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Comments regarding Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens

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  Feedback History and Summary  
28 positives
13 neutrals
148 negatives


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Negative alittlet
(2 reviews)
On May 5, 2010, alittlet Hyattsville, MD wrote:

I placed an order with Exciting Gardens on April 17th. By April 21st, they'd charged my credit card for the full amount of the order. However, as of May 5th they cannot give me any estimate for shipping, continue to tell me my order is still processing and are generally quite unhelpful (and borderline rude) when I call to ask for more information. Each time I call they simply say that it takes 2-4 weeks for the order to process....or 7-14 days for the order to process...or 7-14 days for the order to process and 2-4 weeks for the order to deliver....I receive wholly inconsistent timeframes each time I call. I do not believe its consistent with most companies policy (and in fact credit card policies) to charge prior to shipment of items. Certainly, I've never worked with any other nurseries that do business this way. Pretty soon it will be plast optimal planting time for many of the items that I ordered and after reading other negative comments, I see that I should be worried about quality of the products as well. I will not order from this company again.

Negative TheBones
(1 review)
On Apr 20, 2010, TheBones Boise, ID wrote:

In Feb 2010 I placed a order for a large assortment of bulbs and plants.According to their order form they process your order in 5-7 days.I waited and in March I received notice that my order was reviewed for shipping and few weeks later still no order.I finally called on the 12th of April .I was told that some of what I ordered was coming directly from Holland and that they were shipping out later than usual this year so I said fine please ship what you have in stock of my order then the remainder can be shipped at a later time .This was in agreement with them.Today I received the items that I guess they had in stock which was 2 3inch pots with stem only no leaves and a little tab that identified them as Purple Dragons I could not believe my eyes.I have sent them a letter demanding all monies returned to my credit card including the shipping charges.These people are thieves and liars and I guess they feel that since it's being shipped 1/2 across the US then who cares well I care and I will fight back

On Apr 20, 2010, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:

"On Oct 4, 2010 12:04 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:

We do care about our customers! Nowhere on our order form or anywhere else, do we state that we process/ship an order in 5-7 days. We do not begin shipping nursery stock until March. We start shipping to the Southern/warmest climates first, and then work our way North. The purple dragon lamiums are grown in our greenhouse and are therefore not shipped until April. The second part of the order did contain some items that were coming from Holland and this package shipped 4/22 and tracing shows delivered 4/29/10. Since that time, the customer has received a refund for her order."

Negative yvonnezemotel
(1 review)
On Oct 2, 2009, yvonnezemotel Brookline, NH wrote:

Back in the beginning of August I ordered bulbs from this company and unlike any other company I have dealt with was charged immediately. I started checking the comments people left and say that there were an overwhelming number of negative comments so in September I called to cancel my order. I was told that it had already been processed but NOT shipped yet and they would stop the shipment. I was also requested to send a written request. I also contacted them by email and was told the same thing. A couple of weeks later the shipment arrived. I contacted Richard Owen immediately to find out what happened and it takes days for them to respond. They told me to ship it back at my cost. I told them that I thought they should pay for the return shipping since they were the onces who'd screwed up. Several emails later and I just got a "we're waiting for the returned package before we issue you a refund...if that's what you still want." I have just told them again that I want a prepaid mailing label. This should take a week to get a response. I will never deal with them again. Buyer beware.

Negative eddebm
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2009, eddebm Springfield, OR wrote:

I ordered almost $200 worth of plants. They all came "dormant" I followed instruction and none sprouted out. I sent in the label with a letter asking for replacement. They mailed back, "which plants do you want replaced?" (I had told them all in the letter). I replied, "all of them." They sent almost all of them. I called and they said they (the other plants) would be there in a week. I get a letter from them, (not the plants) with the original order sheet listing all the plants I had purchased. They now said they needed "proof of purchase", which they already had (I sent it the first time). What a scam.... I am tired of dealing with them, I am a year into the fiasco and now I need to go and buy different plants. By the way they are generally rude every time I call (I probably would be too if I had to support these policies on the phone with unhappy customers). I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THEM AGAIN AND WOULD NOT ENCOURAGE ANYONE ELSE EITHER. Should have read reviews prior to ordering

Negative thegladiator
(6 reviews)
On May 20, 2009, thegladiator Pottstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

On 4/14/09 I ordered 2 Pink pussy willow plants thinking they would arrive shortly after the 1-2 week processing time. So, I called on 4/29 and asked when will they ship? I was told it takes 2-4 weeks. I assumed that is 2-4 weeks to get it from the time I order it, however we all know what happens when you assume. I was told at that time it MAY ship the week of 5/6-5/13. That's 5 weeks by my calendar. I called back on 5/15 and was told they shipped my plants on 5/8 by US Mail. I asked the rep (Janet) on the phone if she thought it was wise to ship perishable items by the slowest way possible. She said it doesn't matter what she thinks and they don't have time to E-mail everyone about their orders. That is what the company does and she has no control over it. That's funny, the other nurseries that I ordered from have time to send e-mails. At least I know she is telling the truth as I too have worked as a customer service rep. At this point I know I will be returning them since it is now 5/19/09 and still no plants and since everyone knows that plants that are left in the dark, without water, light or air, for over a week in a hot processing building/delivery truck, is guaranteed to DIE. I really don't understand how a company that deals with perishable items can have no common sense and the audacity to ONLY use THEE slowest shipping method on the market today. I have ordered from other catalog/mail order nurseries and was shipped my items by UPS or Fed-EX. They also have no tracking method to see where my items are since the postal system doesn't use a tracking system for snail mail. The website claims they have a 1 year guarantee. I guess that is to cover up the fact that they spend most of their companies profit shipping out more plants for all the dead one originally sent by snail mail. I don't recommend using this company. They should do everyone a favor and sell off their product to a real nursery and close their doors for good. IF my pants do show up, I'll respond on their condition at that time.

