On Apr 8, 2004, JAppleseed San Francisco, CA wrote:
Merchandise diminutive in size, moldy, dry, broken, and most items not alive or died soon after arrival. Terrible deception and fraud involved with all associated companies. Tried to resolve, total lack of response. Company immediately charged charge card, but didn't ship some items until nearly two months later. Tried to cancel subsequent shipments after receiving first part of order which contained totally unacceptable plants and bulbs. They put me off, lied to me, and shipped the remainder of the items although I sent them 7 e-mails after not being able to reach them by telephone.
After I complained to their always unidentified 'customer service' employees, they referred me to their 1704 Morrissey Drive address, and told me to write a letter outlining the problems. So not only Internet fraud, false and deceptive advertising, grossly inferior and unacceptable merchandise, and unfair trade practices are involved with all their companies but so is total lack of professionalism, putting off and misleading customers, and everything else outlined by customer comments. (By the way, the few glowing comments on the 'base' Direct Gardening page are likely from company employees . They just don't correlate with the overwhelming experiences of most posters…)
Customers who have been 'burned' can fight back. First, call your credit card company or contact them via their website and do a chargeback. Refer to this 'watchdog' site by URL as documentation that others have been burned. You might not get your money back, but every chargeback against them and their associates costs them $25.00, and nothing goes on your record or credit history.
Then, as others have suggested, file complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Illinois Attorney General, the FBI Internet fraud unit, the U.S. Postal Service, and any other regulatory authority that should know about this kind of blatant fraud. Help fellow gardeners protect themselves by getting the word out on how these companies operate and deceive people.
On Apr 5, 2004, LEBLANC1429 Santa Maria, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:
Although I am not pleased with the quality of the plants I have received from this company, most of the perennial plants I received today (the third of a four-part shipment) arrived soupy and rotted in their plastic bags. I have requested their replacement.
Save your money and order some place else! I ordered Iris
but by the time I got them it was so late in the season
(late October) they just froze out. They would replace them, but with late shipping they would just freeze out again - who needs it?
I GOT ROYALLY SCAMMED BY HIS COMPANY AND ALL THE ONES THAT HAVE THE ADDRESS: BLOOMINGTON ILLINOIS...STAY AWAY FROM!!!!THEY TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE YOU WITH NOTHING BUT SOME DEAD, DRIED UP PLANTS, SHRUBS,TREES, THAT YOU NEED A "TWEEZER" TO FIND THEM...THEN WHEN YOU DO FIND THEM YOU JUST THROW THEM OUT.........AND THERE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORST!!!!!...DON'T GO THERE!!!!!!!!KEEP YOUR MONEY AND PAY ALITTLE MORE SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!!!!!!NOTHING BUT MISERY.......
My husband order a med/lg supply of flowers, trees, etc. When the order arrived, we had nothing but dead, wilted and damaged products. Not one thing was plantable. So it seems that most people who think they are purchasing items for their gardens are simply donating money to Richard Owen Nursery for shipment of useless flora. I have written to them but have not received a reply, let alone replacements.
Has anyone received replacement or refunds?
Time to add my review to this long list of negative comments.
My order was finally received after 3 months. (I hope they enjoyed that free loan since my credit card was charged upon ordering.)
Repeated calls and emails to their customer service were unanswered or not helpful.
I also received the standard USPS bulk rate shipped sealed green plastic bag with everything stuffed inside.
The daylilies were bags of rotted mush, the hyacinth bulbs had mold, the daffodils were starting to rot and the trees are lifeless sticks.
I'll try to plant them as they suggest but I think most of this is a lost cause.
One thing I did notice is that the shipping bag has their dealer license from the state of Illinois. This could be a way to get their attention since their current license expires on June 30, 2004. I would think that shipping moldy rotted items is a violation of the Illinois Insect Pest and Plant Disease Act.
On July 10 I placed an online order total of $131.93 for what looked like some very beautiful plants. Of course I did not expect my plants to arrive looking like the photos but neither did I expect trees shipped with no soil or bare root plants shipped with no moisture holding medium. Each plant I ordered came bare root and looked dead.
