On Jul 26, 2004, FlowerPower___ New Rochelle, NY wrote:
I’ve bought some plants from Kelly Nurseries catalog ( http://www.kellynurseries.com ) in early Spring 2004. To my dismay I received many of the plants totally dead, with no signs of life whatsoever. I wrote many emails to them, which were never answered. I called them and they said I had to send the label on the package in order for them to consider replacing it. I no longer had the package, but had the dead plants as a proof. They said that I could send my Credit Card statement as a proof of purchase, and that’s what I did. After months of having ignored my letters, statement and emails they sent another replacement. They replaced them in July, months later. Still I received a totally dead plant (a Mock Orange) – no sign of life, nada, and zilch! Then I called them again and they told me to send the Credit Card statement again. When they answer the call they mention that “your call is being recorded for quality purposes” but it wasn’t a recorded message, they answer the call like this every time, which sounded more like … “Anything you say may be used against you”. I told them I had already sent the credit card statement. I was talking to a female voice, which sounded young and very mechanic. She said there was nothing they could do. Then I asked to talk to the manager or whoever was responsible for the Customer Services. I told her I knew she wasn’t a machine and she could talk as a human being. After insisting a lot to speak to the Manager, she said I could write a letter to Grace Avory, but said she doesn’t receive phone calls. Very weird… A customer service manager that doesn’t answer phone calls. Well, I made a note and decided to call again. Next time a man answered with the same message. He said that he was going to talk to his manager/ supervisor, whatever… I waited and he came with the message that he wouldn’t replace the plant without the label from the package. I said to him I bought the plants and they sent me them dead. It means they were the same as garbage. Then he told me to send the credit card statement again and I told him AGAIN that I had already sent it. Then he said they were NOT going to replace it. I got so mad! I told them I was going to call the Better Business Bureau in Illinois, Office of the Illinois Attorney General and CBS Show “Shame on You”. He said I was threatening them. I just read a book called “Life’s Little Instructions", by H.Jackson Brown, Jr. It says that at least once a year we should write a letter complaining about some kind of injustice. I’m sure we all have experienced something like this and end up doing nothing about it. It’s our loss. This time I was ready to confront them, no matter what. It wasn’t a matter of money, it was a matter of being mislead. That’s why I am writing this letter. Kelly Nurseries always sends various catalogs with different names:
Four Seasons Nursery
Farmer Seed & Nursery
House of Wesley
Interstate Nurseries, etc
They are exactly from the same company, which is also called Direct Gardening (www.directgardening.com). If you go to this site and order their catalog, you will see that they say they have many catalog suppliers, which are exactly the same company. They hide behind all those other catalog names, but they are from the same address in Bloomington, Illinois. I’m going to go ahead and do everything I can to have my plant replaced this time, even if it takes me a lot of trouble. Let me know if this similar situation has happened to you. Maybe this way we can show how this company makes business to their only advantage. Next time don’t bother to buy from them. All they will send you is a dead stick in a plastic bag. This was the way my “plants” arrived. It proofs how misleading they are.
"This is not a threat in any way, but my rights as a consumer I’m defending and I will pursue it."
On August 24th, 2004, FlowerPower___ added the following:
Just to let you know that Kelly Nursery just refunded my money. They wasted my time and money, but in the end they at least had to refund the money I spent. See friends, when you are right you have to go till the end to get what you want. Those people are not worth dealing with. But it's always worth fighting for your rights and exposing bad businesses. There's a lot of competition in the market nowadays. And we consumers deverse to be treated well and with honesty.
IF YOU EVER HAVE A PROBLEM WITH KELLY NURSERIES, WRITE AND INCLUDE ALL EVIDENCE YOU HAVE AND SEND IT TO:
STATE OF ILLINOIS
500 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217)782-1090 Consumer Protection Division http://www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov
AND ALSO, WRITE A LETTER TO KELLY NURSERIES, which business name is PLANTRON, INC.
PLANTRON, INC. (Kelly Nurseries)
ATTN: PAMELA COTTON
1706 Morrisey Drive
Bloomington, IL 61704
Phone: (309) 663-9551
Don't waste your time sending them emails. They never answered any of mine.