On May 27th, 2009, thegladiator added the following:

Well, On 5/20/09 I finally got my pussy willows. They were bare root pants and shipped ONLY in a green colored garbage bag. The bag had no marks or labels of any kind stating it was a live plant and therefore perishable. It only had one small line stating the contents were 2 pussy willow. Since they weren't decent sized plants and just bare root twigs, there was nothing stopping the US mail person from folding the bag to get it inside my mailbox thereby breaking the twigs and destroying the product. Granted, my mail person had the sense not to fold the package. I planted them immediately but I'm not sure if they will survive as the damage was done in the long shipping time. This company should be told about UPS and Fed-Ex. the cost would be the same or cheaper for shipping and the customers would get live plants instead of dead or half dead. I am still keeping the rating a negative, and I still won't be doing business with them again.
Negative DJNewportWA
(1 review)
On May 15, 2009, DJNewportWA Newport, WA wrote:

Recived a catolog from Richard Owen Nursery, don't know how but I read there catolog and ordered two items; on 4-03-09 ,Veggie/Tomato Cage X 4 = $33.99 and 5 Victoria Rhubarb plants @ $2.99, with S & P of $9.99 = $46.97. Recived the veggie/tomato cages and nothing else on 4-29-09, week later wrote a letter asking when my rhubarb plants should arive. Recieved the so called rhubarb plants on 5-13-09, bare root and were in very bad condition, three are a maby and the other two were dead and had been dead long before they were sent. I sent a complant that very day. After reading up on Richard Owen Nursery, I will NOT order again......We will see if they replace the dead rhubarb plants.

Negative emptypots
(2 reviews)
On May 11, 2009, emptypots Hurley, NY wrote:

I made this order from their Burgess Division with all contact with them BUT the stuff was shipped from the OWEN NURSERY so I'm posting here too.

I ordered 95.00 worth of trees/hedge and vines on 4/10/09. On 4/13/09 they charged my credit card the order amount but I heard nothing from them about anything being shipped.
Keep in mind that mail order and other businesses are not to charge your credit card till the item is ready to ship.
On 4/17/09 I still heard nothing so I e-mailed them asking if my order was shipped either in part or whole and if not why was my credit card charged already for the entire order. 4/19/09 I received a answer from them saying that my order was in there shipping department but nothing said about any ship date or a word about the early charges to my account. Also no name was put on the e-mail from them - Just said "Customer Service"
4/20/09 I did a BBB search on Burgess and there rating was at the bottom and they had a VERY LARGE number of complaints about Billing, Warrantee, Product quality and lack of product delivery.
4/21/09 I sent another e-mail asking about my order status and again stated that my credit card should of not been charged till product is shipped and only for what is shipped.
4/22/09 I received a reply back and again I just got a Bla Bla about 1 to 2 weeks to process the order depending on weather and product availability. So my real answer was when ever or if I get what I ordered will be when they wish and nothing once again about the early charges to my Card.
My response to this was- I called my Credit card Company and voiced my dispute about the problem of being charged on 4/13/09 and no product or service was provided as of 4/22/09 and explained the e-mails and they granted me instant credit canceling the charges to Burgess. After I hung up the phone I got back on line and sent another e-mail back to Burgess telling them that this is my official Order cancellation notice to them and that I disputed there charges on my credit card removing the charged amount. Then I further instructed them that if they send anything to me that I will not accept anything from them at all. I'll see what happens now and then after file a complaint with the BBB as well.

4/23/09 I received a reply e-mail from Burgess about my order cancellation. Burgess mystery customer service said "Your cancellation request has been forwarded to the appropriate department. We will do our best to try to cancel the order before shipping occurs." Well guess what? They shipped the entire order anyway on 4/30/09 that's 7 days after I told them I canceled the order and my Credit card company removed their charge. Well I trucked the Green bag of;
5246 Shade Hybrid Poplar 5$7.97
6753 Tulip Tree 4$4.00
4732 American Arborvitae 12$18.50
6816 Privet Hedge 40$18.49
5252 Rose, Red Robin Hood 2$7.98
7306 Trumpet Vine Hummingbird 2$3.99
6825 Hibiscus 6$3.99
6857 Hydrangea Tree 2$2.01
6749 Red Weigela 1$1.49
6877 Rose of Sharon Hedge 12$7.89
6802 Spicy Sweet Shrub 1$2.99
6875 Lombardy Poplar 12$5.92
Free plants and book was not on the package shipping label so probably was not in the bag. listed below:
Free Gifts as Earned Free
Burgess Seed & Plant Company Handbook of Plant Care1Free
Garden Huckleberry1Free
Ground Cherry Tomato1Free
Giant Ranunculus3Free
Giant Windflower3Free

down to the post office and REFUSED DELIVERY which put them on there way back to Owens Nursery (origin address)
FREE of CHARGE and I got a receipt proving so.
When I returned home I sent a E-mail back to Burgess informing them that the package was on its way back to them by USPS as REFUSED and un-opened in the condition received. Their reply was;
"Thank you for that information. You may wish to contact us again once the package has been delivered if a note requesting the refund was not included at the time of return."

Well good thing I used my credit card and was able to contest the charge getting it removed because no way to put a note requesting a refund in a un-opened package and as stated by them If I do not request it they would do nothing at all. Plus with all their no direct answer run around I'm sure that it would take a long time and aggravation.

If they try and charge my card again either in Burgess name or any of their other business names I will post a update.

Also the main reason the credit card company took the charges of instantly was because they posted the charge and still 2 weeks later product was not received or shipped.