The day my first plants (2 total) came in, approx. 4 weeks later, I found my credit card billed for the entire shippment even though the rest of my order would not be delivered untill the Fall. This is a practice I did not agree with and so called the company to cancel my order saying I would return the two 1.49 plants I received. The person that I talked to told me I would have to mail a written request of cancelation, I could not do it over the phone. When I told her I placed the order online, could I cancel online also, her reply was "NO". So I told her that I would contact my credit card company with a disputed charge and apply for credit, to which she told me, "do what you must". So I did, and my credit card company did indeed go to bat for me.
Meanwhile on September 18, I received the remainder of the plants in a plastic bag with a large hole in it and roots from the 2 trees sticking out. I decided to give the company a chance and if the plants looked ok, I would let them recharge my card for the total. Wow what I saw amazed me. Nothing appeared to be living. And what was sent was all root, no hint of leaves on anything.
I have read the other complaints here and wish I had done so before ordering, I never would have placed that order. I will be sending the complaint on to the recommended persons. And in closing would like to warn everyone away from this nursery.
On Sep 10, 2003, dirtyoldman Birmingham, AL wrote:
It is truly amazing to me that a nursery this bad has managed to survive so long. The problems people are describing now mirror my experience with the company 20 years ago. At the time, I had a grand scheme in mind for planting Paulownia trees to harvest for the wood, which is very valuable in Japan. So I picked up the Richard Owen catalog, saw 1-2 foot Paulownia trees advertised for a cheap price (I think it was about 4 bucks a pop) and quickly ordered a dozen that spring.
Within about 40 seconds, my credit card was charged, but no plants were forthcoming. Weeks went by -- no plants. Finally, I contacted them. They said they had had a crop failure, but plants would soon arrive. Unfortunately, they did.
What I received were a dozen seedlings. And when I say "seedlings," I mean plants that had literally germinated from seed a few days before. They were only an inch high and still had their seed leaves. Half of them were dead in the box. The other half lived about 24 hours after being unpacked.
So I wrote the nursery and asked for my money back. They said I should plant the seedlings, dead or not, and give them a chance. How much fertilizer, I wondered, do I need to apply to dead plants?
I wrote back, telling them that I was a trained horticulturist (true), that I know a dead plant when I see one, and that I have never witnessed a dead plant return to life, no matter how long you wait. They insisted I was mistaken, that even though the seedlings had long since disintegrated, they would revive. Finally, I threatened to take them to the Postmaster General. After months and months of stubborn refusals, they finally gave me my money back.
Clearly, the same lack of professionalism that characterized this nursery so long ago still prevails. All of which proves P.T. Barnum was right.
IN MAY OF 2002 I ORDERED 8O HYBRED WILLOWS (VERY FAST GROWING). THESE WERE TO BE A NATURAL PRIVACY FENCE AS WELL AS AN ENCLOSURE FOR A PRIVITE GARDEN. WELL, IN JUNE 2002 THEY TOOK MY MONEY FROM THE ACCOUNT I HAD FURNISHED THEM , AFTER FINDING THIS OUT, I EXPECTED TO SEE MY ORDER ARRIVE SOON. WEEK AFTER WEEK WENT BY , AND STILL NO TREES. I STARTED CALING AND CALLING AND AFTER MANY (AT LEAST 10) CALLS AND AN ASSORTMENT OF AT LEAST 8 DIFFERENT LIES, I HAD HAD ENOUGH, BY NOW IT WAS NOVEMBER. MY NEXT CALL WENT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF IL. AT THIS TIME THEY HAD MY MONEY FO 4 MONTHS. (THIS IS AN ILLEGAL PRACTICE). ONE AND A HALF WEEKS LATER I RECIEVED MY TREES , IN A DARK GREEN PLASTIC BAG WITH NO BREATHER HOLES (KEEP IN MIND THEY ARE QUICK GROWING), NEEDLESS TO SAY , THEY CAME OUT OF HIBERNATION AND STARTED BLOOMING. I PLANTED THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BUT A WEEK LATER WE GOT A SNOW STORM (I LIVE IN MICH.) AND OBVIOUSLY THEY ALL DIED. WHEN I CONTACTED THEM ( NEEDLESS TO SAY I WAS PISSED) AFTER ALL I HAD PLANNED AN ENTIRE SUMMER OF LANDSCAPING AROUND THESE TREES. THE COMPANY COULD HAVE CARED LESS ABOUT THE AGRIVATION THEY CAUSED ME. AFTER SENDING IN MY RECEIPTS FOR A CREDIT VOUCHER (THEY REFUSED TO REFUND MY MONEY) , AFTER WHAT THEY DID, ADDING INSULT TO INJURY. I HAVE PLACED ANOTHER ORDER ( A YEAR LATER MIND YOU) ONLY BECAUSE OF THE VOUCHER, AND AFTER A MONTH AND A HALF THEY STIIL CANNOT OR WILL NOT EVEN VERIFY THAT I SENT THEM THE VOUCHER OR THAT THEY RECEIVED MY ORDER . I AM ON MY FOURTH PHONE CALL TO THEM ABOUT THIS PROBLEM . THE CO. SEEMS TO BE VERY UNORGANIZED, AND COULD CARE LESS ABOUT ITS CUSTOMERS. I THINK THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ILL. SHOULD HEAR FROM MORE OF US , THEY WERE VERY HELPFULL TO ME.ITS TIME RICHARD OWEN NURSERY WAS PUT OUT OF BUSINESS.!
