders dated 2/17. Well, my order was already cashed 6 days earlier, but she didn't explain why it wasn't ready yet.
My emails have gone unanswered, and this really surprises me because Pinetree has always given me good and quick replies before, and I've used the company for years.
Like so many other Pinetree customers I'm behind in starting my plants. If the company knows it has a problem why doesn't it hire additional help to work on the orders? Surely there are people willing to do this job? A timely turnover of orders is vital to the success of a business, I should think.
I'm dismayed that my gardening season is off to such a bad start. Like other gardeners I rely on my home-grown plants, and Pinetree has - up until now - been a big part of this. But since my business is handled so poorly I will take it elsewhere.
I'd like the company to address the lengthy shipping times on this forum. Pinetree has many loyal customers and they deserve better than this!!
I ordered over a month ago and still haven't received my order. Their phone line always seems to be busy and two of my emails have not been answered. They did respond to my first one because we were gone and all the other seed orders were here and I thought something might have happened to the Pinetree order, but it just hadn't been sent yet.
I have liked Pinetree in the past and am hoping this is just a one time thing. I ordered at the same time last year and don't remember any problem with delays. I hope they will assure their customers delivery of their orders in a timely manner next spring.
I ordered 25 packs of seeds on Feb 15, 2009. Needing to start the tomato and pepper seedlings, on March 19th, I called to ask what was going on. I was told it would be at least another 2 weeks before they got to my order in the warehouse. Then I would have to wait for shipping. I cancelled my order, and bought locally. When I called to cancel my order, I asked for an email confirmation of the cancellation, just as I had received an email confirmation of my order. I was haughtily told that phone confirmation would have to do. I've had trouble with shipping and customer service with this company before, but this time, I've vowed to never order from them again.
I placed an order on 2/10/09. The website said that orders placed in February would be processed in two to three weeks. I did not receive the seeds until 3/9/09, and that was only after I emailed them to find out why I had not received my seeds. I placed orders with Johnny's and JL Hudson within a few days of ordering from Pinetree, and received those seeds within a week.
On Feb 27, 2009, aclosecall Clay Center, KS wrote:
Ordered 2/08/09 - finally got someone to answer a phone 2/27/08 - they told me my order would be at least 2 more weeks to be processsed.....5 weeks or more. Very poor customer service. Cancelled order. Will not do business with the company again.
I love many of the items Pinetree offer, especially some of the gift sets. The one issue I have had, however is with shipping and customer service. Shipping when stated as being " within a week" often takes a month or more. E-mails are not responded to and customer service is not too helpful or friendly.
I have been lucky on occasion but due to extremely poor communication and slow and inconsistent shipping, I will go to other sites that value their customers.
On Dec 4, 2008, majormajor East Lansing, MI wrote:
Of all the seed companies I've dealt with, Pinetree is the only one who insists on selling my name to other companies, despite my requests they not do so. I write it on every order form, I've emailed the request to them, and two years ago I even got an email response that they had fixed the mailing list. But I still get seed catalogs from someone I don't order from and in each case I've inquired where they got my name/address and the response has been "Pinetree". Pinetree almost never responds to email questions. This spring the usual order I place with them will instead go to Fedco or Territorial or Johnnys or someone else that pays attention to customer service.