05/04/09 package was refused and returned as stated above. They acknowledged notice of returned stuff on 05/05/09. And now they hit my credit card again on 05/06/09

On May 14th, 2009, emptypots added the following:

On 05/11/09 late afternoon the Financial adviser with my credit card company called Burgess because I contested the recharge of the original charges and I was told that they got nowhere with them on this matter so again the charge was reversed again and they were going to contact the Merchants Bank about this matter.
On May 31st, 2009, emptypots added the following:

I got a letter from a Susan Phelps from Burgess Customer service which was pre dated on 5/5/09 but had a company postal metered stamp dated 5/8/09 claiming I owe them the money because they say they could not cancel the order and also they did not get the stuff returned so they were going to hit my credit card again in which they did for the second time noted here on this board on the 14th. Again a fowl practice of trying to rip off the consumer after they acknowledged the notice of return of their stuff on 05/05/09 which they had the tracking number to verify that indeed it was refused and on its way back. ( sad that they need to falsely date letters in a effort to scam you)
I sent a reply e-mail to Customer service to; Susan Phelps in regards to her postal letter with facts and the package tracking # 420124439102901000428016273162 of their package they sent after I canceled and in turn REFUSED proving the product was REFUSED and returned to them as I stated I would do.
I received a reply to the e-mail on 05/14/09 and I got "Thank you for your email. Your request has been forwarded to the appropriate department. Thank you, Customer Care Department"
I filed a BBB complaint on them about their billing and other related events. The BBB filed it under Business Name: House of Wesley, Inc. ( must be their parent DBA) and I recommend all who had problems or was ripped off by Burgess or any of their sub company listings file a complaint also. The last section of the complaint form which is very fast to file ask you what you would like them to do. I said I would like them to be investigated for fraudulent practices and either have their business license revoked and or fined as well as action to stop trying to charge my credit card.
I heard or received nothing from Burgess sense the last letter from a Susan Phelps and Burgess as of this date and no further attempt to charge my card.
Positive StellysPapa
(26 reviews)
On May 8, 2009, StellysPapa Dothan, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I can't give a negative review here, because I ordered a cedar tree from them and got it within a reasonable time span plus the tree was larger than I thought it would be and in very good condition.
My only concern, and this goes for all nurseries, customer service should advised the buyer if a plant is not suitable for their planting zone. I have discovered that different nurseries seem to have a plant listed for certain zones......for example one nursery may say that a particular plant will grow in zone 8 but another nursery may say that same plant will only grow in zone 7. I have numerous evergreens growing beautifully in my yard and I am in zone 8, but I have noticed that some nurseries will say that these same evergreens will not survive in zone 8. They need to get their facts straight, and if they know that a particular plant will not survive in a customers zone, then they should let the customer know, before the item is bought. This cedar I got, is not for my zone, and I tried to stop the order before it was shipped, but was too late. I have the cedar and will just see if it will survive. The only reason I ordered it, was because so many other nurseries are wrong about growing zones, and I figured this one would be wrong too.
But, as for the nursery in itself, I had no problem with them.

Negative scamed
(1 review)
On May 7, 2009, scamed Dandridge, TN wrote:

When I placed my order, they charged my credit card immediately. However, after four weeks, they still have not shipped my order.
They have no published phone number, so it is impossible to communicate with them. Communicating with them by email is very frustrating, because they find various reasons to avoid answering your questions. What a ripoff!

Positive llgaither
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2009, llgaither Richford, NY wrote:

I recently received 19 Robin Hood hedge roses (1 extra), 2 Hansen bush cherries, 2 flowering almond, and 2 cliimbing roses. Everything arrived budded up and ready to grow. Some were held for a short tiime in my healing -in bed. Now everything is planted and leafing out quickly. I'll order again.

Negative rukiddingme
(1 review)
On Apr 25, 2009, rukiddingme Holden, MA wrote:

I received dirt in a small pot within a plastic mailing envelope. This is what they called a butterfly bush. They refused to replace until I can prove that I ordered?? Without the shipping label they want my credit card statement. This outfit is not one I want to deal with again. They ship dead plants and then ask you to prove you ordered.

Negative DT607
(1 review)
On Apr 19, 2009, DT607 Odell, IL wrote:

I bought 4 pecan trees and 10 blackberry plants from the store last year. I live 45 minutes north of the store, and I questioned whether they would grow as far north as I live (both the store and I are in north central Illinois. They assured me they would grow up here, so I bought them. Also, I figured that if they were selling them in the store, they must grow in this latitude. Not a one of them survived! Shame on me for not researching further. On the other hand, I won't set foot in that store again.

Negative rohde1972
(1 review)
On Apr 16, 2009, rohde1972 Portland, OR wrote:


Negative wibby
(1 review)
On Feb 5, 2009, wibby Manchester, NH wrote:

My experience is that they are a sham! I also received many dead and rotted plants. Saved the label, and had them replaced with more dead plants. They did not respond to my returned label for over 2 months. So what did I do? I filed a complaint with the Illinois better business bureau and only then did I get my replacement plants. I waited 2 months to get dead plants. What a scam!!!! NEVER EVER ORDER FROM THEM!!!!!!!! they trick you with low prices, but you dont even get what you pay for. you pay for live plants, not rotted disease ridden failures. Their packaging is awful and they sent my first order in February! What am I to do with plants in new england in February with 9 feet of snow?!?!?!?
The crooks should be arrested. They are listed under Kelly nurseries, exciting gardens, burgess seed, etc.... My order was from Exciting gardens. CONSUMER ADVERTISING FRAUD!! they advertise live plants, and give their customers dead ones! CROOKS! If only I lived in IL, I would tell them how I really feel!

On February 5th, 2009, wibby added the following:

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Customer Complaint History

When considering complaint information, please take into account the company's size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm's responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.

BBB processed a total of 471 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 471 complaints closed in 36 months, 130 were closed in the last year.

These complaints concerned :
2 regarding Advertising Issues BBB Definition:

Advertising Issues - Claims alleging print or electronic media advertised claims or practices misrepresent the service or product offer.