I sent an order to richard owens nursery, a short time later my hasband and i both became disabled and unable to plant the shrubs we had planted, since the order had only benn sent out 2 or 3 weeks earlier, i thought they would cancle the order for me. Instead they rushed me my order, in august in the middle of a drought, In the case they sent out the order way to early. And we could not plant it had we been able. So now I have to fight them with trying to get my money back which is only $44.76. I doubt that amount will make or brake them. It won't make or brake me either. But I learned a valuable lesson, check on places like this before you order. If I had only done that I might not have placed the order, but it would not have mattered since we both became disabled so suddenly, but these are not the kind of people I wish to do business with.
I ordered a Blue Damson plum tree in 1999. It came looking like a stick with little root. It survived by constant care.
Last year it bloomed, this year it produced fruit. It was a plum tree, but not anything near a Blue Damson. It looked like a extra large Bing cherry, a sweet plum though. 4 years of waiting on the wrong tree. I'm waiting to see they make good on the tree. Grafts on the 5-in-1 fruit trees I've ordered, ended up having 0-3 grafts survive. No problems with bulbs ordered.
I along with another co-worker ordered about $50 in plants and bulbs. Firstly, our order took almost 2 months to receive. The first part of the order some of the bulbs were moldy and rotten. Not sure if any of the "free bulbs/seeds" will come up. I know one of the house plants I received was three very small clippings and within 1 week shrivled up and died. Outdoor plants I received looked unhealthy and I planted according to instructions and 6 weeks later no growth or activity. I was elated to see such great prices, but now I know why. I would not recommend this supplier to anyone. I sent an email to their customer service and was told that I could return the items with their return label. I'm not going to do that because chances are I will get the same quality of merchandise. I am an avid gardening person and I was totally disgusted with the quality and condition of the merchandise this company sent. Don't waste your money on this company
We ordered plants from this company on April 21, 2003 . They cashed our check on May 8 , 2003 . When we called to inquire about status Mid May , their customer service rep told us , after the check cashes & they still don't ship you the goods till 6 to 8 weeks later . When we complained about this procedure , the customer service rep stated they were a subcontracted service & they couldn't do anything .......... basicially told us "well , too bad , that's the procedure "................. We'll never buy anything from this company again & we go out of our way to tell our friends ................ Buyer be ware , when dealing with Richard Owen Nursery!
Several months back, I returned shipping labels because of plants that would not grow. Several weeks later, then returned the labels, stating I "needed to send labels". What did they think those green things were? Some of the dead plants were not on the labels sent because the label they were on was sent previously. I was waiting to see of some of the other plants would grow, which they didn't. I sent those labels back along with a note stating as such. So far, there has been no response whatsoever from them. I feel they hassle people so they don't have to honor their "guarantee."