On February 4, I ordered from Kelly Nurseries via the Internet. It was clearly a huge mistake that I ever ordered from this company. This company is like the Greek Medusa with at least three head companies: Kelly Nurseries, Richard Owen, and Four Seasons (there may be more than this).
The products each company sells are nearly identical by item and price, just the name of the company is different. Moreover a common customer service answers for all three nurseries (from Bloomington-IL). I received 3 orders, the first was so bad that I immediately sent most of it back because the shipment was badly packaged and in poor condition. The third package with the bulk of the perennials I ordered had items omitted, others in a dried up condition and was a screwed up confusing mess of jumbled up items . Once this company had my money, getting any type of redress from them is a matter of anger and exasperation. If you want to return something you have 14 days to get your money back, and if you want a replacement plant(s), you are required to send the exact shipping label from that exact shipment, no photocopies are accepted. It is obvious why this is done. This company counts on the natural sloppy way of customers who just throw away the package after they get them. Customers who go thrugh this frustrating attempt at redress will often give up and say to heck with this procedure. And this is how this company makes its money. When I talked with their Customer Service, they would not honor any replacment request unless I had the exact package number. Also I might add they are very good at losing correspondence. My May 6 letter has never turned up in their data base (more than a month has elaspsed) so they have done nothing about my replacement, nor reacted to my numerous telephone calls. My advice to any potential gardener considering buying from this nursery combine is:
DON'T BUY FROM KELLY NURSERIES; THIS IS MY ADVISE TO ANY POTENTIAL CUSTOMER. This company is a terrible excuse for a nursery with inferior plant materials, sloppy packaging, and a terrible return policy that is designed to ripoff the customer.
On May 11, 2004, invermont shelburne United States wrote:
Like others, I wish I would have seen this site before ordering from Kelly's. I sent them an email complaining about their shipment a few minutes ago, before I came upon all your experiences. I have dealt with many mail-order nurseries before but have never encountered a place that shipped way too early for Northern Vermont and slimy dead miniscule plants to boot. ALL my 16 perennials were DOA and of the 80 red ozier dogwoods, they only shipped 77 and I don't see any sign of life from those almost rootless twigs that I planted 3 weeks ago. I should not have deluded myself into believeing that I could have a dogwood hedge for $55. I have invested alot more money into this hedge with all the soil amendments, mulch etc not including the time it took to dig 80 holes. So this is a major disappointment. I hope that enough twigs survive for me to have something that resembles a hedge...
On July 19th, 2005, invermont added the following:
I'd like to update about the red oziers. Only about 20 were ultimately alive so I told them I needed to have all of them replaced since I knew that many replacements would be DOA anyhow. I ended up with none to spare. This year, amazingly only 1 did not survive the winter. I would say that 20 are looking healthy and are over 2 feet tall and bushy, 20 are looking OK and are about 12-15 inches tall but have filled out. 20 are spindly twigs but are alive and 19 are clinging to life and not looking any different than last year in size. None of the other plants I planted made it except for the free rose they sent me. I just stuck it in a hole even though it was a dried up mess. Ironic, isn't it that the only thing I didn't want is the one thing that survived. As for the dogwoods, I'm hoping not having to replace the 19 dying little twigs but if I do, it will not be from this place. I'll buy at discount from a regular nursery at the end of the season. I'd rather pay more than ever give this place another dime.
I ordered before I knew what I was getting into with this company. I have a large scale planting so I wanted to save money. I have recieved plants that for the most part have done well. Maybe It was my root stimulator.
I ordered 100 Washington Hawthornes all but 15 have taken well. I blame delayed shipping for the ones that have not begun to break dormancy. I had to wait and wait , call & call to get my plants.
All 30 Populars have taken. Took a long time to get them.
The 35 strawberries didn't please me so I'm sending them back.
One of the two plum trees did well. The other died.
All mulberry, peach trees are doing well.
I am shipping back the strawberries and plum tree this week and their response to the replacement/refund request will determine if I ever order from them again.