2 - None of the Above - Advertising Complaint Issue

5 regarding Billing or Collection Issues BBB Definition:

Billing or Collection Issues - Claim alleging billing errors, unauthorized charges, or questionable collection practices.

2 - Failure to correct billing errors
2 - None of the Above - Credit, Billing or Collection Complaint Issue
1 - Unauthorized credit card charges

2 regarding Contract Issues BBB Definition:

Contract Issues - Claim of alleged failure to honor contract or agreement, work performed without authorization, or invalid contract.

1 - Failure to honor a contract or agreement
1 - None of the Above - Contract Complaint Issue

9 regarding Customer Service Issues BBB Definition:

Service Issues - Claims of alleged delay in completing service, failure to provide promised service, inferior quality of provided service, or damaged merchandise as a result of delivery service.
BBB Definition:

Customer Service Issues - Claims alleging unsatisfactory customer service, including personnel's failure to provide assistance in a timely manner, failure to address or respond to customer dissatisfaction, unavailability for customer support, and/or inappropriate behavior or attitude exhibited by company staff.

4 - Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services
2 - Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support
3 - None of the Above - Customer Service Complaint Issue

139 regarding Delivery Issues BBB Definition:

Delivery Issues - Claims alleging delayed delivery of ordered merchandise.

6 - Delivery of unordered products
25 - Late delivery of products
88 - Non-delivery of products
1 - Non-delivery of services
19 - None of the Above - Delivery Complaint Issue

29 regarding Guarantee or Warranty Issues BBB Definition:

Guarantee or Warranty Issues - Claims alleging failure to honor the terms regarding guarantees or warranties.

4 - Disputed warranty coverage and/or terms
4 - Failure to honor money-back guarantees
8 - Failure to honor service under the terms of warranties
3 - Failure to provide promised written warranty or guarantee
10 - None of the Above - Guarantee or Warranty Complaint Issue

226 regarding Product Issues BBB Definition:

Product Issues - Claim alleging a product does not meet the expectations of the complainant, including defective merchandise.

184 - Defective, damaged, or incorrect product received
42 - None of the Above - Product Quality Complaint Issue

57 regarding Refund or Exchange Issues BBB Definition:

Refund or Exchange Issues - Claim of alleged failure to honor company policy or verbal commitment to provide refunds, exchanges, or credit for products or services.

11 - Failure to honor promised refunds, exchanges, or credit
24 - Failure to honor refund, exchange or credit policies
22 - None of the Above - Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue

2 regarding Service Issues BBB Definition:

Service Issues - Claims of alleged delay in completing service, failure to provide promised service, inferior quality of provided service, or damaged merchandise as a result of delivery service.

1 - Failure to honor service estimate or agreement
1 - Improper or inferior service

These complaints were closed as:
309 Resolved BBB Definition:

Resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.

72 - Company resolved BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.
the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.
106 - Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.
118 - Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.
13 - Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer accepted.

155 Administratively Closed BBB Definition:

Administratively Closed - BBB determined that the complaint could not be satisfactorily settled using standard methods of voluntary dispute resolution

77 - BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.
51 - BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.
25 - BBB determined the company provided proper verification that indicated there was no obligation to resolve the issues of the complaint.
1 - Company agreed to arbitration BBB Definition:

arbitration -
in accordance with their BBB agreement, but the consumer declined.
1 - BBB determined that while the company addressed the complaint issues, the complainant was dissatisfied and the matter was outside BBB Rules of Arbitration BBB Definition:

Arbitration -

7 Unresolved BBB Definition:

Unresolved - The company failed to resolve the complaint issues.

7 - Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

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Government Actions

BBB has no information regarding government actions at this time.

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Advertising Review

BBB has no information regarding advertising review at this time.

Additional Information

Richard Owen Nursery has bought Honeycreek Nurseries

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Industry Tips

FTC Mail Order/Online/telephone Rule

Shopping by Phone or Mail
Produced in cooperation with the Direct Marketing Association and AARP
Shopping by phone or mail is a convenient alternative to shopping at a store. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Mail or Telephone Order Rule covers merchandise your order by mail, telephone, computer, and fax machine.

Mail or Telephone Order Rule
By law, a company should ship your order within the time stated in its ads. If no time is promised, the company should ship your order within 30 days after receiving it.

If the company is unable to ship within the promised time, they must give you an "option notice." This notice gives you the choice of agreeing to the delay or canceling your order and receiving a prompt refund.

There is one exception to the 30-day Rule: if a company doesn't promise a shipping time, and you are applying for credit to pay for your purchase, the company has 50 days to ship after receiving your order.

Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)
You're protected by the FCBA when you use your credit card to pay for purchases.

Billing Errors
If you find an error on your credit or charge card statement, you may dispute the charge and withhold payment on the disputed amount while the charge is in dispute. The error might be a charge for the wrong amount, for something you did not accept, or for an item that was not delivered as agreed. Of course, you still must pay any part of the bill that is not in dispute, including finance charges on the undisputed amount.

If you decide to dispute a charge:

Write to the creditor at the address indicated on the monthly statement for "billing inquiries." Include your name, address, credit card number, and a description of the billing error.
Send your letter in a timely fashion. It must reach the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you.
The creditor must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.
. The creditor must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days) after receiving your letter.

Unsatisfactory Goods or Services
You also may dispute charges for unsatisfactory goods or services. To take advantage of this protection regarding the quality of goods or services, you must:

have made the purchase in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address. The charge must be for more than $50;
make a good faith effort first to resolve the dispute with the seller. However, you are not required to use any special procedure to do so.
Note that the dollar and distance limitations don't apply if the seller also is the card issuer or if a special business relationship exists between the seller and the card issuer.

Before ordering by phone or mail, consider your experience with the company or its general reputation. Determine the company's refund and return policies, the product's availability, and the total cost of your order.