I placed an order with this company on 4/4/03. They charged my credit card on 4/9/03. I am still waiting for my order to arrive. Our planting season in Alabama started in March. Calls to their Bloomington, Il number is a waste of time. If you don't get a busy signal, you get a rude employee who gives you the runaround. Emails to them are also a waste of time. I called my credit card company and complained and they are notifying them of my dissatisfaction and are going to credit my account. I was instructed NOT to pay the amount Richard Owen Nursery charged to my account. I lived in Bloomington til 1984 and am extremely disappointed in this company and their attitude. I will never order from them again. I tried to cancel this order 4/17/03 and was told my order was ready to ship any day. They told me in order to return the items once received, I had to pay the return postage and couldn't just refuse the order as I told them I was going to do. My credit card company instructed me to "refuse the order" and to not take possession of it. If the order ever gets here I do plan to refuse it and have it returned at their expense and not mine. I would avoid this company at all costs. Trying to resolve a problem with them takes the patience of a saint. Now I guess I'll try and call them one more time .........
90% of the order dead or moldy. i should have known better, the prices were too low. i just got greedy and got burned. unfortunately, it was a fairly large order. oh, well. off to walmart. from now on the owens catalog goes in the trash where it belongs.
I received my order several weeks ago. The roots were DEAD not dormant. I ordered over $ 50 worth of plants. I have 2 lilies sprouting. Those were very expensive daylilies. This was the WORST mail order company I have ever done business with!!!!
On Apr 6, 2003, yschaffer Shaker Heights, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
This company runs hot and cold. I placed an order with this company for the first time in two years. When I received my order two years ago, everything arrived dead. Not dormant, DEAD! Much to my surprise, the order I received this week, contained live specimans. I was pleasantly surprised. But, don't get too excited. Ordering from this organization is at best a crap shoot. You just never know.
On Apr 4, 2003, Intriguing1 Tulsa, OK (Zone 6b) wrote:
I had already placed a couple of substantial orders from this company before I found this website. After I read the reviews, I waited anxiously to see if I would have the same results as many others have had with this company; dead or dying plants, the wrong items, or no items at all. I'm happy to say that I received both of my orders, all correct items, and all plants are thriving and sprouting or budding. I may simply be lucky compared to everyone else, but I cannot complain based on my results. The only disappointment I do have with this company is that the packaging is terrible, and my orders came too early for my zone (5)... as a result, until it is warm enough to plant outdoors, my kitchen looks (and smells) like a nursery!
On May 10th, 2003, Intriguing1 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I was initially very pleased with my order, and while at first my plants seemed healthy and more than willing to grow, each and very item reached a growth "plateau" after about a month and ceased growing beyond. Unfortunately, these were not healthy plants at all, though they appeared so at first.
I suspect that Plantron and their affiliates purchase the discards from other nursery companies and pass them off as first quality plants to unsuspecting consumers... like me.
I ordered $96 worth of plants from this company unaware that I had placed the order too late for shipment until next fall and yet they took the money out of my account. I am so angry because when I called to cancel my order and tell them to put the money back in they said I had to write a letter, not an email, to cancel. I thought it was illegal to take money for nothing. Well I have written the letter and we shall see.
I had a bad deal with these folks several years ago....never got it resolved (to my satisfaction)..now when their catalogs or affiliates show up I don't even open them...they go straight into the trash. Too bad!
On Jan 20, 2003, groovin Windom, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:
I ordered plants from this company several years ago, and that's the reason I found and joined Garden Watchdog! None of the plants lived, most were DOA, and customer service? This nursery never heard of it.
Please don't waste your money with these guys.
I placed a large order from excitinggardens.com back in October. My plants were shipped to me wrapped only in plastic. Almost all were broken. One plant listed as shipped was missing. I e-mailed the company outlining the problems. They wanted me to mail back to them the wrapping they came in (which had already been thrown away - I'm sure they count on this) to obtain refund or replacement. I told them that if they charged my card for the plants that I would dispute the charge. I never heard back from them. They will never get an order from me again, nor will any of their affiliates (see list under Plantron Inc.).