On Apr 19, 2004, Barbaraboley Noblesville, IN wrote:
I ordered from the catalog last year 2003. Several of the plants did not look good but I planted and water them as the others. I have never ordered from Kelly's before. I have a one year guarantee and as suspected several plants did not come back this year. I have sent e-mails and called several times. There is always a busy signal and they have not responded to my e-mails. I spent over $100.00 and got only a few plants that are still living. I am most unhappy with this unprofessional company. I HAVE SAVED ALL MY RECIEPTS. I would like compensation for the dead plants. END RESULT: DO NOT ORDER FROM PLACES YOU DO NOT KNOW.
I purchases 3 grapes and two blueberries before reading the comments from current clients. I was worried that my order would be a bad experience so purchased locally for a lot more money. My order came in and the grapes are are huge and healthy, the same size I wasted twice the money buying locally.
Last May I placed an order with this company specifying
delivery details and dates. Never received acknowledgement
To date, and in spite of repeated e-mails all I have received is "a run around". Customer Service cannot help because they do not handle problems (!!!) The "Order Status"
department does not even address the problem.
Meanwhile, they cashed my check last June, I am out of the monies paid, which, apparently they do not intend to pay back, and I have lost a landscape customer whose garden is now unfinished for the season since, at this point, I cannot obtain those plants from other suppliers.
Kelly Nurseries has each and every detail on this transaction, PLUS MY MONIES.
I can only hope that others read this BEFORE they order from them.
Well, lets just say that I am not suprised at everyones comments. I have had NOTHING but trouble in dealing with these lovely people. First of all, I had problems in receiving all my merchandise. I still haven't receieved five plants that I ordered. Then, when you call to complain, they tell you just to mail in your shipping label and try to get you off the phone. Second of all, some things were in ok condtion when they were received. But by far, most were in poor condtion, and most of the things I received from them have died (and let me tell you, my husband and I worked for weeks preparing the soil before these plants were to come--I am a big "Jerry Baker" fan). Then, they were emailing me telling me they were shipping me my order (a second time) and I was concerned they were going to charge me again for it--when they already had. NO ONE must be reading these emails, because it took SEVERAL before anyone even responed back to me as if they had even read my emails!! Then, on the 5 plant I never received, I wrote them, but did not send them "the origingal shipping label" as they are so famous for requesting BECAUSE I WAS NOT RETURNING A PLANT FOR REFUND--I HAD NOT EVEN RECEIVED THEM!!! So, to me, why would I send the label, when I had ordered other plants, and there was a good chance they would die (due to their poor condition), and then I wouldn't get replacements for those plants. Well, I wrote them, and sent them a copy of my original shipping label. A MONTH later they sent me a letter saying to send them the original shipping label. Well, needless to say, I was not happy, and I dug up all my dead plants and sent them to them with all the shipping labels. It has been a month an a half, and just last week I received two of the over twenty plants (not including the five I have never received) that died--no other letter, no other plants, NOTHING. I am assuming that I will not be receiving anything else from them, or even a letter. OBVIOUSLY I will never order from them again--I just can't believe they can run a buisness like this. I made a huge mistake by ordering from them--and I am so glad there is this website--I will be checking here first from now on!!
On Jun 18, 2003, naturesgarden Prior Lake, MN (Zone 5a) wrote:
I wanted to try this nursery out so I only ordered one plant from them. Along with the plant I ordered they sent me two Spirea bare root plants for free. The one I ordered got a few leaves on it then it croaked. It never came back the second year. The spirea didn't grow at all.
On May 23, 2003, ellendag Herndon, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
My complaint is concerned primarily with how this company's customer service and accounting departments are operated. I am new to gardening and have ordered several plants from various mail order companies as well as some local nurseries this year, but my experience so far with Kelly Nurseries has been negative compared to all the other companies I've done business with. The problem is that I happened to want to cancel an early April order I placed with Kelly shortly after I had mailed it to them (the order total being about $35). I had found out through research that one of the plants I had ordered from them was actully quite invasive so I changed my mind about wanting it. I tried to cancel the order over the phone about a week after I'd mailed it and was told that there was no record on file that Kelly had received it. I was told to call back in another couple of weeks. I thought it a bit odd that they needed two weeks for an order to come in the mail and become processed. Through surfing the internet I came upon this site and then found out about the negative feedback concerning this company. I then decided to stop payment on my check and wrote an e-mail to them that I wanted to cancel my order. They did respond by e-mail telling me to write a letter stating that I wanted to cancel; I did so that day and mailed it soon thereafter. The date on the letter was in mid-April. I thought that everything was then resolved and that the cancellation went through. Well, a couple of days ago, much to my suprise, I received a few sad plants that had been part of what I had originally ordered. I thought to myself how odd that these were sent! So I tried calling Kelly to find out why these plants were sent to me in late May when I had cancelled my order back in mid-April. The customer service operator told me that I needed to send the plants back and gave me a phone number to reach the proper accounting office to speak with someone who could find the record of my cancellation. I have tried several times to call; the line is always busy. I don't think that it is my responsibility to send these sorry plants back at my expense when I had followed the proper procedures for cancelling my order that this company requires. I am very disappointed with how they have handlled this whole affair.