Contacts for Resolving Problems
If you have problems with mail or phone order purchases, try to resolve your dispute with the company. If that doesn't work, the following resources may be helpful:

State and local consumer protection offices. Contact the offices in your home state and where the company is located.
Postal Inspectors. Call your local post office and ask for the Inspector-in-Charge.
Reducing Direct Marketing Solicitations
You may want to have your name removed from direct marketing lists. Be aware, however, that if you purchase goods by phone or mail after your name is removed, it may be added again. You may want to make a new request to have your name removed every few years. You also may want to ask mail or telephone order companies to retain your name on in-house lists only.

The Federal Government has created the National Do Not Call Registry-the free, easy way to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register, or to get information, visit, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register. You will receive fewer telemarketing calls within three months of registering your number. It will stay in the registry for five years or until it is disconnected or you take it off the registry. After five years, you will be able to renew your registration.

The DMA Mail Preference Service lets you opt out of receiving direct mail marketing from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a "delete" file and made available to direct-mail marketers. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that are not registered with the DMA's Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA, send your letter to:

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

Or register online at

The DMA also has an EMail Preference Service to help you reduce unsolicited commercial emails. To "opt-out" of receiving unsolicited commercial email, use DMA's online form at Your online request will be effective for one year.

For More Information
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad

Positive dragonjr
(1 review)
On Jan 28, 2009, dragonjr De Land, IL wrote:

I would not hesitate to order again from Owen Nursery or any of their many other companies. I ordered 20 hybrid willows and actually received 21. I bought the cheaper, smaller willows, which all measured about 18" in height and arrived bareroot as expected. They took right off, reaching four and five feet in height by the end of the first year. I also purchased three of the "surprise overstock bargain" trees, which all turned out to be roses of sharon--not too bad of deal for 97 cents apiece. All three of these roses of sharon also took right off, growing well the first year. The second year, the bargain roses of sharon bloomed all season long, and definitely looked much better than another rose of sharon purchased the same time from a non-profit organization that also sells bareroot plants. We are ordering a number of trees and supplies from them this year based upon our highly positive experience with our order from them two years ago.

Negative justmeiniowa
(2 reviews)
On Jan 14, 2009, justmeiniowa Algona, IA (Zone 4a) wrote:

DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM!!!! They are nothing but a scam. They take your money and send you dead items. Sure they sent me replacements after I complained for months, because they never got the shipping lable. So I had to copy the bank statement to prove I ordered from them. I have had nothing but trouble with this company. Then when they did send a replacement they too were almost dead. Better yet they came at the end of October. Sure living in Iowa I am to plant new plants outside and they are to live, ya right. Just beware alot of these companies are all the same company just different names..I could go on and on about them but hopefully you will understand to be carefull of them.....

Negative BML333
(1 review)
On Sep 4, 2008, BML333 Des Moines, IA wrote:


Positive joy112854
(6 reviews)
On Aug 1, 2008, joy112854 Crestview, FL wrote:

I love canna lilies and was doing a goggle search on them, most companies would not sell the Rhizomes this time of the year; but, Richard Owens did, I ordered 12 of them which is reasonably priced and they arrived on time and I just planted them a few days ago in pots, I live in Florida and should see soon enough if they will grow, they looked fine, I'm a beginner gardener, but have had good luck with canna lilies, I also ordered some canna lily seeds from Park's nursery of which I planted 53 seeds in Jiffy's Greenhouse with dome and peat pellets. I'm a little apprehensive now, as I was looking for shrubs to put down the sides of my yard. I had ordered some Hydrangea Bushes from Michigan bulb which will show up sometime in September or October; but, I ordered Pink Honeysuckles and Purple Leaf Hedge plants along with a Dwarf June Berry bush. I also have a cultivator coming about the same time and lots of help in planting them. I am one who plants my plants the day I get them. I thought the prices were outstanding on the items ordered, I did order some roses also, not that I like them, but have sisters who love them. Will keep you posted as to their arrival time, which I'm hoping will be a little late as I want to have the holes predug before they get here and I'm running behind schedule. Has anyone ordered or received Pink Honeysuckles or Purple Leaf Plum Hedges from them?

On August 15th, 2008, joy112854 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

I have changed my comment from neutral to negative; due to the fact that the 12 canna lilies I planted, back in July have not done anything to substantiate a flower in bloom at all. Alas, I had also ordered over $84 worth of other things from them. Due to my foot surgery I called to cancel the order, they claimed was on the way and thus far have received only 2 of the 3 pkgs, both arrived on the same day, both were sent out the 31st of July and today is the 14th of August, so it is doubtful they are still alive, how can they even breathe in the pkgs they were sent in, waiting for tomorrow and hopefully the 3rd one will arrive so I can then mail all 3 back to them intact just as I received them from them with a note explaining I want my credit card refunded for the amount charged, they informed me on the phone that would be all that is needed, we shall see right? I was told 30 days from when they receive my note and pkg my credit card will have the $84 put back on it. Will keep everyone posted.
On September 14th, 2008, joy112854 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I decided to change my rating to positive on this company as I explained that I did not need the bushes they had not sent yet; and called them and followed up with a letter. No my canna lilies did not grow; but, the free seeds they had sent with my order for Shamrocks and Windflowers have done well, I only canceled part of the order, which was the honeysuckle bushes and the purple plum hedges and dwarf June Berry bush, I kept the strawberry plants which I planted and are thriving. They promptly deposited the money back into my account within the 30 day period, and were polite on the phone. Would I order from them again in the future? Probably. Although I would not order Canna Lilies from them I would probably order bushes if I got the prices they offered this last time. I just don't plan on getting bushes for a few years, as I'm too much into my veggie gardening and canna plants right now; but, eventually I will want that honeysuckle privacy fence and a dwarf June berry bush I just know that.
Negative cosmicgarden
(1 review)
On Jun 27, 2008, cosmicgarden Edwardsville, IL wrote:

My experience only echoes what many others have said. The plants were dead, arriving in almost rotted condition. They promised replacements if we made copies, provided a bank statements, etc. Each time I did this, the letter was returned with another excuse as to why they wouldn't ship the replacements. The staff would hang up on us and I basically consider them a "bottom feeder" of the gardening world. I was so appalled at their treatment that I wrote an editorial in every newspaper in the St. Louis metro area and turned the charges over to my credit card company. AN ABSOLUTELY AWFUL EXPERIENCE.