I called them to cancel my order of 7/6. I called them on 7/10 and as they requested sent a cancellation request letter. I also e-mailed them every day. For 2 weeks they told me they had no record of my order, both from Customer Service on the phone and by e-mail. I kept telling them if they did find my order-DO NOT process it. Wait for cancellation letter. On 7/26, they said, "Order already processed, credit card charged and first shipment on the way." I went POSTAL and e mailed a strong cancellation reply and talked to Customer Service by phone. They said they did not know if they could cancel balance of order and to return first shipment with enclosed label. Where have I heard that one before? I immediately filed a complaint with the Illinois Better Business Bureau and am going to fill out a Dispute Charges form with my credit card company.For Anyone thinking of doing business with these people- DO NOT. They do not know what they are doing, or worse, the DO know what they are doing and it is unethical at best.
My experience with Richard Owens was in February this year I ordered 18 Blue Spruce and 20 Stella d'Oro Daylilies, one Wiegla and one Wisteria. The blue spruce were moldy. I planted them and only 4 are still alive. The day lilies were so dried out and tiny, I wondered if they would survive. Most of them did make it thanks to alot of rain right after I planted them. At WalMart I got 20 more of these daylilies for half the price, and they were ten times better looking. The wiegla and wisteria were just mere sticks, but they have leafed out, and the wisteria looks quite nice. I have ordered some tree peonies, hydrangeas, wieglas, and butterfly bushes from them a week ago. I will write when they arrive probably in a month or two and let all of you know what I receive. If it is a bad as the last shipment, I will never order from them again. [update 8/17/2002] I wrote you about a month ago and mentioned that I wished I had found you site before I sent in my order to Richard Owen Nursery. I received two out of my 3 packages today. The third has not come with 3 hydrangeas, but I am not holding my breath if the condition of the two I received are any indication of what I am going to get. Here are the facts. I ordered 4 daylilies, and they seem to be okay. It is hard to kill a daylily. I ordered 5 butterfly plants, and they are a joke. Two arrived as 3" sticks with absolutely no roots on them, and the other three are so moldy I doubt they will grow, and they are about 3 inches tall. Next, I ordered 5 peony trees at about $10 apiece. Two actually are sprouting and look okay, but the other three have lots of roots and absolutely no growth buds to indicate that they are alive. They may make it since it is really hard to kill a peony because they are so hardy, but I have not planted tree peonies before. I will not be ordering any more plants from Richard Owens or their other affiliated companies. Just wanted to let you know what I got.
I ordered ferns and lilies from Richard Owen Nurseries last fall. They were not in good condition, but I planted them anyway, hoping for the best. I checked them this Spring, and only 1 lily survived. I sent the original shipping invoice back to the company with a letter of complaint. I'm still waiting for my plants. Not knowing that Richard Owens Nurseries was part of Inter-State Nurseries, I STUPIDLY ordered from them again. I'm still waiting to receive my order of 4 rose bushes, a water lily, and some water plants. I WISH I HAD FOUND THIS SITE SOONER. It's too bad that we can't check on these companies before ordering from them.
I ordered three weeks ago, and received an order confirmation almost immediately. Now today I get notice that my credit card didn't go through. I have a huge limit, and a zero balance, so I know it's impossible. I was furious! Now after reading all these comments I am glad! I wish I had read them prior to ordering. I will not re-order and will tell my friend to throw her catalog in the trash.
Last fall I ordered around $50 worth of shrubs and plants from Richard Owen Nurseries in Bloomington Illinois...big mistake. The quality of their stock is so poor it isn't even worth putting in the ground. This spring 80% of the plants were dead, and the few survivors don't look all that great. The company's customer service department is also a joke. Don't waste your money with these people.
In late spring of 2001, I ordered 50 row run privet hedges from Richard Owen/Exciting Garden Nurseries. It took 6 weeks for the plants to arrive, half of which were dead. I contacted the Company, explaining to them that I could not wait another 4-6 weeks for replacement plants as I would then be on vacation. I was assured the plants would be shipped ASAP. Well, it was another 5 weeks. I did get the plants in the ground, however, once again about 28-30 arrived dead. I decided to return the plants with the invoice in the original bag (their specifications) and ask for a credit to my account. I did this on 9/15/01. As of this date, 10/19/01, I have yet to get that credit posted to my account. Bottom line, this Company is definitely not customer oriented, very slow on delivery of either service or materials.