My plants arrived great, even though the bag was ripped open during shipping by UPS. I soaked the roots in water with rooting harmones to be sure. Trees and plants are doing fine. Gardening is hard especially here in Arizona. I do not buy localy anymore as Home Depot and local nursery potted plants always die and are fungus infected stock from California nuseries. I also buy from Musser Forrests. Some plants are more difficult than others to grow. What I do is research plants on the internet and then buy the easier to grow specimens. I am happy with Kelly's and will do future business with them, sorry to hear all the negative experiences.
On May 3, 2003, lilyan Carleton, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
This is the worst garbage I have ever received !!! Our Troops should take this guy & turn him over to saddam hussain! I have been getting Plants from mail order for 45 years, This company & all it's affiliates need to be prosecuted!!
I have ordered from more than one Plantron Co. I have had both good and bad experiences with Plantron Companies. My attitude towards all of the Plantron companies is this- If they have a plant that I am interested in that I can't get elsewhere, then I will order it from them. If they have a plant that I am interested in that is way lower in price than other companies (this happens often), then I will order it from them. However, all other orders I place with other companies to avoid them. If another company is a little higher in price, then I order with the other company gladly. But being dirt cheap and having plants that others don't have sucks me back to them. Sometimes their plants are dead or don't live, but hey what do you expect for rock bottom prices? It could happen with other companies that have a good track record. Sometimes their plants are very good and thrive - it's like throwing dice.
I don't like it that you can't call to complain - you have to do it in writing, but it sounds somewhat reasonable. At least one of the Plantron Companies is hard to get on the phone - busy, busy, busy.
From one of the Plantron companies I ordered a beautiful plant with a name something like wedding plant or maybe Hawaiian wedding plant. After several months, I didn't receive the plant or anything even acknowledging the order. I wrote a letter and simply asked when was I going to get my plant. Not long after, I got a star jasmine instead, which was not as pretty. I wasn't happy about the switch. I would have been content to wait for the wedding plant - I just wanted to have some sort of idea of when to expect it. I thought maybe they forgot I existed. I was mad about the switch, but didn't complain because finally something happened.
Anyway, I like plants enough to deal with these people and what they sell.
Placed an order on 2/2/03. 12 hrs. later, I cancelled the order. I was sent confirmation of that cancellation yet on 2/7/03 my credit card was charged. Visa has since disputed the charges but Kelly is fighting it. And unbelievably, on 3/30/03 they actually sent me the plants (DEAD). Told me I have to pay the return shipping. They are still sitting - bagged - in my garage. I will not return without a prepaid slip from Kelly. Place should be closed down !!
I have over 900 clematis and over 1,200 roses in my gardens, so am no newcomer to buying and nurturing plants. I bought Kelly's Blue Light clematis in 2001, potted it with great soil and grass clippings, overwintered it and got 9" blossoms by June of 2002. I ordered 4 more this year. Of the 4 I ordered last year, 1 didn't survive and Kelly immediately replaced it. Frankly, I am delighted with Kelly. I ordered 2 of their yellow peony trees in '97 and they are GORGEOUS.
My credit card was charged weeks before my order shipped then half the plants died or never came out of dormancy. Although they guarantee replacements or refunds if plants die within the first year, they require "original" shipping labels. I had sent my labels (via certified mail return receipt)with a letter stating exactly which plants had died and requesting a refund on those items only to have them mail it back with a note "what was the problem with...". What part of DIED and BULBS NEVER CAME UP don't they understand? Obviously they are backing out of their guarantee - they couldn't claim that they didn't receive my "original" labels since I had mailed certified and concluded that I wouldn't pay more in postage than I was entitled to in refund to keep mailing that way. I have no doubt that if I were to mail via regular first class (no receipt) that they would claim they never received my request.
