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On Mar 27, 2013, mikerotell Franklin Park, NJ wrote:
The last time I ordered from R.H. Shumway was way back in the early '70's when they were their own company and not affiliated with anyone...they are now owned by Jungs. In any event a catalog came in the mail and I saw that they were offering mums at $1.99 each. A pretty good deal I thought but I needed to know if they were bare root as I expected they would be at this price. An email sent to customer service was returned a a few days later which confirmed that these were in fact potted plants..GREAT! I ordered 6 (R.H. Shumways choice of color) with only $6 shipping to NJ which I thought was a great deal. I was anticipating some nice fall colors, you know, like yellow, orange, bronze, red, rust- the colors we associate with fall and mums. Instead what did I get ? PURPLE AND WHITE! Yes, I ordered 6 plants and I received 3 purple and 3 white. I'm not even excited about planting these. I will say that I can't complain about the quality. These were nicely rooted, healthy potted cuttings that I'm sure will grow fine, I'm just disappointed in the color selection. That being said I have to give them a neutral (as opposed to negative) because the color selection was their choice and I knew that when I ordered. The plants were healthy, packed well and customer service did respond to me e-mail, but now I know why they were only $1.99-unpopular colors that no one really wants for fall.
On Apr 25, 2011, Gardener5b Kansas City, MO wrote:
I have ordered from this company twice -- once this year and once about five years ago.
The first experience went off without a hitch. The order was for seeds only, and they arrived in a timely fashion.
This order was less satisfactory. I made a small order for Onion Sets and seeds. Unfortunately, when my order arrived, I received only the seeds and an easily overlooked notation on the packing slip that the Onion sets were back ordered and would arrive in the fall.
Given that this is the electronic age, and I ordered these online, some notice by EMAIL or even telephone would have been appropriate. These were a very carefully chosen perennial variety that I wanted to get into the ground this spring, not six months later.
I would have preferred prompt notice so that I would have had time to hunt these down from another source.
Their old-fashioned, Farmer's Almanac-like catalogue is cute, but there are NO latin / botanical names for any products. The Spring 2003 catalogue cover says: "Delayed Shipments - Deep Regrets - Problems Addressed". Hmm. The company says that it moved to Randolph, Wisconsin and they apologized for problems with spring 2002 orders. "Some shipments were delayed or late... you had every right to be unhappy." But the company says its new home and new processing facility will result in better shipping.
That said, they carry some interesting things including a REAL "heirloom" -- blue dent corn from the Hopi Indians, which I read elsewhere is from seeds recovered on an archaeological dig!! so I might give them a try with a small order of that.
I have ordered exclusively from this company for years. This is the first year I have ever had a problem. I ordered asparagus roots and they arrived on time, however I also ordered a variety of other plants and seeds in early March, and they still have not yet arrived. It is May, and I am still waiting. What is the deal with them???
I have had same experience with HR Shumway catalog order as reported by earlier customer. They had no trouble in cashing my check, but after 6 weeks, I still had not received any product or notification of reason for delay. The other seeds that I had ordered at the same time were already growing. It took me a week before I could get through on their constantly busy phone -- sometimes they just did not answer during business hours. Never got a response to my e-mail. Customer service was very abrupt and unfriendly; she did report that they were very busy with everyone canceling their orders because of lack of fulfillment. We even talked to a supervisor (when finally available) -- they could not guarantee delivery this season. Now, how long will it take for my refund to go through? Their catalog is cute and prices are low, but the information provided is minimal. And if they can't deliver, why bother ordering?
I ordered from them early in January, I received my canceled check. But no seed. I tried calling them and found their phone is disconnected. I think maybe they are out of business and are still taking money. Their web page is still on line and I'm sure you could order seed from them and they would take your money.
Their catalog is charming, but low on information (no zones, for instance). Germination success was a real mixed bag on the one order I placed with them (Winter '98), with at least a third of the varieties not germinating at all (the worst success I've had with any ordinary seed company). But they're fairly cheap, so I might consider ordering from them again if they have something interesting.