I wish I'd read all the above comments before I foolishly placed my order. They charged my credit card the full amount, and months went by; all I got were terse canned statements in response to my inquiries. Then THEY started getting nasty. When the package finally did arrive (it appeared to be some long twigs in a plastic garbage bag), I just wrote REFUSED on the label and put it back in the mail. I'm contacting my credit card company now to see if I have any recourse.
I ordered some roses and crab apple trees also some other items from the catalog of Richard Owens, terrible outcome. What I got was a shame, I cannot get to them by phone or e-mail or writing them, they have gone with my flowers I ordered!! I wished I had read these comments before. They should be banned from the internet and from the mail.
I ordered 4 Rose of Sharon bushes and 2 butterfly bushes from Richard Owen Nursery. When they arrived with some bulbs they were dried out and looked terrible. I went ahead and planted them. The next spring they were still dried out terrible looking plants. I have learned my lesson; I won't order from a catalog again. Unfortunately I did not have a copy of the order slip and received no refund. I received a new brochure in the mail I filed it in file 13.
Do not use this company! Pictures and prices are attractive but quality and service is dismal. Having ordered quite a lot of stock from several suppliers at the same time, I found survival of items from Richard Owen to be FAR worse than any others. Many plants arrived dead or near dead. A dried out stick is a dead piece of wood, not dormant. Received replacement items from other suppliers with no problems and before heard anything from Owen's. Have only received a few plants in replacement and they were dead. No communication from them and I have written the president of the company asking for refund. Little sense in wasting my time planting something that will not grow. AVOID THEM!
I placed an order in early Apr 2001 $103 worth I didn't receive two trees. Now it's June and three-fourths of the order did not come back to life but I discovered something from the shipping label. I also ordered from Richard Owen Nursery the Shipping label are exactly the same but different colors. The package ID numbers are the same. The type-written numbers at bottom are the same, and another number at the top left are the same How can two different nurseries have so many of the same numbers on the printed label?? Also there is no address to return for a refund. ??? Does any one have the mailing address for return. I will never do business with House of Wesley or Richard Owens.
After mailing a $310.00 order, I got on the web to see if I could find them and found this web site instead, I immediately called in sick and drove 110 miles to stop payment on my check, that cost me $20.00 and half a day's wages. Now 2 weeks later I get one package in the mail about the size of a large kitchen trash bag full of dead twigs and sticks, this represented approximately 100 2-3" Siberian elm, 6 fruit trees, 8 nut trees, 5 poplars that were supposed to be 4-5 ' high, etc. We went ahead and planted these sticks and will see if anything grows.
I received a catalog and the pics all looked so good. I am really into house plants and they had some listed that I do not have. So on 4/06/2001 I placed an order over the net for $38.39. On 4/30 I received 4 Torch Lilies and a 50 pc. bulb garden. They were dampened but not overly wet with just a hint of a musty smell. I wasn't really too disappointed. Although the bulbs were all a little on the small side. So I thought the rest of my order (the house plants) would be arriving in a few days. I waited and they didn't arrive, and no letter regarding a delay. So May 1 I telephoned them regarding my order. The CSR was courteous and stated that they were out of one of the plants and would ship as soon as it arrived. OK I was satisfied with that. So I waited. Nothing. May 11 I phoned again. A different CSR said that the info she had showed that the plant had just arrived and they would ship in the next day or two, and I'd receive my order in about two weeks. I waited. Again, nothing. May 30 I telephoned again. By now I'm beginning to get angry. I'm having the expense of long distance phone calls added to what should have been a simple mail-order purchase. I got a different CSR and she barely spoke. She just stated that she didn't really know the problem. Other than they were still waiting to receive one of the plants before they could ship. She said they hold the entire order if they are out of an item. I told her I wasn't yelling at her. I realized that she is just customer service. But I said, "Your company got their money (charged to my credit card). Here it is nearly 2 months later and I don't have my merchandise. You either have what I ordered or you don't. Why not send what you have and a refund check for what you don't have?" I told her that I was none too pleased with the situation. Also that I have done mail-order business for years with alot of companies and have never had to wait like this for an order. I then told her that those flowers had better be in very good condition and well worth the wait when I receive them (if I receive them!) or they would be mailed back for a FULL REFUND. I told her I was giving them 10 more days and if I have not received my order by then that I was going to have to take necessary steps to correct the situation.