I also ordered a Blue Martini orchid, which I had waited for a long time to order, and it was infected with mealy bugs as well. It survived, but the other, seedling-size orchid that was shipped with it also got them, and it died.
I have ordered from Norman's a few times and had a couple snafoos - for example, one time when an order went through (a gift for a friend who was going to have surgery), and they had the order on file, but somehow the orchid never was shipped (I found this a couple weeks later after the person was already home from the hospital). Or a minor thing, on my first order, I ordered a plant that was supposed to be "in short spike" (which I took into consideration when I ordered), but the one I got it was fully-bloomed, and some blooms got broken in shipping.
That said, most of the orchids I have gotten from Norman's have been spectacular, well-packed, etc. I expect to order from Norman's again at some point.
I would have put a "postive" rating but the Blue Martini experience was my most recent one, and I just realized reading the post on this site that mine wasn't the only one - I feel like they should have or must have known about the bugs, and not sent the plants that way.
On April 14th, 2008, lauraja changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
UPDATE: There is a little more to the story of my "short spike" orchid mentioned above. This was my first orchid order, and I was a little naive. The petals of the orchid I ordered appeared on the website to have a uniform, slightly pinkish lavender color. I ordered because of the uniquely delicate-looking color. I received a white orchid with very bright light-pink blush in the middle instead. I looked on the Norman's website and saw an orchid that looked exactly like the one I received; it was one of the "parent' plants listed for the orchid I had ordered. In my naivete, I thought this meant that I received an "example" of the orchid I ordered that looked just like one of the 'parent' plants, not like the one that was pictured (thinking there might be variation). Immediately after the above posting, I came across a "rip-off report" that described nearly the identical experience with a Norman's orchid (I mean, with the exact same type of orchid received). That customer apparently was told that Norman's could substitue another type of orchid (even though the substitue one was a less expensive type), and that the customer had received the replacement type b/c she was "not an orchid person" or words to that effect. (I also had told the person I ordered from that this was my first time ordering an orchid.) I can't help suspecting that the same thing happened with me. In addition to "Blue martini" episode, and having thought the mealy bugs had somehow come from my house since I didn't know better (now I am pretty sure that they came with the plant, and that Norman's should have known about them), I feel a little duped.
Although I still have received some nice plants from them, and my experience with them has not been all negative.On April 14th, 2008, lauraja changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
On May 6th, 2008, lauraja added the following:
Blue Martini is almost dead as well. Was down to one non-yellow leaf, whose condition is noticeably deteriorating. Did not survive repotting - I'm not sure why - but was a young plant, and I think was weakened by all the treatment for the mealy bugs (there were a LOT of them and it took a lot of treatment). I don't "lose" an orchid very often. Norman's is temtping b/c of the great variety of orchids they offer, but I am taking a "break" from ordering from them.