Boy, I wish I found this board BEFORE I placed an order with Kelly Nursery!!! I too, had a dismal experience with this company and would NEVER do business with them again. I ordered a shade garden package in March 2002. The plants did not arrive until June. I called them twice to inquire about my order (I found a number hidden in the catalog and apparently the # is for the shipping warehouse) and was told they would arrive shortly. I planted the plants according to the directions and NONE of them appear to be alive (10 days later) DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY!
We ordered this spring from several mail order nurseries. We ordered over $100.00 worth of plants. The shipping and handling charges were high. We thought they would be sent UPS; no they came in the mail. They were in plastic bags and were cooked when we got them. We ordered in march and finally got the last order in June. Very few things have lived. I called the company and was told that if I shipped the dead plants back they would refund my money. If I wanted replacements write a letter and send the invoice back. I did send the invoice back and they returned it to me telling me to give the plants a chance they were dormant. They weren't dormant they were dead. We will never order from this company again. I am still waiting for my replacement order.
I canceled and order from Kelly Nurseries that was never sent and have not received credit from them either. Customer service gives me the run around and e-mails return the same. I am contacting the Postmaster in their area to see if something can be done on their end.
A friend bought me a potted, bagged Queen Elizabeth as a gift from Kelly Nurseries (through a local nursery). At first glance, it seemed healthy (3 fat green canes, a few buds). However, when I unwrapped and removed it from the peat pot to soak before planting, there were no discernable roots on it whatsoever, only a few little white "feeders"! The big roots had been chopped completely off. I've planted it, anyway (in deference to my friend) but there is no way this rose will survive without a root system and if by the grace of God it does, I'm not looking forward to the process. Worse, the rose was $14.95! Comparable to what a good rose from a good place would've cost! It's my opinion these roses are "throw-aways" (machine thrashed plants) from big rose farms. This company then buys them for pennies and covers them up with a pot and bag to sell to the unsuspecting public. Buyer beware!
I ordered plants from Kelly Nurseries, Division of Plantron, Inc. The shipment was missing 3 plants and I'm having a difficult time getting them to complete my order or give me a refund. They definitely earned a place on my "never order from here" list.
I ordered a Japanese Maple. When it came the growth on the top of the little "four inch twig" was totally slimy and nasty. It was immediately obvious to me that the plant won't live. The other trees I ordered had roots as dry as dust and the flowering plants were tiny and just barely alive. I've been ordering plants for years and this place is a complete disgrace. DON'T ORDER FROM THEM!!!
I read the reviews here about Kelly Nursery after I ordered from them. I though OMG I just made a big mistake and just chalked it up to experience. My order was a little late by maybe a couple of weeks; I ordered 2 Walnuts, 2 Dogwoods, 2 Red Maples and a Weeping Willow. I also received for my mother in -law a Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine and 2 Banana trees. All of her trees were green but a little dry. They all are thriving. As for mine only the Red Maples gave me a scare but now they are also doing fine. So often you only get to read the bad stuff about someone, so I just had to write about the good for once. One more comment, even my free mystery plants grew.
I Know Kelly's Nurseries is part of Plantron but I've really been pleased with their service. I ordered Canadian Hemlock and they all died, I ordered (Kelly replaced them right away} 20 more and they died. I then e-mailed them and was told they were very hard to start so I ordered 20 other species and they all survived. Everything I have ordered from Kelly has grown or they replaced right away.
I had read all the negative feedback and was wondering if I should have ordered from them. I received my order today and it was exactly what I ordered and everything was fine. There is no reason that my plants should not do well.
I did business with Kelly's Nursery and got dead plants, and no satisfaction from the company. I was told to send back the dead plants write down the catalog number and the amount of the plant. I did do all that I did receive a refund check but that is next to worthless since they will not honor there own check. I wrote them a nasty letter but never got an answer. I do business with a lot of mail order nurseries and never had the problems I am having with this nursery. They took my money and will not refund it back I will look twice at nurseries before I order from them and stick to the ones I know are good business people.