Negative tgray41
(2 reviews)
On Jun 10, 2008, tgray41 New Brockton, AL wrote:

WHAT A RIP-OFF!. After dealing with this company for nearly three months and jumping through every hoop they put up I still cannot get replacement plants. We sent a letter, sent the bank statement (per their request) and sent pictures of the dead plants. The mail was sent certified but still they deny they have a record of us. One supervisor even used the term "get away with it" to describe his companies policies after I informed him that I was handing it over to the credit card company. I'm through. I'll let MasterCard deal with these clowns.

Negative seadreamer
(2 reviews)
On May 29, 2008, seadreamer Washington, DC wrote:

If there was a "below, below, below negative" rating that would not begin to compare with my experience. I spent almost $200 on plants for my mom's garden --- she's 85 and has a greenhouse, doesn't speak much english (she's polish) --- and from the website they tell you how careful they are in packing their plants, etc. Firstly, it took more than a month for my orders to be processed --- the first shipment was the wrong plant --- 2 people at customer service admitted that it was an error --- subsequently everyone else told me that I was, more or less, a liar...

My mother just received the bulk of the plants that I had ordered for her --- they were packed in plastic bags without any airholes or a system for aeration --- 90% of the plants were rotted --- the roses were dried up completely, and the one rose had a bud which broke off when my mother touched it. She called me (I live in DC and she in NJ) last night and I could tell she had been crying --- she said it was all trash and she didn't even want to try and save it -- the package of "bulbs" for $3.50 that they advertised, she told me the largest of the bulbs was the size of a fingernail...

I just went online to the Better Business Bureau and reported my experience with this nursery. I don't care about the money at this point in time I am so angry that he caused my mom to cry ---

Who sends plants in plastic bags without any aeration??? Fools --- I have never been so angry in my life ---

Thanks for letting me vent...

Positive CCulpepper
(2 reviews)
On May 17, 2008, CCulpepper Charlotte, NC wrote:

Since this was my first order I wasn't sure what I would receive as far as quality since the prices were so low, but I decided to take a chance and placed a rather large order (over $500). I became worried when a month past and I had not received even a partial shipment. I checked here and saw all the negative comments and was prepared to chaulk this up to my own stupidity for not having researched BEFORE I ordered, and was about to contact my credit card company to charge back and cancel the order.

To my surprise the next day I received a partial shipment and over the next 10 days three more packages arrived on different days to complete my order. The root systems of everything I received was well developed. Most things were bare root, but the catalog had explained that. I was worried that some of the items looked a little molded due to being shipped in closed plastic bags, but everything was alive. I planted per their directions and everything so far is doing well and growing vigorously.

Their packing is not what I would have expected and their speed of delivery is very slow, but the prices are amazing. I would have to say that I feel I got more than I paid for. I will adjust my expectations on ship time and expect it to be slow for future shipments, but based on this experience and how well my plants have done I will likely order from them again.

My advise would be to proceed with caution but give them a try.

Negative splitdog
(1 review)
On May 11, 2008, splitdog Wood River, IL wrote:

I have ordered some plants, vines, and other items from Richard Owen Nursery/ Exciting Gardens and overall I was not satisfied with their product. I planted them like their directions stated since I am a beginner-novice and had horrible results. I have finally given up on them and have placed them on my list that I keep in my Hotmail account that states of Places where I DO NOT SHOP WITH ANYMORE!! Heed my advice please go elsewhere before it's too late.

Positive OutlawDJ
(1 review)
On Sep 11, 2007, OutlawDJ Middleburg, PA wrote:

I have ordered plants, shrubs, and trees from Richard Owens Nursery in the past, and I really have no complaints. Yes, their packaging methods could be better. What a lot of these people fail to realize is that they get that great low price because they are ordering bare root plants. These take a bit of work compared to growing plants from a local nursery. I was very happy with the quality of the trees and shrubs that I have ordered. Give them a try with a small order. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Negative lyellowcat
(1 review)
On Jun 29, 2007, lyellowcat Athens, GA wrote:

Original shipping label was returned on 4/21/07 in requesting 2 replacement items with notation that if other problems arose I would be sending a photocopy of the label. Today (6/29/07) my 6/12/07 request for additional items that died came back say they needed the original shipping label. Do they not have people who can read? I think they are just trying to rip people off because of 6 other nurseries I did business with this Spring none required a returned shipping label. And any problems were handled satisfactorily over the phone.

Negative PeggyOregon
(4 reviews)
On Jun 19, 2007, PeggyOregon Florence, OR wrote:

When will I learn to check this site first?!! I just ordered a rose from them this morning. Luckily it's just one item. I'll keep you posted.
Signed: "Feeling Stupid in Oregon"

On August 17th, 2007, PeggyOregon changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

Well, I got my rose after about 4-6 weeks & an attempt to cancel my order. They said it was too late to cancel as the order had already been sent to "their suppliers". I knew I was in trouble. I received the rose, a very dead looking, one-cane bareroot. I soaked it, planted it in a pot, & am still nuturing it hoping for signs of life. I didn't bother keeping the shipping label as I already knew about their game.
Negative hoodwinked
(1 review)
On Jun 5, 2007, hoodwinked De Pere, WI wrote:

It was NO consolation that I see so many others who were ripped off by Richard Owen Nursery. I ordered a dozen Jumbo Blue Spruce in the summer of 2006 for fall planting. They arrived suffocated in a "Full" sealed plastic bag which was then enclosed in the plastic shipping bag. They were all brown on arrival and the roots were dry due to NO compost materials to keep moisture in. In spite of my better judgement, I expended almost 13 hours carefully planting them according to their instructions. Within a week the needles had all fallen and that was that. I contacted them
( after many busy signals over several days) and was told that in order to recieve a refund I would have had to take action in 14 days. This was not enough time to verify my first thoughts on opening them.