I have just gotten a computer and found this site Wish I had seen it last year. We purchased $145.00 worth of plants. A group of mountain laurel arrived dead, was returned and a refund was finally received after several calls to both the Illinois and Minnesota offices. I told them to cancel the remainder of the order. They said I would have to put it in writing, which I did. This was almost a year ago and I have received no refund and have been unable to get through by phone. I am going to write them again and the BBB in Bloomington. If no refund is forthcoming I am going to contact the person at the local TV station who helps consumers resolve problems. If everyone will do this maybe enough bad publicity will keep a lot of fellow gardeners from losing their money.
I have bought from various Plantron affiliates and have been uniformly disappointed. It saddens me to see that Kelly Bros has joined them, since I expect this to mean that their quality will plummet. My bad experiences with Plantron affiliates include: catalogues do not accurately list climate zones; quality of merchandise is poor--50% of honeysuckle seedlings I bought failed to put out leaves and I have bought these from two Plantron companies; other orders have had a similar rate of failure.
On January 7th, 2002, kilgore added the following:
I ordered $300 of Siberian Elms from Kelly's. They were dry as a bone when I received them. We planted them. A few of them came up. I called the company. The company said I had to write a letter for a certificate for more merchandise ONLY.... no refunds. You can use the certificate one time only, and it has to be for the total amount. So I wrote the letter, and they sent it back, and they told me I didn't write the letter properly, although I did mention how much I spent, exactly what I purchased, who to send it to, all the details of name, address, phone number, etc. And I had to call them again. And talk to the Kelly's associate, who told me specific words to say in the second letter I was to write. So I wrote it, and addressed it specifically as I was instructed by the Kelly's associate... and finally after several months I received the voucher so I could purchase more merchandise. This was an extremely bad experience and I will NEVER purchase anything from this discombobulated company again.
Last year I ordered two Harry Lauder Walking sticks from this company. And to make a long story short, both died. I asked for replacements and after much ado received them. Both of them also died. The plants were dry and brittle when they arrived. I soaked them in water before planting and since the reshipment was late, I planted one in a pot and kept it indoors for the winter. Nothing ever sprouted. Pieces of the stems were laying in the bag when I opened it. I keep a file of plant catalogues and Kelly's is recycled as soon as it arrives. I don't keep something that I will never order from. Please don't waste your time with this company. By the way, I am a Master Gardener and thus I know how to care for plant material. I have been gardening for at least 40 years now. It's sad that some companies just are not reputable.
I ordered several plants from Kelly Nursery in late April. I was told it would be six weeks to process the order. I thought at the time this was a long time to fill an order. The order arrived in June. All the plants were either black slimy, completely dead, or of the worst quality I have ever seen. Total order was $43.90. I feel that this money was just stolen. No real nursery would send that quality of plants.
This Spring (2001) I ordered 10 asparagus seedlings, two filbert trees and two Paw Paw trees. The asparagus is ok, but the "trees" arrived as dead switches with no fine roots at all, just nubby stubs. They were planted with care, watered faithfully amid a wide range of thriving vegetables, fruits and nut trees. As of today their "trees" are dead, dry switches. I cannot raise them on line and sent the original shipping label back as they demanded by snail mail. I wish I had read this thread before I ever ordered any thing from them! Next stop? Better Business Bureau if not satisfied.
I purchased 200 strawberry plants last spring; they arrived moldy. I planted them hoping for a miracle. When it did not happen I sent in the shipping label and requested another 200 plants. The entire summer went by before I received the next shipment; needless to say they were also moldy. ALL BUYERS BEWARE! DO NOT BUY! Nothing Kelly sends is any good.
Have tried for weeks to get a response to questions about my order - why it was never received, why my check was cashed, why the phone is always busy or no one ever answers. No answers to any of these questions. I don't intend to order from them ever again.
I placed an order for 40 Canadian Hemlock trees from Kelly Nurseries. When I did not receive my order I tried contacting them at the number on my order confirmation. The line has been busy for days. I was looking for their web site when I ran into this site. After reading your stories I am horrified. I hope I didn't get scammed.