With reluctance, I requested the replacement order for spring planting this year. Guess What ! They finally arrived and in the exact same condition as the previous year. No heed was paid to my contention that the way they package the tress causes them to die in transit.

Guess What ? I contacted them again today with a refund request. "NO SIR" was the reply. Please send in the shipping address label for a replacement of the order. ???????????? Ya Right !

Negative dogmother01
(1 review)
On Jun 4, 2007, dogmother01 Genoa City, WI wrote:

I recently had a bad experience with Richard Owen Nursery, Inc AKA Exciting Gardens. I am very aware of dormant bare-root stock. If you don't know better, you would say the plants arrived dry and dead. This was not my issue with them. My order took almost 2 months to arrive. Half of my order were substitutes. These plants had been growing in their plastic bags for sometime and arrived a moldy mush. The other plants were fine. Three weeks with a good rainfall and every one pushed it's way through the soil. I sent back the dead plants with the OH, SO IMPORTANT LABEL! I have been waiting for my refund for a month with no telephone answers, nor e-mail replies. After reading many complaints from this web-site, I wondered if anyone contacted the Better Business Bureau. I sure did! It was easy on-line if you want to take the time. The company is located in Bloomington, IL so you contact that department. Try this link: [] Copy and paste if it does not work.

On June 11th, 2007, dogmother01 added the following:

That web site link will not take you there, I tried. Try to start a complant for Richard Owen's company. They are Richard Owen Nursery, Exciting Gardens, or House of Wesley, all located in Bloomington. I openned a case with the BBB, but Richard Owen has not responded to it. He has, however, finally responded to my e-mails. He says that he has not received my returned order. How did I guess! I did everything they required of me, paid for shipping, included the package label. They did not say to pay extra money to track my shipment so I could tell them the exact date they received my return of dead plants. I admit, the other plants I purchased from them were fine, but they refuse to stand behind the ones that arrived dead. Warning, for a few good plants, and many dead plants, you would be better off spending more money elsewhere!
Positive GardenD
(1 review)
On May 31, 2007, GardenD Onalaska, TX wrote:

After ordering 60 Hybrid Willows from Exciting Gardener I was worried about the order after my wife told me that a co-worker who is into gardening read bad things on the Internet about Exciting Garden. I looked up on the Internet and found this blog with all the negative comments.

One month after the order, I received my package from Richard Owens Exciting Garden. The order was exactly as discribed. The Hybrid Willows were 2-4 foot and had well developed roots. After ordering trees from Arbor Day, I can say that Richard Owens has a better product then Arbor Day. I think most of the people who are complaining fail to realize how the mail order plant business works. These new plants need a lot of care and time. YOU CAN NOT LET THE ROOTS DRY OUT BEFORE PLANTING. Since planting my Hybrid Willows, they have grown 8 inches in a month. I am very satisfied with the product I received from Richard Owens Exciting Gardener and will do business in the future.

Negative Kandi7
(13 reviews)
On May 31, 2007, Kandi7 Tekamah, NE wrote:

I ordered quite a few items from this company and their co-company Four Seasons - the items shipped were small and in bad shape. When they didn't live I requested they somehow correct the problem, they declined. They wanted a copy of the shipping label which they had irremovably glued to the packages when they were shipped without it they say the guarantee is void; however, they do have copies of my order and know it is a valid order and request.

Negative Gloribe
(1 review)
On May 22, 2007, Gloribe Jacksonville, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

I'm still waiting for an order I placed about 6 weeks ago. The plants I ordered are to be planted now or in the spring and were in stock. On the order form it said plants would be shipped within 2-3 weeks. I've contacted them 4 times and they continually tell me my order has been shipped. There is no way to verify this on their website. I will NEVER deal with this company again. I just hope when the plants arrive they are viable. If not, I'll contact my credit card company and get a refund.

Positive rablalock
(1 review)
On May 17, 2007, rablalock Lewis Center, OH wrote:

I must confess that I panicked when I saw all of the negative posts toward Richard Owens Nursery on this site while awaiting my shipment of plants. Much to my relief, the plants arrived today, about a week later than I had hoped. I can live with that. If I had not been familiar with dormant, bare-root plants, I would have gone into shock becuase they look pitiful. However, I have had great success with them in the past when I have ordered from other vendors. Quite frankly, my new bare-root plants look as pitiful as those I received from other vendors and they are doing beautifully in year 2. (I think Richard Owens would benefit from better warning customers in advance as to what bare-root plants are like.)

I personally like working with bare-root and dormant plants because they are inexpensive and tiny -- I've especially pleased when I'm digging smaller rather than bigger holes. :-)

I HAVE SAVED MY ORIGINAL PACKING LABEL. The enclosures clearly state that I must have this in order to invoke the one-year guarantee if I have issues.

I hope that my experience continues to be positive. If not, I will follow the process clearly outlined in my packing materials. I feel confident that the vendor will honor its commitment as outline in written materials. If not, I will file appropriate complaints and take my business elsewhere. Otherwise, I will be a repeat and loyal customer.

On July 4th, 2007, rablalock added the following:

Update - My bare root plants are doing beautifully, even the poor little clemantis that I thought I killed! (I planted the clematis in a container that wasn't getting water from the sprinkler system. When I returned from a 2-week trip, I thought the plant was dead. I moved it in hopes it would revive. It did about 3 weeks later!) The daylilies look great. I think some are actually going to bloom this first year -- I was not expecting this.

I ordered more plants approximately two weeks ago. They arrived yesterday. I anticipate that these will do well even though I'm planting them in July. As long as the customer service and the plant quality continues at this level, I will continue ordering from Richard Owen Nursery as I need (always!) more plants for my gardens.
Positive buckpatsy
(1 review)
On May 14, 2007, buckpatsy Clear Brook, VA wrote:

I have ordered from Owens Nursery two years and was completely satisfied with products,prices and customer service.The three times I ordered from two other big companies were a nightmare.The plants were overpriced,looked sickly,took forever to get (some I never did)and talking to customer service over and over never resolved anything.I should have stuck with Owens and now I will.

Negative shoppercw
(1 review)
On May 8, 2007, shoppercw Belmont, NC wrote:

I ordered from Exciting Gardens and it took over a month to receive the 'plants'. All of the ascelepias butterfly plants that I ordered were substituted. The shipping order even states the correct plant, but the label on the subs reads "sub for" and the plant number. I also ordered two butterfly bushes. One is currently alive, and both are in bags about 1x2 inches. The remainder of the plants ordered ended up being bare root, and one was rotten/moldy upon receipt. I could not find this listed as the method of them sending your plants. At this point, I can return them but after you take out the shipping, it's not worth the effort.

Negative medan
(1 review)
On May 3, 2007, medan Franklin, MI wrote:

Only 3 of 12 fairy roses, 23 of 36 lavender and none of the 4 butterfly bushes bought from this nursery survived the winter.
The place and conditions in which I planted these are good as demonstrated by the survival of all roses and lavender bought from different nurseries and planted in the same place.
I did send for replacement plants as they guarateed, however it seems a waste of time and effort to replants when so few survive. Do stay away from this nursery. It turns out it is more expensive than many when you look at the few barely living plants you end up with.

Negative inichols
(1 review)
On Mar 17, 2007, inichols Vernon, TX wrote:

I am not believing that this company can still even exist. I received 2 of the item I had ordered out of a pretty large order and one of them I couldn't even find the fern. It did not exist it was so small. The other plant was a one inch dried up dead stick of nothing. I sent it all back AT MY EXPENSE with the original shipping label and have instructed this sorry excuse of a company to NOT ship me anything further and to IMMEDIATELY refund my account my total amount. These people need to be reported to the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF THE UNITED STATES AND SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY. They are what we in TEXAS call BIG TIME CROOKS. I have told these people that I will REFUSE anything else sent to me from them and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. UNLESS YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE DEAD PRODUCTS OR DUST AND THROW AWAY YOUR MONEY, THEN USE THEM BY ALL MEANS

Negative catmom2
(2 reviews)
On Feb 3, 2007, catmom2 Concord, MI wrote:

I placed order 31403403 on 2/21/05 consisting of grasses and a tree peony totalling 32.44. I expected them to arrive in May, figuring being based in IL they know when to ship to MI. They arrived in April while the ground was still frozen. I potted them to try to keep them til planting time. NOT ONE OF THE ITEMS LIVED! Could not find the required "shipping label" to return the defective merchandise. Unfortunately I did find the ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL at the end of May 2006, but my year to get satisfaction was past. They obviously have all the order info in their computer system. The requirement of the "original shipping label" is an obvious ploy to keep from repaying people for the substandard plants they ship. Never again will I order from them and quit sending me your catalogs and save a tree.

Negative ashncol
(1 review)
On Nov 10, 2006, ashncol Fredericksburg, VA wrote:

STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY....I ordered almost $200.00 dollars worth of plants. The first shipment was half dead the other half was 3 inches tall & weak. I called the company, returned the order and canceled any add'l plants. Long story short, I followed ALL their rules, timeframes, and have spent over 6 months calling, sending certified letters and can't get any one to speak to except Cust. Svc who claims that's not their job. Only a so-called Mrs. Avery, who can't be contacted by phone and who also ignored my certified letter, is able to rectify the problem. This is a SCAM nursery, full of CROOKS and THIEVES, SORRY EXCUSE FOR A COMPANY....BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE!!! Plant your will have a better chance of producing foliage! ....Save yourself!

On Nov 10, 2006, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:


On Dec 21, 2006 2:38 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens added:

This customer placed an order for $125 on 3/27/06. The order was sent in 2 packages.

Our guarantee states
"For a REFUND of the purchase price, RETURN THE ITEM AND THE ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL, with the correct postage affixed, within 14 days or receipt."

The customer did return the first package we sent and it was promptly refunded. In her note with the package she requested that the remainder of the order be canceled, however it had already shipped.

Unfortunately, she did NOT follow our guarantee on her second package. She claimed that she refused this package (although tracing through the US post office does not support this as the package shows delivered.) We have repeatedly explained to the customer that we have not received the second package back which is why the refund for this package has not been issued."

Neutral gordond
(1 review)
On Oct 8, 2006, gordond Cantonment, FL wrote:

I bought 36 robin hood rose plants, all but 9 sprouted. On reordering the 9, two have started leafing out and 7 are not. Guess I will have to live with this since the warranty is for one shipping only. But believe after reading all the negative comments will just go to local nurseries from now on.

On Oct 8, 2006, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:


On Dec 20, 2006 3:50 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens added:

We do have a free replacement guarantee. The customer need only to return the original shipping label within one year and let us know how many of which item is dead for a replacement.

On Dec 20, 2006 4:00 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens added:

We do have a free replacement guarantee. The customer need only to return the original shipping label within one year and let us know how many of which item is dead for a replacement.

In addition, a dmail was sent to this customer on 10/9/06. We have not yet had a response."

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